Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

0SHARES

Treatment

If a conscious person is having symptoms of hypoglycemia, the symptoms usually go away if the person eats or drinks something sweet (sugar tablets, candy, juice, non-diet soda). An unconscious patient can be treated with an immediate injection of glucagon or with intravenous glucose infusions in a hospital.

People with diabetes who have hypoglycemic episodes may need to adjust their insulin dose or change their diet or exercise habits.

Even if you recognize that your symptoms are caused by hypoglycemia, you should treat yourself or seek treatment, and not try to just "tough it out." People with long-standing diabetes may stop experiencing the usual early warning symptoms of hypoglycemia. This is called hypoglycemic unawareness, and it can be very serious because the person may not know to seek treatment. If you and your doctor identify that you are unaware when you have low blood sugars, your dose of insulin probably will need to be reduced. You probably will need to check your blood sugar more often. You may need your insulin dose adjusted frequently to maintain reasonable blood sugars (but not "perfect" sugars) with less risk of hypoglycemia.

An insulinoma is treated with surgery to remove the tumor. Hypoglycemia caused by problems with the adrenal or pituitary glands is treated by replacing the missing hormones with medication. Nondiabetic people with hypoglycemic symptoms following meals are treated by modifying their diet. They usually need to eat frequent, small meals and avoid fasting.

Page 6 of 9     Next Page:  Hypoglycemia When to Call A Doctor
Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

You can find more great health information on the Harvard Health Publications website.