What Causes One to Feel Jittery?

A jittery feeling could be defined as nervousness, edginess, or a feeling of having butterflies in the stomach. Most of us have experienced such a sensation during examinations or interviews. It has a lot to do with our state of mind. However, such a feeling could even be a symptom of certain medical conditions. The following sections provide information about the contributing factors for this feeling.
What May Make you Feel Jittery?
Blood sugar or blood glucose level refers to the amount of glucose/sugar present in the blood. Hypoglycemia is a condition that is characterized by low blood sugar levels, which means that the amount of blood sugar is less than the normal reference range. In case of non-diabetics, it could occur due to fasting, poor diet, binge drinking, etc. In case of diabetics, blood sugar levels might drop due to an overdose of insulin (medication for diabetes), binge drinking, consumption of alcohol on an empty stomach, missing meals, etc. The symptoms of hypoglycemia include nervousness, shakiness, fatigue, sweating, confusion, palpitations, hunger, fatigue, dizziness, palor, etc. It is important for diabetics to maintain normal blood glucose levels.
Hypotension is characterized by low blood pressure. A blood pressure reading that is lower than 90/60 mm Hg is indicative of hypotension. It must be noted that one would be diagnosed with hypotension even if the drop is only observed in systolic or diastolic pressure. So, if the blood pressure reading is 120/50 mm Hg, it is still indicative of hypotension. The symptoms of low blood pressure include lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat, nausea, blurred vision, pale skin, shallow breathing, confusion, fatigue, loss of consciousness, etc. A sudden drop in blood pressure can also cause a jittery sensation.
Panic Disorders
Panic disorders are anxiety disorders that are characterized by fear of losing control, even though there’s no real threat or danger. In healthy individuals, the feeling of anxiety withers away when the cause of worry is eliminated. However, in individuals affected by anxiety disorders, such episodes occur unexpectedly. The symptoms of panic disorders include sudden and repeated episodes of fear, anxiety about the occurrence of the next attack, a feeling of being out of control during the attack, etc. Such individuals might even avoid places where such episodes have occurred previously. Certain physical symptoms that are experienced by the affected individual include nervousness, racing heart, weakness, dizziness, sweating, shortness of breath, feeling hot, chills, numbness in hands, pain in the chest or stomach, etc.
A phobia is defined as an irrational fear of any object, person, phenomenon, or situation. Hydrophobia (fear of water), acrophobia (fear of heights), brontophobia (fear of thunder), technophobia (fear of technology), agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), etc., are some of the types of phobia. A person affected by a phobia has intense physical and psychological reactions when faced with the object or situation that he/she fears. He/she might have a severe panic attack, which might cause a jittery feeling, increased heartbeat, breathing problems, etc. Such a fear is often rooted in the subconscious mind from the early days of childhood. If left untreated, it persists in adulthood.
Temporary Causes
◆ Anxiety or edginess can also occur due to dehydration that might occur while performing exercises or strenuous physical activities. This might cause one to feel shaky and dizzy.
◆ Jittery sensations during pregnancy can be the result of hormonal changes in the body.
◆ In some cases, prolonged use of drugs such as steroids or antidepressants can cause anxiety and nervousness. Excessive intake of caffeine and aerated drinks could also induce such a sensation.
If the cause of the nervousness is a medical condition, it can be resolved with drug therapy. In case of psychological and behavioral problems, the affected individuals might benefit from counseling and psychotherapy, where they can learn to relax, control their thought process, and control their physical/emotional reactions. Following relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can also help them stay calm.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.