How is hypoglycemia treated?
Dr Paramesh S
Kalyan nagar, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
Signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia vary from person to person. People with diabetes should get to know their signs and symptoms and describe them to their friends and family so they can help if needed. School staff should be told how to recognize a child's signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and how to treat it.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. They may need a change in their treatment plan: less medication or a different medication, a new schedule for insulin or medication, a different meal plan, or a new physical activity plan.
Prompt Treatment for Hypoglycemia
When people think their blood glucose is too low, they should check the blood glucose level of a blood sample using a meter. If the level is below 70 mg/dL, one of these quick-fix foods should be consumed right away to raise blood glucose:
- 3 or 4 glucose tablets
- 1 serving of glucose gel—the amount equal to 15 grams of carbohydrate
- 1/2 cup, or 4 ounces, of any fruit juice
- 1/2 cup, or 4 ounces, of a regular—not diet—soft drink
- 1 cup, or 8 ounces, of milk
- 5 or 6 pieces of hard candy
- 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey
Recommended amounts may be less for small children. The child's doctor can advise about the right amount to give a child.
The next step is to recheck blood glucose in 15 minutes to make sure it is 70 mg/dL or above. If it's still too low, another serving of a quick-fix food should be eaten. These steps should be repeated until the blood glucose level is 70 mg/dL or above. If the next meal is an hour or more away, a snack should be eaten once the quick-fix foods have raised the blood glucose level to 70 mg/dL or above.
For People Who Take Acarbose (Precose) or Miglitol (Glyset)
People who take either of these diabetes medications should know that only pure glucose, also called dextrose—available in tablet or gel form—will raise their blood glucose level during a low blood glucose episode. Other quick-fix foods and drinks won't raise the level quickly enough because acarbose and miglitol slow the digestion of other forms of carbohydrate.