Hi i am new to this form. I have been ill for the past few years but keep getting nowhere. Anyway i think i may have hypoglycaemia, i have symptoms; shakey, sweating, weak, fast heart rate, nauseaus, dizzy, faint sometimes actually do. I was testing my blood sugars before and found that in the mornings it was usually around 2mmol but havent tested in a while as doc said the fasting labs were normal. Had two tests 72 hour fast to determine if it was fasting hypoglycaemia, thing is my blood sugar dropped to 1.2mmol at the end but despite doc notcing i had symptoms didnt take venous sample and gave me glucose, therefore my doc says as the lowest venous sample was (initial sample 6.2mmol) (day 1 low 4's high 3's) (day 2 high 3's low 2's) (day 3 high 2's low 1's) 3.7mmol recorded on computer i dont have fasting hypoglycaemia. Also from the test it showed low insulin, but grossly ketotic but apparently thats normal.
Anyway had another test glucose tolerence test;
fasting 5.2mmol as roughly (6.2,6.9,5.2,5.4,3.4,4.1,6.9)
and from that doc said that as my blood sugar didnt drop to below 3mmol i was not hypoglycaemic depite again having symptoms.
it seams that if my blood sugar drops after a little while it goes up hence the looking normal as on the random fasting tests i have checked it and it is about 2mmol then hour later its 4.3mmol.
What do you think? is this right? also i keep fainting and or feel like im going to faint and i was told that it couldnt be hypoglycaemia as i would have had a siezure and gone into a coma-is that right?
please post back im despirate., thanks.
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replied April 19th, 2008
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No, that's not right. You will typically faint and stay out for a few minutes at most, NOT go into a coma. That's ridiculous, that only relates to diabetes (diabetic coma, look it up). What are those readings? We don't go by those here so I don't know how to read them.
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replied April 21st, 2008
Stan Stepanic wrote:
What are those readings? We don't go by those here so I don't know how to read them.


72 hour fast initial starting point 111.6
day 1 ranged around 70's to 50's
day 2 ranged around 50's to 30's
day 3 ranged around 30's to 20's

the result the doctors missed due to not taking a venous blood sample before giving me glucose was 21.6.

glucose tollerence test reults
fasting level 97.2
111.6
124.2
93.6
97.2
61.2
73.8
124.2

What do you think my doctor says; that because in the GTT the blood sugar level didnt fall below 54 then i do not have hypoglycaemia. Does that sound right? Furthermore as the 72 hour fast level of 21.6 was not recorded on the computer he says that i was not hypoglycaemic (again he stated that if i 'really was that low' i would have been in a coma and would have needed to be given iv glucose) at that point in time i had symptoms (very weak, shaking and clammy as noted by doctor, drousy, dizzy, pale, fast heart rate, nauseaus, blurred vision)
What do you think? thanks.
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replied April 21st, 2008
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I've heard that getting towards 60mg is bad, not 50. 50 is bad for DIABETICS. It's different for us. It sounds like you have hypoglycemia, or at least potentially. How often were they taking your sugar there? You just gave the numbers but not the times.
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replied April 21st, 2008
Stan Stepanic wrote:
I've heard that getting towards 60mg is bad, not 50. 50 is bad for DIABETICS. It's different for us. It sounds like you have hypoglycemia, or at least potentially. How often were they taking your sugar there? You just gave the numbers but not the times.


72 hour fast when the blood sugar level dropped below70 it was monitored evry 2 hours via monitor the venous sample needed to be taken. But this was not really achieved as they struggled to get the bloods off and the ward was busy so not all potential results were taken.

GTT wast the prolonged 5 hour one (i think it was something like 9am, 9.30, 10.30, 11.30, 12, 1, 1.30, 2)
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replied April 26th, 2008
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jen77 wrote:
Stan Stepanic wrote:
I've heard that getting towards 60mg is bad, not 50. 50 is bad for DIABETICS. It's different for us. It sounds like you have hypoglycemia, or at least potentially. How often were they taking your sugar there? You just gave the numbers but not the times.


72 hour fast when the blood sugar level dropped below70 it was monitored evry 2 hours via monitor the venous sample needed to be taken. But this was not really achieved as they struggled to get the bloods off and the ward was busy so not all potential results were taken.

