Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources


Make Sense of Your Blood Sugar


What to do if your blood glucose numbers are too high or too low

If your blood glucose numbers are often higher or lower than your targets, tell your health care team. You may need to make changes in how you take care of your diabetes. High blood glucose, called hyperglycemia, can make you
  •  thirsty
  •  weak or tired
  •  have headaches
  •  urinate more often
  •  have trouble paying attention
  •  have blurred vision
  •  have yeast infection
Talk with your health care team if you notice any of these symptoms. Ask what you should do when your blood glucose is too high.

Low blood glucose, called hypoglycemia, can make you

  • weak
  • anxious or cranky
  • have headaches
  • have a fast heartbeat

Severe hypoglycemia can cause you to pass out. If that happens, you’ll need help bringing your blood glucose level back to normal. Your health care team can teach your family members and friends how to give you an injection of glucagon, a medicine that raises blood glucose levels quickly. If glucagon is not available, someone should call 911 to get you to the nearest emergency room for treatment.
If you have any of these symptoms, check your blood glucose. If your number is too low, have one of these quick sources of glucose:
  • 3 or 4 glucose tablets
  • 1 serving of glucose gel — the amount equal to 15 grams of carbohydrates
  • 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
Check your blood glucose again in 15 minutes to make sure it is at your pre-meal target number. If your number is still too low, have another serving of a quick glucose food or drink. Repeat these steps until your blood glucose is at your pre-meal target number or higher. After you feel better and your blood glucose returns to your target number, eat your regular meals and snacks as planned.

Published on March 16, 2015. 

Source: National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. November 6, 2012.

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