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Going low? Common symptoms of hypos

Your diabetes care team will be able to provide the best guidance for how to manage your condition and how to manage hypoglycaemia. Please always consult with your doctor prior to making any changes to your diabetes management.

The information below is general disease awareness and does not replace medical guidance.

In this section, we will provide some ideas for how to manage your blood sugar  to help you stay within your optimal blood sugar range and reduce the risk of getting a low blood sugar level, which is also called hypoglycaemia or a “hypo”.

How to spot a hypo – common symptoms

Some of the common symptoms of hypos include confusion, intense hunger, feeling sick, clumsiness, blurred vision and slurred speech. You may find you experience one or more of these when your blood sugar levels are low. Or a family member or friend might mention that you are acting a little strangely or that you look unwell.

Helping be prepared for hypos

Having a daily routine is one of the best ways to help you adapt to your new life during this unprecedented situation. Creating a daily routine, planning your mealtimes and ensuring you eat regularly, plus having planned time to check your blood sugar levels and take your insulin, will help you to spend more time within your ideal blood sugar range and reduce the risk of getting hypos.

It is also a good idea to manage your stress levels to help reduce the likelihood of hypos. Try reading, meditating, yoga, or perhaps something creative, like painting and drawing. Spending time with any pets you may have can also help ease any worries and stress. See this article to learn more about how to deal with stress.

So while responding with anxiety to something is sometimes reasonable, let’s discuss different ways to reduce the risk and impact of anxiety and discomfort.

It would be beneficial for your blood sugar balance, as well as your overall well-being, even if you just exercise for 10 minutes a day indoors – or outdoors if at all possible. There are many online fitness classes that you may wish to try. More ideas can be found in the “Tips for Exercise” section here.

Prolonged periods of stress can also lead to changes in blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of hypos. You can read more about how to monitor your blood sugar here.

If you are having difficulties in controlling your blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of hypos, you should seek the advice of your doctor or nurse.

This is general disease awareness and should not be understood as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, you should contact your healthcare professional.

  1. NHS UK. Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia). Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/low-blood-sugar-hypoglycaemia/. Last accessed: January 2024.
  2. Diabetes.co.uk. Diabetes and stress. Available from: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-destress.html. Last accessed: January 2024.
  3. Diabetes.co.uk. Stress and Blood Glucose Levels. Available from: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/stress-and-blood-glucose-levels.html. Last accessed: January 2024
  4. Diabetes.co.uk. Simple vs Complex Carbs. Available from: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/nutrition/simple-carbs-vs-complex-carbs.html. Last accessed: January 2024.