37 Responses

  1. Sarah
    Sarah December 21, 2011 at 7:08 am | | Reply

    Like panic, exhaustion, and a the wooziness of a middle-ear infection or fever, all bundled up in an extended moment of “where did I leave the keys?” or “now… what did I come in here for?” brain-fart. And, if it’s dropping fast enough, add the feeling of something crawling not ON my skin, but inside my skin.

  2. mollyjade
    mollyjade December 21, 2011 at 7:47 am | | Reply

    It’s like waking up in the middle of the night from a nightmare. You have that panicked feeling and confusion. And add “out of body” experience to that. Like you’re moving through an alternate reality where the rules are slightly different, and you’re not sure exactly how to navigate them.

  3. Leighann of D-Mom Blog
    Leighann of D-Mom Blog December 21, 2011 at 8:30 am | | Reply

    Q describes it in two ways: she was she feels like she’s going to “flop over” or that her legs are “wobbly” and won’t work right.

    One time she said she felt like her chest was vibrating from the inside. I checked her and she was in fact low.

    School staff tell me over and over that Q is so good about knowing when she’s low and needs treated. I remind them every time I hear this that when she’s low she might not be able to think and may need help. I think it creates a fall sense of security in them.

  4. Jonny White
    Jonny White December 21, 2011 at 8:45 am | | Reply

    It wouldn’t be the appropriate explanation for your daughter, but I often feel like I have a good buzz on. My girlfriend says I’m funnier when I’m low. My best guess is that some parts of our brain shut down a little without enough sugar and for me one of them seems to be the ‘serious’ part.

    I’ve also had insanely wobbly legs as a symptom while playing hockey. Or the well-described dream-like state where all of a sudden I realize that I don’t seem to be ‘at the wheel’ anymore. Naturally, rather than going for the juice (which I would do if I were at the wheel), I start musing about who might then be driving, and write a poem about it in my head.

  5. Heidi Wickstrom
    Heidi Wickstrom December 21, 2011 at 9:29 am | | Reply

    I would say I’m I feel tired mostly, it’s its really low, I get numbness in my tongue and throat. Also, confusion. I can’t seem to grasp what I’m saying. But my husband always knows. LOL

  6. E
    E December 21, 2011 at 9:57 am | | Reply

    Like death.

  7. Troy
    Troy December 21, 2011 at 10:30 am | | Reply

    I’ve always described it like “fading away” or “shaky”. Sometimes (usually after exercise) I don’t always notice it in my gut, so can be complicated feeling to describe to others.

  8. Mary Dexter
    Mary Dexter December 21, 2011 at 11:24 am | | Reply

    Weird sums it up.I went low (59) before lunch. It is hard to describe. An emptiness in my head, as if there are spaces between synapses, between thoughts. And sometimes, when I’m back above 70, the pieces seem to snap back into place. Sometimes it feels as though I had slipped into a parallel dimension, like Alice’s Wonderland, or a time inside of time. And then when things are good again, it’s like I’m back home on Earth.
    If I go lower than usual, or if i’ve been skating that edge all day, I’ll know SOMETHING IS WRONG but not be able to figure out what.

  9. Becky
    Becky December 21, 2011 at 11:42 am | | Reply

    I think it feels “fuzzy”. Like that picture of cotton candy is inside my head keeping the thoughts from zipping around like usual. Sorta like a little bit drunk. “Foggy” is another way I could describe it.

  10. Sparrow
    Sparrow December 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm | | Reply

    My first symptom, before all the others, is nausea. So I always check when I’m nauseated and about 50% of the time, I’m low. If I wait, the other symptoms will come – shaking hands, a feeling of internal pressure, a sort of anxious feeling. But the other symptoms are so awful, that I always check at the first sign of nausea, just in case.

  11. Mike Hoskins
    Mike Hoskins December 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm | | Reply

    Shaky, cold but hot, dizzy, wobbly, sometimes blurry vision. “Drunk without the high.” A.K.A. = weird.

  12. Kathy
    Kathy December 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm | | Reply

    Since I have hypo-unawareness my blood sugar usually drops quite low before I have any physical feelings at all. Recently when I felt suddenly “slowed down” and out of it – I checked my blood sugar and it was 37. For the life of me I could not remember where my glucose tablets were.

    I have them in literally every room of my house with the garage being the exception……..and still I couldn’t find the tablets. Then I looked in the fridge and found orange juice. By the time I found the juice, poured a glass and drank it, my Dexcom was going crazy.

    It is a most difficult feeling to describe…

  13. Tom Beatson
    Tom Beatson December 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm | | Reply

    Notice that every description is different. You have to try and figure out which of your symptoms are repeatable, and try to respond by seeking treatment when you somehow recognize one of YOUR symptoms. It’s not easy!

  14. The Superhero Diabetic | The … Diabetic

    [...] I read Amy’s post on describing the indescribable feeling of a low. I had already started work on this post, so I [...]

