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How Do You Feel When Your Blood Sugar Is Low


Treating An Episode Of Hypoglycaemia

HOW DO YOU FEEL IF YOUR BLOOD SUGAR IS HIGH OR LOW?

The immediate treatment for hypoglycaemia is to have some sugary food or drink to end the attack.

For example, this could be:

  • a glass of fruit juice or non-diet soft drink
  • between three and five dextrose tablets
  • a handful of sweets

At first you should avoid fatty foods and drinks, such as chocolate and milk, because they don’t usually contain as much sugar and the sugar they do contain may be absorbed more slowly.

After having something sugary, you should have a longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few biscuits, a cereal bar, a piece of fruit or a sandwich.


It will usually take around 15 minutes to recover from a mild episode of hypoglycaemia. If you have a blood glucose meter, measure your blood sugar again after 15 to 20 minutes. If it’s still too low , you should have some more sugary food or a drink before testing your levels again in another 15 to 20 minutes.

When treating someone else with hypoglycaemia, if the above treatment isn’t effective, you may be able to help them by applying glucose gel to the inside of their cheeks, and gently massaging the outside of their cheeks.

It may take 10 to 15 minutes before they feel better. This shouldn’t be done if the person is drowsy or unconscious because of the risk of choking.

Low Blood Sugar For Children Age 6 And Older

A blood sugar less than 70 is too low.

  • Take 10 to 15 grams of quick-acting carbohydrate right away, such as:
  • Drink 3 to 4 ounces of juice
  • Drink 3 to 4 ounces of soda pop that has sugar
  • Chew 3 to 4 glucose tabs
  • Wait at least 15 to 30 minutes. If you still feel signs of low blood sugar, then recheck your blood sugar.
  • If your blood sugar is still less than 70, take another 10 to 15 grams of quick-acting carbohydrate.
  • How To Avoid Low Blood Sugar

    For some people, lows can be very scary, but Ive never passed out from a low or had a seizure, so lows dont scare me as such. But I will still do everything I can to avoid them!


    I rarely have lows, and I think there are several reasons for that. Most importantly, I wear a CGM. Since my CGM warns me before I go low, I can be proactive and prevent it from happening. I also test my blood sugars frequently and have spent a lot of time figuring out my insulin needs for different times of the day, types of exercise, and types of food. It didnt happen overnight, but Im happy to say that for me, low blood sugars are rarely severe and they are far apart.

    We all experience lows differently, but I think anybody who has ever experienced what low blood sugar feels like will agree that its beyond uncomfortable!

    Next time one of your loved ones asks how do you feel when your sugar is low? consider showing them this post and the video. Its impossible to fully understand if you have never tried it yourself, but at least this post should give them some understanding of what you are going through.

    Suggested next post: The Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar

    If you liked this post about what low blood sugar feels like, please sign up for our newsletter in the form below. We send out a weekly newsletter with the latest posts and recipes from Diabetes Strong.


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    Tingling Sensation Around The Mouth

    If your mouth or lips are tingling, you might be experiencing hypoglycemia, according to Harvard Health. You might also feel tongue numbness or metallic taste in the mouth. It’s not entirely clear why this happens, but Cedars Sinai Hospital notes it’s possible that the nerves in the mouth and tongue react poorly to low blood sugar.

    What Is Low Blood Sugar

    Ways To Naturally Lower Your Blood Sugar

    Low blood sugar occurs when the level of sugar in a person’s blood gets too low, usually below 70 mg/dL.

    Most cases of low blood sugar occur in people who have diabetes. It is not common in people who are not diabetic. People who dont have diabetes may feel as if they have low blood sugar, but they likely do not.

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    How Can I Be Better Prepared For Hypoglycemia

    You can take some steps to be ready for hypoglycemia:

    • Be aware of the symptoms and treat them early.
    • Carry some fast-acting carbs with you all the time.
    • Check your glucose levels frequently, especially around meals and exercise.
    • Inform family, friends and co-workers so they know what do if you need help.
    • Talk to your healthcare provider regularly to make and update your plan.
    • Wear a medical bracelet that lets people know you have diabetes. Carry a card in your purse or wallet with instructions for hypoglycemia.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Hypoglycemia is quite common in people with diabetes. If not treated, it can cause troubling symptoms, and even serious health problems. Fortunately, you can avoid hypoglycemic episodes by monitoring your blood sugar. You can also make small adjustments to eating and exercising routines.

    What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Is Low Right Before A Meal

  • Take quick-acting carbohydrate.
  • Wait 5 minutes so your blood sugar starts to come up.
  • If you are feeling better, take your insulin dose to cover the carbohydrate you will eat.
  • Do not take extra insulin to cover the quick-acting carbohydrate you took for your low blood sugar.
  • Start eating right away.
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    How Do You Feel When Your Blood Sugar Is Too High

    Here are some of the complaints that you may feel when your blood sugar is too high,


    • Headache and body aches
    • Loss of consciousness, coma or a seizure
    • Difficulty in concentration

    These symptoms can go on for a while till some food containing sugar is given. If this continues for long without any intake of sugar or any carbs, the condition can worsen and the blood sugar levels may further drop down, leading to complications. Very low blood sugar level can be a medical emergency too, which is why it is very important to be aware of the symptoms coming up because without an immediate treatment the patient can faint, may experience a seizure, or can even go into a coma.

