Hypoglycemia is when your blood glucose drops below 70mg/dL. Hypoglycemia is caused by certain diabetes medications, eating too little, skipping or delaying meals, drinking too much alcohol, and/or being more active than usual. Hypoglycemia can occur suddenly, causing you to become confused and/or pass out.
Hypo = Below
Gly (or Glyco) = Relating to or producing sugar
Emia = A substance in the blood
Stages of Hypoglycemia
|Mild: Physical symptoms||50 - 70 mg/dL|
|Moderate: Cognitive symptoms||30 - 50 mg/dL|
|Severe: Unconscious*||Under 50 mg/dL|
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
Everyone responds slightly differently to low blood sugars. As well, symptoms can change over time. Take time to better understand your low blood sugars by filling out the below chart.
Common Symptoms (see above)
What was my blood sugar level when I had symptoms?
When it occurred (time of day or after a particular activity or meal).
How long did it take me to recover (Go over 70mg/dL)?
Possible reason (For example eating pattern not normal, skipped meal, etc.).
|Example||Dizzy||65||after lunch||20 minutes||Did not eat full meal|
Treatment for Hypoglycemia
- Check blood sugar (if possible)
- Treat if less than 70 mg/dL
- Use a quick-acting carbohydrate (see list below for suggestions)
- Use the proper amount of food
- Wait 15–20 minutes and check blood sugar again
- Re-treat if BG has not risen
* for Severe Hypoglycemia, please use emergency glucagon
Quick-Acting Carbs to Treat Low Blood Sugars
Each of the following servings has 15g of carbohydrate:
3–4 glucose tabs
12 gummy bears
1 tablespoon honey, jam, or jelly
1/2 cup juice
1/2 cup regular soda (not diet)
1 cup nonfat milk
2 tablespoons of raisins
How Many Carbs Do I Need?
Based on your body weight, 1 gram of carb will increase blood glucose by the following:
|60 lbs or less||6 -10 mg/dL|
|60lbs - 100lbs||5 mg/dL|
|100lbs - 160lbs||4 mg/dL|
|160lbs - 220 lbs||3 mg/dL|
|More than 220 lbs||2 mg/dL|
*Take insulin for any excess carbs eaten, after blood glucose has returned to normal*