Diabetes and Low Blood Sugar

Diabetes is a disease that affects the levels of sugar in the blood. Too much or too little sugar causes problems. Some people with diabetes take medication, such as insulin, to maintain their sugar levels. 

Low blood sugar can occur if a person with diabetes has not eaten or is vomiting, has not eaten enough food for the level of activity, or has injected too much insulin.

Signs of low blood sugar in a person with diabetes:

  • Irritable or confused
  • Hungry, thirsty, or weak
  • Sleepy
  • Sweaty

In some cases, the person might even have a seizure.

Actions to take for a responsive person who has low blood sugar:

  • If the person can sit up and swallow – Ask the person to eat or drink something with sugar that can rapidly restore blood glucose levels.  Items include:  glucose tablets, orange juice, soft chewy candy, jelly beans, or whole milk. 
  • If the person can’t sit up or swallow, do not attempt.
  • Have the person sit quietly or lie down.
  • If the person does not improve within 15 minutes, phone or have someone phone 911.