Hypoglycemia and Diabetes
Hypoglycemia Treatment in Diabetes
If you have diabetes and think you have hypoglycemia, check your blood sugar level.
If you have blood sugar levels that often drop after meals that include a lot of simple sugars, change your diet. Avoid sugary foods, and eat frequent small meals during the day.
If you get low blood sugar when you haven't eaten, have a snack before bedtime, such as a protein or a more complex carbohydrate.
Your doctor may find that you are taking too much insulin that peaks toward the evening to morning hours. In that case, he or she may lower your insulin dose or change the time when you get your last dose of insulin.
When You Have Low Blood Sugar
Start by eating or drinking 15 grams of a fast-acting carbohydrate such as:
- Three to four glucose tablets
- One tube of glucose gel
- Four to six pieces of hard candy (not sugar-free)
- 1/2 cup fruit juice
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1/2 cup soft drink (not sugar-free)
- 1 tablespoon honey (put it under your tongue so it gets absorbed into your bloodstream faster)
Fifteen minutes after you have eaten a sugar-containing food, check your blood sugar again. If your blood sugar is still less than 70 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter), eat another serving of one of the foods listed above. Repeat these steps until your sugar normalizes.
If You Pass Out
Hypoglycemia may make you pass out. If so, you will need someone to give you a glucagon injection. Glucagon is a prescription medicine that raises blood sugar and may be needed with severe hypoglycemia. It is important that your family members and friends know how to give the injection in case you have a low blood sugar reaction.
If you see someone having a severe hypoglycemic reaction, call 911 or take them to the nearest hospital for treatment. Do not try to give an unconscious person food, fluids, or insulin as they may choke.
Do Not Drive When You Have Low Blood Sugar
It is very dangerous to drive during a low blood sugar reaction. If you are driving and you have symptoms of hypoglycemia, safely pull off the road and eat a sugary food. Wait at least 15 minutes, check your blood sugar, and repeat these steps if necessary. Eat a protein and carbohydrate source (such as peanut butter crackers or cheese and crackers) before continuing to your destination.
Be prepared. Keep a sugar source in your car at all times for emergencies.