Low blood sugar as a side effect of oral
diabetes medicines usually causes mild symptoms, such as sweating, shakiness,
Taking too many of your diabetes pills in one day, not
eating enough food, or doing strenuous physical activity can cause your
blood sugar level to drop below your target range.
If your blood sugar is low and you don't eat anything, it may
drop to a very low level. Keep some hard candy, raisins, or other quick sugar
foods with you at all times. Eat some at the first sign of low blood
Test your blood sugar often so you do not have to guess when
it is low.
Teach your friends and coworkers what to do if your
blood sugar is very low.
are some ways you can manage low blood sugar.
quick-sugar foods with you at all times. If you are at home, you
most likely will already have something close at hand that contains sugar, such
as table sugar or fruit juice. Carry some hard candy or glucose tablets when
you are away from home.
symptoms of low blood sugar, such as sweating, blurred vision, and confusion. Post them where you will
see the list often. And carry a copy in your wallet or purse. Be sure that your
partner and others concerned know your early symptoms, including the signs of
low blood sugar at night.
Wear medical identification, such as a
medical alert bracelet, to let people know that you have diabetes. People will
know that you have diabetes and will get help for you if
Teach others (at work and at home) how to check your
blood sugar in case you cannot check it yourself. Keep the instructions for
using your blood sugar (glucose) meter with the meter, so the person can review
the instructions if needed.
Teach other people (at work and at
home) what to do in case your blood sugar becomes very low. Post information on
emergency care for low blood sugar in a convenient
place so that those around you can take the proper steps when your blood sugar
is very low.
Treat low blood sugar levels as soon as you (or someone else) notice the
Check your blood sugar often. If you have had
diabetes for many years, you may not have symptoms until your blood sugar is
steps for dealing with low blood sugar when you first
develop your symptoms of low blood sugar or when your blood sugar level is
below your target range (usually below 70
mg/dL). Encourage others to tell you if they notice you are developing signs of
low blood sugar.
Keep a record(What is a PDF document?) of low blood sugar levels. Write down
your symptoms and how you treated your low blood sugar.
Notify your doctor if you are having frequent low blood sugar
problems. Your pills for diabetes may need to be adjusted or changed.
Other Works Consulted
American Diabetes Association (2013). Standards of medical care in diabetes—2013. Diabetes Care, 36(Suppl 1): S11–S66.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.