Darn Hypos

Thought I’d start this topic as there are a few people here who have been recently diagnosed…Also for myself, although I’ve had diabetes for a year

Also interested to hear what are the first signs you experience. Mine vary - sometimes the first sign is tiredness (and I start yawning a lot), sometimes I get really depressed. That for me is one of the most recognisable signs: If I suddenly get depressed without any reason, I know that it’s my blood sugars (or lack of them) doing the trick.

I used to also get really angry/aggressive (not physically) but that doesn’t really happen anymore. I have broken up with someone because my blood sugars were low! And no, we didn’t get back together afterwards!!

I have Mars bars everywhere, especially around my bed. I don’t eat a whole one, usually one third or half. They are good because they don’t have any bits in them, and also because I don’t actually like them so am not tempted to eat them otherwise. I also carry a box of raisins in my rucksack when I go cycling, they are a gentler alternative as they do not raise blood sugar levels as quickly as chocolate. Lucozade (sp? works for me also, again, I don’t like it so wouldn’t go and drink it unless absolutely necessary.
I have told my friends and relatives that if I do get a hypo, they shouldn’t appear nervous or irritable because that in turn makes me very aggressive and therefore unlikely to eat anything! My ex used to get like that sometimes and it made things very difficult. I knew it was because he was nervous but at the time it didn’t help!! So I’ve told everyone to be kind and gentle, and just tell me that I am going to be alright ‘in a minute’ and that usually helps.

I’ve also learnt to control my body somewhat…I don’t know if any of you have experienced a state where you cannot control your body movements any longer and you fall down/start hitting the wall/hitting yourself etc? I have learnt to remember (and remind myself) that I need to save energy to be able to get to that Mars bar and believe or not, it does work. Also, I’ve learnt to reassure myself that I am going to be OK. Being frightened about what is happening can make the situation worse as you’re using energy on panicking.

Anyway - I’d be very interested to hear how others deal with hypos, as I said I am sure I can learn a lot from other people here

Welcome to TuD, @Samanth! Hypos can be scary but you can get better at recognizing them before they become debilitating.

My most prominent hypo sign is sweating due to adrenaline release. That’s my key physical symptom for a low.

I use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) so I can easily watch my glucose trends and am seldom surprised by a hypo. Before I started using a CGM, I was not always able to dependably sense when I was going hypo. I developed hypo unawareness and that made matters worse. The CGM helped me restore my ability to sense hypos, mostly with an increased heart rate and sweat on my forehead.

1 Like

Welcome @Samanth ! If you don’t have one a CGM is wonderful. I would really recommend one, the Dexcom is better but not the cheapest for some.

My first symptom is usually a slight anxiety and no patience which will set off irritability easily. If I ignore it or don’t notice those signs or didn’t eat/drink something fast enough it usually progresses to seeing auras behind my eyelids and a definite impatience and higher jitteryness/anxiety feeling. I will break out in a sweat when I’m really low (low 60’s?) but with the Dexcom alerts that usually doesn’t happen very much anymore.

In some ways, I am lucky to still have signs of low blood sugar that occur at a fairly high level, around 80. I’ve read that frequent lows can lead to a loss of awareness, and that can be dangerous. My primary symptoms of low or dropping blood sugar are feelings of weakness, lethargy, or dizziness. For me, a sign of a severe drop or very low blood sugar is sweating, accompanied by the prior mentioned feelings of weakness/lethargy/dizziness.

My approach for dealing with impending or actual lows is varied, but I usually use the following, glucose tablets, bananas, soda - only if I am in a restaurant - or if very low, frozen yogurt along with tablets or bananas. The glucose tablets tend to work quickly, reportedly in 10 minutes, but I’ve found that it doesn’t provide sustained relief, and my blood sugar will drop again later unless I eat something more substantial.

1 Like

My endocrinologist told me candy bars are Ill advised due to the high fat content which slows the absorption…smarties, sweet tarts or any other candy with dextrose will work quicker…I agree with the Cgm comments, although a lot of companies will refuse or make the costs too high, although the libre and miaomiao2 might be something to consider. The Cgm will show you the difference between dextrose and high fructose corn syrup/palm or hydrogenated oils…but I’ll agree that the candy bar tastes better

1 Like

When I was in my 20’s, my quick sugars of choice were orange juice, 3 Musketeers bars, and halvah. I’ve moved on from that as all of them were too enjoyable, and sometimes, way too caloric. Raspberry Dex (or cheaper equivalents) are good for me, as they taste good, but I won’t eat them like candy.

