Hypoglycemia

What is hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia is when someone has low blood sugar or when <70 mg/dL.  Sometimes, after having diabetes for several years, patients lose their ability to sense their blood sugar is low and no longer have symptoms – this is called “hypoglycemia unawareness”

 

What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia?

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:

  • hunger
  • sweats
  • shakes
  • blurry vision
  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • confusion
  • passing out
  • seizure
  • heart palpitations

 

What are the causes of Hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia most commonly occurs in individuals who have diabetes mellitus and are on medication that can cause low blood sugars. However, exercise and excessive alcohol intake can also lower blood sugar.   In rare instances, low blood sugar can be caused by a growth or problem with the pancreas (the gland that sits under the stomach).  It can also happen in those who have pre-diabetes after a meal

 

How do I treat my low blood sugar?

If you are having symptoms of low blood sugar, check your finger stick by glucometer! If your blood sugar is <70mg/dL, eat a quick source of sugar
(Examples: 3-4 glucose tablets, ½ cup of juice or regular soda, 2 tbsp raisins, 4-5 saltine crackers, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp honey or corn syrup, 6-8 hard candies).  Always carry a quick source such as one of these above for emergent situations. Follow the 15:15 rule, consume 15 grams of carbohydrates and wait 15 minutes to recheck blood sugar. Call 911 if the blood sugar does not rise after treatment!

 

How do you prevent low blood sugar?

Check blood sugar by finger stick using a glucometer regularly and always check blood sugar when you don’t feel well.

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