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Diabetes: Dealing With Low Blood Sugar

Topic Overview

Review the symptoms of low blood sugar if you have diabetes or some other health condition that can cause low blood sugar. Know the early symptoms. You may not always have the same symptoms.

  • Check your blood sugar if you think it may be low.
  • Eat quick-sugar foods or glucose gel or tabs if available. Liquids will raise your blood sugar faster than solid foods.
  • Wait 10 to 15 minutes after eating the quick-sugar food. If your blood sugar is still below 70 mg/dL, eat another quick-sugar food.
  • If your blood sugar continues to be below 70 mg/dL or you are getting more sleepy and less alert, call 911 or other emergency services immediately. If possible, have someone stay with you until your blood sugar is above 70 mg/dL or until emergency help arrives.
  • When your blood sugar is above 70 mg/dL, eat a regular meal or a snack (such as a peanut butter sandwich). Do not take your diabetes pills or insulin until your blood sugar is back to normal.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Last Revised June 24, 2013

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