    Both the high and the low blood sugar level can lead to an emergency, and therefore knowledge of how do you feel when your blood sugar is too high or low is very necessary. Early you come up with a solution faster the condition can be eased and the complication can be avoided.

    What Happens When Sugar Is Low

    What It Feels Like to Have a Low Blood Sugar

    Low blood sugar levels can also cause a variety of problems within your central nervous system. Early symptoms include weakness, lightheadedness, and dizziness. Headaches can occur from a lack of glucose, especially if you have diabetes. You may also feel signs of stress, such as nervousness, anxiety, and irritability.

    How do you feel when your sugar is low?

  • sweating.
  • a fast or pounding heartbeat
  • becoming easily irritated, tearful, anxious or moody.
  • What is the best thing to eat when your blood sugar is low? Fruits that provide the appropriate amount of carbohydrates include half a banana, 15 grapes, two tablespoons of raisins or a small apple or orange. Fruit juice can also boost blood sugar levels. Norton suggests half a cup of your favorite fruit juice, such as apple, orange, pineapple or cranberry juice.


    What causes blood sugar to drop suddenly?

    Low blood sugar Not eating enough food or skipping meals, taking too much medicine , exercising more than usual, or taking certain medicines that lower blood sugar can cause your blood sugar to drop rapidly.

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    How Can I Prevent Low Blood Sugar

    Your best bet is to practice good diabetes management and learn to detect hypoglycemia so you can treat it earlybefore it gets worse.

    Monitoring blood sugar, with either a meter or a CGM, is the tried and true method for preventing hypoglycemia. Studies consistently show that the more a person checks blood sugar, the lower his or her risk of hypoglycemia. This is because you can see when blood sugar levels are dropping and can treat it before it gets too low.


    If you can, check often!

    • Check before and after meals.
    • Check before and after exercise .
    • Check before bed.
    • After intense exercise, also check in the middle of the night.
    • Check more if things around you change such as, a new insulin routine, a different work schedule, an increase in physical activity, or travel across time zones.

    What Are Some Tips To Prevent Nighttime Blood Sugar Level Dips

  • Check your level before bed. According to Sulay Shah, M.D., a board certified endocrinologist, the only way to know if you are at risk is to monitor your blood glucose levelsas there arent always telltale signs.If you check and you notice that your levels are close to 70 mg/dL at bedtime, then you know you might be at risk, Dr. Shah says. In this case, he recommends eating some complex carbohydrates, like a peanut butter sandwich, an apple with peanut butter or one slice of multigrain toast with some avocado.
  • Dont skip dinner. If you arent eating dinner, Dr. Shah advises skipping your rapid-acting insulin or medicine, like glipizide or glimepiride, that can decrease your blood sugar levels. The goal here is to match your meal and medication, he says.
  • Monitor your alcohol intake. If you notice that your blood sugar is dropping after having a few beers or vodka sodas, then Dr. Shah warns that you may need to try to eat complex carbohydrates with the alcohol. Dr. Shah notes that blood sugar tends to drop 3 to 4 hours after drinking alcohol. When you regularly drink alcohol, you are decreasing the amount of stored glucose in the liver which helps to maintain a blood sugar in normal range, he explains.
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    Preventing Low Blood Sugar

    Preventing low blood sugar is better than having to treat it. Always have a source of fast-acting sugar with you.

    • When you exercise, check your blood sugar levels. Make sure you have snacks with you.
    • Talk to your provider about reducing insulin doses on days that you exercise.
    • Ask your provider if you need a bedtime snack to prevent low blood sugar overnight. Protein snacks may be best.

    DO NOT drink alcohol without eating food. Women should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day and men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day. Family and friends should know how to help. They should know:

    • 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 provider will tell you when to use this medicine.

    If you have diabetes, always wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace. This helps emergency medical workers know you have diabetes.


    Exercise Food And Alcohol

    Manage Blood Sugar : how do you lower your blood sugar fast

    For people with type 1 diabetes, maintaining the correct blood glucose level involves balancing how much insulin you inject, the amount of food you eat, and how much energy you burn during exercise.

    Hypoglycaemia may occur if you’ve taken your dose of insulin as usual, but your carbohydrate intake is lower than normal or has been used up more quickly. This may happen if you delay or miss a meal or snack, don’t eat enough carbohydrate, or exercise more than usual.

    People with diabetes who’ve drunk too much alcohol, or drank alcohol on an empty stomach, can also get hypoglycaemia.

    However, it’s not always possible to identify why a particular episode of hypoglycaemia has occurred, and sometimes it happens for no obvious reason.

