You have carried out a blood glucose measurement and the blood sugar values show that your blood sugar level is too low. In this case you certainly don’t need to panic, but you do need to take action. Low blood sugar can be dangerous and you can do several things to protect yourself from the harmful effects of hypoglycaemia.
Nutrients for low blood sugar
Most people correct their low blood sugar levels by consuming certain foods and drinks. You can read on this page what is best to eat or drink when your blood sugar level is too low. By reading through the information on this page, you will know exactly how to treat your hypoglycemia.
Eating and drinking when your blood sugar level is too low
If you have a hypoglycemia, it is important to eat or drink something sweet quickly. By eating or drinking something sweet, your blood sugar level rises quickly and thus your hypoglycemia is controlled. The Netherlands Nutrition Center advises people with hypoglycemia to take 6 to 8 glucose tablets (dextrose). These tablets dissolve quickly in the blood and can quickly and effectively increase the low blood sugar level.
Sports drink and lemonade
You can also choose to drink a glass of high energy sports drink or a large amount of strong lemonade in case of hypoglycemia. If you drink lemonade to increase your low blood sugar level, you need to make sure it contains sugar. There are a lot of lemonades without added sugars and these drinks do not help with low blood sugar levels. Therefore, check the label of your lemonade carefully before drinking. Good to know: lemonade with glucose works better than lemonade with fructose.
Treat low blood sugar with granulated sugar
Do you not have glucose tablets, sports drink or lemonade? Then you can also treat your low blood sugar with ordinary granulated sugar. According to the Nutrition Centre, you need about 20 grams of granulated sugar to bring your blood sugar level back to normal. This amounts to about 5 sugar cubes.
How do I dissolve the granulated sugar?
It is best to dissolve the sugar cubes in a glass of juice, a glass of soda or just a glass of water. If you dissolve the sugar, it will be absorbed into your blood more quickly and this means that your hypoglycemia will be treated faster. It may not be tasty to drink a glass of juice, soda or water with five sugar cubes, but it is good for your blood sugar level. To avoid the negative effects of hypoglycemia, drinking sugar water is definitely a must.
No sugar? Then take one of these products
Do you also have no sugar? Then you can take fruit, milk, bread or cake to raise your blood sugar level. These products offer a solution in case of hypoglycemia, but work slower than the other products described on this page. This means that with these products it takes a little bit longer for the sugar to be absorbed into the blood and that your hypoglycemia lasts a little longer.
Fruit, milk or bread
We recommend that you eat a bit more fruit, milk, bread or cookies if you have low blood sugar. The sugar from these products is not only absorbed more slowly into the blood, but there is simply less sugar in it. This means that you need more of these foods to raise your blood sugar level.