©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)

Question:

What kinds of treatments have been effective for your hypoglycemia? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: vicky26, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 30

I got told i was having a low blood sugar attack by the doctor when i was 15. I can remember my first attack like it was yesterday (i'm 26 now). I was in the bus station when i started to feel sick, my vision went and i couldn't walk properly. My friend helped me onto the bus. When i sat down my vision returned and i was dripping in sweat especially on my forehead. I had nothing to eat that day and was showing symptoms by 2:45pm. It is very scary to go through that when you don't know why it's happening. My doctor told me not to skip meals and carry something sweet with me all the time. I have been out on a 'night out' and had blackouts out a few times even though i've not been drunk. So it's true that alcohol affects it. I have had a few episodes since but i know now when i need to get something to eat. I get irratable and feel severe hunger to the point of feeling sick. Symptoms stop as soon as i get food.I normally carry glucose tablets with me. Does anyone know if i am more at risk of developing diabetes? I have no other health problems. I've been tested for diabetes and it was negative.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 09

I lost 50 pounds on a low carbohydrate diet in a 6 month period. After that I stayed on a relatively low carb diet for the next 2 years. Recently I begin blacking out and was hospitalized with severe hypoglycemia. The urgent care doctor called me pre-seizure. My sugar drops into the 40's and 60's even after eating. I am now including complex carbs in my diet but am still having episodes. My doctors suspect insulinoma but have not found it yet. I am a 57 year old woman, weigh 151 at 5'6". This low carb diet was not based on Atkins and was pretty balanced, including fruit and veggies. It did include a drug call phendimetrazine. The doctors I talked to in the hospital said that this was a bad drug and that it should be taken off the market. I had taken this medication while dieting for approximately 8 months. I am hoping that the dieting did not cause this problem but I have a feeling it did.

Comment from: healthytwoepisodes, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 20

In my first episode of hypoglycemia, I had just got a job. Car was not in a good shape. I thought I was having a heart attack and called 911. From the questions, I realized she was suspecting a panic attack. I was so relieved. Then it happened this morning. I was panicking but I kept it under control. I took deep breaths. I analyzed why it was happening. I had a stressful day yesterday. I ate very late and did not sleep well. I was planning to go for a dental appointment through really bad traffic. I cancelled the appointment. Ate well and avoided too much work. Now I am fine. I will avoid poor untimely meals.

Comment from: Joe, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I feel sweaty, shaky, and when blood sugar level is under 40 I see red kidney-shaped objects with flaming yellow surrounding those objects. Also I have had a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass 7 years ago. I carry glucose discs with me just in case I get an attack of hypoglycemia.

Published: September 01

I am a 51 year old who began having low sugar episodes, usually around 3:30 pm, since the 20's. Dr. told me at that time "so eat something". It has gotten progressively worse through the years to the point that I carry glucose tablets with me at all times, but I have had an episode where 2 tablets did not alleviate the sugar drop, but food did. I can feel it coming on for a few minutes prior to getting shaky and light headed, but this may happen anytime and numerous times during the day now. Especially scary are the episodes while I'm driving or taking a long walk. I find myself eating when I'm not hungry to stave off a future sugar drop and have put on too much weight as a result (5'7,160lbs). Sugar drops may be anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours after meals. I wish the medical profession would work harder on this health issue!

Comment from: Karen Rathgeb, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 03

I am 51 years old and have been having low blood sugar symptoms. I had weight loss surgery three years ago and just now, I have been having these symptoms: shaking, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath. I take my tablets with me everywhere I go. I have three small children and when I take them to school, I sometimes get an attack and need to pull over and take a tablet.

Comment from: Nery726 , 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 29

I am 58 years old. I began having low sugar episodes. It has gotten worse, as my doctor told me that I'm in line to develop diabetes.

Comment from: Trimama, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 29

I'm a triathlete and recently had real issues with low blood sugar. I also have low blood pressure. I was at a triathlon and passed out in transition and was pulled from the event with a blood sugar of 38. I am trying to get regulated but I have muscle weakness, ill feeling, sweaty palms, and I just feel terrible. My doctor wants me to not work out for a time being but, now I feel a little depressed not exercising. I have been eating more often but, still have ups and downs. I ate many times today and had dinner at 8pm by 9:45 felt dizzy, tested and was 70. Why low so quickly after eating protein, good carbs? This is just crazy. Eating every two hours, and the doctor limited me to two miles a day of running. That is barely a warm-up! I don't want to give up triathlons.

