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Old 05-02-2013, 06:18 AM   #1
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severe hypoglycemia scare

I got a very scary wake up call yesterday.

I am NOT diabetic. I have LOW blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and have since I was in high school, and even had episodes as a child. My testing for diabetes is always negative, my A1C is always in a perfectly lowish range. I have tons of diabetics in my family and I was just blessed with the opposite problem I guess! When my sugar gets around 65 I start to experience problems. I've actually passed out during glucose tests becasue my sugar has gotten so low.

I've passed out a few times from my sugar getting too low but usually had some warning. LC eating really helps keep my low blood sugar nice and even so this DOESN'T happen. However, I've fallen completely off the LC wagon and am now having severe problems with my sugar getting dangerously low over and over. I almost passed out at work yesterday with about a 30 second warning. I managed to get to the doc in our office (work in medical clinic) after downing 2 full sugar sodas and a bunch of candy to keep from passing out and my BG was only 91. It happened again last night but that time I managed to have a little chicken and some fruit and stave it off.

I am terrified I will pass out when I'm with my daughter. I had only about 30 seconds warning yesterday before I got combative and irrational and slurred my words. It. Was. Awful.

Tomorrow is payday, I'm going to the store, and we are going low carb. The whole family, including our (almost) 4 year old will be going low carb. Please wish us luck. I need to do this so I don't pass out in the car or in public with my little girl. I've been successful before, I can do this again!

Thanks for listening and thanks for any positive words, vibes, or prayers you have for me.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:31 AM   #2
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Hi Shannon. I can sympathize. I have hypoglycemia as well, though I think not as severe as yours. I've never passed out. My worst episode left me curled up in the fetal position on the floor, barely able to communicate to my husband that I needed food, but I never lost consciousness. I'm so sorry. I can imagine how terrifying that must be.

The good news is, as you know, that low-carb helps TREMENDOUSLY! Also, I highly recommend that you listen to Jimmy Moore's episode 665 of his Livin La Vida Low Carb podcast where he interviews Dr. Keith Berkowitz extensively about the topic of hypoglycemia. Tons of great information and advice there! Some good tips in addition to "low-carb/high-fat" (which is probably the single most important thing).

Also, just fyi, my understanding is that hypoglycemia is sometimes the first step towards diabetes, because it's an early sign of insulin resistance. So while they are opposites in terms of the way they present, they are not at all opposites in terms of the underlying cause. You likely inherited the same genetic tendency as the rest of your family.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:33 AM   #3
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I used to get that way too. I never passed out but I remember being in the mall with my daughter and feeling awful! I ran to the food court and ate a double doozie cookie to stave it off. Thankfully since I started LC all that's gone! Good luck! You Can do this!!
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:36 AM   #4
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Dude! That is scary! I have kids and have had anxiety about something happening to me around then even though there is nothing wrong with me. I can't imagine what it would be if there was something maybe get a medic alert bracelet or make yourself one? ThAt way it won't be so traumatic if something happens, or talk to your daughter and have safeguards incase, like explain what is going on so if something does happen she can help you?
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:36 AM   #5
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Just because you are hypo does not mean that you are not at an increased risk for diabetes. I wish I could remember where I read about it though. Darn it!! It sounds like your pancreas over-compensates when you eat too many carbs and that can wear it out over time.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:46 AM   #6
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When I LC ( in the strict sense of the word..) I get that way too...Never actually passed out though, but sure felt like I was going to...Felt just awful!!, spacy, weak, sleepy......

Way back in the beginning of my LC journey, ( super strict LC[ing and exercising like crazy) I used to get like that often and foolishly never made the connection

Once I took my BS at work and it was like 40-something... I freaked out. I'm not a diabetic either...

Anyway, when I'm feeling ( or even start to feel...) that way, I usually eat something carby like a few peanut-butter nabs, or like today, 2 slices of whole grain /40 cal bread...
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:11 AM   #7
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Wow, that sounds so frightening. Glad you're ok and you didn't hurt yourself when you fainted.

Good luck with your re-start. Sounds like a mega kick in the butt moment that will ensure that you stay on plan.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:38 AM   #8
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I'm sure you know that hypoglycemia may be the opposite of high blood sugar but not the opposite of diabetes--they are both disturbed insulin metabolism. People with hypoglycemia often develop diabetes, so low carbing is a great plan. Hopefully you can keep that from happening. good luck!
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfine View Post
Just because you are hypo does not mean that you are not at an increased risk for diabetes. I wish I could remember where I read about it though. Darn it!! It sounds like your pancreas over-compensates when you eat too many carbs and that can wear it out over time.
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Originally Posted by ravenrose View Post
I'm sure you know that hypoglycemia may be the opposite of high blood sugar but not the opposite of diabetes--they are both disturbed insulin metabolism. People with hypoglycemia often develop diabetes, so low carbing is a great plan. Hopefully you can keep that from happening. good luck!
I agree with these posts. It sounds like you have hyperinsulinemia, or over-production of insulin. You might want to get more thoroughy evaluated for this, as it sounds dangerous at the moment. Low carbing should help a lot put it is possible additional medical intervention/medications may help as well.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:17 AM   #10
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Thank you for the correct wording for that, Mistizoom. It was driving me crazy that I couldn't remember what it was called!
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistizoom View Post
I agree with these posts. It sounds like you have hyperinsulinemia, or over-production of insulin. You might want to get more thoroughy evaluated for this, as it sounds dangerous at the moment. Low carbing should help a lot put it is possible additional medical intervention/medications may help as well.
Yup, this is what I have. I was diagnosed with high insulin levels when I had a ton of hormone testing done for PCOS about 10 years ago. I was told to "avoid sugar" and sent to a nutritionist, who quickly put me on a high carb diet.

