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09 Dec 2008 - Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia/ Low Blood Sugar:

Causes of low blood sugar:  Too little food
                                                     Too much insulin
                                                     Too much exercise without food
                                                     Missing meals
Blood Sugar:  below 60 mg/dl or 3.3 mmol/L

Ketones:  Usually none

  Symptoms Treatment
MILD Hungry, shaky, sweaty, nervous Give juice or milk.  Wait 10 minutes and give solid food.
MODERATE Headache, unexpected behavior changes, impaired or double vision, confusion, drowsiness, weakness, difficulty talking Give instant glucose or fast acting sugar, juice or soda pop, After 10 minutes give solid food.
SEVERE Loss of consciousness or seizures. Give glucagon into muscle or fat.  Test blood sugar.  If no response, call 911!

Extreme Low / LO on meter


If your child is unresponsive, use Glucagon as prescribed and call your doctor or 911 immediately!


If your child is coherent, give quick acting carbohydrates and re-check in 15 minutes.  Continue this process until the blood sugars rise to a safe level.  You may need to treat more than once for this type of a low.  Waiting is hard, but be wary of over treating or you will be dealing with a high later.  Sometimes the liver will dump glucagon during a severe low, this can cause a rebound high followed by subsequent lows later on.  Keep an eye on blood sugars for the next 24 hours following a severe low.  Follow up the treatment of the low with a protein source such as a meat, cheese or peanut butter sandwich.


Examples of quick acting carbohydrates include:


  • 2 - 4 glucose tabs
  • 4 ounces juice
  • One tube Cake Mate frosting
  • - 1 cup milk
  • 3 rolls of Smarties
  • 1 mini pack of Skittles (or 15 - 20)

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