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Blood Sugar Anxiety

Discussion in 'Emotional and Mental Health' started by banana2000, May 15, 2020.

  1. banana2000

    banana2000 Type 1 · Active Member

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    For a few months now I have been experiencing anxiety about hypoglycemia. My Diabetic Consultant believes that I do have anxiety surrounding my blood sugars as I tend to check my blood sugars more often than I should - even during the night. This may sound like a good habit to have but I feel that my blood sugar anxiety is taking over my life. For example, I can't enjoy going for walks at the moment as I am finding that during my walks, my mind is racing and I'm thinking about my blood sugar. There have been a few occasions where I have stressed so much that I have left my blood sugar low and I tend to find that when my blood sugar drops during exercise I get really painful leg cramps. I'm an absolute mess by the time I get home. I feel awful afterwards as I usually end up having to go for a nap. I do enjoy exercising, however, I am avoiding going for walks as I am really worried that some day I will go for a walk and not make it home. My hypo anxiety is creating a lot of distress and frustration for me. If anyone has any tips on how they manage their hypos or blood sugar anxiety, I would love to know as I have no one in my immediate family who is Type One Diabetic which is making me feel very lonely.
     
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  2. Grant_Vicat

    Grant_Vicat Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @banana2000 I thought I would share this, mainly because it might help you feel more assured. It is definitely the most alarming hypo I experienced in 54 years of Type 1, but I managed to live from then on, even having further hypos slightly lower down the Richter Scale:

    1979 At a party in Haringey, hosted by one of Helen’s predecessors: The hostess, called Julie, left for work at Harrods, with Yours Truly unconscious on a sofa. She telephoned at 12.45. “You still there?” After my baffled response, I put the phone down and tried to think about my state of affairs. I had a raging headache, my vision kept disappearing, and worryingly, I was experiencing a total memory loss. I started to pace around the stark room like a leopard in its too confined quarters. What the hell is wrong? This is not a hangover. I need to talk to someone. My father. What’s his name? Where does he work? (He retired in 1985 and I still remember his number – 01 405 9222 ext 6036) Brain’s battery was completely uncharged then. As I sped around the room in increasing panic, I chanced upon a directory. With my focus looming in and out, I flipped through the pages in the vain hope I might recognise anything. Something suggested the word “assurance” and I had enough cognitive function to write it down. Minutes later I was through to some saint (female) at the switchboard. Why she didn’t think “We’ve got a right one here” I’ll never understand. She deserves recognition.

    “Er, er, Oh God, what’s his name?”

    “Don’t worry love, which department is he in?”

    “Er, ....... Oh blimey I can’t think.”

    At this point she began reading down the list until she said:

    “Job Evaluation?”

    “That’s it!”

    I’m a great believer in fate. Normally one of three lovely secretaries would have answered the phone, but for some reason my father himself answered. I must have been able to tell him my whereabouts, because I remember him giving me some chocolate in the flat. The rest is blank until 6.30 the following morning. I had been put in Johanna’s bedroom (I think she was away at college in Oxford at the time) and my father put his head round the door to check progress. He found me with the top of my head on the floor, followed by most of my torso. He managed to get me back on the bed and then tried to give me warm sweet tea. I hit him. Apparently it took both my parents to hold me against the wall and get some in. Had they the luxury of a Glucagon injection, I’m sure they would have used it.

    I hope you overcome your anxiety!
     
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  3. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi,

    Sorry to read about your anxiety.

    I've been T1 for a fair while & normally don't leave home without some form of carbs in my pocket in the "unlikely" event of a crash..

    Have you tried or thought about using a CGM set up as a gauge regarding nudging BGs up from a downward slope to lessen the impact? Thus catching intime.
     
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  4. banana2000

    banana2000 Type 1 · Active Member

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    That does sound like a very alarming hypo
    Thanks for sharing your experience with me. Your post has reassured me. Thankfully, I haven't had as an alarming experience as yourself. However, for being Type One for almost 13 years, hypos have always given me a fright but like yourself, I have managed to live through my fear of hypos.
     
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  5. banana2000

    banana2000 Type 1 · Active Member

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    I have been Type One for almost 13 years and through those years I have received conflicting advice about how to manage my blood sugars during exercise - my Consultant and Specialist Nurse at the Pediatric clinic never gave me the same tips so I received mixed messages. However, I am finding that the Adult clinic my Consultant has a good understanding about hypo anxiety and she has given me advice on how to treat my hypos. For example, I have learned to carry Dextrose tablets with me wherever I go. I have tried the Freestyle Libre but I did not like it as it would never stay on my arm for the 14 days even with an adhesive and I found that it was very inaccurate, therefore, it made my blood sugar anxiety worse. Thanks for your suggestion.
     
