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Type 1 Diabetes: Emergency Care for Low Blood Sugar - Topic Overview

This information is for people who may help you if you are too weak or confused to treat your low blood sugar. Make a copy for your partner, coworkers, and friends.

  • Make sure the person can swallow. Give the person � teaspoon of water. If the person can swallow the water without choking or coughing:
    • Give him or her 4 oz of liquid (juice or soda pop) from the list of quick-sugar foods, or glucose tabs or gel if available.
    • Wait 10 to 15 minutes.
    • Offer the person more quick-sugar food if he or she is feeling better but still has some symptoms of low blood sugar.
    • Check the person's blood sugar level using his or her blood sugar (glucose) meter if available.
    • Stay with the person until his or her blood sugar level is 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher.
    • Offer the person a snack (such as cheese and crackers or half of a sandwich).
    • If the person becomes more sleepy or seems to have no energy, call911or other emergency services immediately.
  • If the person is unconscious or unable to swallow:
    • Call911 for emergency care right away.
    • Give the person a shot of glucagon if one is available. See a slideshow about how to give a glucagon injection .
    • If emergency help has not arrived within 5 minutes and the person is still unconscious, give another glucagon shot.
    • Stay with the person until emergency help comes.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 02, 2010
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.
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Type 1 Diabetes: Emergency Care for Low Blood Sugar Topics

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Low
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Normal
70-130
High
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Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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