1

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Low, but stable blood sugar

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 13, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Hi! Quick question - in 1991 the Army did some testing on my and decided that I have "reactive hypoglycemia". I used to have to eat every few hours or I would get shaky. I adopted a low carb, Paleo, primal-type diet a couple years ago which I love. I feel so much better and never get shaky, even when I fast for 16 hours or so (I did fast-5/Primal) for a while.

On blood tests my fasting blood sugar is around 70 or so. Never raised a concern. I am now on an EMT team and got a new glucometer for my kit. Someone asked what my "normal, during the day" blood sugar was (since my mom got diabetes a few years ago). I didn't know so I have begun testing several times a day.

Here's the thing: my blood sugar is in the 80's upon waking. 45 minutes after breakfast (buffalo burger/veggie scramble in coconut oil or something similar - protein and good fat) it will be the same or even a couple of points lower. Mid morning and again 30-45 minutes after lunch it is still in the 80's or so. The test numbers seem to be stable no matter if I eat, don't eat, or have just slept 8 hours. The last several months I probably average 20-50 carbs a day - mostly from veggies, Chobani yogurt and Kombucha tea. Are these numbers bad or okay?

The facility nurse says my pancreas is over-producing insulin and it will wear out soon if I don't "fix" this. I got the impression I would die a horrible death. I was told to eat something sugary every few hours in order to always keep my blood sugar number over 100. Seriously, this goes against what seems natural to me. I don't feel tired or bad at all. Is it more important to have your blood sugar levels above 100, or is it okay/healthy if they are stable in the 80's? I want to be as healthy as possible so I'll fix this if I need to.

Thanks for any info or guidance. Jennifer (41 yr female)

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:41 PM

You aren't feeling shaky, you don't have reactions to meals, your BG is stable. Sounds to me like you no longer have reactive hypoglycemia.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:38 PM

Yes, the nurse is way out of date, or she's going by what the average is for so-called healthy people. The problem being that a lot of average "healthy" people really aren't. 80's is now considered a much more healthy BG level.

Efc70cba4f2a5096569e85d9b1b5f806

on June 13, 2012
at 02:08 PM

The weird thing is that I feel healthy and happy eating this way. I would have never thought there is any kind of problem if I hadn't been playing with my new glucometer. I used to get low blood sugar reactions after high carb meals but since I figured that part out I just don't eat high carb meals or snacks anymore. I know I feel better if I eat more protein and fat and veggies (some fruit), so that's what I do. I don't know about gluten free cuz I don't pay attention, but since I don't eat grains or flour hardly at all I would imagine I don't get much gluten in my diet.

Efc70cba4f2a5096569e85d9b1b5f806

on June 13, 2012
at 02:05 PM

Thanks for the reply! I didn't understand how eating more sugar would help either. I suggested that since insulin is produced to moderate sugar levels, and I'm not eating any sugar, maybe it isn't actually producing any extra. I lost about 30 pounds last summer/fall when I got serious about primal eating. I started Dr. Kruse's leptin reset protocol for eating in January and lost a couple more pounds but all weight loss has stalled. I am 5'1" and still 135 pounds so I figure I have 15 or so more pounds to lose before I would consider it an "optimal" weight.

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4 Answers

2
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on June 13, 2012
at 02:32 PM

I would seriously question the RN's ability to do her job properly. That is the most nonsensical advice she could give. 80 is a perfectly normal level. Hypoglycemia is a concern when your glucose is below 70.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:38 PM

Yes, the nurse is way out of date, or she's going by what the average is for so-called healthy people. The problem being that a lot of average "healthy" people really aren't. 80's is now considered a much more healthy BG level.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:41 PM

You aren't feeling shaky, you don't have reactions to meals, your BG is stable. Sounds to me like you no longer have reactive hypoglycemia.

1
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on June 13, 2012
at 01:59 PM

If the RN says you're overproducing insulin maybe she can suggest how eating more sugar will solve the problem?

Are you at a healthy bodyweight? One possible cause could be some type of leptin resistance, because leptin affects PEPCK which is a key gluconeogenic enzyme. Gluconeogenesis is when your liver makes glucose in order to maintain your blood sugar in an optimal range. Perhaps the amount of glucose your liver makes after meals is lower than normal? That's really a shot in the dark though, because you can go long periods of time between meals without eating. Have you ever had your insulin levels tested? Have you been like this your whole life? Do you stay gluten free?

Efc70cba4f2a5096569e85d9b1b5f806

on June 13, 2012
at 02:05 PM

Thanks for the reply! I didn't understand how eating more sugar would help either. I suggested that since insulin is produced to moderate sugar levels, and I'm not eating any sugar, maybe it isn't actually producing any extra. I lost about 30 pounds last summer/fall when I got serious about primal eating. I started Dr. Kruse's leptin reset protocol for eating in January and lost a couple more pounds but all weight loss has stalled. I am 5'1" and still 135 pounds so I figure I have 15 or so more pounds to lose before I would consider it an "optimal" weight.

Efc70cba4f2a5096569e85d9b1b5f806

on June 13, 2012
at 02:08 PM

The weird thing is that I feel healthy and happy eating this way. I would have never thought there is any kind of problem if I hadn't been playing with my new glucometer. I used to get low blood sugar reactions after high carb meals but since I figured that part out I just don't eat high carb meals or snacks anymore. I know I feel better if I eat more protein and fat and veggies (some fruit), so that's what I do. I don't know about gluten free cuz I don't pay attention, but since I don't eat grains or flour hardly at all I would imagine I don't get much gluten in my diet.

0
D8612a7c536e74f9855b70d8e97919b5

(1042)

on June 15, 2012
at 02:50 PM

I think you are probably fine. You can get your insulin levels checked if you are concerned, but I bet they are normal to low also.

0
4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

on June 13, 2012
at 03:07 PM

This article by Chris Kresser helped me a lot. http://chriskresser.com/how-to-prevent-diabetes-and-heart-disease-for-16 Good luck.

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