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Low blood glucose

Low blood glucose

Low blood glucose, also known as hypoglycemia, is something that can affect people with diabetes and pre-diabetes

Hypoglycemia means low blood glucose – this is when you have 4 mmol/l or less of glucose in your blood stream. This isn’t enough to give your body energy so it needs to be treated with rapid acting carbohydrates.

Hypoglycemia can occur if you have taken too much insulin, missed a meal, haven’t had enough carbohydrates, haven’t exercised or have had large quantities of alcohol.


Symptoms of low blood glucose

The symptoms of hypoglycemia differ between each person, but normally a hypo presents with sweating, shaking, confusion, hunger, tiredness, blurred vision, lack of concentration and stroppiness.

Remember – always check your blood glucose if you think you are having a hypo.


Treating a hypoglycemia

If your blood glucose is under 4 mmol/l you need to eat 15-20g rapid acting carbohydrates.

Choose from one of the options below:

  • A small glass of sugary (non-diet) drink
  • At least three glucose tablets
  • Five sweets, such as jelly babies
  • Small carton of pure fruit juice
  • Glucose gel.

After ten minutes, re-check your blood glucose level to make sure it’s above 4 mmol/l, if it’s not take another 15-20g carbohydrate and repeat the process.

Some people need to follow it up with slow acting carbohydrates to prevent another hypo, this could be a sandwich, fruit or Betavivo crispy oat heart cereal with milk.

Eating Betavivo reduces blood glucose peaks and contributes to steadier levels which are helpful to prevent episodes of hypoglycemia.