Skip to content

    Diabetes Health Center

    Step 1 of 6
    Action Set
    Diabetes: Dealing With Low Blood Sugar From Insulin

    Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occurs in people with diabetes when the sugar (glucose) level in the blood drops below what the body needs to function normally.

    • If your blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), you may have symptoms, such as feeling tired, weak, or shaky.
    • If your blood sugar drops very low (usually below 20 mg/dL) and you do not get help, you could become confused or drowsy or even lose consciousness and possibly die. If you are pregnant, your baby could be harmed.
    • Low blood sugar can develop if you take too much insulin, do not eat enough food or skip meals, exercise without eating enough, or drink too much alcohol (especially on an empty stomach).
    • You can usually treat mild—and sometimes moderate—low blood sugar by eating something that contains sugar.
    • You should teach your friends and coworkers what to do if your blood sugar is very low.

    how.gif  How to deal with low blood sugar emergencies

    Up Next in This Action Set:

    Other Works Consulted

    • American Diabetes Association (2014). Standards of medical care in diabetes—2014. Diabetes Care, 37(Suppl 1): S14–S80. DOI: 10.2337/dc14-S014. Accessed January 7, 2014.

    • Beaser RS (2010). Using insulin to treat diabetes: General principles. In RS Beaser, ed., Joslin's Diabetes Deskbook: A Guide for Primary Care Providers, 2nd ed., pp. 263–296. Boston, MA: Joslin Diabetes Center.

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
    Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology

    Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
     
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
     
    kenneth fujioka, md
    Video
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Article
     
    Middle aged person
    Tool
    jennie brand miller
    Video
     

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    Article
    type 2 diabetes
    Slideshow
     
    food fitness planner
    Tool
    feet
    Slideshow