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Is this a phenomenon anyone has? (caffeine-reactive hypoglycaemia)

Discussion in 'Reactive Hypoglycemia' started by Ellenor2000, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Ellenor2000

    Ellenor2000 · Active Member

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    The CGM and strips are unrelated to the caffeine.

    I always thought the negative effect was just caffeine being caffeine and I just lived with it. After seeing a hypo on the CGM screen correlated with those symptoms, that's when I got the hypothesis that it was a glycaemic effect.
     
  2. Ellenor2000

    Ellenor2000 · Active Member

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    High enough doses of tea and hot chocolate will do it if you're vulnerable to this.
     
  3. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    So what are you eating at the moment?
     
  4. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Expert

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    This is going to sound a bit like a prim little miss but ...
    I drink herbal tea and can't be bothered to inject insulin with a drink so rarely drink hot chocolate.
    I do drink alcohol and eat cake so I can't be that puritanical :)

    However, the main purpose of my comment was nothing to do with the coffee; it was to highlight that, if you can do it, stabbing yourself with a "un-lanced lancet" is safe. This was a question you asked and had not been answered (although you found your stabber).
     
  5. Ellenor2000

    Ellenor2000 · Active Member

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    I ended up not needing to - I found the baggie of strips I had.

    I don't know what the mechanism is of caffeine causing a hypo but I have no reason to suspect you'd be vulnerable to it given the metabolic circumstances (my system is, as far as I know, completely normal, whereas you have to inject insulin to not go into a metabolic acidosis). Feel free to try if you can get some regular tea down the hatch and have a bystander with a glucagon pen, though.

    As far as hot chocolate goes, I don't put sugar in mine; I put an erythritol-based sweetener in it instead. If I put sugar in it (as I put black treacle this time and this time only in my drink of double cream, Balkan yoghurt and vanilla flavoring - ordinarily if I'm gonna mix anything with those three it's going to be cottage cheese blenderised with some of the yoghurt. Clearly I'm not on a ketogenic sort of diet at the moment) I would expect to see a rise (and the strip tests corroborate that).
     
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  6. CauthaFit2013

    CauthaFit2013 LADA · Newbie

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    I suffer from the same. If I eat carbs (which I normally avoid), I try to have an espresso or black coffee, and I notice I need less insulin (Type 1.5/LADA here).
     
  7. Ellenor2000

    Ellenor2000 · Active Member

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    Fun. So maybe it's not an insulin-dependent mechanism of action.
     
  8. Mel dCP

    Mel dCP Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Many type ones report a spike in blood glucose following coffee, even black - and have to dose for it. Luckily it has no effect either way on me, and I drink a lot of very strong black coffee.
     
  9. Ellenor2000

    Ellenor2000 · Active Member

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    That's why this confuses me - but then again I'm a Normal Person™.
     
  10. Mel dCP

    Mel dCP Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I am metabolically healthy, as are most type ones - I just can’t make insulin.
     
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  11. There is no Spoon

    There is no Spoon I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Not so obviously your OP said.
    "So I've had this problem for nearly a year now where if I consume coffee" :banghead::banghead::banghead:
    :bag:
     
  12. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Expert

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    And the OP said “Given the danger of that, though, I will from now be ceasing coffee usage because of my tendency to severely overuse it” which suggests @Ellenor2000 had already (obviously) thought of cutting out coffee.
    If I understand correctly she has only had the Libre recently to indicate what is happening with her BG.

    I think some people are getting a bit hot under the collar about this and suggest we calm down before the moderators request it.
     
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  13. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    Hi @Ellenor2000
    And welcome to the forum.

    I have a form of hypoglycaemia and it is mostly food that I am intolerant to but if I drink certain beverages, it has the same symptoms. And of course the hypos.
    I don't like coffee, so I wouldn't know what reaction I would get from it, but tea is my go to drink for most of the day and decaffeinated is better for me, when I test. But it doesn't trigger the hypos, I don't drink tea after six in the evening because of the toilet trips, if I do!
    If you do have a form of hypoglycaemia, 3.7 is in my normal range, and I don't consider it a hypo unless it goes below 3.5, you still get the symptoms but everyone is different.
    I would ask if you are eating dairy all the time, there still could be too many carbs for you. Many dairy products if lower fat content or skimmed has too many carbs.
    I would look at this, than the caffeine.
    I have heard of people being effected by caffeine, but not hypoglycaemic.
    Only tests will give you an answer.

    Best wishes
     
  14. Mel dCP

    Mel dCP Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Could the gluconeogenesis from a carnivore diet trigger RH in the day way, do you think?

