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Hypo And Hyper

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Clare666, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Clare666

    Clare666 Family member · Newbie

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    hi all,
    My nearly 4 year old granddaughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in December last year after going into DKA. Thank goodness after a week in hospital she fully recovered.
    What I’d like too know is when a diabetic is low or high how does this make you feel?
    Being that my granddaughter is only 3 she can’t explain and I’d just like to try and understand what she goes through, I can see the obvious signs of when she’s low I.e tired, drowsy lethargic but that’s it.
    • Hug Hug x 2
  2. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

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    Welcome :) tagging @daisy1 for the welcome blurb - sorry to hear about your granddaughter, it must have been frightening for you all.

    It’s different for all of us, but for me a hypo feels like being very unpleasantly drunk (definitely not the nice, warm fuzzy kind) - cold sweats, shaking, the irresistible need to eat, and a real feeling of panic. Lips tingle, and I invariably am very desperate for a wee, which has landed me in trouble at night because my bathroom is downstairs. I have been found in a crumpled heap among the kitchen bins before now. It can be terrifying, I’m afraid. Now I always keep dextrose tablets by my bedside, and can shove a few of those in my face before even getting out of bed. They’re not nice, but you do get warning signs before it gets that bad - tingling lips are a common one. Some people get very stroppy (I can be very irritable) and even aggressive, denying that they are hypo, and refuse to take any treatment for it. You can’t think clearly and can be very irrational - a bit like being three, from what I remember of my non-T1 son’s toddlerhood ;)

    Being high makes me feel like I want to sleep. My limbs feel heavy and my eyeballs feel like they have been wrapped in cling film. Sounds odd, but it’s the best way I have to describe it. Things can get a bit blurry too, and I find myself blinking a lot tontry and clear my eyes. It feels like your blood is really thick. Some people feel really hungry, most of us will be really thirsty. Be alert for a smell of acetone or pear drops on her breath too - that’s a classic sign of ketones that would need medical attention.

    I hope this helps, I’m sure some of the others will be along to share their experience.
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  3. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    Hi, my granddaughter was diagnosed at 2 1/2 years. I was very upset and heartbroken at the time. Low usually means tiredness, very sleepy, some confusion, shaky and clammy and sweaty ( which can leave people with a lower temperature, making them feel cold and shivery)

    Hyper, a higher BS can mean being very thirsty, feeling nauseas ,vomiting and tired too. Children are tough little cookies and I'm sure she will have a happy, an active and a healthy life, doing all the lovely things that kids do.

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  4. Clare666

    Clare666 Family member · Newbie

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    Thankyou so much for a incite into your daily struggles. My granddaughter has coped extremely well and does all the things any other 3 year old does, she just requires more of a watchful eye! It’s quite incredible how much ignorance surrounds type 1 diabetes and how much you learn in a short space of time. I just wanted to try and get a idea how it makes my granddaughter feel and your reply has helped me with that she and my grandson are my world and to get some idea of how she could be feeling when having a high or low will hopefully aid me to help her more
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  5. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend

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    Hello Clare and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members and I hope you will find it helpful. Ask as many questions as you like and someone will help.


    Diabetes is the general term to describe people who have blood that is sweeter than normal. A number of different types of diabetes exist.

    A diagnosis of diabetes tends to be a big shock for most of us. It’s far from the end of the world though and on this forum you'll find well over 235,000 people who are demonstrating this.

    On the forum we have found that with the number of new people being diagnosed with diabetes each day, sometimes the NHS is not being able to give all the advice it would perhaps like to deliver - particularly with regards to people with type 2 diabetes.

    The role of carbohydrate

    Carbohydrates are a factor in diabetes because they ultimately break down into sugar (glucose) within our blood. We then need enough insulin to either convert the blood sugar into energy for our body, or to store the blood sugar as body fat.

    If the amount of carbohydrate we take in is more than our body’s own (or injected) insulin can cope with, then our blood sugar will rise.

    The bad news

    Research indicates that raised blood sugar levels over a period of years can lead to organ damage, commonly referred to as diabetic complications.

    The good news

    People on the forum here have shown that there is plenty of opportunity to keep blood sugar levels from going too high. It’s a daily task but it’s within our reach and it’s well worth the effort.

    Controlling your carbs

    The info below is primarily aimed at people with type 2 diabetes, however, it may also be of benefit for other types of diabetes as well.

