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


  • 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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