Alcohol & hypoglycaemia

If your blood glucose level drops too low (hypoglycaemia), the body cannot function normally. Hypoglycaemia is caused by too much insulin, too much exercise, too little food or consumption of alcohol.

Hypoglycaemia can happen quickly. The symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Nervousness
  • Hunger
  • Mood changes
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Vision changes
  • Fainting

When any of these symptoms occur, check your blood glucose immediately. This test will confirm whether your blood glucose level is too low. Urine tests are not helpful at this time.

Treatment

If you can't do a blood glucose test right away, stop all activity and take some form of sugar. A half a cup of fruit juice, 3 - 4 hard candies or 2-3 tsp of sugar, can bring your blood glucose level back towards normal.

Diet soft drinks and artificial sweeteners cannot be used to treat low blood glucose.

Your diabetes educator will prepare you with a response plan so you'll know exactly what to do. If low blood glucose symptoms occur frequently, tell your doctor.

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