1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2020 »
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Low Blood Sugar without problems - anyone?

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by diamondnostril, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. smidge

    smidge LADA · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,755
    Likes Received:
    1,984
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hi Diamond!

    Well, I understand what you're saying and I don't know about the effect of magnesium. However, I function normally with pretty low levels. Let me make it clear, I always know when my BG has fallen low - I have very good hypo awareness - but I don't get the debilitating stuff that other people talk about - at 2.4 I can still think clearly and react well. I'm not sure if that's good or not, but my concentration is still there. 2.4 is the lowest I've been as far as I can remember, but it's not pleasant and I strive to keep above 3.5. I don't know what it means, but too low is too low no matter how your brain is coping. The medical profession build a lot of tolerance into the lower level of 4 - everyone can function well much lower than that - non diabetics will get as low as 2.5 on occasions with no danger, but with insulin-dependant diabetics, our levels can fall quickly, so it is important that we keep our levels a little higher - it is to protect us from the effects of the injected insulin rather than because it is actually dangerous to go below 4 that we are told to keep our BG above 4.

    Smidge
     
  2. duranie

    duranie Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    48
    If you are suffering those kinds of lows without warning, it might be worth speaking to your DSN about getting onto a pump. I frequently had hypos in the 2s without signs - only discovered when I checked prior to eating or going to bed, so God knows how long I'd been that low - and as frequent hypos makes them harder to tell, it can become very dangerous. I've had fewer hypos since pumping and my awareness is coming back
     
  3. fallongerie

    fallongerie Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    58
    I suffer with low blood sugar levels without warning also. I carer my machine with me so I can check it throughout the day tho. Keep a few hard boiled sweet in ur pocket to suck that way ur getting a bit of sugar but not to much to send it high
     
  4. pumppimp

    pumppimp Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    45
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Hi Diamondnostril,
    I didn't get a chance to look at uni but I did just google it quickly There's a lot on it. I found this info sheet was easy to read but also had referneces to research papers and talked about some trials. It seems that magnesium is used to maintain good BG control with type 2 diabetes as it helps the insulin to utilise the glucose into the cells better. It has also given a list of foods high in magnesium with the amounts provided so you can compare your diet on lower days. Hopefully this is of some use to you.
    http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnes ... fessional/

    I know people have kept saying on this thread and many others, that non diabetics can have bg levels as low as 2.4 with no problems, but I have to disagree. The average level for a non diabeteic as far as I know is 5.5, with bg levels falling between 4.4-6.1. Every time I have tested my husband he has always been in the 5's never above or below. I've also tested the bg levels of people suffering from hypothermia whenever we've been kayaking, this is when I've seen a drop the lowest being 3.6 which was turning into an emergency with the girl very disorientated. I had to give her a full bottle of lucozade and get her warmed up pronto. If someone has a reference to correct me I'd be interested to read it.
     
  5. diamondnostril

    diamondnostril Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    294
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Thanks again to everbody for all your responses. :)

    I'm sorry to report that I now think my information about the magnesium was a red herring. Apologies for wasting people's time! :oops:

    Basically the answer to my question (Is there something in my diet that protects me from the effects of Hypoglycemia?) is Yes. It's simply the good, old-fashioned Ketogenic diet. I have low-carbed for years, and did learn some things about the Ketogenic diet way back when . . . but these details obviously slipped from my mind. Now that I have refreshed my memory and done some further research, for me things make very much more sense now.

    The magnesium supplements certainly assisted the absorption of my Insulin, which may be interesting for diabetics by itself. There are many resources, including the one kindly provided by pumppimp, that give info about this.

    I believe the protective (against Hypoglycemia) effects that I enquired about were simply the normal effects of a Ketogenic diet. Low-carbing was always pretty successful for me, and gave me pretty good control. But my brain was still Glucose-powered, via the small amount of carbs (sometimes larger amount of carbs if I was straying from the diet) and the gluconeogenesis from dietary protein. After I really got back on track with my diet, I effectively went down to No-carb, and also increased my consumption of fats rather than protein. At this point I believe my body really switched into a Modus Operandi of Ketosis, and my brain became Ketone-powered.

    Based on the earlier responses, I guess that nobody will buy this. But the science seems clear (and also seems uncontroversial; I searched but find no arguments about it). In the sustained absence of enough Glucose (via dietary carbohydrates or via gluconeogenesis) the brain will use ketone bodies for fuel. These are created from fats and fatty acids by the liver.

    This makes perfect sense to me. To take up Thundercat's metaphor of the broken fuel gauge . . . my body has switched into a Ketotic state where the brain is being powered by Ketone bodies. Therefore a fuel gauge (for Glucose) is no longer necessary. Therefore the warning signs for Hypoglycemia disappear. Hypoglycemia disappears.

