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Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

There are many reasons why blood sugar levels could be low. Some of the most common include:

  • Missing meals or not eating at a regular time
  • Not eating as many carbohydrates as you usually do
  • Being more active or exercising more than usual
  • Taking more insulin or diabetes medication than your body needs
  • Drinking alcohol

Your blood sugar levels are too low if they are less than 4.0 mmol/L.

If you feel any of the following symptoms, it’s recommended you test your blood sugar levels right away.

  • Headache
  • Blurry eyesight
  • Hunger
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Weak or tired

Blood sugar levels can drop quickly. It’s important to act right away.

  • You should check your blood sugar levels if you feel any of these symptoms
  • If you can’t check your blood sugar levels, treat the symptom immediately by eating or drinking the appropriate amount of a fast-acting carbohydrate such as:
    • 15 grams of glucose from a glucose tablet (preferred choice)
    • One tablespoon (three packets) of table sugar, dissolved in water
    • ¾ cup of juice or soft drink
    • One tablespoon of honey

What next?

  • Wait 10 to 15 minutes after treating symptoms and check blood sugar levels to see if they are back to normal
  • If not, treat your symptoms again and wait 45 to 60 minutes before driving
  • Be sure to consult your doctor about changes in your blood sugar levels

Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)

When it comes to high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) there are other variables to consider:

  • Sickness or stress level
  • Types of foods and the amount eaten
  • Medication management

Anything over 11 mmol/L is considered to be a high blood sugar level, which can cause you to:

  • Be thirsty
  • Pee more often than usual
  • Feel weak or tired
  • Be hungry
  • Feel nauseous
  • Have cramps or stomach pains

While controlling your blood sugar levels is important, if you have type 2 diabetes and a history of heart disease, this may not be enough. But, there are medications that – along with diet and exercise – have been proven to lower the risk of dying from problems related to your heart and blood vessels.

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Making Good Choices

There are things you can do right away to help manage your risk when it comes to type 2 diabetes.

Learn what you can do

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