GTT wast the prolonged 5 hour one (i think it was something like 9am, 9.30, 10.30, 11.30, 12, 1, 1.30, 2)

Hi Jen,

The 72 hour fast is done to check for fasting hypoglycemia. When your blood sugar drops below 2.4mmol/l a sample should be taken which will be sent to the lab (more accurate than a blood machine). Until your blood sugar drops low enough, they won't take a sample to send off, despite any symptoms you may be experiencing.
However, when I had this test done it was over the weekend. The staff working knew nothing about hypoglycemia, and insisted on trying to feed me every day despite a notice on my door saying "Do Not Feed". These tests typically go wrong and in this hospital at least, rarely went right - the specialist in charge of me left 'me' with the instructions as he knew the staff would be useless.

Unfortunately if your very low blood sugar wasn't recorded properly it was a complete waste of time. For a diagnosis the specialist will need the low blood sugar reading back from the LAB, regardless of what was recorded during the test on a glucose machine - the final reading of <2.4mmol/l must be sent to a lab for confirmation.

You probably know all that already Smile


It would be worth giving it another shot, as painful as the test is. It sounds like you have fasting hypoglycemia which seriously needs to be investigated as to the cause. Ask for another test as you feel the previous one failed despite very low readings - I'd be shocked if any doctor refused you given the readings recorded. During the test, make sure you shout and stamp until that blood sample is taken at <2.4mmol/l and sent to the lab. Don't take any glucose until they've taken the sample (not a blood reading, an actual sample to send off). If you're in the UK, trust me the ward staff can be absolutely useless!

And again if you're in the UK, it would be worth getting a referral to see a private specialist for a consultation. From there the NHS will resume but you'll be pushed up the list for the fasting test rather than waiting for months. You may already be private but if not, I recommend doing it that way Cool


As for the readings (2.4 etc), these are mmol/l units used in the UK. For mg/dl just multiply by 18. 2.4mmol/l is 43mg/dl. My husband is type 1 diabetic and American, so I'm pretty fluent with conversions Very Happy


And the coma business, is rubbish. It doesn't sound like that doctor understands/recognises hypoglycemia as a condition other than a diabetic hypo (believe it or not a lot of doctors don't yet, I was lucky to find one who did).
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replied April 26th, 2008
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It's also normal for your blood sugar to raise a little as you mentioned, mine will usually go back up to 3.6/3.8mmol/l.

It's possible to have symptoms without the low blood sugar, but if you record 2.0mmol/l in the mornings that's a sure sign of fasting hypoglycemia. Was your GTT a fasting test?

It's tricky to catch a reading that the doctor can use for a diagnosis, but you have to keep pushing.
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replied April 27th, 2008
Thanks for replying victoriaGB. I am pleased to find someone who has had a similar situation to me. I too am in th UK and like you the ward staff hadn't go a clue i had to tell them when and what tubes to put the blood in. I felt like walking ot crying during that test as noone was listening to me when i said my BS is 2mmol and i need bloods off, in fact this one nurse said she was too busy and id just have to ignore it! Then as i said before the last cappillary blood test i got was 1.2mmol and very symptomatic, and the registrar said ive nearly finished the test so theres no point to which the charge nurse on the ward said that the result wasnt accurate as at that level id be unconcious and having a fit therefore its more likely to be a level around 4mmol! And just to make matters worse a health care assistant who was just going by said that my levels have been good as as im diabetic (which im not). It was a total shambals. And as a result my consultant has totally ruled out hypoglycaemia saying that as there is not a blood glucose value under 3mmol venous blood on the computer then the results recorded need not be taken account for despite my saying that some of the capillary bloods eg 1.2 etc wernt actually taken, but he still wouldnt have it. Furthermore this is only one part of my problem (i have weakness, cant exercise or i collapse, very tired, cold all the time, weight loss, nausea, and dizzy spells) i think it is addisons disease and again the test was messed up so again no propper results. In fact the consultant said to try and burn myself out so that things would be obvious. Im loosing faith quickly, ive thought of private consults but a-its the money as i should be able to have good treatment on the nhs, and b-i would end up with the same consultants. Also its come to the point where 5doctors and nurses arnt able to cannulate me as im too dehydrated or something and so getting bloods off is impossable, therefoere repeating the 72 hour fast would be even more difficult. What do you think, what do i do? please post back thanks,
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replied April 27th, 2008
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Change doctors, if you've seen them all then change surgery! You need the positive fasting test for the cause of this to be investigated. Unfortunately, you need that 72 hour test as it's what doctors use for diagnosis. And you need the diagnosis so you can get to the bottom of what's causing it.

