Having a low blood sugar feels AWFUL. It can also be pretty scary. I remember when I was younger, my dad went to the gym without eating. He ended up passing out, and the gym had to call the paramedics. His blood sugar was 30-something. Y’all, it’s important to keep ourselves in check, and the only way to do that is to CHECK our blood sugars (see what I did there ?)
So, what is considered “low”? A low is defined as anything BELOW 70mg/dL. For my Canadian friends, that’s 3.8.
Some symptoms of a low are:
• Anxious, cranky, or confused
• Faster heartbeat
• Blurry vision or headache
• Numbness or tingling in mouth and lips
It’s important to note that not everyone has these symptoms! It’s completely possible to be LOW and NOT FEEL IT! That’s why we have to rely on our meters to let us know what’s going on!
You’ve tested. You’re low. Now what?
My suggestion is to follow the 15-15 rule.
Have 15g of carbohydrates. Wait 15 minutes and then test again. Still under 100? Repeat the process: 15g of carbs, wait 15 minutes, test again.
If your sugar returns to normal, be sure to eat a full meal within an hour. If you’re not able to eat a full meal, have a quick snack that has both carbs and protein.
Suggestions for what to eat are below!
What to eat when you’re low instead of eating the entire contents of your kitchen:
- glucose tablets (follow package instructions)
- gel tube (follow package instructions)
- 2 tablespoons of raisins
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of juice or regular soda (not diet)
- 1 tablespoon sugar, honey, or corn syrup (EW!)
- 8 ounces of nonfat or 1% milk
- hard candies, jellybeans, or gumdrops (see package to determine how many to consume)
The above are suggestions from the ADA for fast-acting carbohydrates. Seriously though, please don’t eat a tablespoon of sugar! *gag*
What to eat when you’re blood sugar is back to normal, but it’s isn’t meal-time yet:
- 1 ounce of low-fat cheese and 4 to 5 whole grain crackers
- 1 hard-cooked egg and 1 slice whole grain bread
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 3 graham crackers
- 1 ounce of nuts, such as almonds or peanuts, and 8 ounces low-fat or non-fat yogurt
- 1⁄2 cup cottage cheese and 1⁄2 small whole grain bagel
- 1 ounce of lean meat, such as turkey or chicken breast, and 1 small flour or corn tortilla
Hope this helps!
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