What's funny (to me) is my very good LC supportive endogrinologist said to me recently "Given your weight, hypoglycemia, and family history....you should be disbetic. You really should be. But your numbers look good, not slightly diabetic at all. If you don't have it now, you probably won't get it." I always thought that was pretty amusing.

My blood sugar levels are low for me today (in the low to mid 70s) but seem to be holding fairly steady. I don't feel great but feel a heck of a lot better than I did yesterday. I've been LC all day and drinking tons of water. I cut out all caffeine which I was told could raise insulin levels in some people. I am peeing a TON from all the nasty swelling in my legs too. Lovely.

Thanks everyone for your kind words and advice.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmybabyhead View Post
Yup, this is what I have. I was diagnosed with high insulin levels when I had a ton of hormone testing done for PCOS about 10 years ago. I was told to "avoid sugar" and sent to a nutritionist, who quickly put me on a high carb diet.

What's funny (to me) is my very good LC supportive endogrinologist said to me recently "Given your weight, hypoglycemia, and family history....you should be disbetic. You really should be. But your numbers look good, not slightly diabetic at all. If you don't have it now, you probably won't get it." I always thought that was pretty amusing.

My blood sugar levels are low for me today (in the low to mid 70s) but seem to be holding fairly steady. I don't feel great but feel a heck of a lot better than I did yesterday. I've been LC all day and drinking tons of water. I cut out all caffeine which I was told could raise insulin levels in some people. I am peeing a TON from all the nasty swelling in my legs too. Lovely.

Thanks everyone for your kind words and advice.
I have PCOS and hyperinsulinemia as well. I've been on metformin for several years to lower my insulin levels. The metformin got my insulin into the normal range way before I started eating LC. You might want to ask you doctor if metformin would be appropriate for you. Eating LC has also greatly helped my PCOS symptoms, and I know it is helping keep my insulin and blood sugar steady. I'll have numbers to back that up when I go to the doctor later this month.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:32 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mistizoom View Post
I have PCOS and hyperinsulinemia as well. I've been on metformin for several years to lower my insulin levels. The metformin got my insulin into the normal range way before I started eating LC. You might want to ask you doctor if metformin would be appropriate for you. Eating LC has also greatly helped my PCOS symptoms, and I know it is helping keep my insulin and blood sugar steady. I'll have numbers to back that up when I go to the doctor later this month.
I was on metformin for years before conceiving my chlld. I went off when I thought it was causing severe gastric issues which turned out to be a gluten intolerance. I've been back on it now for about 3 weeks.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:37 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by luvmybabyhead View Post
I was on metformin for years before conceiving my chlld. I went off when I thought it was causing severe gastric issues which turned out to be a gluten intolerance. I've been back on it now for about 3 weeks.
If you have any other gastric issues with it, the extended release version has been much better for me than the regular in that regard (unless you're already on the ER version of course!)

Hopefully eating LC will get you feeling better soon.

Last edited by Mistizoom; 05-02-2013 at 09:39 AM..
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:29 PM   #15
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Welcome back to LC, sorry you had such a scare. Our bodies do try to talk to us, sometimes loudly. Hope you feel better soon and praying that your health will increase as your weight and cravings begin to decrease.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
I am NOT diabetic. I have LOW blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and have since I was in high school, and even had episodes as a child. My testing for diabetes is always negative, my A1C is always in a perfectly lowish range. I have tons of diabetics in my family and I was just blessed with the opposite problem I guess!
You are not "blessed with the opposite problem" you're just not there YET! With PCOS and hyperinsulemia, you WILL be diabetic if you don't get the carbs under control. Too many see this as a black and white issue--either you ARE diabetic or your not. I don't agree, I think it's a "spectrum disorder" (borrowing a term from autism) where the symptoms build as you age and as you abuse your body. Hypoglycemia is a direct result of poor insulin control, as time goes on you eventually lose all control and become officially diabetic, but the truth is you are already well on your way. Those of us with PCOS are on the spectrum from the beginning.

And low carb is the BEST possible thing you can do for yourself. It may prevent the progression and even reverse it. So you are doing a wonderful thing coming here and getting your WOE under control.

One other thing--Metformin is highly unlikely to cause hypoglycemia, but I am concerned that you are newly on Metformin (3 weeks) and suddenly having these episodes. Talk to your doctor about this. And buy yourself and meter and test AFTER meals and snacks to learn what foods cause spikes and drops in blood sugar for you. Eat to the meter!

Last edited by Janknitz; 05-02-2013 at 07:08 PM..
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:13 PM   #17
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I would check for adrenal problems too.
There is also a tumor called and "insulinoma" that can cause severe episodes of low blood sugar.
Defintely need a full medical workup.


Hope you are feeling better and that the docs find out how to fix any problems causing this.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:56 PM   #18
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Does your BG meter also test ketones? Because it is really helpful if and when your blood glucose drops that you have a lot of circulating blood ketones to keep your brain functioning when your blood sugar drops. It will give your body the time it needs to naturally get your blood sugar levels back up to normal. I have had my BG drop to really low levels after exercise but because I am in ketosis, it doesn't lead to serious problems. It is only when I have had low levels of ketones that I experience symptoms of hypoglycemia.
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