Let’s talk about low blood sugar: the symptoms of low blood sugar, what it feels like, and what to do if you or someone you love experiences low blood sugar. Many diabetics will tell you that going low is the worst!
What is low blood sugar?
Here are 10 fast facts about hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). A hypo, as episodes of low blood sugar are known, is when your blood sugar is lower than 3.9mmol/l. It can make you feel strange, and it means you need to eat or drink something sugary very quickly to bring your blood sugar up. If you don’t treat low blood sugar it can lead to a diabetes emergency. You need to know how to test your blood sugar properly in order to get an accurate reading.
What are the symptoms of low blood sugar?
Everyone is different, but here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Feeling nervous
- Heart beating very fast
As you can see from this post on Diabetic South Africans, everyone has different symptoms of low blood sugar.
Some other symptoms of low blood sugar include:
- Can’t see properly
- Can’t talk properly
- Can’t think properly
- Numb tongue
- Hot and shivery
What to do to correct low blood sugar
It’s important to act fast to avoid a diabetes emergency. If your blood sugar is under 3.9mmol/l, eat a sugary snack.
- A few sweets
- 2 tablespoons of raisins
- A tablespoon of honey
- Half a cup of fruit juice
- 5 Super C sweets
Wait for 10 minutes and test again. If your blood glucose readings are not above 5mmol/l then repeat and wait another 10 minutes until your blood sugar is over 5mmol/l. Here are some more tips on snacking to prevent low blood sugar.
If you have too many lows, it’s possible to develop hypoglycemic unawareness – where there are no signs of low blood sugar. If this happens, discuss your blood sugar control with your doctor. You may be running too low, and need to adjust your insulin with your doctor.
Join Diabetic South Africans
The most important thing to recognise is that you’re not alone in dealing with diabetes. Join our Facebook community, Diabetic South Africans, to meet other people with diabetes struggling with exactly the same things. We’re all in this together!
What to read next?
What is normal blood sugar? An explanation of what the normal range of blood sugar is, and what people with diabetes can do to achieve those numbers.
Symptoms of high blood sugar: Here’s what high blood sugar feels like, and some of the common symptoms.
10 fast facts about hypoglycemia: A quick guide to the medical facts of low blood sugar.