What is hypogycaemia?
For people with diabetes that are treated with insulin, hypoglycaemia (or "hypos") is when your blood glucose level falls below 4.0 mmol/L. Remember that 4 is the floor! Some people get symptoms with hypoglycaemia:
- Change in skin tone - pale
- Glazed eyes
- Feeling faint/dizzy
- Mood change, quiet or Irritable
- Loss of consciousness
What causes hypoglycaemia?
Hypos usually occur when there is too much insulin around for what the body needs. For example:
- When you are unwell, especially with a vomiting illness
- If you have had too much insulin with food (or you don't finish your food)
- During or after exercise, as the muscles recharge their energy stores
- Drinking alcohol
How do I treat hypoglycaemia?
For a blood glucose less than 4.0 mmol/L:
- Give 5-15 grams of quick acting glucose or sucrose:
- 5 grams for children under 2 years of age
- 10 grams for children between 2 and 5 years of age
- 15 grams for those over 5 years of age
Quick acting glucose/sucrose 5 grams 10 grams 15 grams Gluco-tabs 1 (4 grams) 3 4 Dextro Energy tablets 2 3 5 Lucozade energy 60ml 110ml 170ml Orange juice 50ml 100ml 150ml Cola (not diet) 50ml 100ml 150ml Jelly babies 1 2 3
- Retest Blood Glucose after 15 minutes:
- If the blood glucose above 5.6mmol/L - no further action needed.
- If blood glucose 5.5mmol/L or below repeat above cycle until blood glucose 5.6mmol/L above.
- If you have had to repeat the treatment more than 2 times, OR your'e about to start some exercise OR it’s bedtime; a 10-15 gram carbohydrate snack is (e.g. medium slice of toast, 2 rich tea biscuits, 200ml milk).
If the hypo happens before a planned meal, treat the hypo as above, then give insulin for the meal only (i.e. no correction dose).
This guide is also available to download (see related files).
Keeping mothers and babies together clinical pathway: By simplifying and standardising the approach to all ‘at risk… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…