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How is hypoglycemia treated?

Signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia vary from person to person. People with diabetes should get to know their signs and symptoms and describe them to their friends and family so they can help if needed. School staff should be told how to recognize a child’s signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and how to treat it.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. They may need a change in their treatment plan: less medication or a different medication, a new schedule for insulin or medication, a different meal plan, or a new physical activity plan.

Prompt treatment for hypoglycemia:

When people think their blood glucose is too low, they should check the blood glucose level of a blood sample using a meter. If the level is below 70 mg/dL, one of these quick-fix foods should be consumed right away to raise blood glucose:

  • 3 or 4 glucose tablets
  • 1 serving of glucose gel—the amount equal to 15 grams of carbohydrate
  • 1/2 cup, or 4 ounces, of any fruit juice
  • 1/2 cup, or 4 ounces, of a regular—not diet—soft drink
  • 1 cup, or 8 ounces, of milk
  • 5 or 6 pieces of hard candy
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey

Recommended amounts may be less for small children. The child’s doctor can advise about the right amount to give a child.

The next step is to recheck blood glucose in 15 minutes to make sure it is 70 mg/dL or above. If it’s still too low, another serving of a quick-fix food should be eaten. These steps should be repeated until the blood glucose level is 70 mg/dL or above. If the next meal is an hour or more away, a snack should be eaten once the quick-fix foods have raised the blood glucose level to 70 mg/dL or above.

How is hypoglycemia treated?

Hypoglycemia is treated by taking the prescribed dose of insulin to reduce the blood glucose level.

Prompt treatment for hyperglycemia:

Test your blood to know your blood glucose level.  When you know your level, take the prescribed dose of insulin to restore your body to your normal blood glucose level.  If your blood glucose level test is consistently over 240 mg/dl, you should also test your urine for ketones.

Prompt treatment for ketoacidosis:

You may have diabetic ketoacidosis if you are experiencing:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • a rapid and weak pulse
  • abdominal pain
  • breath that has a fruity odor
  • labored breathing
  • low blood pressure
If any 2 of these symptoms are accompanied by a glucose reading over 300 mg/dl, rehydrate yourself and administer insulin, and contact your doctor immediately.  When you are sick, check your urine for ketones every 4 to 6 hours.  When vomiting is present, ketoacidosis may be progressing quickly.



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Start Date
Jun 26, 2009
by darrensv1
Last Revision
Jun 26, 2009
by darrensv1