Dietitian Garima Goyal explains the signs, causes and prevention tips of sugar crash

Sugar crash is also known as hypoglycemia and it is not only associated with diabetes. So, dietician Garima Goyal talks about the signs, causes, prevention tips of sugar crash and how to deal with it.

Updated on Nov 26, 2020 03:54 PM IST  |  1.4M
Prevention of Sugar Crash
Dietitian Garima Goyal explains the signs, causes and prevention tips of sugar crash
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Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is attributed with diabetes. However, hypoglycemia also called as sugar crash isn’t limited to diabetes. Reactive hypoglycemia, or postprandial hypoglycemia, arises within four hours of eating a meal. This differs from fasting hypoglycemia or a sugar crash that occurs as a result of fasting.

The exact cause of reactive hypoglycemia isn’t known. Most specialists think it is related to the foods you eat and the time it takes for these foods to absorb. If you have frequent sugar crashes and don’t have diabetes, it may be the time to talk to your doctor about dietary changes and potential therapies. So, Dietitian Garima Goyal shares the ways of dealing with sugar crush.

How to deal with sugar crash?

Hypoglycemia without diabetes

Reactive hypoglycemia is one of the two types of non-diabetes-related hypoglycemia. The additional type is fasting hypoglycemia.

Having hypoglycemia without having diabetes is relatively rare. Most people with frequent sugar crashes either have diabetes or prediabetes. Still, it’s possible to have hypoglycemia without having diabetes. All cases of hypoglycemia are related to low blood sugar, or glucose, in the body.

Glucose is retrieved from the foods that you eat, not just sugary foods. You can get glucose from any source of carbohydrates, including fruits, vegetables and grains.

Glucose is essential because it’s your body’s main source of energy. Your brain also depends on glucose as its primary energy source, which explains the drawback and petulance that often happen during sugar crashes.

To deliver glucose to the muscles and cells in your body, as well as maintain proper levels of glucose in the bloodstream, your body relies on a hormone called insulin. This hormone is made by the pancreas.


Insulin issues are the hallmarks of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t have enough insulin to regulate blood glucose. You may also have insulin resistance. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make insulin at all.

Still, insulin problems aren’t exclusive to diabetes. When you have hypoglycemia, you have too much insulin circulating in the blood. You may start feeling the effects of a sugar crash when your glucose reading reaches 70 mg/dl or lower.

Hypoglycemia with diabetes

Hypoglycemia means low blood sugar levels. It ranges from a very mild lowering of glucose (60-70mg/dl) with minimal or no symptoms, to serve hypoglycemia.

Causes of sugar crash:

Excess insulin/medication.

Missing or delaying meals.

Unplanned or excessive exercise.

Alcohol consumption.

Symptoms of sugar crash:


Blurred vision.


Low mood or irritability.

Weakness and fatigue.




Abdominal pain.



Craving for salty food.

What to do?

RULE of 15: Consume 15 gm of fast-acting carbohydrate:

3 tsp of glucose, sugar or honey.

1/2 cup juice.

1/2 cup non-diet soft drink.

3 toffees or candies.

3 Glucose biscuits.

1 pc of bread.

Wait for 15 min. Check sugar, if it is not better, then repeat the rule of 15 till blood glucose is more than 100 mg/dl.

If the patient is unconscious:

1. Do not give anything forcibly through the mouth.

2. Turn the patient to his left or right side. Rush to a nearby hospital to give IV Glucose.

3. Patients with type 1 diabetes can be given glucagon injection for emergency treatment of hypoglycemia.


Prevention tips for the sugar crash

1. Do not skip meals.

2. Avoid prolonged or strenuous exercise than usual.

3. Limit alcohol intake.

4. Adopt self-monitoring of blood glucose.

5. Always carry 4-5 toffees/sugar sachets.

NOTE: It is always advisable to consult your doctor whenever needed.

Also Read: 5 Best healthy carbs for men to speed up their weight loss process

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