Hypoglycemia unawareness means that you
have little or no warning signs when your
blood sugar is low. As a result, your blood
sugar may drop to a very low level (less than
50 mg/dl) without symptoms. This may
occur in people who:
ξ have had diabetes for many years.
ξ maintain lower A1c levels.
ξ have frequent low blood sugars.
Symptoms or warning signs of low blood
sugar can change over time. They may be
more subtle or you may have no symptoms
at all. Your first warning may be feelings of
fatigue or confusion caused by low blood
sugar to the brain. When in doubt, check
your blood sugar.
You will need to take special precautions if
you start to lose symptoms of low blood
1. Check your blood sugar levels more
2. Always check your blood sugar level
before driving. If blood sugar is less than
100 mg/dL and you have not eaten in the
last two hours, you should have a snack
3. Carry some form of sugar with you at
all times. It is a good idea to keep sugar
in the car and at your bedside; glucose
tablets, glucose gel, fruit juice, soda,
4. If you live alone, you may want to set
your alarm and get up during the night to
check your blood sugar. Your blood sugar
will be lowest between 2:00 am and 5:00
am. You may want to have a family
member or friend call you in the morning
to be sure you are up at the normal time.
5. A glucagon kit should be available in the
event that you are not able to safely
swallow sugar. Family, friends, and co-
workers must know how to give this
rescue medication. Please see Health
Facts #4306 about the use of glucagon.
6. To avoid hypoglycemia, your A1C and
blood sugar goals should be changed to
keep you in a safer range. You may also
need to discuss if medicine changes are
needed with your health care team.
Tell family, friends and co-workers that you
do not always sense your low blood sugars.
They should know how to help if you
become confused or do not respond. Always
wear identification that can be seen by
others such as a Medic-Alert bracelet or
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 ©6/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All
rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4508.