Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia, also called low blood sugar, occurs when your blood glucose (blood sugar) level drops too low to provide enough energy for your body’s activities.

Normal blood glucose ranges (mg/dL)
Normal blood glucose levels in people who do not have diabetes

Upon waking (fasting) 70 to 110
After meals Less than 140

Hypoglycemia: A Side Effect of Diabetes Medications
In people taking certain blood-glucose lowering medications, blood glucose can fall too low for a number of reasons:

  • Meals or snacks that are too small, delayed, or skipped
  • Excessive doses of insulin or some diabetes medications
  • Increased activity or exercise
  • Excessive drinking of alcohol

Symptoms

  • Sudden dizziness, shakiness, or mood change (even combativeness)
  • Headache, confusion, difficulty paying attention
  • Pale skin, sweating
  • Hunger
  • Clumsy, jerky movements
  • Possible seizure

First Aid

  • Talk to victim and confirm diabetes
  • Give victim sugar: 3 glucose tablets, ½ cup fruit juice, 1 or 2 spoon (not non-sugar) sweetener, or 5-6 pieces of hard candy (unless choking is a risk)
  • If victim still feels ill or has signs and symptoms after 15 minutes, give more sugar
  • DO NOT Try to inject insulin or put food into an unresponsive victim!

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