A low blood glucose level can occur when your blood glucose drops below a certain level (usually less than 4 mmol/L). This may be caused by:
- Not eating enough food
- Missing or delaying a meal
- Exercising without taking the necessary precautions
- Taking too much insulin
- Drinking alcohol.
*** Low blood glucose can happen quickly, so it is important to take care of it right away.
The warning signs of a low blood glucose level
Note the symptoms you are experiencing, this will help you to identify low blood sugar in the future.You may feel:
- Sudden severe hunger
- Shaky or light-headed
- Nervous or irritable
- Your heart beats at a faster rate
- A numbness or tingling in your tongue or lips.
- unusually sleepy
- mood changes or swings
- sudden anxiety
- & even unconsciousness or coma or seizures in extreme cases (Make sure you always wear MedicAlert® identification)
*** IMPORTANT NOTE: Some people do not have early warning signs of hypoglycemia. People like this must check their blood sugar levels more often to avoid this condition. It is of utmost importance for all persons with diabetes to check their blood sugar levels before driving a motor vehicle.
How to treat low blood glucose
(As recommended by the Canadian Diabetes Association)
Check your blood glucose. If you do not have your meter with you treat the symptoms anyway. It is better to be safe. Eat or drink a form of sugar such as:
- 3 B-D Glucose Tablets™ or 5 Dextrose Tablets™
- 6 Life Savers TM
- 3/4 cup (175mL) of juice or regular pop
- 1 tablespoon (15mL) of honey.