National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Ask About Low Blood Sugars
Be Involved in Your Health Care:
Ask About Low Blood Sugars
If you have diabetes, talk with your health care team about selecting a safe and effective blood glucose target range that is based on your own goals, priorities, and lifestyle. Selecting a safe blood glucose target range can help you best manage your diabetes and prevent episodes of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Veterans Health Library
The Veterans Health Library (VHL) offers Veterans, their families, and caregivers access to comprehensive Veteran-focused health information that’s consistent with VA clinical practice. The VHL helps Veterans understand and manage health problems, make informed health decisions, and actively partner with their health care team. Items within the VHL on Living with Diabetes include:
- What is Low Blood Sugar?
- We Want You and Your Health Care Provider to Discuss and Choose a Safe A1C Goal
- What You Should Know About a Safe A1C Goal
- How to Check your Blood Sugar
- Decision Aids for Managing Type 2 Diabetes: 1. Taking Insulin; 2. Taking an Oral Medication; 3. Managing A1C
- Use these three VHL decision aid tools to learn about treatment options, insulin, oral medications and setting a safe A1c goal for managing Type 2 Diabetes.
- Work through one or all three tools to learn about different treatment options while factoring in what is important to you in managing your diabetes. At the end you can print a summary of your responses to share with your health care team, family members or caregivers.
- Videos for Veterans and VHA Health Care Team Members on Setting an A1c Target Range:
My HealtheVet Blood Sugar Tracker
If you have a My HealtheVet Premium account, use the following blood sugar tracker to monitor your health history and past blood sugar readings: https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/blood-sugar
For more information on registering for My HealtheVet and upgrading to a Premium account, go to: https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/web/myhealthevet/upgrading-your-my-healthevet-account-through-in-person-or-online-authentication.
Lower Your Risk of Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia) Infographic.
Review this infographic for quick tips about how to lower your risk of hypoglycemia by recognizing the symptoms of low blood sugar, what causes it, and how to prevent it. https://www.prevention.va.gov/images/DIAB-ENDO-HSI-Infographic-Print-Final-PNG.png
Department of Veterans Affairs Resources
VA-DoD Clinical Practice Guideline on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
The VA-DoD Clinical Practice Guideline on Managing Diabetes Mellitus in Primary Care emphasizes the importance of partnering and sharing decision making between patients and their health care team in all aspects of the diabetes care plan including diet, physical activity, medicines, and setting a safe blood glucose target range. https://www.healthquality.va.gov/guidelines/CD/diabetes/
VA Nutrition and Food Services Diabetes Education
Optimizing diabetes management involves a dedicated health care team that provides personalized, proactive, patient-driven health care to empower, equip, and encourage Veterans to take charge of their health and to adopt healthy living practices to reduce risks for diabetes-related complications. Checking blood sugars, monitoring A1C levels, knowing blood sugar targets, recognizing low blood sugars, and counting carbohydrates are just a few of the ‘numbers’ that Veterans should know. https://www.nutrition.va.gov/Diabetes.asp
Understand Your Diabetes Numbers Campaign Podcasts
These podcasts provide Veterans with information on important numbers to help manage their diabetes, be safe, and achieve their personal goals. They cover relevant diabetes topics such as food insecurity, managing sick days, reading food labels, and counting carbohydrates. https://www.spreaker.com/show/va-diabetes-numeracy-campaign-series
VA Virtual Medical Center
VA has a Virtual Medical Center and learning environment available from anywhere, at any time. Visit the VA Virtual Medical Center today to access even more validated, evidence-based materials and programs related to diabetes education and self-management. https://www.vavmc.com/
Federal Government Resources
NIDDK conducts and supports research on many of the most common, costly. and chronic conditions to improve health. Review some of the diabetes educational materials linked to below.
- Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia): https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/low-blood-glucose-hypoglycemia
- The A1c Test and Diabetes: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/tests-diagnosis/a1c-test
- Diabetes Diet, Eating, & Physical Activity: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/diet-eating-physical-activity
- Continuous Glucose Monitoring: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/managing-diabetes/continuous-glucose-monitoring
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP)
If you or a loved one is living with diabetes, it’s important to work together to manage diabetes. Use these resources to learn how to make healthy lifestyle choices to help manage diabetes, prevent complications, and improve quality of life: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/ndep/people-with-diabetes/index.html