    I'm inclined to believe that Ketone-power is what the body is really designed for as the constant availability of carbohydrates is, in evolutionary terms, a very modern phenomenon. We have systems to take advantage of Carbs when they are readily available, but the human body certainly could not rely on it. Caveman did not have a Tesco Express anywhere nearby. He might go for a long time without a fresh kill. What happens when any carbs and his stores of protein are all used up? How can he use his brain to plan catching his next meal? His brain must continue to work somehow. How? The body switches to a Ketotic state, and fats in the body that have been laid down previously are used to create Ketone bodies that power the brain. T1 diabetics experience Ketosis (and then later its dangerous, runaway form, Ketoacidosis) in the period before diagnosis.

    There are tons of books, and resources on the web, and discussions on the Diabetes forum, about Ketogenic diet so people can make their own decision whether I'm talking rubbish. I'm sorry that I did not remember about Ketosis and refresh my memory before making my Post. This would have answered my question.

    To those that insist I must be having damaging episodes of Hypoglycemia, just without symptoms, I would give the following comparison. Years ago, before I was diabetic, I had a pretty normal Western diet. My body would give me "warning signs" of stomach-rumbling and hunger pangs every few hours, where my body was telling me it needed Glucose. After I switched to low-carb, I started to eat once per day without ever being hungry and my body not giving me these warnings. I never have interpreted this as a dangerous lack of symptoms. It is simply my body working in the way that is appropriate to the inputs that are being given to it. I think a very similar thing happens when you stop eating carbs completely and the brain becomes keto-adapted.

    Thanks all and Regards :D
    diamondnostril

    (I've checked through dozens of diet books and resources to find what they say about Ketosis. Where Ketosis is mentioned, without exception every one states the science that the brain and nervous system will run on Ketones in the absence of carbohydrates. But I have not found any book that explicitly links this fact to protection against Hypoglycemia for T1 diabetics. I find this surprising. One book that goes much deeper into the subject of Ketosis than most, is "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living". I found this book really fascinating :)).
     
  6. elmacri

    elmacri · Member

    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    23
    I am just staring my partner on a ketogenic diet and he is a type 1. I also believe it is the way forward to control sugar levels. :D
     
  7. diamondnostril

    diamondnostril Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    294
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Hi elmacri . . .

    Best wishes with the diet. Hope you have the same success that I have had :D

    Regards
     
  8. sharonValerie

    sharonValerie · Active Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Hi there, I have always suffered really low blood sugar without any symptoms and I've always thought everything was ok. However, these values have been as low as 0.8 and I've still been conscious, but, there is a time when now matter how I feel, those around me become aware that something is terribly wrong and I usually end up in a coma with no memory afterwards. On one such occasion I fell down stairs and broke my neck, but there have been many just as scary incidents. Not feeling the hypo symptoms may make you feel normal, but I promise that it is far from that. I have even had a conversation with my doctor with a value of 2.1 and the doctor not be aware straight away. It makes you unsafe to drive and do many things as you don't know when you're going to go hypo. You must try and find a way to raise you blood sugar to a normal level to avoid any of the unpleasantness that can come from not knowing about it. Good luck. :p
     
  9. Andy12345

    Andy12345 Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    6,342
    Likes Received:
    8,380
    Trophy Points:
    178
    im t2 but i can be 25 or 3.5 and never had a single symptom apart from thirst, i mean nothing nada niche *shrug*
     
  10. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

    Messages:
    13,215
    Likes Received:
    12,468
    Trophy Points:
    298
    I been taking magnesium tablets to see whether they help with my fibromyalgia. Absolutely no difference at all on my bg's for past month with taking them ( nor incidentally on my fibro either!)
    Ref low bloods...whether you can speak or think you behave pretty normally.... If you are a driver... Then technically with dvla rulings and not realising you would be breaking the laws of having your licence.....knowing how strict they are with licences... Then you would not keep your licence if you were a driver.
     
  11. diamondnostril

    diamondnostril Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    294
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Hi . . .

    I realise that nobody bought into the topic on this thread a couple of months ago. But I just thought I would provide a couple of links in case some people are interested and may find it useful. I now have around 6 months of experience of living on the Ketogenic diet and can now categorically state that, for me, sticking to this diet eliminates Hypoglycemia.

    I remain a bit baffled why the protective effects (against Hypoglycemia) of the Ketogenic diet have not been more widely heard about. As a T1 Diabetic for 13 years now, I feel that this diet has changed my life for the better. I live on my own, and now have so much more confidence in my management of the condition. My blood-sugars are now incredibly stable. And on those occasions when my levels do go low, it is of no consequence. It's fantastic to not fear low levels any more. I now have full confidence to try to keep my levels in the non-diabetic range, and hopefully avoid the long-term complications.

    Below are a couple of links that I have found, and also a passage from the book "Feed your brain, Lose your Belly" by Larry McCleary (a Brain Surgeon).

    http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/11/1087.full.pdf

    http://www.thelivinlowcarbshow.com/...-carb-ketogenic-diet-through-type-1-diabetes/

     
  12. Hooked

    Hooked · Guest

    If the above doesn't serve as a warning to you, diamondnostril, I fear nothing will.
    It is dangerous to come onto a diabetic forum and suggest that such low blood sugar levels are perfectly fine and of no consequence. Unawareness of hypos is a dangerous thing and can KILL.
     
  13. diamondnostril

    diamondnostril Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    294
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Hello Hooked,

    I totally agree. Hypos are dangerous things, unawareness of them even more dangerous. Wouldn't it be a fantastic thing if there was a style of managing T1 Diabetes that eliminated the possibility of these Hypos? Oh.
     
  14. kendod666

    kendod666 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    28
    possibly running higher for a few weeks. But I would say aiming for 5-8 is pretty high.

    Keeping around 5 will give you a great reduction in potential health risks. The higher up you aim for the higher the risks become.

    4.5-5.5 is my target personally.

    none diabetics have an average reading of 4.6 from memory.

    As a diabetic following very low carb diets I feel this is certainly achievable.
     
  15. SamJB

    SamJB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,828
    Likes Received:
    1,555
    Trophy Points:
    178
    In Think Like A Pancreas, Gary Scheiner says that to get hypo awareness back you should run your BGs over 5 for a while. In my opinion there's nothing wrong with being in the 5-8 mmol/l range, in fact it will do you good to get the hypo awareness back.

    I personally find that if I'm in the 4s for a few days, my hypo awareness goes, so I aim for the 5s.
     
  16. Lisharvey

    Lisharvey · Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    My results are just like that, I took part in a SADIE course for diabetic control and they suggested to get my results up as your body is now used to being that lowland can't tell the difference. So maybe try to get it between 7 and 10 and after a while you'll start to feel hypo when you're higher so you can reaction it
     
  17. Isobel94

    Isobel94 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    28
    When your sugar levels are so worryingly low, and so often, I would suggest doing a blood test half an hour after your meal and then do another another half hour later and so on. When you dip to 1.8 mmol/L before bed (I'm assuming that's how you laid it out) that's very dangerous and tells me you need to do more blood tests to figure out what's happening between meals. It sounds like your taking way too much insulin-- remember you will not need as much insulin for a low-carb diet. You might think you do (as I have myself, and ended up low) but you really don't.

    Maybe you should also review how you treat your lows. Maybe you don't take enough dextrose. I have recently discovered that simply taking 3 dextrose tablets or two jelly babies when I'm around 3 mmol/L will bring me up enough until my next meal, even if that meal is more than two hours later.

    Also review your exercise habits. Even a short walk can bring me down if I'm not careful.

    Hope this helps,
    Izzy.
     
  18. faeoj

    faeoj · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    28
    just gonna throw this out there but it's just a thought... maybe the magnesium is either lowering your bg or is somehow helping your pancreas produce insulin naturally :/ I doubt it or wed all be on it but it does seem weird! hope you get sorted soon :)


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  19. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I find that my hypo signs disappear if the bg levels drop quickly. On Sunday I rode nearly 100k on my bike and dropped to 1.8 when I got home. I only tested after a 20 min conversation with my wife, a nurse, who had no clue either. ..

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. humaject

    humaject Type 1 · Active Member

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    58
    I do not recieve any warning signs i have have had a 1.5 and have felt great at the time. I have been type 1 for 47 years and am age 60 and i have weight trained for the past 40 years i have had a lot of hypos over the years and my consultant has said that over the years my body has become used to the low bloods and now does not recognise them.I have been on a low carb and over medium protein diet for as long as i can remember now.... I was made redundant 3 years ago and the jog center were sending me for jobs 30 miles away i do not drive because of the hypos and the thought of traveling on public transport after work and going hypo was a bit to off putting.So the consultant put me on the sick.I had an ATOS Government health check and the nurse argued the consultant and said i was fit to work anywhere My wife has a good jog so i do not actually recieve bennefit payments so i appealed the decision ant it went to the Magistrates court were there was a judge and a doctor they said it was odd that i was not fit to drive but was fit to work they took the consultants notes into consideration and i won the appeal because of the hypos
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook