Many people are under the impression they are unaware of their bouts with low blood sugar aka “hypo unaware.” I am not so sure everyone is. I believe most people experience symptoms but they do not necessarily associate them with low blood sugar.
For instance, a poster recently wrote they are “hypo unaware” yet they noticed they are thirsty when their blood sugar is low. So … they are not actually unaware, they are just experiencing less acknowledged symptoms.
How do you associate less widely discussed symptoms with low blood sugar? I recommend testing more often than “recommended.” It is nearly impossible to observe “strange” feelings or new symptoms by testing just 4-6 times a day. I sure did not make a correlation between the symptoms and low blood sugar when I was testing the recommended number of times per day.
I test before I treat a suspected low or just when I feel “weird.” I have added such symptoms as: yawning, feeling cold, excessive thirst, short-duration shooting pain to the temple, hives, seeing white spots and unprovoked sexual stimulation to my list of warning signs. There are others.
On the other hand, I am rarely shaky anymore – the most widely published symptom of low blood sugar. That works for me. Shaking for 15 or 20 minutes is highly annoying. Adrenalin causes the shaking, so apparently I am releasing a little less adrenalin than in the early years of my diagnosis.
So, if you think you are unaware of low blood sugar, step back. Pay very close attention to weird sensations that, at the moment, seem mundane. Check your blood sugar. Do not wait. If your blood sugar is 70 or 80 but you know you have insulin peaking, check again in 15 minutes. You may be feeling the peak of the insulin or the start of a drop. You do not know unless you test. If you were high when you started, you may be feeling the sudden more dramatic drop but may not be low yet. In any case, these are all symptoms that are helpful to correlate to your body. They are all a warning for you to pay attention and note the “oddity” for future reference.
Of equal importance, try not to be lulled into the complacency of “I’ve got this down pat. I know how I feel.” Think of it as the weather. If you do not like it now, it is likely to change in 15 minutes. So be prepared.
Doris J. Dickson