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Diabetes - Management of Low Blood Glucose (Hypoglycemia)

What is Hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycaemia is known as "low blood glucose (sugar)" and occurs when your blood glucose level is less than 4mmol/L.

What Causes Hypoglycemia?

  • Poor appetite

  • Skipping or delaying a meal

  • Doing more intense activities than usual

  • Taking wrong doses of diabetic medications

  • Drinking excessive alcohol

  • Worsening kidney or liver function

What are the Symptons of Hypoglycemia?

  1. COLD SWEAT

  2. PALPITATIONS

  3. TREMBLING

  4. EXCESSIVE HUNGER

  5. WEAKNESS

  6. DROWSY

  7. FITS

Everyone may experience different symptoms. Therefore , it is important to understand your body and do a blood glucose check when you have symptoms or feel unwell.

When you have hypoglycemia symptoms, it is important to take note of:

  • Glucose readings

  • Frequency of symptoms

  • Time of day

What to do when You have Hypoglycemia?

Step 1: Check your blood glucose level

  • Check your blood glucose immediately if you experience symptoms of low blood glucose or feeling unwell

Step 2: If it is less than 4mmol/L, take one of the following immediately

  • Chew 3 to 4 sweets/ glucose tablets or

  • Take 2 to 4 teaspoons of sugar/ glucose/ honey or

  • Drink half a glass of juice/ regular soft drinks

Step 3: Re-check your blood glucose level after 15 minutes

  • If your blood glucose level is less than 4mmol/L, REPEAT STEP 2.

  • Otherwise, proceed to step 4.

Step 4: Have a meal

  • Have your breakfast / lunch / dinner if it is due

  • If you next meal is more than 1 hour away, take 1 slice of bread or 3 pieces of biscuit with cheese.

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Avoid the Following Foods

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(Sugary foods - cakes, donuts, ice cream, Milo, cupcakes) 

What is Severe Hypoglycemia?

Severe hypoglycemia happens when blood glucose levels are so low that it requires assistance from another person to treat.  It is a diabetic emergency and if not treated immediately, can cause you to faint or go into a fit. In serious cases, it leads to coma or death.

What Should Others do if You Faint or Become Unconscious

  • Your family members, friends or colleagues should be aware of the 4 steps on hypoglycemia treatment.

  • Do a glucose check (if possible).

  • Call an ambulance immediately.

  • Do not feed you any food or liquid if you are unconscious.

  • Apply sweet syrup or honey on the insides of your cheeks and gums. Continue applying till you regain consciousness.

  • Give you a glass of sugary drink and a snack if you are able to eat.

Important: Call your Diabetes Nurse Educator or doctor if you have frequent low blood glucose symptoms and/or level.

Prevention of Low Blood Glucose 

  • Check blood glucose regularly
  • Take regular meal
  • Limiting alcohol intake
  • Take medication as prescribed
  • Check blood glucose before exercise
  • Carry sweets with you

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2020/09/18
2020/08/19
Last Updated on