Are You at Risk for Low Blood Sugar?

211 tip picNot everyone with diabetes is at the same level of risk for low blood sugar. You are at the same risk for lows if you take insulin and/or one or more blood glucose-lowering medication(s).

If you have type 2 diabetes and take insulin or a glucose-lowering medication, you have a smaller risk of having a severe low, but still need to always be prepared. If you don't take any glucose-lowering medications, your risk of a low blood sugar episode is very low.

Research shows people with type 1 diabetes may experience mild to moderate low blood sugar with symptoms about 43 times a year. Severe low blood sugar may occur twice a year.

People with type 2 diabetes, if using glucose-lowering medication, may experience mild to moderate low blood sugar with symptoms about 16 times a year. Severe low blood sugar may occur about once every five years. (The longer you have type 2 diabetes, the more likely it is that you will need several blood glucose-lowering medicines that may include insulin.)

Source:
Perlmutter LC, Flanagan BP, Shah PH, Singh SP: Glycemic Control and Hypoglycemia: Is the loser the winner? Diabetes Care 31: 2072-73 2008.

Tip courtesy of Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, diabetes educator, consultant, and member of the CanAm Care advisory board; and Riva Greenberg, diabetes patient-expert, author, speaker and Huffington Post columnist.

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