    There are two approaches to controlling your carbs:
    • Reduce your carbohydrate intake
    • Choose ‘better’ carbohydrates
    Reduce your carbohydrates

    A large number of people on this forum have chosen to reduce the amount of carbohydrates they eat as they have found this to be an effective way of improving (lowering) their blood sugar levels.

    The carbohydrates which tend to have the most pronounced effect on blood sugar levels tend to be starchy carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and similar root vegetables, flour based products (pastry, cakes, biscuits, battered food etc) and certain fruits.

    Choosing better carbohydrates

    The low glycaemic index diet is often favoured by healthcare professionals but some people with diabetes find that low GI does not help their blood sugar enough and may wish to cut out these foods altogether.

    Read more on carbohydrates and diabetes.

    Over 145,000 people have taken part in the Low Carb Program - a 10 week structured education course that is helping people lose weight and reduce medication dependency by explaining the science behind carbs, insulin and GI.

    Eating what works for you

    Different people respond differently to different types of food. What works for one person may not work so well for another. The best way to see which foods are working for you is to test your blood sugar with a glucose meter.

    To be able to see what effect a particular type of food or meal has on your blood sugar is to do a test before the meal and then test after the meal. A test 2 hours after the meal gives a good idea of how your body has reacted to the meal.

    The blood sugar ranges recommended by NICE are as follows:

    Blood glucose ranges for type 2 diabetes
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 8.5 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (adults)
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 9 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (children)
    • Before meals: 4 to 8 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 10 mmol/l
    However, those that are able to, may wish to keep blood sugar levels below the NICE after meal targets.

    Access to blood glucose test strips

    The NICE guidelines suggest that people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should be offered:
    • structured education to every person and/or their carer at and around the time of diagnosis, with annual reinforcement and review
    • self-monitoring of plasma glucose to a person newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes only as an integral part of his or her self-management education

    Therefore both structured education and self-monitoring of blood glucose should be offered to people with type 2 diabetes. Read more on getting access to blood glucose testing supplies.

    You may also be interested to read questions to ask at a diabetic clinic.

    Note: This post has been edited from Sue/Ken's post to include up to date information.
    Take part in Diabetes.co.uk digital education programs and improve your understanding. Most of these are free.

    • Low Carb Program - it's made front-page news of the New Scientist and The Times. Developed with 20,000 people with type 2 diabetes; 96% of people who take part recommend it... find out why

    • Hypo Program - improve your understanding of hypos. There's a version for people with diabetes, parents/guardians of children with type 1, children with type 1 diabetes, teachers and HCPs.
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  6. Knikki

    Knikki · Guest

    My Hpos have changed over time where as my Hypers have remained almost the same.

    When I was way younger when I got a Hypo I would like others get irratable and stroppy, however now I'm like a perptulant 5 year old, and usually like a drunk but if it is a bad hypo then yes cold sweats and very restless, oddly don't get tired as some have said, but that could just be me.

    Hyper, I have way less of them, lethargic, thirsty and generally feel rubbish.

    But like many things T1D's are all differnet in what happens.

    To give an example where my other half works there was a lady there who was married to a chap that had T1D. He had had it for quite some time, but when ever he hypoed it would be a nightmare, he would get very abusive toward her, not physical but verbally and she would almost almost end up in tears and it she would have a heck of a time trying to get him to tkae something to bring his sugars up.
    Once he had recovered he had no recolection of this and would be very very apologetic as you can image.
    They are still married some 25+ years later on and have a couple of kids too :)
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  7. kitedoc

    kitedoc Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Clare66, Knowing when a little 'un is hypo or hyper I find is about knowing their usual behaviour and appearance first.
    But sometimes only the finger prick blood test will clinch exactly what is happening.
    For hypos - looking pale, irritable, sometimes much quieter than usual; sometimes sweaty for no apparent reason; repeating actions like actions say of a song or dancing, but repeating the same part over and over and often clumsily; speech comes out wrong or she may have difficulty with a word she is usually quite adept at saying; sudden changes in mood e.g. crying for no apparent reason; dropping things; having difficulty walking straight and tending to bump into things; she may say she cannot see things clearly; feeling drowsy and tired; sometimes very hungry, but other times feeling a bit sick;
    NB if drowsy and not rousable and/or fitting (= emergency)
    : tiredness, irritability; needing to do a wee more often than usual; thirsty and mouth feels dry; vision maybe a bit blurry
    NB if has acetone/nail varnish smell on breath and/or very drowsy/not easily roused and/or rapid breathing (= emergency).
    All above taken from a past edition of a Diabetes Association Magazine of NSW.
  8. Grant_Vicat

