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Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes > How to Manage Type 2 Diabetes

How to Lower the Risk of Low Blood Sugar

Know the things that can make your blood sugar drop, such as fasting for tests, exercising, and sleeping. Low blood sugar may increase the risk of harm to yourself or others, such as when you are driving.

Avoiding low blood sugar is not always possible, but there are steps you can take that may help. Be sure to take your insulin as prescribed, watch your sugar intake, and use caution during and after exercising.

  • Space meals evenly throughout the day. Talk to your doctor about a plan for healthy eating
  • Keep a supply of healthy snacks on hand
  • Take your type 2 diabetes medicine as directed by your doctor
  • Tell others about your type 2 diabetes
  • Ask your health care team when you should call them and when to call 911. Keep a list of emergency numbers with you: Your doctor’s name and phone number and your pharmacy’s phone number
  • Carry a list of your medicines in your wallet or purse
  • Check your blood sugar levels the way your health care team advises you. Keep a record and bring it with your meter to your doctor. You should do this for future visits as well. Make sure to tell your doctor if you have had high or low blood sugar levels

Make sure to take steps to manage your type 2 diabetes, and learn to spot low blood sugar, so you can treat it quickly before it gets worse.

Remember, low blood sugar can be serious if not treated immediately.

What should you do if you have low blood sugar?

Low blood sugar is also called hypoglycemia.

  1. If your blood sugar is below 70 mg/dL, or if you have any of the symptoms of low blood sugar, eat or drink 15 to 20 grams of glucose or simple carbohydrates. The items below are commonly used:
    • 1/2 cup of fruit juice or regular soda (not diet)
    • 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, or corn syrup
    • 2 tablespoons of raisins
    • 1 cup of low-fat (1%) or fat-free milk
    • glucose tablets (follow package instructions)
  2. Wait 15 minutes. Then check your blood sugar again.
  3. If your blood sugar is still below 70 mg/dL, or if you do not feel better, repeat step 1 every 15 or 20 minutes until your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL or above.
  4. If your next meal is 1 hour or more away, eat a snack once your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL or above.
  5. If you still do not feel better, or if your blood sugar stays below 70 mg/dL, call your doctor right away.

You should have a medical ID with you at all times, which can offer important information to medical personnel if you are unable to speak. For example, the ID can state that you have type 2 diabetes and whether or not you use insulin, and include drug allergy information.

Ask your doctor when you should call him or her. You will probably want to call him or her when you:
  • Have been sick
  • Have a fever that is not going away
  • Have been throwing up or having diarrhea for more than 6 hours
  • Are not sure how to take care of yourself when you are sick