The Signs: Cold Sweating (1)

Once upon a time a girl went to have a coffee with a guy...and she showed up completely sweaty 😅

On my way back from the coffee...Rome - Piazza di Spagna

Last week post was about how I came to know that I'm #diabetic (or too sweet 😊). Not only I was extremely confused but for a while I also had to answer questions to which I had no answer. While I was managing conversations with other people, I had to deal with the unpleasant questions I was asking myself. The main one: Could I have known better and avoid #DKA? Honestly I'm not sure yet... but as of now I still believe 'No, I couldn't predict the DKA...but yes I definitely should have gone to see a #doctor much earlier'

"My body was so used to high blood sugar values that a reduction to a lower value was perceived by my system as a dangerous drop"

Today is about the first symptom: #Cold sweats

Three months before the hospitalisation, a guy invited me for coffee in downtown Rome (I was there on vacation).

I know I know… you will be thinking: SO WHAT? Is this related to the cold sweat? Yes…and it is also related to how the condition was affecting my life without even me realising. Be patient please!

Despite a very busy schedule I get in the car, try to find parking in downtown Rome (not easy!), rush to the appointment and got there with something like 15 minutes delay. Eventually I showed up completely sweaty from the head to the chest and I'm thinking "What the hell? Why is it so hot? Why is there no parking? Now the guy will see me in this condition!"

As soon as I got there, he saw me and said ‘You are so beautiful today’, and instead of thanking him or smiling, I thought ‘Really? Are you kidding me or you can't see how sweaty I am?’ and I ended up replying ‘You are very nice but I’m completely sweaty!’... today I realise that my thoughts and words were reflecting my main focus: the sweat and the bad feeling. I didn't process his compliment and I didn't realise how beautiful my hometown is (we were in Piazza Navona)... I was so focused on my sweat that I didn't realise how great my life is!

I didn't process his compliment and I didn't realise how beautiful my hometown is [...] I was so focused on my sweat that I didn't realise how great my life is!

To be fair, it wasn't a light sweating. I felt like I emptied a bottle of water on my head, face and chest. I could feel the drops falling from my chin on my neck. I still need to research why but when I was having those episodes the cold sweat was limited to the head/face and chest...not a nice feeling trust me. It wasn’t the first time nor the last episode. Every single time I was so absorbed by the bad physical feeling that I was also getting in a very very very bad mood (which I couldn't always hide)

What I was thinking? Did I think I could have high blood sugar? Nope! Why? I was blaming it on: the heat, the humidity, the rushing and the fact that I was nervous. I don't know how to explain it but I wasn’t able to understand that my body was trying to warn me, I even didn’t realise that I was feeling extremely physically sick. Only now I'm asking myself 'How it is possible??'

on that day, eventually the sweating reduced and I felt slightly better, I had the coffee, drank enormous quantity of water (symptom of high sugar- topic for another post), joked, walked and chatted till we had to leave. The whole time I was just thinking I must look so sweaty! Probably I wasn't looking that was my perception! I was feeling poorly and lethargic while I wanted to feel light and relaxed: I was back home, getting ready for my brother's wedding and having coffee in downtown. Why I shouldn't feeling good? Everything was perfect!

My physical condition was getting in the way of my happiness and I just had not realised it... The cold sweats kept increasing and I guess I just got used to it... The sign was loud and clear and I didn't see it.

What does it mean when you cold sweat: The answer is quite complex and I'm simplifying here (there are many other reasons, but this is the one applicable to my scenario back then): when your blood glucose (sugar) drops too low (Hypoglicemia- very dangerous...topic for another post), you produce excess adrenaline, which causes the sweating.

In those specific instances my blood sugar wasn't going too low as my values were extremely high in the first place. You will be like...what?? Confusing right? Let's try to simplify further.


1- My blood sugar is under control: ideal fasting blood sugar value is around 100 ml;

2- If (for whatever reason) my values drop below 70 ml it's when I start to have the signs of hypo (including cold sweating but not only).

Before the diagnosis last December:

1- My blood sugar was NOT under control (duh!): with no doubt the average was much higher than 100 ml...and probably it was very high for a very long period (that's why I eventually went in DKA).

2- When I was cold sweating back then it wasn't because the values where going below 70 ml, but because my body was so used to high blood sugar that a reduction to a lower value was perceived by my system as a dangerous drop, therefore the adrenaline and the cold sweating... (this also explains why I was drinking a lot of water - high sugar symptom- and cold sweating - low sugar symptom)

Do I still cold sweat? Very rarely and never so badly as I used to. Now this happens only if I'm going to hypo and once it happened when my values were quite high for a while due to issues with the insulin pen and when the values started to reduce I had to face the 'old' symptoms for a day.

I learned the lesson:

Cold Sweat = No good= Check your values= Act accordingly...

Listen to your body

Oh yes also... always accept the compliments. They are good for your soul 😉