First Aid – Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can lead to many signs and symptoms.
It can be caused by taking too much insulin, timing of physical activity, and different stressors. Here are a couple of symptoms related to low blood sugar:

1. Sweating and anxiety
When the body is low on sugar, it can trigger the release of hormones like epinephrine which can cause sweating and feelings of nervousness.

2. Fast heartbeat
A quick pulse and possible heart palpitations are possible with hypoglycemia.

3. Hunger
If the person is conscious and can still swallow, feed them high sugar foods like candy, or drink sugary fruit juice. If they are unconscious or cannot swallow, they will need a glucagon injection from medical personnel.

4. Dizziness
When someone experiences low blood sugar, their brain tries to conserve all the energy possible which can result in dizziness.

5. Confusion
As hypoglycemia worsens, a person may become more disoriented and confused.

It is important to stay calm with someone who is experiencing low blood sugar. Severe low blood sugar is defined as under 54mg/dL. Normal fasting (no food for 8 hours) blood sugar is between 70-100mg/dL. Being a new user of insulin can also increase the risk of low blood sugar. Read more about hypoglycemia here. Getting medical attention and sugar to a person with low blood sugar can prevent more severe complications. Sign up for a first aid/CPR AED class here.

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