Skip to main content
Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)

Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) is when your blood sugar drops too low. It mainly affects people with diabetes.

Signs of low blood sugar include trembling and tingling lips. If not treated, you may get other symptoms, like feeling weak and blurred vision.

To treat low blood sugar, quickly have some sweets or a non-diet sugary drink. Then have some carbohydrate as a snack, like toast or a main meal.

If you have diabetes, low blood sugar can be caused by taking too much diabetes medicine, skipping meals or intense exercise.

You can lower your risk of low blood sugar if you have diabetes by checking your blood sugar, carrying a sugary snack with you and not skipping meals.

Read more on the NHS website.

Signs of low blood sugar include trembling and tingling lips. If not treated, you may get other symptoms, like feeling weak and blurred vision.

Symptoms of low blood sugar

A low blood sugar causes different symptoms for everybody. You'll learn how it makes you feel if you keep getting it, although your symptoms may change over time.

Early signs of a low blood sugar include:

If not treated, you may then get other symptoms, such as:

Hypos can also occur while sleeping, which may wake you up during the night or cause headaches, tiredness or damp sheets (from sweat) in the morning.

If you have a device to check your blood sugar level, a reading of less than 4mmol/L is too low and should be treated.

Read more on the NHS website.

To treat low blood sugar, quickly have some sweets or a non-diet sugary drink. Then have some carbohydrate as a snack, like toast or a main meal.

Self-care

Follow these steps if your blood sugar is less than 4mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:

  1. Have a sugary drink or snack – try something like a small glass of non-diet fizzy drink or fruit juice, a small handful of sweets, or 4 or 5 dextrose tablets.
  2. Test your blood sugar after 10 to 15 minutes – if it's 4mmol or above and you feel better, move on to step 3. If it's still below 4mmol, treat again with a sugary drink or snack and take another reading in 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Eat your main meal (containing carbohydrate) if you're about to have it or have a carbohydrate-containing snack – this could be a slice of toast with spread, a couple of biscuits, or a glass of milk.

You do not usually need to get medical help once you're feeling better if you only have a few hypos, but tell your diabetes team if you keep having them or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar goes low.

Read more on the NHS website.

You can lower your risk of low blood sugar if you have diabetes by checking your blood sugar, carrying a sugary snack with you and not skipping meals.

Read more on the NHS website.

If you have diabetes, low blood sugar can be caused by taking too much diabetes medicine, skipping meals or intense exercise.

Read more on the NHS website.