Not 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.)
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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