Losing control of muscles sounds dangerous, and personally, uncharacteristic of me, but we are all different. I’m fairly good at maintaining control of my blood sugar but have recently restarted using a CGM. Since it’s the first few days, and although my numbers are better than ever, I’ve had quite a few lows because of the tighter control. One good thing about them, the CGM’s have warnings when I’m getting low, either on my watch or on my phone, so I can compensate beforehand. There is even an app that my spouse uses to check in on my numbers.

Welcome @Samanth to the group! And yes, most of us will agree that lows are the worst! Some like me hate the highs more than the lows but as always each of us are very different.
And as you are seeing each has different symptoms. And over the years they also change.
I have been doing this for 49 years and lost the ability to feel lows. Thank goodness for my CGM! It really has been a life changer for me and my family and friends! But early on I had lows like you described. I could see my hand and legs but my brain just couldn’t make them do what I needed them to do. I remember a few bad lows where I crawled to the kitchen. Oh, the good old days!? So glad I don’t have those kind of lows anymore. Technology has been a game changer for me. And new pump systems have completely removed any urgent lows for me!
So glad you have joined us and hope you can find many new friends and lots of different ideas to handle this very complex disease!

Welcome to TUD @Samanth–hope you stick around!

Hypos and their symptoms, perhaps the single most significant mark of membership in The Tribe. I don’t have anything much to add to the symptoms list, but people speaking of being in the relatively early days of membership always takes me back to the memory of my first hypo, still incredibly vivid even though it was 37 years ago.

When I was dx’d, back in 1983 at age 28, I somehow convinced myself that the warnings about insulin were the same as those ones you see on an OTC cough medicine box: you might feel drowsy, heavy machinery, yada yada yada. Well heck, I never feel like those medications make me groggy, more’s the pity. Same thing here, amirite? “Oh, they have to say that, but they’re just exaggerating for effect.” Of course the main problem that first week was was getting me down from the DKA cliff-edge, very cautiously using the crappy old R/N insulins we had back then, so “low” wasn’t a thing.

Until it was.

Sometime in that first week I’d decided to lie down for a nap without having eaten any lunch yet. On R/N you just don’t DO that, who knew? Not me. Fortunately I did wake up, though I could barely speak. I remember trying to call out for help to my wife who was downstairs, whispering “Lois, help!” knowing she couldn’t possibly hear me, and finally managing to get to the floor and crawl on hands and knees down the stairs, at which point I pretty much blanked out, though she saw me and grabbed the OJ from the fridge. It was, let’s just say, a learning experience. Guess they weren’t actually kidding about this stuff.

Over the years, especially the last ten or so, better tech and insulin has made it much easier to avoid those moments, but none of us ever gets to forget that they can be lurking around the corner 24/7. That kind of thing really burns itself into your lizard brain, and I don’t think there’s a single one of us who’s had this thing for any length of time who isn’t marked from at least one episode like that. There’s really no describing it to anyone who hasn’t experienced it (“Oh, I sometimes feel faint when I’m hungry too!” Not like that you don’t). That’s why I think of it as a kind of tribal scar, an indelible mark of membership in the tribe. I’ll never forget my initiation!


I have been having lows for 61 yrs and get along quite well with them because I am always prepared. When not wearing my CGM I test a lot, so I usually know how I am doing.

I still feel my lows so they don’t sneak up on me. I am actually feeling one as I type this. I just feel a bit light headed and realize that I am on my way down which is great because I am ready to eat lunch.

I have to get really, really low around 30 to actually pass out. I have done that about 5 or 6 times in 6 decades. I like to keep my A1c quite low, so I have to keep a sharp eye on what my glucose is doing. It works for me.

Welcome to the group!


In any story the malevolence, potency, and power of the adversary determines the greatness of the hero. In that regard, diabetes does not let us down. Severe hypoglycemia can reduce us to incoherence, subjecting us to enough social drama to last a lifetime. At its worst, it’ll take our lives.

People without diabetes and naive to the intensity of an insulin overdose just can not understand the nature of this underlying script we’re forced live. It’s a threat all of us in the community understand in a way that words fail communicate. It’s why many of us show up here. We can provide each other a resonance the gluco-normals can not.


via Imgflip Meme Generator

You haven’t said if you are MDI or pump, In any case, it’s always a good idea to check your Basal doses, with the miss a meal test. If that’s out, so will be everything else.