SLIDESHOW

Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis, Treatment, Medication See Slideshow
Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 14

I'm 33 and have had hypoglycemia for several years. When I first realized I had low blood sugar I began to carry candy in my purse at all times, but in talking to a different doctor and learning a bit more about my problem, I came to a much better solution. I now realize that having snacks with higher protein and less sugar level me out much quicker and last much longer. My favorites are beef jerky and almonds. I also like to eat Greek yogurt or a whole wheat bagel in the morning both of which also have much higher protein than the norm. Start out well in the morning and you'll be less likely to crash later in the day.

Comment from: NJfasto, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 07

Every so often with my hypoglycemia, I'll get that kind of feeling, “I need food now!” Well, I was doing some deliveries yesterday, and I made the error of not bringing any food or water with me in the truck. By my third delivery, I was getting frosty and woozy, my legs were heavy, etc. I knew I was in trouble, and I humbly asked a customer if I could have a glass of water. Next, I shot over to a food mart and got a Gatorade and Snickers that did the trick. But for half an hour, I was getting nervous. Food does the cure in a jiffy.

Comment from: becca, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

My father, my three brothers and I are all hypoglycemic. My dad (who learned it from his dad) calls it the weak trembles. None of us have ever known what is really was until recently. It had been a long day, and I had a three hour drive in front of me and I knew that I had to eat. Hadn't eaten anything all day except for an egg with toast and I could feel the weak trembles coming on strong. I stopped to eat, I took two bites of a fast food chicken sandwich and one sip of soda and my body freaked out. Long story short I ended up calling an ambulance and spent several hours in the hospital. I couldn't breathe and thought I was having a heart attack (I am a healthy 27). So humiliating to find why I went in. At Thanksgiving the family talked and I thought I would share our collective knowledge here no bread (ever!), before a physically demanding day eat fruit or something high in protein no pancakes, or waffles, or biscuits, etc. Peanut butter, honey, candy bars, ice cream are great immediate cures for the shakes during the day. Lay down if at all possible when the shakes come on. For me, the first sign that I need to eat is a cold sweat.

Comment from: Lucky Lady, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

I am a 56 year old woman, 5' 7" tall. In June I weighed 214 lbs and began a low carbohydrate diet. In the fall I started having severe headaches. I went to the doctor and she said I had a sinus infection, and prescribed antibiotics. After taking them, I still had the headaches. In the meantime, my husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I was messing with his blood sugar monitor, and came up 26 once and 'lo' once. When I went back to the doctor about my headaches, I mentioned this to her, and she said I was probably going too low on carbohydrates. I also discovered that I wasn't eating enough calories, (shows the importance of tracking what you eat). After increasing both the calories and carbohydrates, my blood sugar tested this morning at 97. However, I am still having the headaches, but not a severe. Low blood sugar may not be the cause of my headaches, but I am so glad I talked to my doctor about it. I could have been much worse off than just a headache if I had continued with my eating habits.

Comment from: knows, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I have had problems with my sugar levels dropping now for about 20 years. Recently a doctor told me to keep an eye on it and control it by eating more smaller meals, but what I have found is to drink one of the high protein weight loss-type (generic) shakes at mid-morning, then between lunch and supper drink another. This seems to help greatly to regulate my sugar throughout the day. Sometimes I have to drink another one but I've found also found that a huge spoon of peanut butter or a chunk of cheese (both high protein) works better than anything else I've tried. It's trial and error but the main thing is high protein. Good Luck!

Comment from: Teal_Magnolia, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 11

I was dx with hypo through 5-hour glucose tolerance test about 20 years ago. Proper eating habits keep my sugar level stable. When I do have the occasional drop (headache, shakes, confusion, panicky feeling) I drink about six ounces of milk. I wait about 15-minutes then drink more milk if needed. If I can, I follow immediately with a small meal.

Comment from: Troubledheart, 55-64 Female Published: October 31

Just recently I lost my brother to Type 1 diabetes hypoglycemic state. For years he has fought hypoglycemia. Without warning, he would become confused, shaky and sometimes violent. It took a sugary drink to bring him back to normal. He spoke of not being hungry and feeling sick. The other comments helped to fully understand the condition. He had a very expensive insulin pump but could not maintain his levels. With very good insurance, he did not have the very best medical care because the doctor could not help him manage the disease. His death was ruled cardiac arrest but he had no plague filled arteries. The most puzzling is that where he was lying, there were large wet spots where he apparently had sweated. The sweating is a symptom that most comments listed in association with hypoglycemic conditions. My best advice is to not marry a specific doctor. Continue to change and or research for ways to improve your health. Keep up with testing for your glucose levels, pancreas, liver and adrenal system. Don't let anything worry you to reduce your stress to control epinephrine from elevating your blood glucose, which can result in hypoglycemia.

