Low blood sugar

Hypoglycemia; Insulin shock; Insulin reaction; Diabetes - hypoglycemia

Low blood sugar is a condition that occurs when the body's blood sugar (glucose) decreases and is too low.

Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) is considered low. Blood sugar at or below this level can be harmful.

The medical name of low blood sugar is hypoglycemia.

Food and insulin release

Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to increased glucose levels in the blood.

15/15 rule

To treat low blood sugar the 15/15 rule is usually applied. Eat 15 grams of carbohydrate and wait 15 minutes. The following foods will provide about 15 grams of carbohydrate; 3 glucose tablets; half a cup (4 ounces or 120 milliliters) of fruit juice or regular soda; 6 or 7 hard candies; or 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of sugar. After the carbohydrate is eaten, the person should wait about 15 minutes for the sugar to get into their blood. If the person does not feel better within 15 minutes, more carbohydrate can be consumed. Their blood sugar should be checked to make sure it has come within a safe range.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional