1

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What are the implications of low blood glucose?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 25, 2011 at 6:03 PM

I recently received first blood results since starting Paleo in December 2010. As expected, my cholesterol is high now, but my LDL is pattern "A" and my "consider insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome" result is negative.

My question revolves around low blood glucose levels of 63 (ref 79-115). I had been fasting for approximately 14-15 hours at the time of the test and I typically IF 16-18 hours approximately 5 days per week, so this was not unusual.

I recently asked another related question regarding a second round of low energy while on VLC. First few weeks were difficult, then great energy, last few weeks back to low energy and feeling some symptoms of hypoglycemia, which I have not had since beginning Paleo.

My question is this: Could IF be negatively impacting my blood glucose or insulin levels (no results on insulin in blood test) and could this be a reason for the recent bout of low energy? If so, does this mean I am insulin resistant, releasing too much insulin, etc., and what is the remedy? I am wondering if I should skip the IF if it is raising my insulin levels (wish I'd had that checked, but I didn't). I am doing VLC 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs for the past few months with a 20 pound needed weight loss. On a side note, it seems that if I skip the IF, I do not lose any weight, even if my total calories are the same.

To clarify: Is having low glucose detrimental to my health?

Thank you for any and all advice and responses.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on April 25, 2011
at 11:58 PM

In the last few weeks since energy has been low I have been feeling slightly hypo (light headed, etc.) toward the end of IF at about the 14-16 hour mark.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on April 25, 2011
at 11:55 PM

HBA1C was within normal range at 4.9 (ref 4.6-6.2%). So does this mean I am not producing all kinds of bad hormones when my glucose is 63? I just retested at home and it is 63 right now. No food in 6 hours.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 25, 2011
at 09:43 PM

Im with RG here. 63 is perfectly fine. The real key is to back this up with an insulin level an HbA1C drawn simultaneously. For the last 20 yrs docs are now used to high blood sugars cause everyone has them. I remember back in the day a 63 was just fine.

F81dd30896f5b45c64dc64cf177e5333

(20)

on April 25, 2011
at 08:34 PM

It's low regardless of diet - I'm a type 1 diabetic and feel pretty crappy at 63, whether I'm eating paleo or SAD. Yes, overall glucose may be lower in people eating paleo, BUT an average person's blood sugar is about 80-100. (Endocrinologist Dr. Bernstein tests non-diabetics (meaning significant others of his patients) in his office and finds on average the blood sugars are 83, which is where he tries to keep his.

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3 Answers

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1
9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on April 25, 2011
at 07:33 PM

Sure low glucose is dangerous, but the question is whether or not 63 is low or just low for those eating SAD. I know this has been discussed elsewhere, probably Stephen or Kurt Harris's blog, but I believe HG blood glucose is generally much lower on average. O'Kea (1991), for example, studying Australian aborigines, reports average fasting glucose below 4 mmol/L, which would be under 72 mg/dL. So I don't have time to go through the whole paper right now, but I'm guessing the variance on those groups probably extended below 60 mg/dL, which is to say what we'd consider hypoglycemic among Westerners is probably high from an evolutionary perspective.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 25, 2011
at 09:43 PM

Im with RG here. 63 is perfectly fine. The real key is to back this up with an insulin level an HbA1C drawn simultaneously. For the last 20 yrs docs are now used to high blood sugars cause everyone has them. I remember back in the day a 63 was just fine.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on April 25, 2011
at 11:55 PM

HBA1C was within normal range at 4.9 (ref 4.6-6.2%). So does this mean I am not producing all kinds of bad hormones when my glucose is 63? I just retested at home and it is 63 right now. No food in 6 hours.

F81dd30896f5b45c64dc64cf177e5333

(20)

on April 25, 2011
at 08:34 PM

It's low regardless of diet - I'm a type 1 diabetic and feel pretty crappy at 63, whether I'm eating paleo or SAD. Yes, overall glucose may be lower in people eating paleo, BUT an average person's blood sugar is about 80-100. (Endocrinologist Dr. Bernstein tests non-diabetics (meaning significant others of his patients) in his office and finds on average the blood sugars are 83, which is where he tries to keep his.

2
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 25, 2011
at 06:55 PM

Having low blood glucose is more immediately dangerous than high blood glucose. High average blood sugar kills you slowly, low blood sugar can kill you right now. Normal fasting is 70-100, so 63 is low but not terribly so. Did you feel hypo at the time? I can feel hypo anywhere from 50-70, sometimes it the rate of the drop that induces the feeling. (shaky, sweaty, dizzy, mouth watering)

Even if you don't drop into a coma, just the release of hormones (adrenaline, norepinephrine, cortisol) is an emergency response to get blood sugar back up and is not a good thing to be doing frequently. At first, I tought maybe you are not keto adapted, but if you've been VLC since December, well you should be pretty well keto adapted by now.

Seriously consider adding a few more carbs back in - it's worth it if it stops the hypos. I don't think IF should be a problem, but I could be wrong on that.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on April 25, 2011
at 11:58 PM

In the last few weeks since energy has been low I have been feeling slightly hypo (light headed, etc.) toward the end of IF at about the 14-16 hour mark.

0
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on April 26, 2011
at 12:15 AM

j curve for glucose and mortality http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10332668

But does this hold for Paleo?

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