Managing Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia if not taken seriously can lead to grave consequences. Let’s learn how to prevent it.


To help prevent diabetic hypoglycemia:


Don't skip or delay meals or snacks.

If you take insulin or oral diabetes medication, be consistent about the amount you eat and the timing of your meals and snacks.


Monitor your blood sugar.

Depending on your treatment plan, you may check and record your blood sugar level several times a week or several times a day.Careful monitoring is the only way to make sure that your blood sugar level remains within your target range.


Measure medication carefully, and take it on time.

Take your medication as recommended by your doctor.


Adjust your medication or eat additional snacks if you increase your physical activity.

The adjustment depends on the blood sugar test results and on the type and length of the activity.


Eat a meal or snack with alcohol, if you choose to drink.

Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach can cause hypoglycemia.


Record your low glucose reactions.

This can help you and your health care team identify patterns contributing to hypoglycemia and find ways to prevent them.


Carry some form of diabetes identification so that in an emergency others will know that you have diabetes.

Use a medical identification necklace or bracelet and wallet card.

Diagnosis (hypoglycemia)


You can determine if you have low blood sugar by using a blood glucose meter — a small computerised device that measures and displays your blood sugar level. You have hypoglycemia when your blood sugar level drops below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L).8

Treatment (hypoglycemia)


Hypoglycemic management9

If you think your blood sugar may be dipping too low, check your blood sugar level with a blood glucose meter. Then eat or drink something that's mostly sugar or carbohydrates to raise your blood sugar level quickly. Foods with a lot of fat, such as chocolate, don't work as well. Examples of foods that will raise your blood sugar level quickly include:

  • Five to six pieces of hard candy
  • Four ounces (120 milliliters) of fruit juice or regular — not diet — soda
  • One tablespoon (15 milliliters) of sugar, jelly or honey
  • Four glucose tablets (available without a prescription at most pharmacies)
  • A serving of glucose gel (read the label for amount)

Check your blood sugar level 15 to 20 minutes after eating or drinking something to raise your blood sugar. If it's still too low, eat or drink something sugary. When you feel better, eat meals and snacks as usual.

If you have symptoms of low blood sugar but can't check your blood sugar level right away, then act as though you have hypoglycemia. You might want to carry at least one sugary item with you at all times.

It's also a good idea to wear a bracelet that identifies you as someone who has diabetes.


8. American Diabetes Association. Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Care 2013: 36(Suppl 1): S67-S74.

9. Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Care. 2013;37(Suppl 1):S81-S83. doi:10.2337/dc14-s081.