Insulin shock; Low blood sugar
Treatment depends on the cause.
If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar level whenever you have symptoms of low blood sugar. If your blood sugar is low (70 mg/dL), you need to treat yourself right away.
Eat something that has about 15 grams of carbohydrates. Examples are:
Wait about 15 minutes before eating anything else. Be careful not to over-treat by eating too much. This can cause high blood sugar and weight gain.
Check your blood sugar again.
If these steps for raising your blood sugar do not work, call your doctor right away.
Persons with severe hypoglycemia are treated with glucose injections or the hormone glucagon. Immediate treatment is needed to prevent serious complications or death.
If hypoglycemia is caused by an insulinoma (insulin-releasing tumor), surgery to remove the tumor is the best treatment.
Untreated, hypoglycemia from too much insulin can lead to loss of consciousness and coma.
Severe hypoglycemia is a medical emergency that may cause seizures and permanent damage to the nervous system if not treated. Severe hypoglycemia in which you become unconscious is also called insulin shock.
Learn to recognize the early warning signs of hypoglycemia and treat yourself quickly.
If signs of low blood sugar do not improve after you have eaten a snack that contains sugar:
DO NOT drive when your blood sugar is low.
Get medical help right away for a person with diabetes or low blood sugar who:
American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes--2011. Diabetes Care. 2011;34 Supl 1:S11-S61.
Cryer PE. Glucose homeostasis and hypoglycemia. In: Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR. Kronenberg: Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 33.
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