Treatment and Prevention
Symptoms of non-severe hypoglycaemia can be treated with 15 g fast-acting carbohydrate,4 such as a few small sweets or cup of juice, milk, or sweetened drink. Treatment is also advised in asymptomatic patients with blood glucose in the “alert range” of 3.5 to 3.9 mmol/L (63 to 70 mmol/L). If glucose levels remain low after 15 minutes, treatment should be repeated.1,2
In a conscious person, severe hypoglycaemia can be treated in a similar manner with 20 g fast-acting carbohydrates. If glucose remains low after 45 minutes, IV glucose can be considered if available.3 In an unconscious person, hypoglycaemia is treated with IV glucose or with glucagon.
- Deary IJ et al. Partitioning the symptoms of hypoglycaemia using multi-sample confirmatory factor analysis. Diabetologia 1993;36:771.
- Cryer PE. Management of hypoglycemia during treatment of diabetes mellitus. UpToDate review, last updated May 15, 2014.
- Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 clinical practice guidelines. Chapter 14: Hypoglycaemia. Can J Diabet 2013;A3.
- The hospital management of hypoglycaemia in adults with diabetes mellitus. NHS