Diabetes - low blood sugar - self-care
- Chlorpropamide (Diabinese), tolazamide (Tolinase), acetohexamide (Dymelor), glipizide (Glucotrol), or tolbutamide (Orinase)
- Glyburide (Micronase), glimepiride (Amaryl), and repaglinide (Prandin), and nateglinide (Starlix)
Recognizing Low Blood Sugar
- Feeling tired
- Feeling nervous or anxious
- Feeling cranky
- Trouble thinking clearly
- Double or blurry vision
- Feeling uneasy
- Fast or pounding heartbeat
- Have a seizure
- Go into a coma
Check Your Blood Sugar Often
- Taking your insulin or diabetes medicine at the wrong time
- Taking too much insulin or diabetes medicine by mistake
- Not eating enough during meals or snacks after you have taken insulin or diabetes medicine
- Skipping meals
- Waiting to eat your meals
- Exercising a lot or at a time that is unusual for you
- Drinking alcohol
Preventing Low Blood Sugar
- When you exercise, check your blood sugar levels. Make sure you have snacks with you.
- Ask your doctor or nurse if you need a bedtime snack to prevent low blood sugar overnight. Protein snacks may be best.
- Do not drink alcohol without eating food. If you do drink, have only 1 or 2 drinks at the most.
- The symptoms of low blood sugar and how to tell if you have them
- How much and what kind of food they should give you
- When to call for emergency help
- How to inject glucagon, a hormone that increases your blood sugar. Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to use this medicine.
If you have diabetes, always wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace. This way emergency medical workers will know you have diabetes.
When Your Blood Sugar Gets Low
- 3 glucose tablets
- A 1/2 cup (4 ounces) fruit juice or regular, non-diet soda
- 5 or 6 hard candies
- 1 tablespoon sugar, plain or dissolved in water
- 1 tablespoon honey or syrup
- Your blood sugar is in a safer range (over 70 mg/dL), and
- Your next meal is more than an hour away
If these steps for raising your blood sugar do not work, call your doctor right away.
Talk to Your Doctor or Nurse
- Are injecting your insulin the right way
- Need a different type of needle
- Should change how much you are taking
- Should change what kind you are taking
Do not make any changes without talking to your doctor or nurse first.
When to Call the Doctor
- GET A RIDE to the emergency room, or
- Call a local emergency number (such as 911).
- Are not alert
- Cannot be awakened