Sometimes when I get up in the morning my arms feel jittery and a bit tense. Is this because my blood sugar is low from not eating?

Topics: Diet, General

Thank you for asking this great question! Waking up in the morning and feeling “jittery” could indicate a number of medical conditions, including an abnormally low blood glucose level (hypoglycemia).

A blood glucose level of 70 or lower is considered to be hypoglycemia. Common symptoms of hypoglycemia include feeling “jittery” or shaky, sweaty, confused, and lethargic (no energy). Common causes of hypoglycemia include going long periods of time without eating, not eating enough carbohydrate, too much insulin or diabetes medication, and activity. When you are sleeping at night, there is a greater risk for hypoglycemia to occur simply because you are going a long period of time without food. Additionally, taking insulin to manage your diabetes, and some oral diabetes medications are associated with an increased risk for hypoglycemia.

I would definitely recommend that you test your blood glucose anytime you feel “jittery,” anytime you experience any of the symptoms of hypoglycemia that I mentioned, and anytime you just don’t feel right. If you are experiencing hypoglycemia it is important to treat yourself immediately with a fast acting carbohydrate such as 3-4 glucose tablets, or ½ cup of orange juice. Once you treat yourself, be sure to re-check your blood glucose in fifteen minutes and re-treat if it is not above 70.

Finally, be sure to let your physician know right away if you are experiencing hypoglycemia, and be sure to discuss the symptoms you are experiencing upon waking up. Thanks again for submitting your question and best wishes to you for a happy and healthy 2012!

Posted on January 13, 2012 by:

  • This information is meant to be strictly for informational and educational purposes. It is not to be considered as advice, including medical advice, from Liberty Medical Supply, Inc. None of the information presented here is intended to serve as a substitute for diagnosis from, or consultation with, a health care professional. Always consult your doctor regarding any medical questions that you have, as well as before starting or changing your exercise or diet program, and before adjusting any medication.