Guarding Against Low Blood Sugar

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Importance of testing
Importance of Self-monitoring
Lifestyle choices
Partnering with Your Doctor
Guard Against High Blood Glucose
Plan ahead
Guard Against Low Blood Glucose
Plan ahead
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Confirm a plan with your doctor or talk about a general action plan, such as:

If your result is low, the 15 x 15 method can help.

  1. Eat 15 grams of sugar.
  2. Self-monitor blood glucose 15 minutes later.
  3. If your result is still low, repeat steps 1 and 2.

When you start injecting insulin ask your doctor what blood glucose targets are right for you and how to treat high or low blood glucose.

Have a plan for low blood glucose
Let's look at situations that may cause low blood glucose. In all cases, be sure to keep a record of your self-monitoring results to share with your doctor. Always carry hard candies or a snack in case of low blood glucose.

Low fasting results

  1. Using a new insulin OR a new dosage
    Plan: Be sure to self-monitor before injecting. Follow up the next morning with a fasting SMBG.

  2. Using too much insulin
    Plan: Inject only the amount of insulin your doctor instructed.

  3. Forgot to eat a scheduled snack the night before
    Plan: Keep a packaged snack on your bedside table.

  4. Drank alcohol the night before. Sometimes alcohol in the evening will cause a low result either before or after breakfast.
    Plan: When you drink alcohol, be sure to eat some carbohydrates too.

Low results during the day

  1. An unexpected energetic event (running for a bus or a long workday)
    Plan: Be watchful of changes in your daily schedule.

  2. A new exercise routine
    Plan: Self-monitor blood glucose before exercise and 2 hours after to see how it affects your glucose. If the activity is long or intense, test during exercise.

  3. Missed or delayed meals
    Plan: Try eating small meals with mid-day snacks to keep your medication and glucose levels balanced. Avoid eating too much carbohydrates in a single meal because this may cause high glucose results.

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