Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Diabetes, Endocrine

High & Low Blood Glucose (Sugar) Reactions (4346)

High & Low Blood Glucose (Sugar) Reactions (4346) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Diabetes, Endocrine


High and Low Blood Glucose (Sugar) Reactions

Low Blood Glucose (Hypoglycemia)
Less than _______ mg/dL

ξ Too much insulin or diabetes pills
ξ Late/skipped meal or smaller than
usual meal
ξ More activity/exercise than usual
ξ Alcohol intake without food

Symptoms (happen quickly)
ξ Shaky, sweaty or clammy
ξ Light-headed, weak, blurry vision
ξ Hungry, irritable, anxious or confused

These are the most common symptoms.
Get to know your symptoms and act
quickly. If not treated quickly, you may
lose consciousness.

Treatment Options (if able to swallow)
Get treatment quickly. Take 15 grams of
quick-acting carbohydrate (sugar). Examples:
ξ 4 oz. (½ cup) juice or regular (non-
diet) soda
ξ Glucose liquid or gel (read label for
ξ 4 glucose tablets (chew them)
ξ Soft, chewable candy (amount varies)

Check your blood glucose 15 minutes after
treatment. If your glucose is still below 70
mg/dL, repeat treatment.
Call 911 if you feel too sick to eat or if the
glucose levels stay below 80 mg/dL after 30
High Blood Glucose (Hyperglycemia)
More than _______ mg/dL

ξ Not enough or missed dose of insulin
or diabetes pills
ξ Less activity than usual
ξ Overeating
ξ Illness (cold, flu, infection)
ξ Pain or injury
ξ Stress (physical or emotional)
ξ Some medicines (such as steroids)

Symptoms (happen over time)
ξ Thirst, frequent urination
ξ Nausea/vomiting
ξ Unexplained weight loss
ξ Slow healing or frequent infections
ξ Fatigue or sleepy
ξ Blurred vision

These are the most common symptoms.
Many people do not have symptoms until
glucose levels are very high, but this
varies for each person. If not treated, high
blood sugars can be life-threatening.

Treatment Options
Insulin is often used to treat high blood
glucose levels. If you do not use insulin, talk
with your health care team about what to do.
It is not always best to exercise or to eat less
to lower your glucose levels. Discuss this
with your health care team. If you are sick,
follow sick day guidelines.

Preventing Hypoglycemia and
ξ Know what causes your low and high
blood glucose levels and take steps to
prevent those causes.

ξ Test your glucose levels as advised by
your health care team. Know your target
glucose levels.

ξ Keep a log of your results. If you notice
patterns of high or low glucose levels,
call your doctor or nurse to discuss these

ξ Take your insulin or diabetes pills as
prescribed. If you think the doses are a
cause of your low or high blood glucose
levels, talk with your health care team
about making changes.

ξ Learn how your medicines work and
when they will affect your blood glucose
levels most.

ξ Follow your meal plan. Do not skip meals
and avoid overeating.

ξ Check your blood sugar before exercise
and before driving. Eat a snack if needed.

ξ Always carry fast-acting carbohydrates
with you to treat low blood sugar quickly.

Informing Others

It is important to wear a Medical Alert
bracelet or necklace that is easy to see by
others. Carry a wallet card that states that you
have diabetes. It should include your current
list of medicines.

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 3/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4346