Preventing Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia

Hypoglycemia is defined as a low blood sugar (glucose) level. Hypoglycemia refers to low blood glucose levels that drop below 70 mg/dL.




Hypoglycemia, or an insulin reaction, can happen if you are taking insulin or oral medications, reaction happens when there is not enough glucose in your blood. Persistent hyperglycemia can cause a wide range of chronic complications that affect almost every system in your body. When large blood vessels are affected, it can lead to:

stroke, heart attack or congestive heart failure, circulation disorders and possible amputation (peripheral vascular disease).


Symptoms of hypoglycemia include

  • Hunger

  • Perspiration

  • Dizziness 

  • Sleepiness

  • Confusion

  • Difficulty speaking

  • Nervousness and shakiness


Causes of hypoglycemia include:

  • Drinking too much alcohol

  • Feeling anxious or weak

  • Skipping meals or eating meals and snacks that are too small

  • Taking too much insulin or diabetes medication

  • Severe hyperglycemia (greater than 600 mg/dL)


You can reduce your risk factors for complications related to hyperglycemia by doing the following:

  • Maintaining your blood glucose levels within a normal range

  • Keeping your blood pressure under control

  • Controlling your blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides)

  • Avoiding/stopping smoking

  • Increasing your physical activity

  • Avoiding excess alcohol consumption

  • Developing healthy eating habits and losing weight if necessary

  • Take your medicines as prescribed. If you have questions about your medicines, ask your doctor, pharmacist or diabetes educator.

  • Eat regular meals. A dietitian can help you create a meal plan that meets your medical needs and includes the foods you like. Stick with your meal plan, eat the right amount of food and don't skip meals and snacks.

Center for Health Services provide services to people with diabetes, for more information please contact us at 847-893-9788.



Hypoglycemia can be easily treated by having a quick snack to boost your blood sugar.


  • Consume 15-20 grams of simple carbohydrates

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of any fruit juice

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of a regular (not diet) soda

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) of fat free milk

  • Eat 6-8 pieces of hard candies, jellybeans, or gumdrop


Retest 15 minutes later. Repeat these steps until your glucose is above 70mg/dl. Once blood glucose returns to normal, eat a small snack.  Hypoglycemia can occur at any time, keep glucose tablets or hard candy with you at all times. 


Glucagon is a hormone that can be injected, usually in an arm or leg, to help raise your blood sugar. Ask your doctor or diabetes educator if you should have a glucagons emergency kit in your home. In case of emergency you will need to teach your friends or family to inject glucagon for you because you won't be able to inject it yourself.




Hyperglycemia refers to high blood glucose (blood sugar). High blood glucose happens when the body has too little insulin or when the body can't use insulin properly. The goal of diabetes management is to keep blood sugar in a healthy range to avoid health complications.


Symptoms of Hyperglycemia are:

  • Rapid pulse

  • dizziness 

  • weakness

  • Shakiness 

  • Sweating

  • Headache

  • Increased thirst

  • Blurred vision

  • High blood glucose

  • Frequent urination

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • High levels of sugar in the urine

  • Symptoms can vary from person to person.



How to treat hypoglycemia:

Check your blood glucose level to determine the amount of carbohydrate that is needed to raise your blood glucose to a safe level.


exercising and Cutting down on the amount of food you eat might also help. Work with your dietitian to make changes in your meal plan. If exercise and changes in your diet did not reduce the hyperglycemia, your doctor may change the amount of your medication or insulin or possibly the timing of when you take it.



Hypoglycemia is not treated immediately, it can result in:

  • Coma

  • Seizures

  • Death

  • Unconsciousness

  • Severe confusion and disorientation


How Can I Prevent Hyperglycemia?

  • Keep glucose-containing products close by at all times.

  • Carry sugar-free products with you always.

  • Be sure to wear diabetes identification at all times.

  • Test your own blood glucose, measure insulin accurately, and determine recommended food portions to help prevent and properly treat low blood glucose.


If you have diabetes, contact Center for Health Services health and wellness program to get help, education and support.











Center for Health Services

Northwest Corporate Center

2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 935

900 Building

Hoffman Estates, IL 60169


 Tel: (847)893-9788

 Fax: (847)983-6181

9:00 am and 5:00 pm (CST)

Monday to Friday



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