Skip to main content
Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)

A low blood sugar, also called hypoglycaemia or a "hypo", is where the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood drops too low.

Some of the signs of a low blood sugar level include trembling, sweating, dizziness and a fast heartbeat.

To treat low blood sugar level, quickly have some sweets or a sugary drink. Then have your main meal, if it's time to, or a carbohydrate snack.

If you have diabetes, the main cause of a low blood sugar level is diabetes medicine, skipping meals or intense exercise.

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

Read more on the NHS website.

Some of the signs of a low blood sugar level include trembling, sweating, dizziness and a fast heartbeat.

Symptoms of a low blood sugar level

A low blood sugar level can affect everyone differently. You'll learn how it makes you feel, although your symptoms may change over time.

Early signs of a low blood sugar level include:

If a low blood sugar level is not treated, you may get other symptoms, such as:

A low blood sugar level, or hypo, can also happen while you're sleeping. This may cause you to wake up during the night or cause headaches, tiredness or damp sheets (from sweat) in the morning.

Read more on the NHS website.

To treat low blood sugar level, quickly have some sweets or a sugary drink. Then have your main meal, if it's time to, or a carbohydrate snack.

Self-care

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

  1. Have a sugary drink or snack – like a small glass of fizzy drink (not a diet variety) or fruit juice, a small handful of sweets, 3 or 6 glucose tablets or 1 to 2 tubes of glucose gel.
  2. Test your blood sugar after 10 to 15 minutes – if it's improved and you feel better, move on to step 3. If there's little or no change, treat again with a sugary drink or snack and take another reading after 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. You may need to eat your main meal (containing a slow-release carbohydrate) if it's the right time to have it. Or, have a snack that contains a slow-release carbohydrate, such as a slice of bread or toast, a couple of biscuits, or a glass of cows' 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 hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.

Read more on the NHS website.

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

Read more on the NHS website.

If you have diabetes, the main cause of a low blood sugar level is diabetes medicine, skipping meals or intense exercise.

Read more on the NHS website.