It is important to try and keep your blood glucose (sugar) levels within a healthy range (as set by your health-care provider), however, this can be a challenge.
Low blood glucose (sugar)
A low blood glucose reading indicates a drop in your glucose (sugar) levels (< 4 mmol/L). Low blood glucose is also referred to as hypoglycemia.
Signs of low blood glucose (sugar)
The following may be signs you experience when your blood glucose levels drop:
- Shaky, light-headed, nauseated
- Nervous, irritable, anxious
- Confused and/or unable to concentrate
- Fast heart rate
- Numbness/tingling on tongue or lips
If your blood glucose levels are very low you may feel:
- Loss of consciousness
**Please make sure you have a MedicAlert identification on you at all times.
Cause of low blood glucose level
Low blood glucose levels may be caused by the following:
- Increased physical activity
- Skipping meals or not eating on time
- Eating less than you should
- Taking too much medication
- Effects of drinking alcohol
How to treat low blood glucose
If you experience signs of low blood glucose levels, check your glucose levels immediately. If you don’t have a meter with you, treat the symptoms regardless.
Step 1: Treat your low blood glucose immediately by: eating or drinking a fast-acting carbohydrate (15 grams). Examples include:
- 15 grams of glucose (glucose tablet)
- 1 tbsp or 3 packets of table sugar dissolved in water
- ¾ cup juice
- 6 LifeSavers (1= 2.5 grams carbohydrates)
- 1 tbsp honey
Step 2: Wait 10-15 minutes after treating your symptoms. Check your blood glucose again. If it is still low, TREAT AGAIN. Once your glucose levels are within normal range and your next meal is more than 1 hour away, eat a snack with 15 grams of carbohydrates and a protein source (e.g. half sandwich, cheese and crackers).
** Make note of your low blood sugar and think about why it could have happened. Make necessary changes so you avoid a low blood glucose again. If you are unsure, speak to your health-care provider.
** Wait 45-60 minutes before driving.
High blood glucose (sugar)
A high blood glucose level indicates a rise in your glucose levels (equal or > 11 mmol/L). A high blood glucose level is also referred to as hyperglycemia.
Signs of high blood glucose
The following may be signs you experience with high blood glucose levels:
- Increased frequency of urination (especially during the night)
Cause of high blood glucose levels
You may experience high blood glucose levels as a result of food, physical activity, unbalanced medication, stress or when you are sick.
How to treat high blood glucose
Speak to your health-care team to better understand a plan that is right for you. You may be asked to adjust your meal plan, physical activity regimen and/or medication.