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Why Hypoglycemia Is Way Worse Than Being “Hangry"

Read these 11 tips for how to spot symptoms now and a hypoglycemic patient will thank you later. Learn more here!

Hanger is when someone misses lunch and becomes so grumpy that their partner (and even the cat) must hide...

Black cat in brown paper back.

1. ...but hypoglycemia is different! It happens when your blood sugar levels drop dangerously low. People with and without diabetes can suffer from it.

Woman sitting on bed holding her head.

Typically, it's when glucose levels fall below 70 mg/dl, though this may be different for everyone depending on their treatment!

2. There are lots of causes for hypoglycemia, like a diabetes diagnosis, certain diabetes meds, drinking too much alcohol, age, and working out too much without enough nutrition.

Young woman leaning on the concrete wall, taking a break

3. 1 in 5 people with diabetes are terrified that they might pass out in public.

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4. So what can you do to help? Take the time to learn the signs and be prepared to take action during a hypoglycemic episode.

Man sitting at table using laptop with coffee and biscuits nearby.

5. The main things to look for are nausea and dizziness, a fast heartbeat, sweating and/or chills, and unusual irritability or moodiness.

Older man looking unwell on blue couch.

Learn about more serious symptoms and how to act here.

6. So what's next? Give the patient a sugary drink or some candy and follow the "Rule Of 15".

Colorful red and green hard candies covered in sugar.

The “Rule of 15” advises patients to eat 15 grams of carbs or simple sugars, and then recheck their blood sugar levels after 15 minutes. If their levels are still low, they should eat another 15 grams of carbohydrates and recheck again after another 15 minutes. This rule should be continued until blood sugar is at target level.

7. Another safe tactic? Be prepared!

Single mother playing with young sons in front of house.

8. ...Check blood sugar levels regularly, but especially before and after meals, before and after exercise, and before bed...

Man sitting on stairs checking blood sugar.

9. ...teach your circle of support (family, friends, co-workers) what to do…

Mother and daughter in the kitchen chatting happily on a sunny morning.

10. ...and have an emergency hypoglycemia rescue kit on hand.

Sick young woman lying in the bed covered with blanket. Ill woman lying in bed with high temperature.

11. Simple prep goes a long way – so you can take an active role during a hypoglycemic episode.

The image displays a teenager lying down on a couch in the dark. The light from the screen of his smartphone is illuminating his face.

So let's all spread some knowledge and keep our loved ones safe!

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Get the full Lowdown on Low Blood Sugar at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology!

Images via Getty unless otherwise specified.