The early symptoms of hypoglycemia—typically when blood sugar drops to 70 mg/dL or below—are a warning that you must immediately eat or drink something with sugar to raise your blood glucose level. Once blood glucose drops to below 40 mg/dL, you may develop severe neurologic symptoms that require emergency treatment.
Become familiar with both the early and the severe symptoms of hypoglycemia so you can act quickly:
- Early symptoms: Anxiety, headache, hunger, irritability, profuse sweating, shakiness
- Nighttime symptoms: Nightmares, profuse sweating, restlessness
- More severe symptoms requiring urgent action: Confusion, disorientation, dizziness, drowsiness, impaired vision, lack of coordination, muscle weakness, numbness in the fingers or around the mouth, personality changes, slurred speech
- Emergency symptoms: Seizures, loss of consciousness
This article first appeared in the January 2020 issue of UC Berkeley Health After 50.