Low blood sugar (Hypoglycaemia)

Low blood sugar is known as hypoglycemia, a 'hypo', having a 'low', or 'going low.'

You can go low if you:

  • Don't eat enough carbs
  • Don't eat enough food, or eat less than usual
  • Skip or delay a meal
  • Take too much insulin or other diabetes medication

Learn about the Treatment of Severe Low Blood Sugar


You may also develop low blood sugar if you:

  • Are more active than usual (spring cleaning your house, moving, digging the garden, running for a cab or dancing at a party)
  • Drink alcohol
  • Are stressed or become ill
  • Get overheated
  • Accidently inject your insulin into a muscle (rather than the fatty layer under the skin)

People can vary in how they feel when they are having a hypo, but typical symptoms may include:

  • Weakness, tiredness
  • Hunger
  • Dizziness, shakiness
  • Nervous upset, agitation
  • Sweating
  • High heart rate
  • Confusion, irritability

In time, you will learn to recognize when a hypo is coming on. Since diabetes is different for everyone, it is helpful to check with your diabetes care team to discuss what is considered low blood sugar for you.