QUESTION

______________ is another term for type 2 diabetes. See Answer
Comment from: Janice, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 13

I work at a hospital and sometimes we are so busy we don't have time to eat. I was working in the ER and it was packed with people. I started get really hot, nauseous, hungry, and felt faint. I knew I was in trouble and I needed to eat something but there was no time. Worse yet I had forgotten my money at home and had to run home at lunch and come back and could only grab a snack from a vending machine. It is a scary feeling to know you're going to pass out at any moment and there is nothing you can do to stop it. I now carry a drink on me and try to make sure I don't skip any meals.

Comment from: ael39pa, 65-74 Female Published: June 06

I have had hypoglycemia for many years and during this time I have learned to eat regularly--whether or not I am actually hungry. If I do not eat the proper combination/less than usual or if I am unusually late for a meal, I may get a "shakey spell." My quick remedy for this is an ounce or so of cheese---whatever is handy. When I worked, I kept cheese in office refrigerator. In 30 minutes or so, I usually felt better. Hope this helps someone else.

Comment from: Pamsue, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 03

My husband is 65 years old and diabetic. He insists on drinking beer once in awhile (when he does, it's heavy and won't eat). For the past 3 years he has had these hypoglycemia attacks about 5 times. It's very scary and you feel helpless. One time I actually called 911 because he was not aware I did and I was scared. He was losing it fast, and I had figured it had to do with drinking and his diabetes. Other times he wouldn't let me call. After the EMTs arrived they gave him an insulin shot and gave him an IV. His blood test showed it was down to 38. About a half hour later he was much better. They told me if it ever happened again, to make sure he eats a peanut and butter sandwich and drink juice (preferably orange juice) before he goes to bed and it should avoid this attack until he gets up in the morning for breakfast. Obviously, the best thing is to quit drinking! But oh no, a man won't do what a woman tells him…

Comment from: 75 or over Male Published: February 22

For my hypoglycemia, sugar cubes or non-diet soda works every time.

Published: October 26

I'm a type 2 diabetic. 16oz of cola or other caffeinated high sugar soda works faster than the glucose tablets.

Comment from: Kerri, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 27

My hypoglycemia was mild and undiagnosed until about ten years ago when I got lost on the way to work. I simply could not remember how to get there. After diagnosis, my doctor told me to eat 6 small meals each day, some protein and some carbs each time. I have found that, for me, the best solution is a balance of a minimum of 12 grams of protein and around 20-25 grams of carbs. This means most pasta or rice dishes are taboo.

Comment from: g-malu, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

I am a 58 yr old female. For years I have bee diagnosed as borderline-diabetic. My test results have always come back negative (glucose, A1C, etc). Lately I'm not able to get out of bed after working 3-11 shifts and midnights. Daylight shifts don't seem to be a big problem for me. I began checking my glucose level in the mornings and they have been as low as 28-54. During the waking hours they remain normal and at the end of the day they rise to about 100. My vision changed to 20/20 at age 40. I still don't need glasses. I am however, tired all the time and hungry all the time. My job is strenuous/physical. This has been going on for so long that it is very depressing. It began in the early 1990's and just recently peaked.

Comment from: NellB, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 01

I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia years ago. My mother, brothers and sisters have it in many different forms. I had first passed out from it about 6 years ago and have had bad episodes ever since. Symptoms usually start with nausea, then the sweats, shaking, rapid heartbeat, and confusion. Less severe symptoms include random mood swings, feeling lightheaded, and slight shaking of my hands. I usually have a bottle of orange juice with me at all times, along with peanut butter crackers, nuts, an apple, and plain yogurt. Constant snacking and balanced meals have been the only things that really help. Even with that sometimes it still flares up. The worst thing is trying to find a doctor that takes it seriously. Usually I'm met with "just pop a piece of candy." It sounds good, but not when you're in the middle of an episode and could choke. Find a doctor that understands the condition and can recommend a diet that works for you.

Comment from: 25-34 Male Published: November 16

Hi There! I am a 30 year old male, 6' and about 190 lbs. I work all day fueled by coffee until I remember to eat anything (usually around 2-3 PM). Often times, I run by the microwave in the office and toss in a meal. People find them hours later because I forget to come back and get them. My sugar reading was 44 on a blood test last year. People who exhibit similar behavior can end up with low blood sugars (a condition called hypoglycemia) that can then flip over to diabetes anytime. Once that happens, it is irreversible. I just got off the phone with a nice person who requires a machine insider their stomach to keep track of sugar levels and also a 24-hour pump that delivers insulin. The warning to me should be offered to everyone. If you forget to eat or think you are too busy to take time for more than 1-2 meals a day - think again or it could cost you much more than the 5 minutes a day it takes to stop and eat.

