Question about hypoglycemia

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Question about hypoglycemia


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Old 06-20-2018, 04:53   #1
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Default Question about hypoglycemia

Currently I haven't been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes. I am a male, in my early 40s with a family history of diabetes. My mother had type 2, my father is borderline diabetic. Both my grandmothers and a greatgrandmother had diabetes. Several aunts and uncles on both sides of the family have diabetes. An older sibling was recently diagnosed with diabetes. My sugar levels have always been on the lower side though than high.

Here's my concern: I suspect I have a form of reactive hypoglycemia or in general some sort of hypoglycemia because I feel faint and get a few symptoms but some unrelated meds I take mask most of the symptoms. This occurs usually if I do not eat or drink within so many hours of my next meal such as lunch or supper.

Recently my blood work showed my glucose level to be 57 mg/dl. My primary care doctor dismissed the low reading as an anomaly since my other previous blood work hovered around 70-75 he said that I shoudn't be concerned. Also, he said people that take insulin or have a pancreatice tumor get hypoglycemia that I am not a candidate for it at all.

My question is that was that low reading a fluke or should I be watchful. Thank you for your time and this forum.

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Old 06-20-2018, 05:25   #2
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It may very well have been a fluke, but should not have been so quickly dismissed by your doctor. To be on the safe side, with your family history genetics/environment, buy yourself a meter and some test strips at a chain/discount pharmacy. Look for one with inexpensive strips and start testing yourself.

People who have reactive hypoglycemia, can eventually become diabetic. Many lows are usually preceded by high BG levels. It would serve you well to read up on diabetes. A good site is Bloodsugar101, well worth the time spent there.

If you do get readings that point to what you suspect or diabetes, you might want to find a different doctor to deal with it.

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Old 06-20-2018, 07:18   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CuriousKen View Post
Currently I haven't been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes. I am a male, in my early 40s with a family history of diabetes. My mother had type 2, my father is borderline diabetic. Both my grandmothers and a greatgrandmother had diabetes. Several aunts and uncles on both sides of the family have diabetes. An older sibling was recently diagnosed with diabetes. My sugar levels have always been on the lower side though than high.

Here's my concern: I suspect I have a form of reactive hypoglycemia or in general some sort of hypoglycemia because I feel faint and get a few symptoms but some unrelated meds I take mask most of the symptoms. This occurs usually if I do not eat or drink within so many hours of my next meal such as lunch or supper.

Recently my blood work showed my glucose level to be 57 mg/dl. My primary care doctor dismissed the low reading as an anomaly since my other previous blood work hovered around 70-75 he said that I shoudn't be concerned. Also, he said people that take insulin or have a pancreatice tumor get hypoglycemia that I am not a candidate for it at all.

My question is that was that low reading a fluke or should I be watchful. Thank you for your time and this forum.
I don't think what you have described could be called "reactive" hypoglycemia. You stated that it happens when you haven't eaten during "many hours". Reactive hypoglycemia happens in the immediate aftermath of eating. Blood sugar goes up and then drops back down below normal. Regular ("classic"?) hypoglycemia is as you have described. Hypoglycemics are advised to eat something every 2 - 3 waking hours in order to not drop low. They should cut out most carbs (maybe that's for the "reactive" component, it accentuates the swings). That should be all you need to do. Diabetes may follow later or it may not. You'll just have to wait and see. Meanwhile, small and frequent low-carb meals should keep everything normal.

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Old 06-20-2018, 15:07   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CuriousKen View Post

Here's my concern: I suspect I have a form of reactive hypoglycemia or in general some sort of hypoglycemia because
Not sure Curious Ken but I can pass on my story - Lots of Type 1s in my extended family - my cousin's BGs would drop so much he would lose consciousness - apparently it was triggered by certain foods.

I don't know if he grew out of it or not because he died a few years ago from something unrelated..

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Old 06-20-2018, 19:35   #5
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I think that your doctor is being dismissive of your hypoglycemic episodes. Ask for some glucagon kits, they can be a lifesaver.

I had to use a kit, to bring myself out of an impending unconsciousness, one one occasion. That episode was very unpleasant, and serious.

