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What Causes Blood Sugar To Drop Suddenly


Prevention Of Low Blood Sugar

Low Blood Sugar and What to Do! Rule of 15

Do not skip or delay meals. If your diet plan includes snacks, make sure to take these.

Measure insulin dosage carefully and inject it properly. If you cannot see well, a family member or a visiting nurse can prepare your insulin injections for you.

Take only the prescribed amount of insulin or oral medication for diabetes that your doctor has ordered.

Keep exercise consistent from day to day. Eat a snack or reduce your insulin prior to unusual exercise.


If you are taking insulin, notify your doctor if you have low blood sugars four or more times per week or if you have a severe low blood sugar. Severe low blood sugars are those less than 40 mg., those requiring help from another person, or those which cause you to have a convulsion or become unconscious.

If you are taking oral medication for your diabetes notify your doctor or nurse if blood sugars are running less than 80 mg. or if you have a severe low blood sugar.

Not Eating Enough Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are a type of nutrient found in foods like grains, starchy vegetables, fruit, and some dairy products. Carbohydrates turn into blood sugar when digested, so they significantly impact blood glucose levels than proteins and fats.

Not eating enough carbohydrates, especially while also taking blood sugar-lowering medications, can cause hypoglycemia.

Treating Mild To Moderate Hypoglycemia

If you start feeling any of the symptoms listed above, check your blood sugar as soon as possible, then follow the chart below to treat low blood sugar. If you have any concerns, or cant test immediately, its best to treat first and check when possible.


If your blood sugar is

Eat this

What to do next

51 to 70 mg/dL

10 to 15 grams of fast-acting carbs, such as 4 ounces of fruit juice, 6 to 8 hard candies, or 3 to 4 glucose tablets.


Test your blood sugar again in 15 minutes. Repeat the treatment if necessary.

Under 50 mg/dL

Eat 20 to 30 grams of fast-acting carbs, such as 8 ounces of fruit juice, 12 to 16 hard candies, or 6 to 8 glucose tablets.

Test your blood sugar again in 15 minutes. Repeat the treatment if necessary.

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What Can Cause Low Blood Sugar Levels

Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely are:

  • skipping meals and snacks
  • not eating enough food during a meal or snack
  • exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food
  • getting too much insulin
  • not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise

Also, some things may increase how quickly insulin gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make hypoglycemia more likely. These include:

  • taking a hot shower or bath right after having an insulin injection increases blood flow through the blood vessels in the skin, which can make the insulin be absorbed more quickly than usual
  • injecting the shot into a muscle instead of the fatty layer under the skin
  • injecting the insulin into a part of the body used a lot in a particular sport .

All of these situations increase the chances that a person may get hypoglycemia.

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Nighttime Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia): Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

While low blood sugar can happen at any time during the day, some people may experience low blood sugar while they sleep. Reasons this may happen include:

  • Having an active day.
  • Being physically active close to bedtime.
  • Taking too much insulin.
  • Drinking alcohol at night.

Eating regular meals and not skipping them can help you avoid nighttime low blood sugar. Eating when you drink alcohol can also help. If you think youre at risk for low blood sugar overnight, have a snack before bed.


You may wake up when you have low blood sugar, but you shouldnt rely on that. A continuous glucose monitor can alert you with an alarm if your blood sugar gets low while youre sleeping.

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What If I Have Severe Low Blood Glucose And Cant Treat Myself

Glucagona hormone that raises blood glucose levelsis the best way to treat severely low blood glucose. Available as an injection or a nasal spray, glucagon will quickly raise your blood glucose level. Your doctor can prescribe you a glucagon kit for use in case of an emergency.

If your blood glucose level drops very low, you wont be able to treat it by yourself. Be prepared to address severely low blood glucose by


  • talking with your doctor or health care team about when and how to use a glucagon emergency kit. If you have an emergency kit, regularly check the date on the package to make sure it hasnt expired.
  • teaching your family, friends, and coworkers when and how to give you glucagon. Tell them to call 911 right away after giving you glucagon or if you dont have a glucagon emergency kit with you.
  • wearing a medical alert identification bracelet or pendant. A medical alert ID tells other people that you have diabetes and need care right away. Getting prompt care can help prevent the serious problems that low blood glucose levels can cause.

