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Diabetes Health Center

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When Low Blood Sugar Has No Symptoms

Help for Hypoglycemic Unawareness

See your doctor if you aren’t feeling the signs that should occur when low blood sugar is coming on. You may be able to feel it again within weeks. Your doctor can create the best treatment plan for you.

Your doctor may suggest that you:

  • Set your target levels for blood sugar higher than usual. This is usually done for a few weeks.
  • Test your blood sugar more often. You may need to check it around bedtime, exercise, or meals, or more often during illness or stress. Your doctor may tell you to test it at other times, too.
  • Use a continuous glucose monitor. You'll still need to monitor your blood sugar and prick your finger. But this type of monitor may help you spot patterns or trends easier. This can help you better manage your diabetes.
  • Lower your chances of hypoglycemia. Go over the things that make low blood sugar more likely and take steps to make it less likely for you. For instance, you may need to adjust your insulin doses to better match your diet and exercise. Or you may need to be more regular with your meals and how many carbohydrates you have at them

Know Other Symptoms of Hypoglycemia

Even if you don't have the body symptoms of low blood sugar, you'll still have:

  • Trouble focusing
  • Slowed speech
  • Slowed thinking
  • Clumsiness

When these symptoms start to appear, you'll be at a blood sugar level where you can still treat hypoglycemia on your own. They are subtler than the classic symptoms, but if you know what times of day your blood sugar often drops, you can watch for them.

Preventing Hypoglycemic Unawareness

The only way to keep from having hypoglycemic awareness is to avoid having low blood sugar as much as you can. These steps may help:

  • Talk with your doctor about your target blood sugar level.
  • Check your blood sugar levels often and know what things may affect them.
  • Recheck and treat low or dropping sugar levels, even if you feel OK.
  • Let your friends and family know that you could get hypoglycemic unawareness. Teach them the signs to watch for and how to treat it.

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Reviewed on February 14, 2014

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