    Grant_Vicat Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Clare666 I enclose something I wrote (adapted) back in 2009, which is from a Type 1's point of view:
    High blood sugar and disturbed digestion [violent bouts of diarrhoea] have already been referred to above, as has uncontrollable temper. Even with moderately high levels such as 10.5mmol/L, I lose my natural patience and become irritated by what are normally trifles. One of my employers commented that diabetics ought not to be crossed after lunchtime!
    I would always know when I was in ketosis, because my breathing became very laboured, all my muscles felt as though I had run ten miles and performed fifty press-ups, I had an overwhelming feeling of nausea, would drink vast amounts of water without slaking my thirst, would shun social contact, and my family would notice the all too familiar reek of nail polish remover or pear drops. In later years I realised that it would cloud my vision.
    I have also noticed that my nose runs when I am high. Is this because the brain is using this system to get rid of excess sugar, as it does colds?
    Probably the most damaging effect of hyperglycaemia is lethargy. Often an overwhelming tiredness can put the patient to sleep extraordinarily quickly, and after maybe three hours sleep there is no sign of benefit.
    I have a whole battery of warning signs when I am low, sugar-wise. The most obvious is sudden excessive yawning. Many times in public I have been tempted to ask total strangers whether they are diabetic, simply because they yawn incessantly. Is this because the brain thinks it needs bucketfuls of Oxygen to create unattainable energy? I can also feel unnaturally depressed. Red stars can dance within my eyes and if I walk into a darker area, what look like giant sunflower heads blot out my vision. Tingling affects all my mouth my hands shake, and I have a raging headache. I have often been alerted to low readings because I am unable to make decisions. Ironically this is often at lunchtime, in a food shop, when I am trying to work out what adds up to 60g of Carbohydrate.
    One other thing I would mention is talking to a hypo sufferer. If you ask questions requiring thought, such as "Do you think you need some sugar?" this can cause unexpected results including emotional meltdown, aggressive lashing out, punching or similar, and unhelpful answers such as "No!" This is because your hearing is the last sense to go, but cognitive function is seriously starved of energy. Direct statements such as "You need Jellybabies" generally work much better.
    I hope this is of some use. Good luck - all carers are saints!
  9. hh1

    hh1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @Clare666 your grand-daughter is lucky to have a grandmother so interested in finding out about and helping with her diabetes. As people have said, symptoms/feelings when hypo or hyper can change over time. My first indicator of a hypo used to be shaky hands (which I never have other wise, not even if I'm nervous); now I get the tingling lips. Like @Mel dCP I need to wee urgently; that's different from the increased frequency of weeing that happens if you're hyper for a time. I also get confused; speech gets jumbled and I know my head's not right,it's like a jigsaw that's been muddled up and the parts are in the wrong places and not connecting any more, it's a deeply unpleasant feeling. Luckily for anyone I know I've never been inclined to any kind of aggression, though I can fall asleep instantly just after a hypo. Hypers make me feel rough; sluggish, sleepy, vaguely grumpy, and no motivation to do anything. Then there's the increased thirst and more frequent weeing. With people like you and her parents to look afterher, hopefully she'll avoid feeling any of these too often. Good luck!
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  10. Bogusman

    Bogusman Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Well, firstly, high blood sugar does not affect me one way or the other, apart from being annoyed/angry as to how it got so high. As for Hypos, there are about maybe 4 different types I take, ranging from waking up in the morning not knowing where I am or what planet I am on, the butterflies in my stomach mild one, or the violent shaking one, where I am beyond self help. Luckily I sometimes pass out or fall asleep when that one strikes. There is also the one where my sight goes a bit grainy and my eyes flash, as if I had just looked at the Sun, that one creeps up on me. During the 33 years I have had type1 (the only type) there has definitely been changes in the way they work.
  11. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Clare and welcome. I think your granddaughter will do brilliantly especially with a lovely grandma to look out for her. Don't forget to make a fuss of her brother/cousin too as siblings get a bit pushed to the side with the diabetes drama! The good news for you is that the future looks bright for better tech to manage the disease and as a 3 yr old she is bound to adapt to it pretty well though there will doubtless be bumps along the way.
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