    If I’m not driving or working, I’m happy to run in the high threes, I’m trying to achieve non diabetic levels when I can. It’s fine for noodling around at home, but I have to stick to the law when I’m behind the wheel, of course.
     
  15. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    I wouldn't rule it completely out, but in most people I would think not. The whole process of Glucogenesis is to help with maintaining normal glucose levels that you depend on. Rather than giving you too much. However a liver dump is more likely to do this than Glucogenesis.

    High threes are usually okay for me, but type 1s are usually supposed to be high fives aren't they?
     
  16. Mel dCP

    Mel dCP Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @Lamont D Interesting, I’m quite intrigued by how RH is triggered and wondered if things like protein or in the OP’s case, caffeine could trigger a drop.

    Quick derail: “supposed to be” and “what is healthiest long term” can be two very different things ;) Traditionally they’ve advised people on insulin to run artificially high in order to avoid hypos. My combination of very low carb diet and resulting tiny doses of insulin (I rarely take more than 2u at a time) mean hypos are much less likely - and when they do happen, they come on very slowly so I can treat them before they become a problem. The tech I have gives me ample warning, my watch buzzes if I hit 4.3 so I can make a decision to treat or not. Most times I just turn my pump off for half an hour and that sorts it.
     
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    #36 Mel dCP, Jun 18, 2019 at 9:23 PM
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  17. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Expert

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    Not necessarily.
    My target is low 5s but i also spend time in the high 3s.
    One advantage of insulin pump is I can take very small insulin doses to maintain my BG.
     
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  18. DianaMC

    DianaMC Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know if hypoglycaemia is sometimes related to a caffeine reaction, but the symptoms you describe sound similar to caffeine sensitivity (which is something I have). I don’t get it so much with tea. I get it somewhat with Coca Cola. But badly with caffeinated coffee in large amounts - ie more than one small cup. For me it’s feeling chilly, sweaty, nauseous, shaky and distant - pretty similar to when I’ve had allergy reactions to medications. I may also have head pain, an upset stomach and look pale. Jittery is a good description! And it does feel quite like blood sugar being low (as in lack of food, particularly - I wasn’t testing blood glucose when I first had a caffeine as wasn’t knowingly prediabetic then).

    It might not be that issue for you, but caffeine sensitivity is a real issue for people who have it. It’s quite well documented in a book called Living with Food Intolerance, by Alex Gazzola - in case you or anyone wants to read more about it. The author mentions other symptoms, such as anxiety, mood swings, panic attacks, restlessness and heart arrhythmia.

    Every so often, I forget (go into denial) and convince myself I can have two coffees or two colas! One time it did start giving me heart palpitations - but it wasn’t until my doctor asked if I’d been drinking coffee or coke (when I checked about the palpitations) that I made the connection (again!)
     
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  19. Ellenor2000

    Ellenor2000 · Active Member

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    Do y'all want me to have another cup of coffee for your entertainment? You get to choose how many scoops of coffee beans I take.

    I'm basically drinking double cream to which I add a tablespoon or three of Balkan yoghurt (never had a problem with it, it gives me a slight ISFG rise, so this isn't carbohydrate-sensitive hypoglycemia). The solid food is basically all chicken or cheese: chicken leg drumsticks I've just run out of, scrambled eggs, Cheddar cheese, and sometimes I'll have cottage cheese blenderised in the drink. I will also eat between one and five strawberries per day.

    "Yesterday" (I'm running on Moscow time atm even though I'm in Canada) I broke the "low carb" nature of my diet by adding molasses (black treacle) to the cup of cream and yoghurt.

    The effect of coffee on my system appears dose-dependent, though because I don't have enough data it's not statistically significant - if I have a 4-bag cup of tea I have moderately lower ISF glucose but remain cognitively normal and not symptomatic of hypoglycemia. By the way, that's a lot of caffeine for a normal person - my tolerance is particularly high. I may be fine (with moderately reduced ISF glucose) if I only sipped coffee throughout the day or used a lower number of grounds.
     
  20. Jacqui T

    Jacqui T Type 1 · Newbie

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    I'm no doctor, but I have been T1 for 24 years. I gave up caffeine about 15 years ago because it messed with my BG and made my heart race (to the point where it was over 200 beats per minute! and I had to be put on a drip to bring it down). If I have it right, you are wondering if the caffeine itself is causing hypos... Someone else mentioned cortisol - my own thinking is that we tend to think of a simple cause and effect scenario: Caffeine = hypo. It isn't simple, I believe that it is possible that the caffeine causes a cortisol and/or adrenalin response, which sets off a whole chain reaction in the body which leads to a hypo. Decaff works for me.
     
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