Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar
Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar
You may have symptoms of low blood sugar when your blood sugar has dropped below 4.0 millimoles per litre (mmol/L) .
Symptoms of mild low blood sugar
When you have had diabetes for many years, you may not always develop symptoms of mild low blood sugar.
Some young children with diabetes cannot recognize symptoms of low blood sugar. Others can, but not every time. To be safe, the parents need to do a home blood sugar test whenever they suspect low blood sugar in a child.
Symptoms may include:
- Sweating (almost always present). Check for sweating on the back of your neck at your hairline.
- Nervousness, shakiness, and weakness.
- Extreme hunger and slight nausea.
- Dizziness and headache.
- Blurred vision.
- A fast heartbeat and feeling anxious.
These symptoms may go away shortly after you eat food that contains sugar.
Symptoms of moderate low blood sugar
If your blood sugar continues to drop, your behaviour may change. Symptoms may include:
- Inability to concentrate.
- Confusion and irritability.
- Slurred speech.
- Unsteadiness when standing or walking.
- Muscle twitching.
- Personality changes, such as anger or crying.
Symptoms of severe low blood sugar
Symptoms of severe low blood sugar (usually below 2.8 mmol/L) include:
- Loss of consciousness (coma).
Signs of low blood sugar at night
If your blood sugar drops while you are sleeping, your partner or other family members may notice that you are sweating and behaving differently. Signs of low blood sugar at night ( nocturnal hypoglycemia ) include:
- Making unusual noises.
- Attempting to get out of bed or accidentally rolling out of bed.
You may wake up with a headache in the morning if your blood sugar was low during the night.
Other Works Consulted
- Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee (2013). Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes in Canada. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 37(Suppl 1). Also available online: http://guidelines.diabetes.ca.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Jennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism|
|Last Revised||May 24, 2013|
Last Revised: May 24, 2013
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