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Beta Blockers and high blood sugar readings

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by PamRN, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. PamRN

    PamRN · Member

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    I am a 5' 8" female who weighs 135lbs. I exercise routinely, but love my chocolate! lol! I have been on a beta blocker for the past 11 years for a fast heart rate. Over the course of the past 5 years, during routine blood work, my FBS has been ranging anywhere from 102 to 128. (It should also be noted that I checked my own blood sugars one and two hours after eating on a few occasions and found that my readings went in excess of 200. On my most recent blood work a few months ago, my family doctor voiced his concern that I was indeed pre-diabetic and that I should watch what I eat. I ask him about my beta blocker and if it could cause this. He did not feel that it could, as it is a cardo select version. I decided, (with his approval) that I would wean myself off of the beta blocker and see if my blood sugars improved at all. I needed to prove this to myself...is it the medication OR do I in fact have pre-diabetes. If so, I wanted to get "on the ball" and watch my diet better. I have been off of the medication fully now for the past 12 days. My blood sugar readings have DRAMATICALLY lowered, back to the normal range! I was taking a very low dose of beta blocker, Zebeta (bisoprolol) 2.5 mg daily. This was a very welcome surprise as you can imagine. My point....I want people out there to know that this can happen. So many people are placed on beta blockers for high blood pressure etc, and may be diagnosed with diabetes. Perhaps some folks out there in this world may NOT indeed have it! Please talk to your doctor if you take one of these meds!
     
  2. Helenababe

    Helenababe · Well-Known Member

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    Hi PamRN,

    I've been taking Beta Blockers for years. It has never affected my blood sugar. My A1c is always low, and I've never heard of beta blockers causing high sugar levels.
    Interesting though.

    Helena.
     
  3. PamRN

    PamRN · Member

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    Hi,
    I know that in most people it does not effect readings. This is shown in many medical studies. I did much research and was indeed skeptical myself. It has been proven that some non cardioselect blockers CAN cause increases, but not so true with the cardioselect type. My FBS this morning was 89. I have seen it coming down over the past few days after stopping it. My highest reading thus far, even 1 hour after eating high carbs, was 112! BIG difference, since my highest was 212 after eating a granola bar before I stopped the med.
     
  4. Helenababe

    Helenababe · Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that's food for thought! I take Propranolol - 80mg per day.

    Helena.
     
  5. Hobs

    Hobs Type 2 · Master

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    I am not a cardiologist but I am surprised you were prescribed that particular BB for a fast heart rate when the water soluble Sotalol would have done the job without producing the uncommon side effect you have experienced.

    Now that you have withdrawn your BB, how are you coping with the fast heart rate?
     
  6. PamRN

    PamRN · Member

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    Hello, and thank you for your responses. I am back to a more fast resting heart rate, and I can most certainly tell with any activity, that my heart rate is faster, but it is not making me feel bad. I will see what my doc thinks this coming week. I have been continuing my exercise routine, but treading lightly. :) So far, so good. I started the medication when my 4 kids were smaller and life was a bit more crazy! Will see... thank you for listening! I am on a soap box right now, but fully understand that beta blockers do a lot of good too!
     
  7. Helenababe

    Helenababe · Well-Known Member

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    Was that for me Hobs?

    Helena
     
  8. Hobs

    Hobs Type 2 · Master

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    To anybody that thinks it is applicable to their present situation.
     
  9. Helenababe

    Helenababe · Well-Known Member

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    Not me then.

    Helena
     
  10. starlight1

    starlight1 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    hi there, i take 7.5 mg of bisoporol for angina, my bs fasting readings are always high and now you have got me wondering if it is because i take bisoprolol . i know that the medication can mask some of the symptoms of diabetes. I will have a word with my G.P. about this.
     
  11. Hobs

    Hobs Type 2 · Master

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    That could be due to the Dawn Phenonium and may not be your BB, but biso did not suit me and my cardio found that amlodipine (a non BB) was more suited to my particular body.
     
  12. PamRN

    PamRN · Member

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    Hi Starlight1,
    It is a hard call. From what I have read, most people who take beta blockers do not have blood sugar changes while taking them. I just wanted to let people know that "if it happened to me, it could happen to anyone". They certainly helped my tachycardia and I am sure they are doing their job for your angina. It was a hard decision for me to risk going off, to rule out my concern. Obviously, now I am glad that I went through weaning myself off of the med, but now will have to make the decision of getting on something else for my tachycardia. Hopefully, your doctor will guide you in the right choice. Mine brushed it off. I am excited to tell him my findings this week!
     
  13. Helenababe

    Helenababe · Well-Known Member

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    I did hours of research about it as it got me worried too, and to my shock and horror, alot of Beta Blockers including Propranolol (mine) can lower your insulin's resistance, and that can lead to diabetes! I was in a daze. :(

    My GP has never told me about this so will have a word next time I go. It also said they can mask the signs of low sugar. I'd hate to think that a drug that is making my life better, has caused me to have diabetes.

    I'll never know though, whether it was that or not, and good job, because it would have been hard to cope with.

    Helena.
     
  14. PamRN

    PamRN · Member

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    Hi Helenababe,
    I too did hours of research. Some articles that I read noted causing insulin resistance and/or diabetes and some that I trusted, noted doing research that beta blockers do NOT cause either. Neither my GP or the cardiologist who placed me first on Inderal 11 years ago, and then to Zebeta, said anything about it being a concern either. It took my daughter who was in nursing school last year, to say that she learned it was possible. As a side note, she is type 1. I credit my daughter, not the docs for picking up on this! My GP has not yet called me back. Again, my FBS is at least 10 to 15 points less each morning so far. (I never ran extremely high, but I did notice that if I took my BB before fasting labs, my result was higher, ie. 112 to 120's. If I took it without BB first thing in the morning, it ranged 104 to 106. NOW, my average this week has been low 90's. As I mentioned in earlier post, most of the change is after eating. I had resistance, and again, was told pre-diabetes. I wish you success, but as you are well aware, do NOT do anything without your doctor, as the side effects of stopping a beta blocker can be dangerous.
     
  15. Helenababe

    Helenababe · Well-Known Member

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    Hi 'PamRN',

    Thanks. No I won't be stopping them. I've had to take them since I was 19, and well, lets just say, that was a long time ago. :)

    Helena.
     
  16. Sheemsters

    Sheemsters · Newbie

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    I seem to be having the same problem, but I can't tell if my high blood sugar is because of the beta blocker or not. I get high numbers (100-115, fasting) even if I skip it for a couple of days. My after eating glucose numbers are usually in the normal range, but sometimes they are also high. The reason why I think it might be the beta blocker is because my blood glucose was always normal before I started taking it.
     
  17. Bassiette

    Bassiette Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Is it safe for T1D as im 28 years old and doctor gave me concor 5 twice daily due to my fast resting heart rate but i read that there is no sufficient studies on effect of drug on insulin users T1D patients and my BP isn't high usually from 130/80 to 140/90 if increase too much reaches to 160/100 according to Doctor readings
     
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