“What does a high blood sugar feel like?”
I get that question ALL.THE.TIME.
From my parents, siblings, friends, babysittee’s, random people in classes, random people all together. It’s something I’ve never fully been able to express. It probably never will be.
But I’ve been considering this post for a LOOOONG time now (like starting of this blog long) and I finally gathered enough of my own information to tell you what a high blood sugar feels like for myself.
Forget all the textbook symptoms, those honestly dont compare to how I feel when I’m 270+ (thats when most of my symptoms appear). I mean yes, there’s the extreme thirst and constant need to pee but for me its much more than that.
So what does it feel like?
- “My face feels tight“: This is actually what I tell my friends a lot when they ask how I feel when I am experiencing a high blood sugar near them. It literally feels like my face is getting stretched really tight.
- “My mouth feels cloudy“: Its not so much dry for me, its just that it feels like theres hot air in my mouth during those times. You know how you can sometimes feel you have a fever just by the heat your mouth is producing? That’s almost similar to this, although no fever is involved.
- “My legs HURT”: I’m not saying its just a walk it off kind of situation, if my blood sugar is high, my legs feel as if they had just ran ten miles, non stop. It hurts to move them. They feel very heavy to me as well.
- “My body feels heavy”: Actually, its not just my legs; my head, arms, hands. They all feel like they suddenly got ten times heavier.
- “I’m so tired”: Okay, so THIS one is textbook. BUT, It needs more explaining, for me at least. It’s not just like a “I need to sit down and relax” kind of tired, its a “get me to a bed this instant before I fall asleep on this sidewalk” kind of tired. Its sudden as well, which is scary, because it can come in right after I dose or before any other symptoms come; and sometimes when the latter happens, I (shamefully) don’t realize what might come next and fall asleep only to wake up 20 minutes later feeling AWFUL.
“I crave fruit”: My breath smelling fruity (when ketones are present) isnt the only symptom here related to fruit. I’ve always assumed this is just because of the natural juices in fruit that will temporarily relieve the thirst symptom. Of course, I cant eat those carb-y fruits, no matter how bad the craving is.
In severe cases:
- “My stomach feels like it flipped inside”: It doesnt necessarily hurt, but it does feel very weird. Of course, I get nauseous and can’t eat anything.
And here’s the strangest one to explain: “The inside of my head feels hot”: Okay, you might be thinking, What the hell is this girl on besides insulin? But it really feels like theres hot pressure inside my head; and maybe thats what make my head feel heavier. Its actually more behind my face than anywhere else; but it causes my face to feel tingly and theres an immense amount of pressure, probably what makes my face feel stretched but both or only one of those symptoms can happen during a high.
So you might still be going, What does a high blood sugar feel like? because these are all very strange symptoms, and some of you diabetics may not get these symptoms and explain yours differently and other people (diabetics and non-diabetics) might not understand what I’m trying to explain here; but thats what I try and stress to people; having a high blood sugar is difficult to explain. When I’m with someone and I say “hold on, I have to test, I feel really high” its hard for them not to question WHAT it is that I’m feeling.
And I dont mind the question, at all, its just I never had a real answer. So I hope this helps those in the future who wonder, beyond textbook analysis, what a high blood sugar reading may feel like.
PLEASE keep in mind; it is important that you know I did not deliberately get my blood sugar higher to mark this information down, and neither should you if you are a diabetic reading this. I simply took the moments where diabetes was being a pain in the tuchus and used that (while treating) to let those who do not have diabetes know what I feel and what other diabetics MAY feel (although I cant speak for them). I don’t think its worth a hospital trip or worse to get one blog post out.