Diabetic hypoglycemia is a serious condition that can lead to organ damage, brain damage, coma and even death. Hypoglycemia is the medical term for low blood sugar. It is important to understand diabetes to better understand diabetic hypoglycemia.

Diabetes is a metabolic condition that can occur one of two ways. Type I diabetes (aka – insulin dependent or juvenile onset) occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Type II diabetes (aka – insulin resistant or adult onset) occurs when the cells in the body become resistant to insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that helps the fat and muscle cells absorb and utilize blood glucose (sugar) effectively. When the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the cells are unable to use the insulin, blood sugar issues and diabetes occur.

Diabetic hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels drop in a person with diabetes. This can be caused from skipping meals or snacks, not following the proper diabetic diet, taking too much insulin or oral diabetic medication, or overexertion. It is important to note that it is possible to have hypoglycemia without diabetes.


Diabetic Hypoglycemia Symptoms


There are many symptoms that could warn a person with diabetes that they are suffering from hypoglycemia. Information obtained from the Mayo Clinic and the American Diabetes Association lists potential hypoglycemic symptoms as:

  • Behaving strangely or abnormally
  • Acting confused
  • Having dizzy spells or feeling faint or light headed
  • Diabetic seizures
  • Experiencing double or blurred vision
  • Feeling the heart palpating
  • Feeling shaky or general feeling of uneasiness
  • Unexplained nervousness or anxiety
  • Increased hunger, thirst, or cravings
  • Feeling tingling around the mouth


Diabetic hypoglycemia can be a very serious condition that can lead to coma and even death. If you feel that you are hypoglycemic, check your blood sugar immediately. If you are unable to check your blood sugar, seek medical attention right away. Do not attempt to drive yourself to the clinic or hospital. Have somebody drive you or contact emergency medical services.


Diabetic Hypoglycemia Treatment


People suffering from diabetic hypoglycemia need to increase blood sugar levels fairly quickly. Most of the time, people with diabetes have a treatment plan for such occurrences. It is important to follow your treatment plan and contact your physician.

Hypoglycemia can be treated by eating or drinking something with sugar in it such as candy, regular soda, juice, pastry, or a spoonful of sugar. You can also use glucose tablets or gel, corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, jelly or jam. Monitor blood sugar to make sure it is going back up. If it is not, seek immediate medical assistance.