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Basic Skills

Treating Hypoglycemia (Lows)

By in Basic Skills

The “Rule of 15” is a guideline for treating hypoglycemia (low blood glucose.)  If your blood glucose is under 70 mg/dl, take 15 grams of carbohydrates.

Here are some items that contain 15 grams of carbohydrate:

  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 3–4 glucose tablets
  • 1/3 can regular soda
  • 1 dose of glucose gel (in most cases, 1 small tube is one dose)
  • 1 tablespoon of honey or syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or 5 small sugar cubes
  • 4 LifeSavers

Wait about 15 minutes, then recheck your blood glucose level. If your blood glucose is still low, take another 15 grams of carbohydrates and recheck 15 minutes later to make sure your blood glucose levels have risen.


What is Hypoglycemia?

Giving Emergency Glucagon

Understanding Glucose Numbers

Causes of Highs and Lows

Medical Alert


Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia) — CDC

Treating Hypos: One-Size Does NOT Fit All! — diaTribe

Defeating the Hypoglycemia Binge — diaTribe

Research Articles

Treatment of Mild Hypoglycemia – PubMed

Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention of Hypoglycemia in Diabetes — AADE


Reviewed by Angelina Bernier, MD, 3/6/19

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.