The Emotions of Low Blood Sugar

Previously, I’ve written about what it feels like to have low blood sugar. While many people with T1D feel the same symptoms as me when they experience a low, there are even more who experience a wider variety of emotions and sensations.

Renza, a T1D Twitter friend of mine, did a little investigating into how others would describe what it’s like to have a low blood sugar. She sent a tweet that read:

friends. I’m crowdsourcing (again). If you had to use ONE WORD to describe how hypos/lows feel to you, what would it be. Go!! #Hypoglycaemia

She received nearly 100 responses, which I’ve compiled into the below graphic.


Looking at this word collage is a bit startling because it represents the vast array of feelings associated with low blood sugar. Most of them are negative. A handful of them start with the prefix “dis”, which describes something with an opposing force. A couple of them relate to feelings associated with eating. And just about all of them can be summed up as sensations that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

To me, this graphic serves as a stark reminder that diabetes is more than just a chronic illness that affects the body: It affects the mind, too.


One thought on “The Emotions of Low Blood Sugar

  1. Hope your getting better. I’ve never really seen an obvious low in any other diabetic. I heard them talk about it but never seen one. Seen many an epileptic seizure. I have a friend who has both diabetes and epilepsy. Having her son really messed her up with seizures. She asked me to stop by after work one night and she had both her arms in immobilizers. Each time she seized, she would dislocate a shoulder. 2 seizures resulted in both arms being reset. Typical her, she was angry not scared or depressed. All I can say is what I feel, the fear. It is so strong it overrides any other emotions that come along for the trip. I have been told by my mother, that friend, and the EMTs how combative I can get when low. If I realize I am getting low I start to panic. I’ve gone from able to function to folded over in the sink at work in less than 10 minutes. One of the reason for the near panic fear. Also shows the irrational thoughts you can have while low. I had to wash my hands before eating right? I fear not getting to sugar fast enough as much as I fear my coworkers seeing this and looking at me as a liability instead of an equal coworker. Being left out after they see I have a fault in my genes that creates this problem. You brought up how you felt when your friend in school betrayed? you for being diabetic. I feel that will happen every time I get low. I’ve actually seen it a few times when things go south. Not south to Mexico, more like south to the pole. Once it get to the point I need help coming back, I know it is there for all to see. My diabetes is no longer a hidden disease but an obvious in your face problem. This is a good post. Makes you think about things.


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