Cause Of Hypothermia: Heat Loss

If you’re exposed to cold, it’s possible for your otherwise healthy body to lose heat faster than it can make more. This is most likely to happen if you’re outside in extreme cold for a long time, especially if you’re not dressed adequately for the cold, but it can also happen if something else causes your body to lose heat more quickly than usual. For example, if your body is wet, it will lose heat faster than when you’re dry. Windy conditions will also speed up heat loss.

  • If you’re exposed to cold, it’s possible for your otherwise healthy body to lose heat faster than it can make more.
  • This is most likely to happen if you’re outside in extreme cold for a long time, especially if you’re not dressed adequately for the cold, but it can also happen if something else causes your body to lose heat more quickly than usual.

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Severe Low Blood Sugar

As your low blood sugar gets worse, you may experience more serious symptoms, including:

  • Feeling weak.
  • Having difficulty walking or seeing clearly.
  • Acting strange or feeling confused.
  • Having seizures.

Severe low blood sugar is below 54 mg/dL. Blood sugar this low may make you faint . Often, youll need someone to help you treat severe low blood sugar.

People with diabetes may experience low blood sugar as often as once or twice a week, even when managing their blood sugar closely. Knowing how to identify and treat it is important for your health. Learn how to treat low blood sugar.


Low Blood Glucose During Sleep

Warning Signs That Shows Your Blood Sugar Level Is Dropping

Your blood glucose level can drop while you sleep and stay low for several hours, causing serious problems.7 Symptoms of low blood glucose while you sleep can include

  • crying out or having nightmares
  • sweating enough to make your pajamas or sheets damp
  • feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up

Although you may not wake up or notice any symptoms, low blood glucose can interfere with your sleep, which may affect your quality of life, mood, and ability to work. Having low blood glucose during sleep can also make you less likely to notice and respond to symptoms of low blood glucose during the day.

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How Common Is Low Blood Glucose

Low blood glucose is common among people with type 1 diabetes and among people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin or some other diabetes medicines. In a large global study of people with diabetes who take insulin, 4 in 5 people with type 1 diabetes and nearly half of those with type 2 diabetes reported a low blood sugar event at least once over a 4-week period.2

Severely low blood glucose, defined as when your blood glucose level drops so low you cant treat it yourself, is less common. Among U.S. adults with diabetes who take insulin or some diabetes medicines that help the pancreas release insulin into the blood, 2 in 100 may develop severely low blood glucose each year.3


Is It Your Circulation

Dizziness can be a sign of a problem with your blood flow. Your brain needs a steady supply of oxygen-rich blood. Otherwise, you can become lightheaded and even faint.

Some causes of low blood flow to the brain include blood clots, clogged arteries, heart failure, and an irregular heartbeat. For many older people, standing suddenly can cause a sharp drop in blood pressure.

Its important to get medical help immediately if youre dizzy and faint or lose consciousness.

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What Is The Outlook For People With Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia can be managed when you and your healthcare provider understand what causes your blood sugar to go down. Give your healthcare provider as much information as possible about any hypoglycemic episodes. Fixing the problem may be as simple as changing the times you take medication, eat and exercise. Minor changes to the types of food you eat may also help.


Where Can I Find Support For My Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia Causes and Natural Solutions

The Hypoglycemia Support Foundation, established nearly 40 years ago, is a national group that offers many resources, including advocacy. They offer salons so that you can personally connect with people like you who are also dealing with bouts of low blood sugar.

Occasionally blood sugar crashes are so extreme they require emergency room care for an immediate dextrose IV treatment. If you have diabetes, wear a medical bracelet so that emergency personnel or bystanders who call for help are aware of this information. Its also a good idea to have a circle of people who serve as close contacts and are aware of your condition and how to help.

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Low Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetes

People with diabetes can have low blood sugar levels because of the medicines they have to take to manage their diabetes. They may need a hormone called or diabetes pills to help their bodies use the sugar in their blood.

These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood and get it into the body’s cells, which makes the blood sugar level go down. But sometimes it’s a tricky balancing act and blood sugar levels can get too low.


People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugars from getting too highor too low. Keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range means balancing when and what they eat, and when they exercise with when they take medicines.

Tips For Keeping Blood Sugar Steady

The best way to address your personal concerns and needs is to discuss your diet, medication, and lifestyle with your healthcare team. They can diagnose any underlying conditions, adjust or change your medications, and advise you on the best ways to prevent hypoglycemia.

