Panic Attacks and Low Blood Sugar

Hypoglycemia is the medical term for the state when blood sugar drops below normal.  It’s normal for blood sugar levels  to fluctuate throughout the day. But did you know that the symptoms of hypoglycemia can mimic panic disorder and cause panic attacks?

It’s true. Hypoglycemia can cause the following symptoms:

  • shakiness
  • hunger
  • sweating
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • nervousness
  • sleepiness
  • anxiety
  • difficulty speaking
  • confusion
  • weakness
  • panic attacks

Although we are all at risk of feeling the symptoms of low blood sugar, diabetics have to monitor their panic attacks and low blood sugarblood glucose throughout the day and keep a record.

My heart goes anyone with panic disorder, but diabetics have an especially challenging road with anxiety.  With fluctuating blood sugar as a hallmark of their disease process, they can experience the exaggerated symptoms of anxiety more so than others.

Here are some quotes I found from diabetics with anxiety and panic disorder:

I have anxiety over making sure I eat so that I don’t get low blood sugar. -D

That is why I don’t like going to the doctor.. and when I do go he just wants to push anxiety meds on me… and I am not a pill taker. I hate anything that makes me feel different…. This disease is horrible..  -DF

They said blood sugar wouldn’t be causing this severe of symptoms, but I think that my symptoms were exxaggerated because I have panic disorder. -BF

I get a major panic attack when I have not eaten in a while, and once I eat, I feel better. I definitely notice a correlation between the two. -NA

For a long time everyone told me these were just panic attacks and to ignore them and they would go away, but I started noticing that they are very different from normal panic attacks, and sometimes the stuff I do to help my panic attacks wouldn’t work on them at all. That’s when I figured out my blood sugar was probably low. -WG

Here are some guidelines to prevent hypoglycemia

  • don’t skip meals
  • don’t drink alcoholic beverages on an empty stomach
  • try to eat small frequent meals instead of 2 or 3 large meals
  • have a small healthy snack after physical activity.
  • have a small health snack before bedtime.

In closing, the symptoms of hypoglycemia can mimic panic disorder. Diabetics have an especially hard challenge with anxiety because their blood sugar fluctuates frequently. Its important for everyone with panic attacks to follow guidelines to help prevent hypoglycemia, like those listed above.

Here are 3 excellent resource sites for diabetes:

Do you have diabetes on top of your panic disorder? Can you share any tips you use for staving off hypoglycemia?

I wish you peace,
Jill G.

Want to know how I’m doing so well after suffering from anxiety and panic attacks for so long? I recommend and use Panic Away. Click on the link to get started today and show those stupid panic attacks who’s boss…
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2 Responses to Panic Attacks and Low Blood Sugar


    I have only just realised that there is a link between panic attacks and low blood sugars as I now have a blood sugar monitor. It is a relief to know that low or indeed high blood sugars can cause or exacerbate this.

    • JillG says:

      That’s great Heather,

      I hope you will try to keep some healthy snacks handy -whether in your glove box, desk or purse. That way, you can avoid those “dips” that for anxious prone folk, bring on anxiety symptoms. ‘Good to have on hand stuff’ can be easy as nuts, protein bars, a banana, or a hard boiled egg. Take care.

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