Low Blood Sugar

What is low blood sugar?

Low blood sugar (also known as hypoglycemia) is when your blood sugar levels have fallen very low enough and you fall sick. This is usually when your blood sugar is less than 70 mg/dL.


Low blood sugar is called hypoglycemia.

  • A blood sugar level below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) is low and can harm you.
  • A blood sugar level below 54 mg/dL (3.0 mmol/L) is a cause for immediate action.


  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Being nervous or anxious
  • Irritability or impatience
  • Confusion
  • Hunger
  • Dizziness
  • Shaking
  • Nausea
  • Paleness
  • Feeling Sleepy
  • Weakness and/or fatigue
  • Feeling weak or having no energy
  • Blurred/impaired vision
  • Headaches
  • Coordination problems, clumsiness
  • Nightmares or crying out during sleep
  • Seizures
  • Tingling or numbness in the lips, tongue, or cheeks


You are at risk of having a low blood sugar reaction if you:

  • Skip or delay a meal or snack or eat too few carbohydrates
  • Take too much insulin or diabetic tablets
  • Taking medicine without taking proper meals
  • Heavy exercise
  • Drink alcohol, especially without eating carbohydrates


What to do:

less damaging/full or partial conscious case of low blood sugar (blood sugar is 51 to 70 mg/dL or, 2.8 to 3.9 mmol/L)

  • Can consume 15–20 grams of fast-acting sugary drinks or edibles, such as a small glass of fruit juice, a few crackers, hard candies, glucose tablets.
  • If a person is still experiencing symptoms of low blood sugar after 15 minutes, they can eat another 15–20 g portion of sugary drinks or edibles.

Examples of what you can eat:

  • one-half cup of any fruit juice/ regular (not diet) soft drink
  • one cup of milk
  • one or two crackers
  • five or six pieces of hard candy
  • one or two teaspoons of sugar or honey.

A less seriously damaging/unconscious case of low blood sugar (blood sugar is 51 to 70 mg/dLor, 2.8 to 3.9 mmol/L).

What not to do:

  • Take a shot of insulin (it will lower their blood sugar even more)
  • Provide food or fluids while unconscious (they can choke)


A person with hypoglycemia can try the following lifestyle considerations:

  • Eating frequent meals
  • Avoiding high sugar foods, including sweets, sugary drinks, and fruit juices with added sugar
  • Eat more complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fibre rich fruits and vegetables, beans.
  • Choosing foods with low glycemic index (gi) scores
  • Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption

When to call for help

Ask a family member or friend to take you to the hospital or emergency immediately if you:

  • Remain confused 15 minutes
  • Are unconscious partially or completely even after having sugar drink or eatables.
  • Continue to have low blood sugar despite eating adequate amounts of a fast-acting sugary drink or eatables.

Should I take an ice cream, a chocolate bar or biscuit to bring my sugar back up?

  • Ice cream and chocolate are not good choices of foods to treat low blood glucose levels. They contain fat that will slow the release of glucose into your blood and will not raise your blood glucose fast enough in emergency.
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