I always carry table sugar now, because I am prone to crashing. I get out and go, and sometimes I overdo it.
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If this site is correct, a kit can cost $300-$400, retail. That goes a long way in explaining, why my doctor never brings it up anymore.

I will give him credit, he dispensed about 3 of them to me. I did not know that they were prohibitively costly though.

https://www.goodrx.com/glucagon?kw=p...58d27ff5a56f21

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Old 06-20-2018, 22:21   #6
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Thank you for all your information, suggestions and help. I think what I need to do is to get a glucose meter that has cheap test strips to keep an eye on it myself especially as I find myself sleepy in the evening so my sugar could be going up and down. The meter will allow me to see where I am at and will read Bloodsugar101.

I thought my doctor dismissed my hypoglycemia concern so I wouldn't worry but I did bring it up agian because of the low reading from my blood work. I asked a few years ago as I pushed myself too much causing a dizzy spell in general due to my other health problems. Once I ate some crackers I got stabilized but took it easy the rest of the day. He told me that was unrelated eating the crackers and the dizziness going away for the most part.

I have some glucose tablets and keep some soda with sugar on me such as during the summer in case I don't get to eat at a certain time or feel weak as I have to keep my fluids up, too. All of it could be unrelated to diabetes so I don't want to invest in a glucagon kit yet. I'll keep you guys and gals updated on my readings once I get a meter. I appreciate the prompt responses.

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Old 06-21-2018, 02:43   #7
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I think you have made a wise choice. No matter how good our doctors are, we are our own best health advocates.

FYI all meters can vary from actual BG but should be within 10-15%, so even if the actual number may be off, it is important to put some emphasis on the trend.

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Old 06-27-2018, 08:11   #8
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I think it might be due to not eating or drinking within so many hours that causes the lowering of blood sugar level. I think you should noticed regularly for some days that will give you a data for comparison. If you think still you are hypo, tell your doctor.

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Old 06-27-2018, 13:36   #9
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Once I ate some crackers I got stabilized but took it easy the rest of the day. He told me that was unrelated eating the crackers and the dizziness going away for the most part.
Ummm... that would be an incorrect statement for how my R.H. acted. (My doctor at the time told me to eat a candy bar!)

Here's my understanding of what's happening when BG goes low as in R.H. : Normally, when one's BG begins to creep up above a certain level, the pancreas puts some insulin in the blood stream to bring it down (the pancreas has stored insulin on board for this purpose and to cover the first hour or so immediately after a meal). When the signaling becomes damaged or isn't working properly, the pancreas puts out too much insulin and BG drops quickly and down lower than it should. This rapid drop in BG is usually what cause the symptoms of R.H. such as dizziness, sleepiness, shaky feeling, etc.

Treating R.H. once it happens is rather tricky. The tendency is to eat something sugary or carby. But if what one eats causes BG to go high again, the cycle starts all over again. I found the best way to treat R.H. was to eat protein and fat with just a small amount of carbs/sugar and give it some time for BG to stabilize. Better yet was to not allow it to happen at all. And that requires a low-carb way of eating. Certainly less than 100 grams carbs a day, but each person is different. Could be less than 50g/day. Some experimenting would be necessary. Testing would, of course, give you more data to quickly come to a conclusion.

Also, as has been mentioned, eating often and never going more than 3 hours without eating helps immensely - as long as what one eats is low-carb so as not to trigger a large insulin dump.

One has to do manually what the body used to do automatically.

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Old 06-27-2018, 14:44   #10
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keep in mind there are 2 types of non diabetic Reactive Hypoglycemia

1 Reactive hypoglycemia
Having pre-diabetes or being at risk for diabetes, which can lead to trouble making the right amount of insulin

Stomach surgery, which can make food pass too quickly into your small intestine

Rare enzyme deficiencies that make it hard for your body to break down food


2. Fasting hypoglycemia
Medicines, such as salicylates (such as aspirin), sulfa drugs (an antibiotic), pentamidine (to treat a serious kind of pneumonia), quinine (to treat malaria)
Alcohol, especially with binge drinking

Serious illnesses, such as those affecting the liver, heart, or kidneys
Low levels of certain hormones, such as cortisol, growth hormone, glucagon, or epinephrine

Tumors, such as a tumor in the pancreas that makes insulin or a tumor that makes a similar hormone called IGF-II

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