Q:

What should you do if your blood glucose levels are low?

A:

Quick Answer

Follow the 15 – 15 rule to treat low blood sugar, explains Joslin Diabetes Center. A diabetic should eat 15 grams of simple carbohydrates, then rest for 15 minutes before testing blood sugar again. Examples of simple carbohydrates include one tablespoon of sugar or jelly or four ounces of juice.

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Additional carbohydrate choices include two tablespoons of raisins, eight ounces of nonfat or one percent milk or several hard candies, notes the American Diabetes Association. Glucose tablets or a tube of glucose gel may also be used according to the package directions. If blood sugar remains low, another 15 grams of carbohydrates should be ingested before testing again.

Low blood sugar, or hypogylcemia, occurs when blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter, states Healthline. Hypoglycemia in diabetics can be caused by too much medication, intensive exercise, eating less than usual or skipping meals. A very low blood sugar is a medical emergency and can lead to seizures, nervous system damage and coma.

If a diabetic loses consciousness due to hypoglycemia, the drug glucogen should be given by subcutaneous injection by caregivers trained to administer the medication, advises the Joslin Diabetes Center. It should rouse the unconscious individual within 10 minutes. If it doesn't, or if no one knows how to give the medication, the person should be taken to the hospital immediately.

Shakiness, irritability, sweating or chills with clamminess, blurred vision and hunger are among the symptoms of low blood sugar, according to the American Diabetes Association. Additional symptoms include confusion, headaches, a rapid heart rate, headaches and weakness or fatigue.

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