Tips that apply across the board to keep blood sugar stable include:

  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Planning meals
  • Getting adequate sleep

People with diabetes may face more challenges when managing blood sugar levels, but it is possible to stay healthy.

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Parents Of Children With Diabetes

If your child has diabetes and shows symptoms of hypoglycemia, its important to check their blood glucose level with a glucometer. If this is not possible, it is best to treat them as if they have hypoglycemia by giving them carbohydrates to prevent symptoms from getting worse.

Your child should have a safety plan in place for when they are not in your care, such as when they are at school, friends homes, or daycare. The plan should include whom they should talk to if they are not feeling well.

Talking to your child about their diabetes and the symptoms to be aware of helps keep them safe. When your child is aware that how theyre feeling is related to their blood sugar levels and diabetes management, they can learn to both self-identify and verbalize or signal to their parents when they need treatment.

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What Are Clinical Trials For Low Blood Glucose

I felt really sick | Sudden drop in Blood glucose level

Clinical trialsand other types of clinical studiesare part of medical research and involve people like you. When you volunteer to take part in a clinical study, you help doctors and researchers learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future.


Researchers are studying many aspects of low blood glucose levels in diabetes, such as

  • how to diagnose and treat low blood glucose among people with diabetes
  • medicines that can treat symptoms of low blood glucose in people with hypoglycemia unawareness
  • educational approaches to reduce fear of low blood glucose, which can make it harder for you to control your diabetes

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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.

How To Test Your Blood Sugar At Home

To perform a blood sugar test, you will need to prick your finger with a lancet . Youll put a small sample of blood from this onto a strip inserted into the blood glucose meter.

Before you test your blood sugar at home, its important to find out from your doctor what a healthy blood sugar range is for you. Your doctor will determine this range based on factors such as:

  • the type of diabetes you have
  • how long youve had diabetes
  • your age
  • whether you have any other chronic health conditions

If you dont have a blood sugar testing machine on hand and are experiencing signs or symptoms of low blood sugar with diabetes, your symptoms may be enough to diagnose low blood sugar.

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When To See A Doctor

Dietary changes can help you manage and prevent sugar crashes. However, if youve had surgery or are managing ulcers, you may need to see your doctor for additional treatments.

You should also see your doctor if you continue to have sugar crashes despite dietary changes. Your doctor may check for diabetes or other underlying health conditions.

When blood glucose isnt controlled, it can lead to complications, including:

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Immediate Steps

During an emergency, you should first take immediate steps such as lying with your feet raised above your heart, drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding triggers such as prolonged standing. Also, move your legs when standing. If you notice symptoms of orthostatic hypotension, cross your thighs and squeeze. You could also put one of your feet on a chair or ledge and lean forward. Put on abdominal binders or compression stockings might help reduce the effects of orthostatic hypotension.

Preventive Measures

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Sudden Drop In Blood Pressure

Hypotension, or simply low blood pressure, is a condition whereby your blood pressure is not as high as it should be at your age. Blood pressure would normally be less than 120/80 mm Hg according to most physicians. There are people whose blood pressure is normally lower than average. In other people, it could be as a result of a medical condition or medication they are taking. You need not worry if you have low blood pressure as long as you do not exhibit any symptoms. However, experiencing a sudden drop in blood pressure could be dangerous because it affects the blood flow in the body. Seek medical attention immediately when this happens as it could lead to shock, which is a fatal condition.

Treating Low Blood Sugar

If blood sugar is below 70 mg/dL, it should be treated by consuming food or drink containing 15 grams of carbohydrates.

Fruit juice and candies are preferred as they are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. It doesnt take much juice to get to 15 grams of carbohydrates about one-half cup will suffice.

Glucose tablets or glucose gels are a popular treatment for low blood sugar because theyre easy to have on hand in all different types of situations.

They dissolve quickly and provide pure glucose, so the blood sugar rapidly absorbs them to raise blood sugar. They are available over the counter without a prescription, so this is a convenient option for most people.

For cases of severe hypoglycemia, you can use a glucagon injection. Like insulin, glucagon is a hormone the pancreas produces. However, glucagon has the opposite effect as insulin as it stimulates the breakdown of liver glycogen stores into glucose, which raises blood sugar.

Medical professionals must prescribe glucagon injections. Theyre especially helpful to use when hypoglycemia is severe, or the person is too unresponsive to take in food or drink to treat the low blood sugar.

* An unresponsive person should always receive emergency medical treatment.*

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