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Low Blood Sugar – Can Cause Many Anxiety-like Symptoms

Jim Folk author
Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Last updated: November 1, 2020

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 can cause the body to use up its energy resources faster than normal. If you aren’t eating sufficiently to restore the body’s energy resources, blood sugar can drop and cause the above symptoms.

You can remedy this by eating regular meals or frequently throughout the day when anxiety and hyperstimulation are elevated. 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.


The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.

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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.