Hypos

Feeling wobbly or confused? Got tingly lips and blurred eyesight? You could be having a hypo.

Almost everyone with Type 1 diabetes will have a hypo at some stage. No-one likes them, but you need to know why they happen and what to do about them.

Hypos (hypoglycaemia or low blood glucose) happen when your blood glucose level drops too low.

 

In people who don't have diabetes, the right amount of insulin is usually produced at the right time so their blood glucose level doesn't go too high or too low.

 

In people with diabetes, the balance of insulin, food and physical activity sometimes isn’t right and blood glucose levels drop too low. That's when you start feeling wobbly.

"The worst feeling after a hypo, for me, is having lost control of the situation and perhaps of yourself – of having 'failed' to balance your food, exercise and insulin."
– Jamie, 14

Predicting hypos

There's no definite way of predicting when hypos may happen. However, they're more likely to happen when:

  • your meal or snack was missed or delayed 

  • you didn't have enough carbohydrate such as pasta or potatoes at your last meal

  • you did some strenuous exercise without taking extra carbohydrate or reducing your insulin dose to allow for it

  • you took more insulin then you needed

  • you've had too much alcohol to drink.

Warning signs

Your hypo warning symptoms are what alert you to the fact that your blood glucose levels have dropped too low. Everyone has different symptoms, but some of the common ones are: feeling shaky, sweating, hunger, tiredness, blurred vision, pins and needles around your mouth, finding it hard to concentrate, headaches, feeling tearful, increased heart rate, and becoming stroppy or stubborn.

In the public eye

It's a good idea to let your firends know about hypos and how they effect you. Sometimes during a hypo, you could get confused and be unable to sort yourself out. It is far better for you and people around you to know about your diabetes, what hypos are and how they can help you. After all, it can be frightening for them to see you having a hypo and not know what to do.

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Feeling hypo

What should you do when you start feeling hypo?

Check out what to do

Living with hypos

How hypos can affect your everyday life.

Check out the facts