Mild Hypoglycemia: Symptoms & Treatment
Diabetes eTraining Slide 12

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The symptoms of mild hypoglycemia are the first alert that the body is in a state of sugar deficiency.  

Symptoms may include the following:

  • Extreme hunger           
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors                       
  • Changed personality
  • Shakiness                    
  • Dizziness
  • Lethargic                     
  • Headache
  • Pallor                           
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sweating                       
  • Increased heart rate/palpitations
  • Clammy skin

Mild hypoglycemia can usually be treated easily and effectively.

Treatment of Mild Hypoglycemia

The onset and progression of hypoglycemia happens quickly.  Knowing and following the basics of prevention is vitally important to a student’s health, learning capacity, safety and feeling of security. 

  • Keep a quick-acting source of sugar with the student.  ALWAYS. During school hours, extracurricular activities, field trips and exams.
  • Treat promptly at the onset of symptoms to prevent the progression to severe symptoms

When in doubt, always treat for low blood sugar.

The “RULE of 15”

  1. Eat or drink fast acting carbohydrates (15g). 
  2. Check blood glucose 10-15 minutes after treatment
  3. Repeat treatment of 15 grams carbohydrates if blood glucose level remains low (per doctor’s order) and recheck in another 15 minutes
  4. Call parent/guardian

Any quick-acting glucose can be used to treat hypoglycemia. 

Limit intake to 15 grams (or other amount as specified in the plan) or the student will experience a high blood glucose later.  The goal is to bring the blood glucose back to the target range.

Remember:  Treatment may need to be repeated at about 15 minute intervals (based on continued low test results or poor symptom response.)  Each treatment dose should be 15g unless otherwise stated in the student’s School Health Emergency Plan. Students need to eat a complex carbohydrate with some protein after correcting hypoglycemia if they are not eating a meal within the next 30 minutes.

Examples of 15g quick acting glucose include:  

  • 4 oz. fruit juice
  • 3 or 4 glucose tablets 
  • 1 tube of glucose gel
  • 4-6 small hard candies
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honey
  • 6 oz. regular (not diet) soda (about half a can)
  • 3 teaspoons of table sugar (dissolved in water)
  • One small tube of cake mate gel




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