How is low blood sugar treated?
You can treat low blood sugar by eating or drinking something that has 15 grams of carbohydrate. These should be quick-sugar foods. Check your blood sugar level again 15 minutes after having a quick-sugar food to make sure your level is getting back to your target range.
Here are examples of quick-sugar foods that have 15 grams of carbohydrate:
3 to 4 glucose tablets
1 tube of glucose gel
Hard candy (such as 3 Jolly Ranchers or 5 to 7 Life Savers)
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons of raisins
½ cup to ¾ cup (4 to 6 ounces) of fruit juice or regular (not diet) soda
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 cup of fat-free milk
If you have problems with severe low blood sugar, someone else may have to give you a shot of glucagon. This is a hormone that raises blood sugar levels quickly.
How can you prevent low blood sugar?
You can take steps to prevent low blood sugar.
Follow your treatment plan. Take your insulin or other diabetes medicine exactly as your doctor prescribed it. Talk with your doctor if you're having low blood sugar often. Your medicine may need to be adjusted if it's causing your low blood sugar.
Check your blood sugar levels often. This helps you find early changes before an emergency happens.
Keep a quick-sugar food with you in case your blood sugar level drops low.
Eat small meals more often so that you don't get too hungry between meals. Don't skip meals.
Balance extra exercise with eating more. Check your blood sugar and learn how it changes after exercise. If your blood sugar stays at a normal level, you may not need to eat after you exercise.
Limit how much alcohol you drink.
Alcohol can make low blood sugar go even lower. Don't drink alcohol if you have problems recognizing the early signs of low blood sugar.
Keep a diary of your symptoms. This helps you learn when changes in your body may signal low blood sugar. And keep track of how often you have low blood sugar, including when you last ate and what you ate. This will help you learn what causes your blood sugar to drop.
Learn about diabetes and low blood sugar.
Support groups or a diabetes education center can help you understand how medicines, diet, and exercise affect your blood sugar levels. Since low blood sugar levels can quickly become an emergency, be sure to wear medical alert jewelry, such as a medical alert bracelet. This is to let people know you have diabetes so they can get help for you. You can buy this at most drugstores. And make sure your family, friends, and coworkers know the symptoms of low blood sugar. Teach them what to do to get your sugar level up.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety.
Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Care instructions adapted under license by Alliance In Health Diabetes Control Center. This care instruction is for use with your licensed healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.