Passing out While Treating a Low?

Has anyone ever passed out while treating a low? You saw your sugar was 50, you took some glucose tabs / other sugar, but it still wasn’t enough.

It’s never happened to me, knock on wood, so I’ve been trying to be more conservative in treating lows to avoid overcorrecting and ending up way too high. It’s easier said than done when you’re actually in the midst of a bad low and all you want to do it get out of it!

no not me, i was at 34 once but never passed out. my dr. said you got to get down into the teens before you pass out.

This is why I carry a tube of icing with me and a glucogon kit with me at all times. Talk with your dr and have them prescribe a glucogon kit. Better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.

No, the one time I passed out (through making a mistake with insulin dosing when I was still very new to it) I “came to” and found myself sitting on my bed soaked in sweat, guessed what it was and was able (barely) to test and eat glucose tabs, but unable to process the time on the clock or count the tabs. I was 38 when I tested so I know I was probably lower and my liver kicked in. I think it varies at what level people lose consciousness depending on many factors including how quickly you’ve dropped.

I avoid overtreating by only using glucose tabs which I think of as medicine and won’t be inclined to overuse, knowing that 2 is enough when I am in the 50s, but 3 if I’m lower. I did overuse glucose tabs that one time because I was completely disoriented from being lower and passing out, but I’ve been that low since and treated with no problem It’s a habit I can do without much thought and I also keep the tabs nearby. I wouldn’t really worry about passing out with a blood sugar of 50 and even if it’s dropping it won’t go into the danger zone before the fast acting glucose can hit. I do have to confess that I am lucky that I do not experience the symptom of extreme hunger that most people report when they’re low, so I don’t have that pressure to overeat and overtreat.

MAAAANY TIMES! Well I’ve had d for 37 years and it has messed up my system now that I’ve had Type 1 that long. Yep when I check my bs and it’s low I will over eat and send myself waaaaay high but I can’t tell when I’m going low so I have to keep a constant check. Diabetes though is not my only problem and many times what helps one thing messes up another condition.

I’ve had a couple super low, but never passed out.

26 and still awake, ate some stuff. happened about 3 weeks after my dx

the other was really low, how low I don’t know. I was losing cutaneous sensation, stumbling and seeing spots when I was out for a run and about a mile from home. I ate 50 g of carbs (gummy bears) and made it home in about 30 min. After about another 10 min I tested at 36. So I’m guessing I was in the teens.

I have really bad hypglycaemic unawareness, so 50’s don’t budge me at all. I have to be near 40 to feel anything resembling a low and that’s only if I’m moving. If I’m driving or watching TV I will be in the 30’s before I feel it.

I have done that a few times. I came to and found strips around my meter – sometimes I managed to check and other times, I apparently tried a few unsuccessful times by the number of strips laying there. I have also left the glucose tablets open so I apparently even used glucose. I usually did not remember either checking or treating.

Yes, I do realzie that Don! And yes that was very funny but I have to add, you are in very good company here!

during the first few months after I was diagnosed, I would get some lows around lunch time, I think that the lowest I would allow was 56 before treating it by eating a couple of tablets or cookies and having a drink. But I never passed out. Now I have learned to recognize when I’m getting a low. I can usually feel it by the time that I am in the low 80’s or in the mid 70’s. I immediately grab a bite to eat, or if it is around my meal time, I eat that meal ASAP. I realize that it is not that easy for everyone, but I guess I have been fortunately in that aspect. :slight_smile:

I agree with you Don- this is a great place to both learn & share! Long ago I learned that even if you disagree or don’t like something someone says 99% of the time, that 1% can be the tip you need to hear so it is worth listening to!

Hello Doug:

And THIS makes me absolutely, insanely L-I-V-I-D.

The act of testing, when you KNOW full well that you are low, is just one of the “Darwin Principles” (see the annual “Darwin Awards”).

If we are low, we KNOW we are low… the idiotic act of searching for ones meter… searching for the strips, trying to get the blood out, etceteria, etceteria is DEADLY stupid waste of time. Treat for goodness sakes, you can feed your OCD about numbers after you’ve @#()@#@#@# treated

You want to get some ~magical number~ afterwards… knock yourself out. But to do so, and waste time we do not order to get a number in order to “validate” what you already know… to prove it

Dangerous, dangerous stupidity....


As I long timer, I do agree Stu., you do not really HAVE to test when you know you are low. And I can feel the difference between a mild low 55-65 and a super low ( in the 30’s) but sometimes I just want to see “how low I am” before I treat. Idle curiousity to see if the numerical feeling"comes up ( or down)" to the number I suspect…" Is it 55 or closer to 40? Let’s guess, and then let the meter tell the truth." A silly little diabetic game I do not need to play. I have never passed out while treating a low

God Bless,


In my case, it wasn’t a matter of deciding to look for the meter or treat. I did not remember trying to test. I did not remember trying to get glucose. I am hypo-unaware so for me, it just happens. My doctor also told me that I should just treat and test, but if you don’t know you are even doing something, how can you stop doing it?

Hello Ken:

Unconsciousness will prevent all self treatment.

The can starts looking like a “reading project” low enough. The ability to open it disappears seeking proof that is not remotely useful

Hense TREAT… test when/if you get around to it< -ggg-/strong>

Merely my opinion, I could surely be mistaken,


Again, that is easy if you know what you are doing. There is a reason they equate being low to being drunk - some of us do not realize what we are doing when we are low. If I knew what I was doing, I would grab the glucose over the meter. When you have no memory of anything going on, it is a l ittle hard to say treat first and test second.

I got to interject here. If you can feel your low (I can’t even when I’m in the 20’s) then I agree with Stuart EAT SOMETHING I can’t find the back of my hand sometimes but DON’T tell me I’m low. Good for those who have time to test but most of us older diabetics (Type 1 from 1973) have found that eating before checking it if you feel it is good. I’ve woke up MANY times to a paramedic giving me Dextros 50/50 after pasing out and seizing. Along with other’s here just my humble opinion.

Hello Kelly:

That is my basic point I guess. I try and avoid dangerous habits, those which guaranteed will or even have the likelihood of harming me, at all costs. Self-protection 101 … in my humble view.

Btw, Cr. COX out of U.VA. has done great work on hypo unawareness. Has a few surprising solutions…


I test my BS 18 times a day plus wear a CGMS. I have gastroparesis that adds problems that most people don’t have. You might call it dangerous habits, but I call it trying to keep tight control so the complications I have do not get worse. I also had some other health issues causing the lows - I mamanaged to go over 25 years before I ever passed out. I also know that one solution to hypo-unawareness is to raise my BS and I won’t do that. I already have neuropathy and running my BS high will only make it worse.

It’s only happened once to me, during the night, a year after diagnosis.

And in the 10years since then, not at all. I am fortunate enough to be able to feel my lows most of the time, and I check my BS about 7 times a day.

The key to lows is not using it as an excuse to eat whatever you want, and have portions to treat that you know how many carbs they are. It also depends if I’ve been exercising or not.
My usual snack is 4-5 apricots, then I give myself free reign over veggies to munch on with hummus or some yoghurt, I can’t help but eat EVERYTHING in sight when I am low!