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Low blood sugar levels? Here's what to do

by , 14 August 2017
Low blood sugar levels? Here's what to do
Although type 2 diabetes is characterised by blood sugar levels that are too high, some people take insulin and other medications - such as sulfonylureas - that can sometimes drive their blood sugar levels too low.

Low blood sugar levels, called hypoglycaemia, is generally when your blood sugar levels are less than 70mg/dL. The normal range for fasting blood sugar is 70 to 99 mg/dL. However, this varies with age and blood sugar levels are usually lower in children and during pregnancy.

Low blood sugar levels can become a medical emergency. For this reason, it's important that you know what to do if you ever have low blood sugar levels. Here's everything you need to know...

Typical signs and symptoms of low blood sugar levels

Low blood sugar levels are most likely to occur when you start taking a new medication or if you exercise more than usual.

Typical signs and symptoms of low blood sugar levels include the following:
  • You feel shaky;
  • You feel irritable; and
  • You’re sweaty.
 
These signs and symptoms can occur within 10 to 15 minutes. In extreme cases of low blood sugar levels, you can even experience seizures or lose consciousness if you don’t consume some glucose.

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Symptoms of low blood sugar levels are usually mild in people with type 2 diabetes and can be quickly fixed by drinking juice or eating items that contain sugar such as glucose tablets or four to six pieces of hard candy.
 

Consuming juice or carbohydrates is the bets way to get your blood sugar levels back on track

If you think you may be experiencing low blood sugar levels, you’ll first need to test your blood sugar to confirm that you’re having hypoglycaemia.
 
The quickest, easiest way to get your blood sugar levels back into the normal range is to consume sugar-containing juice or some other form of carbohydrate such as pineapple juice or a peanut butter sandwich.
 
Another option to get your blood sugar levels back on track is to take glucose pills or gel, which you can purchase from the pharmacy.

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