I have strong memories of hypoglycemia anxiety from my early days of living with Type 1 diabetes.
I counsel people with Type 1 diabetes, and one of the most stressful parts of diabetes for many people is the experience of being hypoglycemic. Hypoglycemia anxiety can diminish their quality of life, and often results in an ongoing elevated blood glucose level that causes other health issues. Anxiety becomes problematic when we overestimate the dangers that surround us, and underestimate our ability to cope.  We can reduce anxiety by developing a more realistic perception of the dangers we face, and of our ability to cope with them.
I have had many patients describe feeling “low” when their blood glucose readings are actually in the normal range.  Many believe this is because they are on their way to a low and will just keep dropping. For those with high levels of anxiety, it can be helpful to develop a hierarchy (list) of fears. The nursing student starts to look at factual evidence to challenge her belief she will go low and die. If you are struggling with anxiety, or someone you care about who has diabetes is struggling with anxiety, maybe you can try some of the techniques described here. If your hypoglycaemia anxiety is so high that these ideas seem out of reach for you, then please consider accessing professional support.
Michelle Sorensen is a member of the Ontario College of Psychologists and has a private practice in Clinical Psychology in Ottawa.
Having had T1D for 64 years and literally thousands of lows i was not anxious about having them. The Diabetes Media Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit media organization devoted to informing, educating, and generating community around living a healthy life with diabetes. Diabetes, as a disease, is known from as early on as 1500 BCE, with its description found in an Egyptian manuscript. Various treatments for the disease have been put to practice since the time of antiquity, but its pathogenesis was not comprehended until 1900.
Although the first discovered cases of diabetes corresponded to Type 1 diabetes, today, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are prominent among the respective age brackets.
Type 1, also called as insulin-dependent diabetes is rare and develops in adolescence or after, before the age of 40 while Type 2 commonly develops over the age of 40, it being the most common disease type. In Type 1 diabetes, lack of insulin in the body is the reason behind raised glucose levels because the insulin producing cells are damaged by the body’s own immune system.
Type 2 diabetes occurs due to the resistance the body cells form against insulin being produced. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are symptomatic, although symptoms of Type 1 diabetes are more prominent and severe. The excess urinary discharge leaves you dehydrated, generating periods of dry mouth and recurring thirst. These two symptoms go hand in hand, relieving the body of excess sugar and managing the spike in blood glucose levels. Gradual weight gain can be the result of increased intake of food owing to a surge in hunger spasms. Of the many contributing factors to fatigue and crankiness, repetitive urge to urinate accompanied by hunger bursts is what leaves most diabetics irritated. Body’s reduced ability to use sugar for energy leaves the body tired and fatigues more than usual. If you observe occasional light flashes or a partial vision, it could be a result of high blood sugar. A classic symptom of Diabetes, decelerated healing of cuts and bruises usually occurs due to the continuous damage being done to the blood vessels by the increased blood glucose, which restricts the reach of blood to various body parts, an essential element to healing optimally.


