Living with Diabetes

Diabetes and Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar level is a critical condition where your blood sugar level becomes very low, 3.8 mmol/l (70 mg/dl) or less. It is important that you treat it promptly!

How might I have a low blood sugar level?

How do I know if my blood sugar level is low?

When your blood sugar level is very low, you may have one or more of the following symptoms, but not necessary all of them!

 

What should I do?

Low blood sugar level can be critical, treat it immediately!

Build an action plan with your healthcare team on how to take care of your low blood sugar levels.

If you experience any signs of a low blood sugar episode, check your blood sugar level. If the level is 3.8 mmol/l (70 mg/dl) or less, you can take one of the following sources of simple sugars immediately:

  • 3 or 4  sugar  tablets or 3 sugar cubes
  • 1 serving of sugar gel (equal to 15 grams of carbohydrate)
  • 1/2 cup of any fruit juice
  • 1 cup of skimmed milk
  • 1/2 cup  of a REGULAR (not diet) soft drink
  • 5 or 6 pieces of hard candy
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey

After 15 minutes, check your blood sugar again to ensure your level is more than 3.8 mmol/l (70 mg/dl). Repeat these steps as required. Once your blood sugar is steady, and if your next meal is in more than an hour, have a light snack.  If your condition got worse? CALL 112

 

What else should I consider to keep me safe?

  • Wear an identification bracelet
  • Always keep a source of simple sugar with you and eat your regular meals
  • Take your Diabetes medications exactly as directed by your healthcare team
  • Check your sugar level regularly to handle low blood sugar episode promptly
  • If needed, ask your healthcare team to provide you with a glucagon kit to be used by any trained member of your family. It is an injection to be taken in an emergency in order to elevate the sugar level.  Glucagon will not hurt a person, but occasionally may cause vomiting or nausea
  • Check your blood sugar before and after doing physical activity
  • Teach your family, friends and coworkers to recognize the signs of low blood sugar episode and its treatment strategies