Comment from: Marti, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 03

I am 63 and have had hypoglycemia for over 30 years. It started when I was a member of Diet Center in the 80's, a low or no carb diet. I would wake up around 3 PM starving to death and would just about make it to the kitchen for a few bites of banana. Now even though I eat carbs during the day, I rarely have a night when I do not wake up with severe hunger. I have learned to keep a bag of pecans by my bed side. It helps me to fall back to sleep but come morning I am very hungry again. Another symptom during the 3 PM feeding is stomach or intestine noise. I feel as though when my body has no more food to digest that instead of using stored energy, my body registers starvation. I have been watching my food intake for years but have not been losing weight.

Comment from: 45-54 Female Published: November 02

Eating small meals between breakfast lunch and dinner is essential, i.e.: banana, cheese and whole grain crackers, peanut butter on apple slices. Never slip breakfast, your body needs a constant source of energy or blood sugar will start off low, first thing in the morning. I keep a brown paper bag in my nightstand to breathe into if hyperventilation-type symptoms set in (usually in the evening after I am emotionally and or physically drained). Visualize yourself calming down and control your breathing, drink sips of water, then orange juice or a small amount of a soda to replace the necessary sugar into your system. Follow up with cheese and crackers. The hypoglycemic reaction dissipates if you feel that you can eat something. I am exhausted after these episodes and need to rest. Stay positive and learn to see what triggers the symptoms. Exercise to help manage stress, that can trigger symptoms. Learn to prioritize, type-A people need to know their limits. These symptoms are scary but they do pass. They can be managed and they sometimes come out of nowhere it seems. Educate those around you and let them know that they can offer reassurance that you will be fine.

Comment from: marwal, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 02

The past few days I've been really anxious and having night sweats. And when I eat, which is only about twice a day, as I'm rarely hungry, I feel like I'm so ravenous and I can't get the food in fast enough. As a person with an anxiety disorder, I just passed this all off. But tonight I was in the grocery store, and knew I was in trouble when I started to shake, sweat, and get a little confused. I took the last 'sugared' pop from the cooler at the deli section, opened it and guzzled it. Twenty minutes later, it was as if nothing had happened. It really scared me though, and I ate a normal meal when I got home, even though I wasn't hungry. I take an immunosuppressant for a chronic illness (not diabetes), and I need to go for kidney and liver function blood work regularly. I haven't gone for blood work in a very long time. And I was reading in the article that it's a good idea to check kidney and liver function. I'd better go to the lab next week! I don't have any form of diabetes, and even had a glucose tolerance test done earlier this year, and I was normal. Now I'm worried that low blood sugar might hit me at any time! I'm just going to have to carry sugary snacks with me for now, until I find out what's going on.

Comment from: Brian, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 07

I have been experiencing hypoglycemia symptoms for many years now. A few years ago after taking a glucose blood test for diabetes, I had a huge sugar crash after drinking some coffee on an empty stomach before eating. I came close to passing out at the table before shoveling food down my throat. Ever since then, my hypoglycemic attacks seem to sneak up on me unexpectedly. This leaves me anxious and weak for the next few days. I wish there was something I could do for myself, since its happening more often.

Comment from: (Caregiver) Published: October 07

Long before I came along, my dad has suffered from hypoglycemia (among a lot of other health issues). I knew what glucose sugar tablets were before I started kindergarten. I also learned that when Dad turned pasty white, shaky, and sweat poured down his forehead, to grab a bag of candy and a Pepsi.

Comment from: HypoglycemiaGuy, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 01

Lately every morning I have an attack if I don't 15 minutes prior to getting on the train to work. I have not had these attacks before. I used to get the shacks during the day warning me to eat. Now I get no warning! When the attack comes on I feel like I walked into an oven, then I feel sick and have to lie down. I am poring sweat from all pours. I take a glucose pill and start felling better in about 15 minutes, but I am drained of energy for the day. A couple months ago I had an attack on the train also but this time I stood up during the attack and passed out. In need help to know what I need to do each morning in order not to have these attacks.

Comment from: mkvy, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 26

I just had an attack of hypoglycemia and pulled over to eat. While waiting for that feeling to go away I read the comments on this site. It was helpful. I try to eat high protein snacks every two hours although sometimes symptoms sneak up on me. It scares me. I worry about diabetes because my situation is becoming harder to manage with food. Stress and labor seem to be a factor.

CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors