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hypoglycemic symptoms and blood glucose levels

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hypoglycemic symptoms and blood glucose levels

Posted by
Michael [124.8] on February 24, 2004 at 05:03:54:

I have wondered for a long time why I experience hypoglycemic symptoms (fatigue, mental dullness and confusion, anxiety, irritability, emotional lability)even when my blood glucose level is not particularly low.
During a glucose tolerence test I experienced severe symptoms, with blood glucose dropping as low as 33 in the third hour. However, if I test a blood sample when I'm symptomatic during the course of a regular day (as opposed to during the extreme metabolic stress of a glucose tolerence test) I go no lower than the low 80's, even when the symptoms are quite intense.
The only theory I've come accross which makes any sense of this is that the symptoms stem from problems with glucose utilization in the brain, which can occur even when veinous blood sugar isn't particularly low.
Any thoughts?



Re: hypoglycemic symptoms and blood glucose levels

Posted by ANN [1003.516] on February 24, 2004 at 06:10:05:

In Reply to: hypoglycemic symptoms and blood glucose levels posted by Michael [124.8] on February 24, 2004 at 05:03:54:

Persons going into low blood sugar vary in their ability to perceive it and that perception varies by how involved they are in other activities. My nephew has diabetes and the insulin makes him go low frequently. There have been times when he knows he's going low, but the blood sugar reading is 150. I've come to trust his senses and watch him carefully after that-within half an hour he actually IS low.
However if he is intensely involved in a video game or computer program, he will not 'catch' a low himself until he's down to about 40-he is so involved in something else, that he is oblivious to the early symptoms.
Other points to note, home glucose moniters are up to 20% inaccurate- 80 actually means 'between 64 and 96' also, one can get occasional false readings due to poor technique, inadequate blood sample, or poor circulation in the area you take the sample from.
If the result seems wrong, either repeat the test imediately, using a different finger for blood supply or repeat the test in 10-15 minutes to see if you are going progressively lower and have simply sensed the process of going low early.
Try to focus on low glycemic foods in general to cut down on blood sugar fluctuations.Recently, cinnamon has been suggested to people with diabetes to lower their blood sugar. This would suggest that you should avoid cinnamon. Raw nuts are a good snack -they have limited carbos and the fat and protein in them provide fuel slowly.The Glucose Revolution is a good book for learning about the glycemic index if you aren't already up on it.



Dr Stoll

Posted by Aston [31.231] on February 24, 2004 at 07:03:03:

In Reply to: hypoglycemic symptoms and blood glucose levels posted by Michael [124.8] on February 24, 2004 at 05:03:54:

I would be interested in what Dr Stoll says about this as my 9 year old son fasted overnight for one of these tests & the results were fine yet he is so hypoglycemic.



Re: hypoglycemic symptoms and blood glucose levels

Posted by Sonja [305.130] on February 24, 2004 at 10:56:20:

In Reply to: hypoglycemic symptoms and blood glucose levels posted by Michael [124.8] on February 24, 2004 at 05:03:54:

This confirms what I have been experiencing and thinking for a while. The term 'low blood sugar is misguiding. It is not the 'low blood sugar' that is a problem, but falling blood sugar. The more rapidly it goes down, the more problematic it gets.

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Re: Dr Stoll

Posted by ANN [1077.516] on February 24, 2004 at 11:04:14:

In Reply to: Dr Stoll posted by Aston [31.231] on February 24, 2004 at 07:03:03:

books I've read on hypoglycemia suggest that the lab test blood testsi are done at intervals too infrequent and that the important concept is not the discreet readings, but the change between readings. Most of the books I've read about this are 60's and 70's stuff I got from library sales- there's probably more up-to-date info on the internet.



Re: Dr Stoll

Posted by Aston [31.231] on February 24, 2004 at 13:24:58:

In Reply to: Re: Dr Stoll posted by ANN [1077.516] on February 24, 2004 at 11:04:14:

Well the doc made my son fast for 14 hours, took blood, got results back, said no problem, good-bye! So not sure where to go from here on that one, neurotic mother of course...



Re: Dr Stoll

Posted by ANN [1003.516] on February 24, 2004 at 14:25:27:

In Reply to: Re: Dr Stoll posted by Aston [31.231] on February 24, 2004 at 13:24:58:

just ONE drawing of blood? I understood the 6 hour test to involve drawing blood several times during the 6 hours and THAT was critiqued as not catching all cases of hypoglycemia.
If you know someone with diabetes, you might borrow their meter. Tests often cost about $1 each in supplies, so if the person has trouble paying for all their meds and supplies, you'd want to reimburse them. Groceries with pharmacies often have their own brand of glucose meter for about $45 with 10 strips and another 100 strips cost about $45 in the store brand. No prescription required in the US for blood glucose testing supplies. You could run tests every half hour and when low blood sugar behaviour was observed.
One common symptom of low blood sugar is getting white around the mouth. Feeling trembly is another. Exercise sometimes leads to low sugar as can mental exercise (working on a new computer program, as opposed to something you can do without a lot of mental effort).
Did the doctor give your son anything to drink before the blood test? If not, that's just fasting blood sugar- not likely to catch hypoglycemia, as the body raises the blood sugar from its reserves to avoid unconsciousness.



Re: Dr Stoll

Posted by Aston [31.231] on February 24, 2004 at 17:31:14:

In Reply to: Re: Dr Stoll posted by ANN [1003.516] on February 24, 2004 at 14:25:27:

Oh right Ann, its all been done wrong then (that figures) im in the U.K by the way.He gave him no drink?? So what was the point of the test my son went through then?



Re: Dr Stoll

Posted by ANN [1003.516] on February 25, 2004 at 05:16:01:

In Reply to: Re: Dr Stoll posted by Aston [31.231] on February 24, 2004 at 17:31:14:

that sounds like a fasting blood glucose. It's to reveal high blood sugar to diagnose diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, which used to hit people in their 40-50"s now hits kids as young as 9 (those diagnosed tend to be overweight). Type 1 diabetes has always been diagnosed more in children (the kids are usually very thin), but accounts for only 5% of diabetes and is starting to hit adults. Type 2 is a lifestyle disease, type 1 is viral. Your doctor seems to have tested for diabetes. Your seem to want a test for hypoglycemia.
The old books I read said that MD's generally don't recognize hypoglycemia as a disorder. I don't know if this is still true, but , in the US, homeopaths and naturopaths mostly treat hypoglycemia, which is a pervasive disorder- SO many people suffer from it.
I've spent the last 6 1/2 years studying diabetes. I've come to the conclusion that hypoglycemia is the precursor to type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is hyperglycemia-too much sugar. It just makes sense to me that, if there is a condition in humans of too much sugar, there will also, in other humans, be a condition of too little sugar (hypoglycemia), but doctors have long denied it- they say hypoglycemia exists in people taking insulin, as a side effect of the insulin ( and it does, but they aren't the only ones with the problem).
Hypoglycemia and hyperinsulinia ( making too much insulin) are the same disorder. You'll want to look them both up on the internet for current info.
Don't know if the UK has alternative practitioners to diagnose this, but, if you perceive it to be the problem, find diets for it on the internet and implement one. If it relieves symptoms, you will have confirmed what's called a 'presumptive diagnosis'.
Anyway, as you have questions about hypoglycemia or diets for it, you may want to post your own question on the board so other people who've been dealing with it longer can give you input (not everyone reads questions within someone else's question).



Re: hypoglycemic symptoms and blood glucose levels (dysautonomia)

Posted by Walt Stoll [9.8] on February 25, 2004 at 07:56:13:

In Reply to: hypoglycemic symptoms and blood glucose levels posted by Michael [124.8] on February 24, 2004 at 05:03:54:

Michael,

The vast majority of "hypoglycemic symptoms" are really "dysautonomic symptoms". See the glossary and archives.

Let us know what you learn.

Walt

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Re: hypoglycemic symptoms and blood glucose levels

Posted by
Michael Sussman [124.8] on February 25, 2004 at 18:09:47:

In Reply to: Re: hypoglycemic symptoms and blood glucose levels posted by ANN [1003.516] on February 24, 2004 at 06:10:05:

You make an excellent point,Anne, about the inaccuracy of home glucose monitors. I had this confirmed today. I recently had blood drawn to check my fasting blood sugar level. When I returned home--still fasting from the night before--I used my monitor and it gave me a reading of 87. I saw the doctor today and found out that the blood sample he took showed a level of 73-- 15 mg lower than my reading.

Of course, according to medical "experts", even 73 isn't all that low. I also lean toward the hypothesis that symptoms derive from falling blood sugar, regardless of the numbers involved.

This condition has made a mess of my life, affecting job performance and satisfaction, relationships, and self-esteem. I recently became so depressed (about other--but related-- things as well, such as divorce and unemployment) that I decided to have ECT (Electro Convulsive Treatment)It helped the depression, but I'm still dealing with the hypoglycemia. Most physicians do not even consider it a genuine medical problem, leaving me feeling like a hypochondriac.



Re: hypoglycemic symptoms and blood glucose levels

Posted by ANN [1003.516] on February 25, 2004 at 20:02:03:

In Reply to: Re: hypoglycemic symptoms and blood glucose levels posted by Michael Sussman [124.8] on February 25, 2004 at 18:09:47:

carbos are the main problem in hypoglycemia. Since they signal the body to release insulin, which lowers blood sugar, you get great fluctuations. Emphasizing protein and fat could help with hypoglycemia. For a good book on how the body works with regard to blood sugar, read Diabetes Solution by Richard Bernstein MD.
You might want to work with a naturopath or homeopath instead of an md, alternative doctors usually believe that hypoglycemia exists, which would be much better for you than dealing with a doc who doesn't believe in it.

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Re: Dr Stoll (Archive in diabetes.) Good explanation.

Posted by Walt Stoll [9.8] on February 26, 2004 at 07:06:55:

In Reply to: Re: Dr Stoll posted by ANN [1003.516] on February 25, 2004 at 05:16:01:

Thanks, Ann.

Right on! Now the question is: WHY do physicians, whose profession is to understand stuff like this, still ignoring the obvious? Could it be because the sicker the patient is the more money the doctor makes???

One of the reasons My license was revoked was because I was teaching my patients stuff like this and lecturing publically about it 25 years ago.

Walt



Re: Dr Stoll (Archive in diabetes.) Good explanation.

Posted by Aston [31.231] on February 27, 2004 at 14:36:16:

In Reply to: Re: Dr Stoll (Archive in diabetes.) Good explanation. posted by Walt Stoll [9.8] on February 26, 2004 at 07:06:55:

"Could it be because the sicker the patient is the more money the doctor makes???"

Dr Stoll, i wonder this everyday.

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Re: Dr Stoll

Posted by Aston [31.231] on February 27, 2004 at 14:36:51:

In Reply to: Re: Dr Stoll posted by ANN [1003.516] on February 25, 2004 at 05:16:01:

Wow, great answer, such a help Ann, thank.

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