  15. The ... Diabetic
    The ... Diabetic December 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm | | Reply

    Hey Amy and others.

    Had been working on my hypo-sense superhero post for a few days already, but your post inspired me to finish it today. I like that despite all having such different symptoms, we all use similar words to describe the feeling of low: weird.
    All the best,
    The … Diabetic
    PS my post can be found at

  16. T1 in Boston
    T1 in Boston December 21, 2011 at 8:42 pm | | Reply

    Sometimes I feel suddenly super ambitious, like a feeling of invincibility and can-do (followed shortly thereafter by can’t-do – oops).

    Other times I notice how difficult a thing can be – usually something that is otherwise easy — like taking off my coat (a sure sign), walking, or driving. If I think “wow, I don’t even have the energy to turn the ignition, unzip my jacket, etc.” I test. Sometimes it’s a feeling of “I just need to go to sleep right now” (which reminds me of how hikers with hypothermia mistakenly think).

    If I’ve scared any moms out there, I’ve had remarkable success in 30 years in avoiding serious lows. Just fyi.

  17. Sooz
    Sooz December 21, 2011 at 11:36 pm | | Reply

    Fuzzy with dead areas in my vision as my first clue. Oh I’m getting a migraine, right? So I sit there like an idiot waiting for my eyes to go into a migraine aura. Oh, ok, not happening, where’s my meter? And the most bizarre thing… only AFTER I see the number do I realise I’m shaky as well. But “fuzzy” definitely.

  18. jb
    jb December 23, 2011 at 7:50 am | | Reply

    I feel weak, getting weaker like my legs are going to crumble. If I am low at night I get shaky and sweaty which wakes me up. I will do anything to avoid a low. It is not a good feeling. It is almost like something switches off internally which I guess is what happens and its all downhill from there until a glucose tab or juice or all of the above. Ive been in an exercise class and started sweating and wondered if it was the class or what until I felt dizzy and left the class, had no money for a snack and did not bring any gtabs (stupid) and ended up taking sugar packets for coffee and downing 1 or 2.

  19. Randy
    Randy December 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm | | Reply

    For me, it’s like being back in school. And you’ve done something wrong. And you know you’ve been found out. And you are just waiting to be called to the Principal’s office. It is a combo of panicky and anxiety.

  20. Jessica Apple
    Jessica Apple December 24, 2011 at 1:08 am | | Reply

    Karmel Allison wrote a wonderful poem in response to this. I think she nailed it. Happy Holidays!

  21. Darlene Lyons
    Darlene Lyons December 27, 2011 at 11:00 am | | Reply

    My legs feel weak, my eyes feel “funny”, and I get very nervous that if I don’t eat right away I will pass out. It is the strangest feeling I have ever had. Since I became a diabetic [almost 4 years ago] I have a plenty of lows, mostly because I over do it on exercise. I know that exercise brings my numbers down fast so I usually try to walk 45-60 minutes [depending on the situation]. Usually 45 minutes will do it but I “always” want to go “more” to make sure my numbers are down and then of course I can always eat again. It is a constant battle that we all face if we want to take care of ourselves. No one really understands that is not a diabetic.

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  23. {Type 1 Tuesday} 01.10.12
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  24. Janet
    Janet January 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm | | Reply

    After 33 years, the lows are getting harder to detect. But when I do have a full blow hypoglycemic reaction I describe it this way…It is like my brain is short-circuiting. I can’t quite process everything at normal speed. Kind of like going from high speed internet to dial-up in one fell swoop.

  25. adam
    adam January 11, 2012 at 2:07 pm | | Reply

    I can sense his presence. The grim reaper is in the house. He may have just jimmied the basement door. But he is here. I can sense
    his presence. And he has a card with my name on it. He is coming to get me. And I need to find a Gatorade bottle if I don’t want to see him tonight.

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  27. Kristina
    Kristina February 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm | | Reply

    Yes, yes, and yes…I have to agree with almost every comment left before me! Every “low” is a new sensation for me: sometimes it’s felt like spiders crawling on my skin, or a tingly mouth, or like waking up from a nightmare. Other times it’s weak legs, a feeling of drunkenness, and dark spots in my vision. Sometimes I can’t even speak to tell someone “I NEED SUGAR”. Once in awhile I’ll even feel a sudden onset of depression (and I’m usually a pretty happy person).

    And you’re right…”weird” definitely does describe it well! :D

  28. Tim
    Tim March 16, 2012 at 12:25 pm | | Reply

    Mostly I feel as though I’ve done a hard days work and it’s time to wind down my day (regardless of the time of day). Most lows that make me feel shaky are the high-lows (50-70), while I have had very dangerous lows (27, 28) that were barely noticeable. I only feel freaked out about those after the fact, not during. It takes too much energy.

