is a collaborative health campaign, to help improve the “unawareness” or “impaired” awareness of hypoglycemia. Its goal is help patients and the public recognize symptoms of hypoglycemia early, so action can be taken sooner, to prevent complications.
It is important for patients, caregivers, providers, and the public to all be in the KNOW.
A mild case of hypoglycemia may cause shakiness, headache, sweating, clammy skin, or a pounding heartbeat. Your blood glucose level falls to 54–69 mg/dL. Mild hypoglycemia can generally be treated by consuming 15 grams of a fast-acting sugar source, such as fruit juice, non-diet soda, hard candies, or glucose tablets.
If hypoglycemia becomes severe, you may not be able to safely swallow food or drink. By this point, your blood glucose level is less than 54 mg/dL—often below 40 mg/dL. You may feel very confused, pass out, or have a seizure. Without prompt treatment, severe hypoglycemia may lead to a coma or even death.
Fortunately, severe hypoglycemia can be treated with prescription glucagon. It is given by:
Someone else will likely need to administer the glucagon, but this person does not have to be a health care professional. Relatives, friends, coworkers, and others can learn to give glucagon.
Being prepared for severe hypoglycemia is an important part of diabetes management. This involves talking with your healthcare provider about the signs and symptoms of low blood glucose and the actions to take.
As a family member, friend, or caregiver, you want to do your best to keep your loved one, friend, or patient safe from severe hypoglycemia. Knowing what’s best can be overwhelming. Here are some resources to help.
Remember severe hypoglycemia is preventable!
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