  6. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi,

    So far I've had no issue with adhesion of the libre. What I do is exfoliate the area to be applied, then use the alcohol wipes & allow to dry?
    I place the libre on the inside of the arm. Though I apreciate they don't work for everyone.
    There are a couple of free apps like "Glimp" & "xDrip" that can be calibrated to your meter, which helps remedy the accuracy issue.
    I used Glimp when I was scanning the Libre, but with the Bluetooth transmitter add on "Maiomiao" Xdrip was a more stable app for my phone.which is great because it updates every 5 minutes & I have a reading at a glance either by a "widget" on my home screen or a banner when it's locked? Alarms can be set for high & low values too?

    I hope this helps.
     
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  7. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    I get cramps when I am dehydrated - are you drinking enough? Would stopping to take a drink and check your BG levels half way through your walk be a good idea?
     
  8. banana2000

    banana2000 Type 1 · Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I will need to have a look at the apps that you have mentioned. I have noticed articles about mobile apps for blood glucose management, but I have never tried them. I shall give them a go!
     
  9. banana2000

    banana2000 Type 1 · Active Member

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    Yes, that does sound like a good idea. I get so panicked that I forget to slow down and stop for a moment to check my sugar. I have never thought about the possibility of being dehydrated. I will keep that in mind for the next time that I go for a walk. Thanks
     
  10. Joe C

    Joe C Type 1 · Member

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    In the past I've had two hypoglygemic pass outs that required an ambulance and each time a 4-5 hour stint in the A&E. Pleasant? No. Survived? Obviously. So I guess my point is if you're worried about the worst case scenario, it's not as if people are just going to leave you there, you'll be assisted and treated. That was back when I had just been diagnosed and thankfully things have improved in terms of my control.

    Carrying dextrose tablets with you is a smart move. I always make sure I have a small amount with me. Even if I'm going to a place where it might be awkward to have them on me, e.g. at the beach or a nightclub, I make sure I have them in a pocket somewhere, and for me that reduces the anxiety. If you want to get creative buy one of those mini keychain cannisters and fill it with liquid dextrose or whatever amount of tabs will fit in; attach it to your key ring and you have an added safety with you all the time. If you drive make sure there is always tabs in your car, i.e. ones that never leave the car, they are only there for an emergency.

    But ultimately it comes down to good control and learning to trust your judgement, e.g. if I'm going to an outdoors event where I'll be standing and walking around for hours, I will reduce the amount of insulin I take throughout the day (and in my case that means cutting the amount of insulin used by more than 50%). If I've done that, I know there's little to worry about. This is something to discuss with your DSN because managing insulin is of course different for each person.

    If you're still struggling ask for a referral to your nearest clinical health & psychology / neuropsychology department.
     
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  11. deszcznocity

    deszcznocity Type 1 · Active Member

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    I am type I following Dr Bernstein’s diabetes solution book guidelines and have Freestyle Libre on me. I still check me blood glucose every 2-4 hours. My wife says I am paranoid about my bg, cause although I always am in 3.9-6.7 mmol/l range and only have a hypo due to my mistake ( happens rarely - maybe once every two months) , I keep chceking my Libre every 30 mins. I do it because I always want to have 4.6-4.8 mmol/l bg which is me being a perfectionist. What i am trying to say is - I really recommend Dr Bernstein’s book - you will stop worrying about hypos. For what its worth, You might end up like me worrying about not having perfect normal bg all the time.
     
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  12. Faye Godfrey

    Faye Godfrey · Newbie

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    Hey! Sorry to hear your going through this. I have been reading through these forums for years and finally decided to join! Im the exact same as you only T1 in the family and out of my friends and some people just don’t get it the emotional side of it. Im now using the Dexcom which updates every 5 minutes- Its been a month and I am still working out if its a good thing or not lol! My anxiety is sky high and im constantly checking. I am a very on edge always have been but I know my body and I know when something isn’t right. I would really advise to focus on your body and symptoms And always carry jelly babies or sugary drinks its just takes that fear off gets rid of the what if. I hope your anxiety eases everything is one day at a time, hypos are scary give yourself a break xxx
     
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