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    Stages Of Low Blood Sugar

    You will notice certain signs when your blood sugar begins to drop. These signs arise in stages, ranging from mild to moderate to severe. Each stage is characterized by a specific set of symptoms.

    Nausea is one of the signs that occur in the mild stage, but it can also be present in later stages. Many organizations like the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases combine the mild and moderate stages into one.

    Other signs of mild to moderate low blood sugar include:

    • Blurred vision

    Signs of severe low blood sugar include:

    • Unable to eat or drink
    • Seizures or convulsions

    Symptoms of hypoglycemia during sleep include:


    • Crying out or having nightmares
    • Sweating enough to make your pajamas or sheets damp
    • Feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up

    Possible Causes With Diabetes

    Diabetes affects your bodys ability to use insulin. Think of insulin as the key that unlocks your cells, letting glucose in for energy.

    People with diabetes use a variety of treatments to help their bodies use the glucose in their blood. Among these are oral medications that increase insulin production and insulin injections.

    If you take too much of these types of medications, your blood sugar may drop too low. People also sometimes experience low blood sugar when planning to eat a big meal, but then they do not eat enough.

    Skipping meals, eating less than normal, or eating later than normal but taking your medication at your normal time can also lead to low blood sugar levels.

    Unplanned excess physical activity without eating enough can also cause a drop in blood sugar levels.


    Drinking alcohol when youre on these medications can also lead to low blood sugar, especially if it replaces food. When the body is trying to get rid of alcohol it becomes worse at managing blood sugar levels.

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    Is There A Test To Diagnose Prediabetes

    There are three blood tests that can diagnose prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

    Hemoglobin A1c

    • Hemoglobin A1c measures the average blood sugar over the last 3 months. It is a measure of how much sugar is attached to your red blood cells.
    • A pre-diabetes level is 5.7% and 6.4%.
    • An HbA1c > 6.5% is considered a diabetes glucose level.

    Fasting blood sugar levels

    • Fasting blood sugar or serum glucose is a measure of your blood sugar first thing in the morning before you have eaten anything.
    • Prediabetes also can be identified with serum glucose, or blood sugar level. A fasting blood sugar test of 100-125 mg/dl indicates prediabetes.

    Oral glucose tolerance test

    • Prediabetes and diabetes also can be diagnosed with an oral glucose tolerance test. This test measures how high blood sugar levels get at fixed time intervals after consuming a high sugar content beverage. This test is most commonly used to diagnose diabetes related to pregnancy .

    Prediabetes glucose levels are shown here in a chart of normal, prediabetes, and diabetes lab test numbers so you can make comparisons.

    Prediabetes Chart

    The best foods for prediabetes are


    • healthy proteins and fats,
    • some fruits, and
    • some low glycemic index carbohydrates like quinoa, oatmeal, and brown rice.

    The foods to eat for prediabetes are real foods in their natural or whole form. There needs to be a balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrate. Drinking lots of water or unsweetened tea also is important.

    Food to avoid for prediabetes management

    What Are The Complications Of Low Blood Glucose

    How low blood sugar feels like.

    Mild-to-moderate low blood glucose can be easily treated. But severely low blood glucose can cause serious complications, including passing out, coma, or death.

    Repeated episodes of low blood glucose can lead to

    • high blood glucose levels, if worry or fear of low blood glucose keeps you from taking the medicines you need to manage your diabetes8
    • hypoglycemia unawareness, a condition in which you dont notice any symptoms of low blood glucose until your blood glucose level has dropped very low

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    What Else Can You Do To Control Blood Sugar Levels

    Yes. People with diabetes should wear identification stating they have diabetes and whether they have recurrent low blood sugar. Those at risk for the health condition should be counseled on checking blood sugars before they drive a car, operate heavy machinery, or do anything physically taxing. In addition, it is important to carry a quick-acting glucose source at all times, and keep a source in their car, office, and by their bedside. Efforts should be made to minimize the hypoglycemic effects of drug regimens and to avoid variable surges in exercise, activity, and drinking alcohol.

    What Causes A Low Blood Sugar Level

    In people with diabetes, the main causes of a low blood sugar level are:

    • the effects of medicine especially taking too much insulin, medicines called sulfonylureas , medicines called glinides , or some antiviral medicines to treat hepatitis C
    • skipping or delaying a meal
    • not eating enough carbohydrate foods in your last meal, such as bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes and fruit
    • exercise, especially if it’s intense or unplanned
    • drinking alcohol

    Sometimes there’s no obvious reason why a low blood sugar level happens.

    Very occasionally, it can happen in people who do not have diabetes.

    Recommended Reading: Normal A1c Range For Type 2 Diabetes

    Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

    High blood sugar occurs when your body doesnt make enough or effectively use insulin, a hormone that regulates blood glucose and helps it enter your cells for energy.

    High blood sugar is associated with diabetes.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 13% of U.S. adults live with diabetes, and 34.5% have prediabetes (

    This means close to 50% of all U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes.

    Here are 15 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally:

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