Managing hypoglycaemia

What is hypoglycaemia?

Page Highlights

  • Understanding the factors that can lead to hypoglycaemia

Experiencing hypoglycaemia can be frightening, and can result in a real fear of further hypoglycaemic events.

Hypoglycaemia can occur for a variety of reasons, and is usually the result of excessive insulin in the body. This causes too much glucose from the bloodstream into the cells, taking away the critical source of energy that the body and the brain need to function.

Some of the main factors that can lead to hypoglycaemia are:

  • Delayed or skipped meals
  • Low carbohydrate meals or overestimation of meal carb content
  • High fat meals
  • Over bolusing
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Exercise
  • Inappropriate basal insulin dose

I opted for the pump after a long period of hypos, which would also occur at night. My girlfriend woke up one night because I had convulsions. She dragged me to a cold shower, gave me some sugar. After that I asked my doctor to try the pump, since I read a lot of positive experiences about it on the internet. I then started wearing it.



Hypoglycaemia (“hypos”) refers to when the blood glucose levels fall below 3.5 mmol/L, although the exact figure can vary between individuals. Hypoglycaemia can be mild or severe.

Mild hypoglycaemia: where the symptom can be felt and action can be taken to prevent it becoming worse by eating or drinking something containing carbohydrates.

Severe hypoglycaemia: requires assistance from another person and may need hospital treatment.

The fear of having lower blood glucose and the risk of hypoglycaemia can result in some people with Type 1 deliberately keeping glucose levels high to avoid going too low. However, over long periods of time, this self-induced hyperglycaemia can lead to complications. Better control of glucose levels, will help avoid both highs and lows.

The content and all information provided on this website is for your informational use only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any manner. The patient stories provided are experiences specific to a particular patient. Responses to a treatment may vary from patient to patient. Always talk with your physician about diagnosis and treatment information and ensure that you understand and carefully follow that information.

© 2016 Medtronic International Trading Sarl™. All Rights Reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means without permission from Medtronic International Trading Sarl. MiniMed, Bolus Wizard, SMARTGUARD, Guardian, Enlite and CareLink are trademarks of Medtronic, Inc. and its subsidiaries. CONTOUR is a trademark of Bayer Healthcare LLC.