Low varietals.

Panicked SmileyI’m not really sure why I ask questions like the one I’m about to ask because the answer is usually “diabetes makes no sense,” but here it  goes anyway:

How is it that lows of comparable numbers can present so differently? You know what I mean? Like you can have a 54 that you barely notice, and your only symptom is “tired,” and then a day later you can have a 55mg/dL that has your dripping in sweat, the room spinning, and you tackling the refrigerator like a linebacker on Super Bowl Sunday. And don’t get me started on the random ones where you have symptoms that are just weird anomalies that you’ve NEVER had with a low before. Like the time I started crying for no reason on a training run with my best friend:

“Lex! You ok? Wait why are you crying, do you hate this run?”

“Um I don’t KNOW!? I’m just crying? I don’t hate this run…I just…”

“Are you low maybe?”

Yeah…about that one. That had never happened before and has never happened since (and PS – thank goodness my friend was there! I didn’t have the foggiest clue about why I was crying, she nailed it! Diabuddy).

But seriously – does anyone know why low symptoms can be so different from low to low? Even at comparable numbers? How does the body decide if this is a creep-up-on-ya-with-no-symptoms low or a HOLY HELL I WILL RIP THAT COOKIE OUT OF YOUR MOUTH type of low? Not that I’ve ever done that last one…ahem.


Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a comment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader.


My problem isn’t necessarily the varietals in symptoms (which do happen to some extent), but at which point I start feeling them.

Sometimes, I don’t notice anything until I’m at 50 or below. But at other times, I’m getting shaky (and hungry!) at 85. It’s so weird.

The most important thing for me is NOT to read about others’ strange reactions to lows. I read about PWDs who became rage-filled when low and two days later, I experienced it. I’m not a rage-filled person. But I came home one day and I was thinking, “what the heck are all these people doing hanging around here (in the neighborhood they live in)! They need to go home now!” And guard that cookie in your mouth…

Hi Alexis,
I haven’t a clue. Recently I had a low of ……wait for it….45!! and just had a slight feeling that something may not be quite right and sometimes when i get close to 100 I am shaking like crazy. Diabetes just makes NO SENSE!

Faye A.

Exactly my thoughts! Last night I was 44 (dropped from 90 in like 5 min) and it was really scary as I haven’t been that low in years. This was due to many factors – going out to eat at 8 pm –not my choice but thanks to family from out of state visiting, not calculating food and then not eating what I bolused for because of how horribly greasy this pizza was at Old Chicago. Again this reinforced why I never eat pizza anywhere but what I make from scratch and low fat. Then I was awoken at 3 am with a 240! Did I mention I only ate one thin crust 3×4 inch piece?! Never again! But the symptoms of a 44 were way more horrible than any 55 before!

My hubby had a low of 29 a few weeks back in the middle of the night. Total drenched in sweat can’t talk kind of low. He rarely has these kind of lows and in the past few months has had two at night. He’s been type one for 36 years of his life. Other times he talks and acts just fine at 45, totally insane.

BTW…we’re in San Diego and he rode the Tour de Cure with you a number of times 🙂

I’ve got an idea on the symptoms, but obviously it might (let’s be honest, it probably is) be wrong.

It depends on what you are doing!

So for instance, if you were doing sports at the time, dodging your way through traffic in the pre-soccer mad rush, then the adrenaline that would typically cause the “mad-sweating and shaking” response is just used up. Expended, if you will, on extending your lifespan past that set of lights.

And hence you sail straight past that stage and into the blurry vision and depression stage (I didn’t start crying yet, but I dropped two bike races because of the feeling of “I don’t want to be here”).

So each will be different. Ain’t it great? 🙂

I also think it can be (at least for me) how quickly I got to the low reading. If it was a slower drop, my symptoms are not as bad as a quick drop. And, yes, one would think that a slow drop could be corrected before it even got too low….. but that is not always possible:)

Leave a comment