The most common causes of hypoglycemia are:
Taking too much insulin or diabetes medication
Not eating enough food at your meals or snacks
Missing or delaying your meal
Getting more exercise than usual, without changing your foods or medications.
Drinking alcohol without eating food
Certain symptoms will warn you that your blood sugar is getting dangerously low. Be on the lookout for:
Nervousness or anxiety
If any of these symptoms occur and you have a blood sugar test kit available, check your blood sugar. If the level is low ( 70mg/dl ), you need to treat your low blood sugar right away. Eat one of the following sugar-containing foods, which will provide you with about 15 grams of carbohydrate:
3 glucose tablets
Half cup (4 ounces) of fruit juice or regular soda
6 or 7 hard candies
1 tablespoon of sugar
Wait about 15 minutes for the sugar to get into your blood. This wait can be hard because of the uncomfortable symptoms you are feeling, but if you eat too much sugar, you will make your blood sugar go too high.
If you don’t feel better in 15 minutes:
Eat something with sugar in it again.
Check your blood sugar. If it has come into a safer range (over 70mg/dl), and your meal is more than an hour away, eat a snack that contains carbohydrate and protein. Examples include either cheese and crackers or a glass of milk.
This combination of steps will almost always bring your blood sugar into the safe range. If it doesn’t work, call your doctor right away.
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If your numbers are lower than 60 you might want to start with 30 grams of carbs the first time, and if you’re still low after 15 minutes go back to increments of 15 grams of carbs. Each person is different and has to find what works for them. The main purpose is to bring the numbers to normal without causing them to go too high again.
© EMO 3/12