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Updated: June 22, 2013 18:21 IST

Make it sweet

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A dip in blood sugar?
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A dip in blood sugar?

Quick tips on how to prevent and manage hypoglycaemia. The eighth part in the series on handling common medical emergencies.

Hypoglycaemia is caused by low blood sugar levels in the body. It occurs when a person forgets to eat a proper meal after taking a regular dose of anti-diabetic medication. This leads to falling blood sugar levels, which also impairs brain function. If left untreated the person may even die.


Side-effect of medication or insulin


How to recognise

Generalised weakness, dizziness, hunger

Strange behaviour, disoriented and confused

Sweaty and cold or clammy skin

Deteriorating level of response


Comfort and reassure the person

If conscious, give him a sugar-rich drink/juice, candy, chocolate or sugar.

This makes the patient feel better.

Encourage him/her to have a meal to maintain the sugar levels.

Advise the person to see a doctor to re-adjust dosage of anti-diabetic medication and counselling on diet management to prevent further episodes.

If there is no response to sugar within 15 minutes or the condition worsens, activate emergency medical response.

If person becomes unconscious but is breathing, place him/her in the recovery position.

If the person is unconscious or not breathing, start CPR.


Do not give anything to eat or drink if unconscious or very drowsy, as there is risk of choking.

Do not administer insulin.

Extract from Medical Emergency Handbook, VIVO Healthcare, Rs.199. To buy the book, contact VIVO Healthcare, DLF City Club, DLF City Phase 4, Gurgaon 122009. Ph: +91-124-4365848 +91-8860004734. E-mail: or


No sugar worriesJune 16, 2012

Diabetics — beware of low sugars November 14, 2011

How to prevent hypoglycaemiaNovember 14, 2011

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