Low blood sugar can affect anyone. However, it’s more likely if you have diabetes and are taking medicines such as insulin which lowers your blood sugar levels.
It can also affect you if you have another condition that lowers your blood sugar.
It’s important to recognise the signs of low blood sugar, so you can act quickly. It’s also a good idea to let your friends, family and colleagues know, so they can help you if it happens.
If it’s mild and you treat it quickly, it shouldn’t affect your long-term health. If it’s severe, and isn’t treated, it can sometimes be life-threatening.
Low blood sugar symptoms include:
If your blood sugar levels fall very low, you may also experience:
Your GP will talk to you about your symptoms.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes, they’ll tell you if your medication needs to change or be adjusted.
If you don’t know why your blood sugar levels have been affected, they may carry out some blood tests for diabetes or other medical problems.
Low blood sugar can be a sign of diabetes or another medical condition that lowers glucose in your blood.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes, it can be caused by:
If you don’t have diabetes, common causes of low blood sugar are:
Less common causes are:
Low blood sugar can also be a symptom of other medical conditions, including hormone disorders and liver and kidney problems.
Treatments for low blood sugar will depend on your symptoms.
You can often treat low blood sugar by immediately having a high-sugar snack or drink, or by taking medication prescribed by your GP. You may not need any more treatment.
If it’s severe, you may need emergency treatment in hospital.