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This website has been developed by CORU registered Renal Dietitians

What should I use to treat a low blood glucose (sugar) or hypoglycaemia?

You should treat a low blood glucose (sugar) level immediately

with rapid-acting carbohydrates such as:

  • 150mls ordinary 7up or orange (small glass)
  • 5 dextrose/ Lucozade tablets

It is therefore important to carry a hypo treatment

with you at all times. After 10-15 minutes check your blood glucose (sugar) levels again:

If less than 4mmol/L

take another rapid acting carbohydrate source as above.

If greater than 4 mmol/L

and you are due a meal or snack within the next hour, you will not need to take any additional carbohydrate until then.  However, if not eating for over an hour you should take additional carbohydrate to maintain your blood glucose (sugar) such as:

  • A slice of bread
  • A digestive / 2 Rich tea biscuits
  • A portion of fruit

Foods which are NOT suitable  for immediate treatment of low blood glucose (sugar) include: chocolate, crisps, biscuits, sandwich, cup of tea with milk and sugar. This is because it takes too long for the glucose (sugar) to be released from these foods. Orange juice is not suitable as it is high in potassium.

Important Notice:

The nutritional content of Lucozade Energy is changing

The carbohydrate content of Lucozade Energy is being reduced by approximately 50%. Therefore you will need to take more Lucozade to correct your hypoglycaemic (low blood sugar) episode.

From April 2017, the new Lucozade bottles and cans will be available.  For a period of time, both old and new versions may be on the shelves together.  It is therefore important that you remember to check the label for the amount of carbohydrate it contains.

To correct a hypo (low blood sugar level) you need to take 15g of rapidly absorbed carbohydrate.  The new Lucozade product contains 8.9g carbohydrate per 100mls.  Therefore you will now need to take 170mls to get 15g of carbohydrate to correct your hypo.

It is important to check labels regularly to ensure you are getting the right amount of carbohydrate as other brands of fizzy drinks may also change their sugar content

Barbara Gillman, Clinical Specialist Renal Dietitian, Mater Misercordiae University Hospital