Low Blood Sugar

Written by Jim Folk
Medically reviewed by Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Last updated May 28, 2021

The body, through digestion, converts the food we eat into blood sugar (and other nutrients to help the body rebuild). Much like gas for our vehicle, the body uses blood sugar for fuel.

When the body's blood sugar is within the normal range, the body performs well and we have a healthy level of energy. However, if blood sugar is allowed to drop too low, we can experience symptoms of low blood sugar.

Low blood sugar, even low within the normal range, can cause many anxiety-like symptoms, including:

  • An increase in feeling anxious
  • Being nervous or anxious
  • Blurred/impaired vision
  • Color draining from the skin (pallor)
  • Confusion
  • Coordination problems, clumsiness
  • Crying out during sleep
  • Dizziness; light headedness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling shaky
  • Feeling Sleepy
  • Feeling weak or having no energy
  • Headaches
  • Hunger
  • Inability to complete routine tasks
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Irritability or impatience
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Nightmares or crying out during sleep
  • Pale skin
  • Seizures
  • Shakiness
  • Sweating, chills and clamminess
  • Tingling or numbness in the lips, tongue, or cheeks
  • Visual disturbances, such as blurred vision

To name a few.[1][2]

Anxiety and hyperstimulation can cause low blood sugar because they use up the body's energy resources faster than normal.

If you aren’t eating sufficiently to restore the body’s energy resources, blood sugar can drop and cause low blood sugar symptoms.

Eating regular meals or frequently throughout the day when anxiety and hyperstimulation are elevated can prevent episodes of low blood sugar. Keeping your energy resources replenished can prevent drops in blood sugar.

Eating natural and whole foods can also be helpful as they take longer to assimilate.

Also, avoid raw sugar, high fat, and fast foods as they metabolize quickly, which can cause a “blood sugar spike then plunge” phenomenon. We explain this phenomenon in more detail in chapter 4 in the Recovery Support area.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – which we call the underlying factors of anxiety – a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources

Return to our anxiety disorders signs and symptoms page.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including Low Blood Sugar.

References

1. “Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Glucose).” ADA, 5 Oct. 2019. https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/medication-management/blood-glucose-testing-and-control/hypoglycemia.

2. “Hypoglycemia.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 7 Sept. 2018. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypoglycemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20373685.