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In the absence of diabetes or physical symptoms, is VERY low-blood sugar bad?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 17, 2012 at 4:20 PM

I've seen reports from people, some of whom mentioned they were in Ketosis, that their blood sugar readings are scary low. I think someone on here posted once how they had a reading of 50something, but felt fine. I'm not diabetic, but I check my blood sugar from time to time and when I'm in ketosis, it's generally on the hypoglycemic side. I myself have gotten readings in the 60mg/deciliter range. I feel fine though and don't have any weakness/cold sweats or any other typical hypoglycemic symptoms. We already know that Ketosis reduces the need for glucose uptake by the muscles and brain. Certainly it's not illogical to assume that there's going to be a lot less sugar floating around hence a naturally lower blood sugar level while in ketosis. But I think this sort of thing exists even in people who aren't in ketosis, they simply have good blood sugar control or don't consume many simple carbohydrates.

Having talked to people online about this same issue, they're not sure what causes it either. I haven't seen any mention of very low blood sugar in the absence of any symptoms in medical literature.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 17, 2012
at 10:40 PM

what do you deem as very low blood sugar, does 'medicine' have a number...or are there just guideline numbers?

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:31 PM

That's what this topic is about...low blood sugar but without feeling "funny." I know it might be hard for you to believe if you haven't achieved a low blood sugar level, but it's obviously very possible to feel perfectly fine but have an abnormally (as defined by who, I wonder?) low blood sugar level.

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4 Answers

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Medium avatar

(3213)

on December 17, 2012
at 10:07 PM

I've had it as low as 48 sometimes and feeling fine, the doc told me that if you live an active life and feel fine, this is a safe glucose level to maintain

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on December 17, 2012
at 10:56 PM

The brain uses ketones, but needs SOME glucose.

If glucose gets below a certain point, it may be dangerous whether or not you are having symptoms. The question is what is that "certain point"--I am not sure.

One would assume that your body has mechanisms to maintain homeostasis--that's why most people have symptoms when BG falls. BUT, how the body works in a ketotic state is probably not well studied at this point. Maybe there's a wider margin of safety in ketosis, but perhaps NOT. I wouldn't want to be the one on whom they find out where that danger point lies!

0
874ff271ca3379984344d5f9f760fec3

on December 17, 2012
at 06:13 PM

Yes, very low blood sugar is bad. Many people begin feeling "funny" under 65 ml/dl. There are glucose needs even when fully adapted. 60's is OK, under 59 is too low even to a keto adapted body. Eat a couple berries, problem solved.

This phenomena seems more prevalent while adapting.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:31 PM

That's what this topic is about...low blood sugar but without feeling "funny." I know it might be hard for you to believe if you haven't achieved a low blood sugar level, but it's obviously very possible to feel perfectly fine but have an abnormally (as defined by who, I wonder?) low blood sugar level.

0
F299706618ad5d2c014130cb35d07dcf

on December 17, 2012
at 05:53 PM

Hello,

I am not an expert but I am a type-1 diabetic, so I have experience with low blood sugar... to say the least. I thought I might throw in my two cents and I hope it helps a little. Personally, I think that when you reach the low 50-60's and you are aware that your blood sugar is low from shaking or cold sweats then it is fine. Trusting your body to let you know when it needs sugar is a good thing as long as you treat it appropriately (all natural raisins are my go to, they are always in my purse, gym bag, etc.). The problem is that when it happens repetitively you gain a lower threshold for these symptoms to occur and you may have blood sugars that are dangerously low without realizing it. The average blood glucose where a person becomes unconscious is 35mg/dl. This is just an average that I was taught in school and definitely. So pretty much what I'm trying to say is that if low bg is occasional and you are fully aware of it I wouldn't worry, but if it happens frequently you may want to figure out a way to prevent it.

In Dr. Bernstein's book, The Diabetes Solution, he says that the blood sugar on a 'normal person' may range from 60-120mg/dl. This is definitely relative person to person, but I wouldn't let the 60's scare you too much.

Again this is just my insight. Thanks for reading what I have to say.

-Hannah

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