Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia) may be the result of taking too much insulin, the effect of certain diabetic medications, missing a meal or exercising too hard without taking snacks. A normal blood glucose is 3.5-6.5 mmol/l (70-125 mg/dl), a glucose below 3.5 mmol/L (60 mg/dl) may give symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Signs of mild hypoglycemia

  • hunger
  • a lightheaded shaky feeling
  • nervous or irritable feeling
  • cold sweats
  • weakness
  • rapid heartbeat
  • confusion
  • numbness or tingling of lips or fingers

(Illustration courtesy of xtend-life.com)
Signs of moderate hypoglycemia

  • feeling unusually sleepy
  • not being able to see clearly
  • feeling or acting angry, sad or confused for no reason
  • not being able to walk normally, seeming drunk

Severe hypoglycemia

  • seizures
  • unconsciousness

How to treat low blood sugar

  • eat something sweet (candy, jam, fruit or drink a glass of juice or 1/2 cup of soft drink
  • eat a sandwich or fruit to prevent recurrence
  • recheck glucose every 1/2 hr until normal
  • If you can't eat or drink you will need Glucagon (an injection) or immediate hospitalization (dial 911)

    (Illustration courtesy of xtend-life.com)


    In all individuals who are risk of severe hypoglycemia, or those who are unconscious, it is important that a spouse, family member, or support person be taught how to administer glucagon by injection. Glucagon is a medicine that will raise your blood sugar immediately. It is given by injection either under the skin (subcutaneously) or in the muscle (intramuscularly). It is important to tell your spouse, family or friends NEVER to give you food or drink if you pass out. Glucagon needs to be refrigerated and has a short shelf life. Therefore, if an individual frequently is affected by several hypoglycemia, trained family members or support persons should ensure supplies remain in date.