Tuesday’s Piece: Summertime: Diabetes Medications with Higher Risk for Hypoglycemia

We are at the end of May and summertime activities have begun. Swimming and lots of fun outdoor activities (with social distancing of course) means many of us are now more active. If you are taking a diabetes medications with higher risk for causing hypoglycemia (low blood glucose), increased activity could mean increased risk for hypoglycemia. So what diabetes medications have a higher risk for causing hypoglycemia?

-Sulfonylureas (glipizide, glyburide, glimepiride)


While these particular classes of diabetes medications have a higher risk, other classes of diabetes medications could potentially cause hypoglycemia if a person goes long periods without eating or significantly increases their activity level without potentially adding a small snack. So what step can be taken to decrease risk of hypoglycemia if you find yourself significantly more active in the summer?

-Check your blood sugar before engaging activities such as hiking, swimming, long walks, running

-Incorporate protein into your meals and snacks as this will help stabilize your glucose

-Pack 15 gram carbohydrate with protein snack (i.e. apple and almonds; peanut butter crackers) in your bag

-Watch for patterns in your glucose for specific days or activities that consistently cause hypoglycemia (I highly encourage to see if a flash or continuous glucose monitor is option)

-Discuss with your provider potential decrease in medication dose if you see a pattern of hypoglycemia

Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia)|Columbus Regional Health
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