Yetminster Health Centre

Open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6.30pm

Hypoglycaemia Awareness Week

This week is Hypoglycaemia (hypo) awareness week.Hypoglycaemia happens when your blood glucose level is too low. You’ll need to treat a hypo if your blood glucose falls below 4mmol/L.

Dr Mike Masding- Diabetes Consultant at UHD has produced a short video explaining what to do when you’re having a hypo.

What can cause hypos and what are the symptoms?

Hypos can happen when you:

  • delay meals
  • have not had enough carbohydrate in your last meal
  • do lots of exercise without having the right amount of carbohydrate or reducing your insulin dose
  • take too much insulin
  • drink alcohol on an empty stomach

Hypos come on fast. Be aware of the signs of a hypo so you can treat it quickly.

The most common signs are:

  • sweating
  • being anxious or irritable
  • feeling hungry
  • difficulty concentrating
  • blurred sight
  • trembling and feeling shaky

Treating a hypo

You need to treat a hypo quickly, before it gets worse.

Eat or drink something sugary, like:

  • 3 to 6 dextrose or glucose sweets
  • 5 jelly babies
  • 1 glass of non-diet sugary drink (a mini can of cola is ideal)
  • 1 glass of fruit juice

Try not to eat:

  • sugary foods that contain fat, like chocolate or cake (they do not work as well)
  • too much – or your glucose levels will go too high
  • Check your blood glucose after 10 minutes. If it’s still low, eat something sugary again.

You may still have hypo symptoms as your blood glucose levels rise, so check your blood glucose rather than going by how you feel.