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  30. joychaos
    joychaos February 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm | | Reply

    hmm sometimes its just the shaking. i dont get the symptom often. recently it has been numb tongue and lips. sharper vision which is cool cuz i wear classes. i get bad head aches and tired. but the feeling of doom hangs over me. i have woken up from a bad low once and i was completely confused. i ket trying to figure out what i was trying to remember. i downed so much hawaiian punch. i keep juice in my room for those reasons….it was like my brain was turned off. my heart always pumps hard when im low and the moment my heart started beating normal i freaked out cuz it felt like it stopped. so yeah low sugar feels like death. feels like youre slipping away. like youre drunk. like…have u ever haand an outter body exerience?

  31. Zach Bradley
    Zach Bradley July 30, 2013 at 1:12 am | | Reply

    I always think of Hercules trying to lift the dumbbells after his strength was taken from him. A normal task becomes exhausting. And frustratingly SHAKY.

  32. Jordan
    Jordan October 15, 2013 at 12:57 am | | Reply

    I usually start noticing a low when I’m at 70-80. I start shaking uncontrollably, and I feel weak all over. Also, I feel almost like if I’m really nervous about something. The lower my blood sugar gets, the worse those symptoms are. Sometimes my hands shake so much I can barely check my blood sugar, and I sometimes get this throbbing headache.

    I’ve also had my blood sugar drop extremely low a few times. Once I was at a pool with some friends, and I started getting irritable. They noticed, convinced me to check my sugar, and it was in the low thirties. I became delirious and had to be forced to eat.

    Another time, in a grocery store, it dropped really low. Again, I was with a few friends. As we were leaving the store, I wandered into the middle of the parking lot. After that, the memory of it is really fuzzy – even right after it happened. I felt distant, like everything was quiet. My balance was off, I had the usual low feeling but didn’t really know what was happening, and I just felt like I was about to fall asleep – except upright and walking around. I’m pretty sure they started calling my name, and when I didn’t answer, they got me into the car, had to check my blood sugar for me, and it was 22. They had me eating immediately. If it hadn’t gone back up, I probably would have died, or at least would have gone to the emergency room. Honestly, the scary thing is that I can’t remember it.

  33. Jenny Wilson
    Jenny Wilson March 12, 2014 at 1:38 am | | Reply

    With a bad eating habit one has the chance of getting disease. One of the major diseases nowadays is low sugar problem. This disease is dangerous as no one in the world seems to get the signs of the low blood sugar. Feeling confused and uneasy is one of the symbol for low blood sugar. Beside this your legs may also shake. If the sugar level drops drastically then your skin becomes whitish giving you the symbol of lower level of sugar in blood. Get more tips at :

  34. Brandy
    Brandy April 12, 2014 at 1:21 am | | Reply

    I am not a diabetic, I have been classified as a hypoglycemic. My blood sugar drops drastically instead of going high. I get anxious, dizzy, blurry vision, and I feel like I have no control of my body. Diabetes runs in my family, but somehow I am the odd one out. I can’t be diagnosed as hypoglycemic because it is not classified as a disease. However, I feel it should be. My pancreas over produces insulin causing my sugar to drop. I may not be a diabetic but I definitely know the unsettling feeling all too well.

  35. Ryan
    Ryan July 11, 2014 at 9:24 pm | | Reply

    Thank you to everyone for doing their best to try and describe this awful (but unfortunately frequent) experience. I read a majority of these out loud to try and help my wife understand what I may be feeling during a low. Made me a little emotional hearing everyone’s different perspectives on their hypo occurrences, made me feel not so crazy.

  36. Melissa
    Melissa August 7, 2014 at 10:52 am | | Reply

    O wow! Im 23 years old and 5 years ago my doctor told me I have something called “pre-diabetes” where I eat sugar and my body’s blood sugar spikes like its supposed to but it doesn’t drop the way it should because my body cannot process sugar fast enough. I stopped eating sugar for a whole year, I started introducing sugar again. Everything was fine up until about 4 months ago, I have had an extremely stressful year and found myself binging on sweets and chocolates. I tried doing more gym to try balance out all the sugar. I started having “that feeling” again. NOBODY knows what its like until you’ve been there. It feels like your body and your brain have had a misunderstanding and they aren’t talking to each other! It feels like the world is going to cave in on you and it does feel like an out of body experience. I’ve had these symptoms since I was a little girl. We’d go out for supper and suddenly I’d be the 1 that was fainting and being wheeled away in a wheelchair because I was too dizzy to walk. I think my parents thought I was crazy! It was only when I passed out in a shopping mall that someone decided to check my sugar. They told me it was very high and needed to have a fasting test. Luckily I know what to expect now and how to deal with it. I find sitting down and just putting my head between my legs helps, or even pinching myself so it feels like I’m actually in the real world and haven’t passed out!

    Thank you for posting all this stuff! Good to know im not an alien or 1 in a billion feeling like this :)

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