Living with diabetes blog

Use the rule of 15 to treat low blood glucose

By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N. and Peggy Moreland, R.N. April 2, 2010

This week's blog will be short and sweet. Pun on words, sorry.

I'll review the American Diabetes Association's rule of 15 for treating low blood glucose and list the number of jelly beans it takes to equal 15 grams of carbohydrate per a specific brand of jelly bean.

If your blood glucose is 70 mg/dL (3.9mmol/L) or below, use the rule of 15 to treat hypoglycemia.

  • Treat with 15 grams of carbohydrate
  • Check blood glucose in 15 minutes

If your blood glucose is still less than 70mg/dL, eat another 15 grams of carbohydrate and re-check blood glucose in 15 minutes. Repeat as needed until blood glucose is in goal range.

These items contain 15 grams of carbohydrate:

  • Glucose tablets (3 five-gram tablets or 4 gram tablets)
  • Tube of glucose gel
  • 4 ounces fruit juice
  • 4 ounces sugar sweetened soda pop
  • 5 Life Savers

As for jelly beans, see below totals to get approximately 15 grams of carbohydrate:

Jelly Belly's (regular) 15 beans
Brach's " 5-6 beans
Starburst's " 10 beans

Don't use sugar free jelly beans to treat low blood glucose.

And remember:

  • Carry carbohydrate at all times to treat hypoglycemia.
  • Wear a diabetes identification bracelet or necklace at all times.

Hoppy, Hoppy Easter


15 Comments Posted

Apr. 02, 2010