If you notice repetitive infections cropping up, it could be a significant sign of diabetes. It is important to bear in mind that these symptoms may be mistaken for an ailment in themselves or for some other disease. The a1c test and diabetes – national diabetes information, The a1c test and diabetes.
A1c test: medlineplus medical encyclopedia, A1c is a lab test that shows the average level of blood sugar (glucose) over the previous 3 months. The a1c test and diabetes – national diabetes information, 2 the a1c test and diabetes. A1c levels – diabetes, The a1c test tells your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. It functions like a normal blood sugar monitor – injecting regular doses of insulin into diabetics to ensure it keeps a normal level.
Cambridge University researchers believe artificial pancreas could also benefit patients with Type 2 diabetes.
The scientists, whose study is published today in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology Journal, are planning on doing a much bigger trial with more patients being fitted with artificial pancreases and tracked for much longer.
Dr Roman Hovorka, lead author of the Cambridge study, said: ‘The advantage of a system like this one is the ability to fine tune insulin delivery to account for variations in overnight insulin needs.
Dr Alasdair Rankin, Diabetes UK’s director of research, said: ‘These results are hugely exciting.
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that results from damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (the retina). Since it is uncommon to experience symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, patients may be unaware that they have the disease. Patients in my practice with very high blood glucose levels have learned to look at the evidence and develop more balanced thoughts about the likelihood of a dangerous low. This allowed her to keep her BG levels in a normal range for longer periods of time, without giving in to the impulse to snack and boost them higher to get rid of the hypoglycemia anxiety she felt. This can be helpful when patients are becoming accustomed to a healthier range of blood glucose levels after having lived with higher readings due to the fear of hypoglycemia. For example, take some deep breaths every time you sit down to eat a meal or to catch up on email. I have met patients who have underlying worries about the long-term effects of their high blood sugar, but it just never seems like the right time to change their way of coping.
Start with the most intense sources of anxiety at the top of the list and the least feared situations, events or people at the bottom.  Work your way up the list gradually, gathering evidence about your ability to confront yours fears until you are able to tackle the most intense ones on the list. Of course, all of these techniques need to be used in conjunction with support from family and health care professionals. It is a good idea to speak to your diabetes educator or endocrinologist for support and possibly referral information. My simple advice would always be avoid panic, keep packets of sugar with you always, take medicine and meals regularly, regular exercise and visit a doc monthly or quarterly. I experienced this anxiety when first diagnosed (at 32 of T1D) partly because I had seen my mother (also T1D) have low blood sugars at a young age, when I didn’t really understand what was happening. I could have used that a few years ago ?? I really appreciate the frankness of the article, thank you!
Now that i am older i get very anxious after them for an hour or so but understanding what is happening to your body helps.
It was in 1889 that Joseph von Mering and Oskar Minkowski learnt that pancreas had a pivotal role to play in Diabetes.


Both forms lead to surplus glucose levels in the blood, leaving body cells deficient of the same. Symptoms for Type 2 diabetes can be easily overlooked, given their gradual onset and commonplace nature.
In time, your kidneys fail to keep up with the rigorous overtime process, making you excrete the excess sugar through urinary discharge.
Sleep disruption due to repeated bathroom rounds during the night can cause maximum grouchiness. Since excess blood sugar tweaks tissue fluids, inclusive of your eye tissues, it leaves your vision with an impaired focus. Diabetes usually leaves the body vulnerable to a host of infections since fungi and bacteria easily prosper in sugar-rich conditions.
The symptoms associated with this condition can escape one’s notice very easily but the disease itself is wrecking enough to leave some of the most vital body functions severely impaired. The artificial pancreas looks like an iPod and is pasted to patients’ clothing with a tiny monitor and pump fitted to their skin. In the experiment, 24 British patients with Type 1 diabetes were made to wear the device for a month.
If they note that accurate carbohydrate counting and insulin dosing keeps them in safe range, coupled with testing BG regularly and carrying sources of sugar for lows, then they become more willing to gradually reduce their blood glucose levels. You can use imagery to imagine feared events beforehand, and prepare yourself to confront them by using cognitive restructuring or relaxation methods. Unfortunately, I cannot tell her that I know for sure she is wrong.  But I can suggest we explore her underlying assumptions and figure out if this belief is very realistic. It is important to develop confidence in her ability to cope with hypoglycemia… yes, it is best to prevent lows when possible, but she can treat the lows quickly and recover from them.
If you choose to see a psychologist or social worker, I recommend someone who practices CBT, which is an evidence-based clinical approach.
That pervaded into my own experience and my coping mechanism in my school life was to keep my sugars a bit higher than they should have been.
Enjoyed the article but T1D is different for each person, take the time to understand what is happening to your body, it do s help with anxiaty. They found that dogs, when made incapable of pancreatic function and the organ itself, developed diabetic symptoms, leading to their death.
This is the reason why the body gives out these symptoms, to manage and correct the imbalance created. With sugar levels taking a nosedive, the body is left feeling unfed for hours, triggering a need for glucose for cells to function. This can be done in conversation with a therapist or by writing down negative thoughts and challenging the thoughts using thought records (see Mind over Mood by Christine Padesky and Dennis Greenberger for a patient’s guide to cognitive behavioral therapy). I work on gathering evidence to develop new, more balanced beliefs with patients who are overcome with anxiety about hypoglycemia. I have seen patients reduce their levels of anxiety and greatly improve their quality of life.  It is absolutely worth the effort.
I don’t care about using another test strip it if means my blood sugars are better controlled!



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Comments

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