Was you under an endocrinologist at the hospital?

I requested to see a specialist (endocrinologist), my surgery faxed a letter over to my nearest BUPA (Spire as it is now) and I got in to see someone pretty quickly. It cost me £80 for the consultation. From there I didn't wait long before I had the 72 hour fasting test on the NHS - the initial consultation pushes you up the waiting list and any further treatment can be done on the NHS, quicker. Depending on where you are in the UK the cost may vary, but I'd say around £100 would cover it.
For me the consultation cost was worth it, I had a diagnosis in a few weeks rather than waiting on the 18 month list my own doctor had put me on just to see someone. By coincidence, that someone happened to be my district NHS endocrinologist so he took me on personally and saw it through.

If you still don't want to go private, start 'doctor shopping'. It's tiring, but I saw dozens of doctors before one finally said "wow, 2.4 is a low blood sugar, we should get you seen to!" Confused

Explain to any new doctor that you have recorded blood readings as low as 1.2mmol/l, and the fasting test failed due to incompetent staff - so could you please have the test again as this is a disabling condition.
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replied August 8th, 2008
Reactive Hypoglycemia
Hi I am new at this. But i was wondering if anyone could give me some info on a reactive hypo diet, or how to cut cards. real low?
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replied August 8th, 2008
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Look for my thread on this forum called Hypoglycemia Rules and Diet.
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replied August 9th, 2008
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Why would you want to cut cards real low?

A hypoglycemic diet isn't low in carbs. It's low in 'simple' carbs. But complex carbs are good for someone with reactive hypoglycemia.

I'd advise anyone against a low carb diet, unless your doctor advises otherwise.

If you feel that carbs are causing you a problem, then consider how much you're consuming and cut down if necessary. Over consumption can lead to symptoms in itself, regardless of whether you have hypoglycemia or not.
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replied August 9th, 2008
reactive hypoglycemia
Thanks so much for each reply. I have to cut carbs real low because i have a over active pancres. I have to eat lots of small meals a day. Dr. told me that i would learn which foods i could eat and which one would cause me problems. One thing i learn real quick, was not all carbs, are created equally. An i understand why now. And Stan where is the thread that u mention in yours response. I should do better now. Thanks for yall"s help.
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replied August 9th, 2008
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replied August 9th, 2008
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Re: reactive hypoglycemia
sugardrops wrote:
Thanks so much for each reply. I have to cut carbs real low because i have a over active pancres. I have to eat lots of small meals a day. Dr. told me that i would learn which foods i could eat and which one would cause me problems. One thing i learn real quick, was not all carbs, are created equally. An i understand why now. And Stan where is the thread that u mention in yours response. I should do better now. Thanks for yall"s help.

Ah I see. Then yes carbs can cause a problem, you need to eat the right ones, and the right size portions to suit you.

All carbs are sugars. Simple sugars, which are single molecules (glucose, frustose, galactose), should be avoided if you have an over active pancreas. It's possible you can tolerate fructose (fruit sugar) but it's best to avoid fruit until you're sure. I myself can't tolerate fruit Sad
Next you have double sugars which are lactose (milk sugar), sucrose (table sugar), and maltose. You may or may not be able to tolerate these. Sucrose isn't well tolerated by people with this condition, so avoid table sugar. Lactose, in milk, can usually be tolerated - it depends on you and how sensitive you are. Milk actually makes me feel much better, especially if my blood sugar is low, so obviously I can tolerate lactose.
Lastly you have complex carbohydrates such as starches which are very long chains of sugars and take time for your body to break them down. Because it takes your body time to break them down, they're safe for people with an over active pancreas. These foods include brown rice, and whole grain foods.

Small meals is spot on, it's possibly the most important factor and is often missed. I eat 7 small meals/snacks a day which keeps me ticking comfortably.

With regards to carbohydrates, even with complex carbohydrates you may experience symptoms of bloating, digestive disturbances, fatigue and weight gain if you eat them in excess (this is normal for a lot of people regardless of their health condition) - it's very important that you do eat complex carbs (for fuel), but in small regular amounts.


Basically you need to eat a healthy balanced diet, avoiding sugar/junk food, and keeping portions very small and regular.
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replied August 9th, 2008
Thank you everybody has been real helpful. I know i have lots to learn, and getting extra advise of someone who been there done that kinda of stuff, will help me move quicker and feel better sooner. Thanks again
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