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Diabetic Anxiety

Discussion in 'Emotional and Mental Health' started by Ashleighrose414, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Ashleighrose414

    Ashleighrose414 Type 1 · Member

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    So, tonight I had probably the most intense panic attack I've ever had. I had a hypo (Libre had a 4.6 with a vertical down arrow) so I treat it and carry on, next thing I know I'm completely out of my mind hyperventilating, sweating hot and cold, heart pounding like its going to bust out my chest and pacing around the house. It's not even the worst hypo I've had, bearing in mind the panic started with a reading of 3.9, and I haven't had a hypo in a couple of weeks so. My blood is coming up nicely now and my Mum was with me the whole time, but about halfway through when my blood finally started to rise I felt a horrible sinking feeling of 'I don't think I can live like this anymore.'
    I've been diabetic 15 years, since I was 6, and I've had frustrations and felt like I'm at my wits end on many occasions, but never like this. Even once my blood was up into good numbers I still felt nauseous, cold and waves of panic continued to come over me. Normally after a hypo I feel a bit rubbish but the feeling passes fairly quickly, but it's been a little while now and I'm still terrified to sleep incase it drops again.
    I don't know what to do anymore, I've always suffered with anxiety (non-diabetes related) but recently my diabetes is triggering panic attacks and low mood, I've tried to tell people about it and they don't get it. Work are getting frustrated with me for calling out sick because they don't understand that when I say I'm sick, I'm really sick. My partner and I are looking at moving in together and now I'm thinking I won't be able to as I don't know how I would have calmed myself down tonight if my mum hadn't been with me. I'm feeling incredibly overwhelmed, and maybe even just venting and writing it all down will help. I would appreciate some advice or experiences in managing diabetes anxiety surrounding hypos/hypers if anyone has any.
     
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  2. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Bear in mind that the libre is notoriously unreliable at low levels, so your hypo may have been more serious than you think.

    When your blood sugar goes low your body pumps out hormones to push it back up: glucagon (which makes the liver pump out sugar), epinephrine (adrenaline), cortisol, growth hormone. So the actual symptoms of a hypo can be the same as a panic attack, or at least induce one. The good news about that is that though you're having a panic attack your body is actually working very hard to push your blood sugar up: you might feel like you're dying but it's actually very unlikely. And if the libre readings are correct, it's also good news that you're feeling the hypo at a level which is much higher than what would make you lose consciousness or start hallucinating. It's also really good news that you are only getting a couple of hypos a month.

    The bad news: you're panicking because hypos are scary. Yes, they can be. They are the one thing that I hate most about T1 diabetes. But technology improves all the time : consider attaching a transmitter to your libre and set it to send you a warning when your levels go above or below certain points.

    Does your partner know about your diabetes? Honestly, living with my husband has been much better than when I lived with my parents, though both help/helped with hypos. I don't need to fear night time hypos just because I know my partner will look after me if I go low.

    Other suggestions? Talk to your clinic or your GP about your anxiety, and get some help. Hypo anxiety is pretty common among T1s, for obvious reasons, so you are not alone. Last time I had a bad hypo (2 years ago) I got my son to stay with me for a week while my partner was away, just because I was so scared (and my consultant put a temporary hold on my driving license while she contemplated my blood sugars, which is not great when you're a 15 minute drive from the nearest shops :)).

    Good luck. Try not to let T1 stop you from living your life.
     
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  3. Ashleighrose414

    Ashleighrose414 Type 1 · Member

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    Luckily I am still quite reliant on my blood monitor as I'm fairly new to the libre so used that the whole time it was low instead of trusting the libre readings (which were wildly out while I was in my hypo like you said) so that makes me feel better as the libre was saying I was much lower than my glucose monitor was.
    My partner is very clued up on my diabetes and is very supportive, I know he would take care of me, I think its more the fear of what I would do if I was alone, as there is usually someone else at home most of the time. I didn't even know a transmitter existed so will defo be looking into one, thank you!
     
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  4. Jellytots

    Jellytots Type 1 · Member

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    Hi Ashleigh, just come across your post. I too have had hypo anxiety, and still do after 18 years. My biggest fear too is when my husband is working away and I'm here in charge of a 3 year old and 2 dogs as well as myself. But as with all Type 1s, we cope don't we :) I am currently suffering with anxiety (non diabetes related) which I am pretty new to, so discphering between hypo symptoms and anxiety attacks are troublesome sometimes. We're all here if you need to talk, also you're welcome to message me too :) xxx
     
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  5. MurielM

    MurielM Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hi. ask your consultant about the Miao Miao device, it attaches to your Libre and acts like a CGM
     
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