Hypoglycemia - low blood sugar

Hypoglycemia is caused by the following factors:

Insufficient carbohydrate intake, skipped or delayed meal, alcohol intake, too much insulin or pills for diabetes, intense or prolonged physical activity.

Symptoms associated to hypoglycemia:

  • Shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Weaknessdizziness
  • Extreme and sudden hunger
  • Palpitations
  • Mood change (irritability, aggressiveness, nervousness)
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness of the mouth
  • Paleness
  • Unsteady footsteps
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Coma
    Those symptoms vary from one person to another and may manifest themselves at different blood glucose levels.


What to do if your blood glucose level is too low?

Take a fast acting source of sugar such as:

  • 175 ml (6 ounces) of fruit juice or regular soft drink or
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of sugar or
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of honey or jam or
  • 3 tabs of Glucose BD, or 4 tabs of Dex4 (glucose tablets)

After 10 to 15 minutes, check your blood glucose level. Again if it’s still under 4 mmol/l, repeat the treatment.

If your blood glucose level is above 4mmol/L, but that you are not planning on having a meal within an hour of correcting your blood sugar level, take one of the following snacks:

  • 2 Social tea cookies with 175 ml (6 ounces) of milk or
  • 1 toast with 30 g (1 ounce) of cheese or
  • 1 portion of cereals with 125 ml (4 ounces) of milk or
  • 6 crackers with 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of peanut butterPrenez une source de sucre à absorption rapide comme :


To prevent hypoglycemia:


  • Have your meals and snacks at regular hours.
  • If a meal is delayed, have a snack
  • Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach


  • Make sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations concerning your insulin treatment.
  • Take your oral medication as prescribed. Do not double your dose or vary the moment you take your medication every day.


  • You may have to increase your food intake depending on your physical activity.


  • Always carry with you a fast action sugar supply
  • Wear a bracelet or a card mentioning that you have diabetes.
  • Inform your family and friends on hypoglycemia signs and how to treat it.

A severe hypoglycemia may cause unconsciousness. In case of emergency, people must know how to react fast and efficiently:

  1. Warn your family, friends and co-workers that if you are unconscious, they must not give you solid or liquid foods
  2. Someone must call 911 or an ambulance to get you to the hospital.
  3. A blood glucose test should be taken if possible.
  4. Someone could also inject a medication called “Glucagon”.

After a Glucagon injection, you should wake up in the following 15 minutes. You must take a snack as soon as you wake up, so you will not have another hypoglycemia.

  • Frequently check your blood glucose level in the following hours.
  • Try to find out the cause of your severe hypoglycemia
  • Advise your doctor of that situation so he can make an adjustment to your medication if necessary.

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