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Low blood sugar episode las over time - do they lead to complications?

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by drew900uk, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. drew900uk

    drew900uk · Member

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    A general question that hopefully somebody knows the answer to as Mr Google has failed me.
    Sometimes I dip into mild hypo territory (into the 3-4mmol range).
    I’m wondering if, similar to levels above 7.8mmol, there are complications associated with this slightly lower level of blood glucose?
    Any thoughts would be most appreciated!
  2. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
    Staff Member

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    There is some evidence that severe hypos can, over time, cause harm.
    However, I am not aware of any evidence suggesting that being in the 3-4mmol/l range causes any complications at all.

    Many of the non-diabetic population spend a great deal of their time dipping in and out of the 3s during normal life, and it isn't considered a hypo for them (because they are not on strong medication that may drive the blood glucose lower, such as insulin or gliclazide), so I would imagine that there has been no research done on this in non-diabetics.

    You may find these two studies interesting
    But please remember that there is a vast difference between dipping into the 3s, and what is referred to as severe hypoglycaemia, which is much lower than that.

    Edit to add:
    I see from your posts @drew900uk that you are only recently diagnosed, and there was some question as to whether you were T1 or T2. It would help members to understand your queries if you were to update your profile with your latest diagnosis, which would then be displayed under your profile picture on most screens. Many thanks! :)
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  3. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I asked this of a consultant at a Dafne course and got the reply that repeated lows can cause you to lose hypo awareness. If I were taking high insulin doses and miscalculated, I can appreciate that this loss of sensation would be dangerous. I don't take high doses because I am low carb and on a pump
    On the other hand when 'normals' are following a ketotic/low carb diet they have learned to tolerate less blood glucose without symptoms.
    I could not get an answer to my question of is their an absolute level at which physiological damage occurs if we do not have a hypo feeling?
    Am going to research whether the wise Dr Bernstein has any suggestions on this topic!
  4. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

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    @drew900uk The research that has been done on this topic basically shows that you need to be in the "really low" territory to kill brain cells, like around 1.7mmol/l and lower. Technically, although those with T1D feel hypos at around 3-4 mmol/l, clinically it's not hypo that the liver responds to until core arterial blood has a glucose level below 3mmol/l (it might even be 2.7mmol/l).

    So basically, there's no physiological ongoing risk from minor or moderate hypos, however, there can be ongoing psychological issues from hypos requiring assistance.
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  5. mr_cat

    mr_cat · Well-Known Member

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    if you are in hardcore ketone fuelling mode you can go to insane low levels based on some old research.
    We biomachines are when working correctly are very flexible and robust. [when fed correct quality fuel]
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