Low blood glucose level soon after eating. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-20-2008, 05:42 AM
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So i went to the drs yesterday because recently i've been suffering from a lot of muscle weakness especially when exercising and after, and also extreme tiredness and also unintential weight gain. He ordered some blood work, which all came back normal (woo i'm not aneamic!). Anyway one thing i did notice on the results is that my blood glucose level was pretty low 3.8 to be exact (3.5 and below is classed as hypo in diabetics or abnormal for the purposes of blood results). The test was taken about an hour after i'd eaten, i had my normal breakfast of a large bowl of berry mussli, non sweatened soy milk and a sliced banana, i'd not exercised, only taken the dog for a 15 minute walk. I had a fasting glucose done about a year ago which was 4.9 and my normal glucose level 2 hours after eating also about a year ago was 6.2. Is it just me or does it seem a bit low?
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#2 Old 08-20-2008, 12:10 PM
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I am confused. What unit of measure was used? Normally serum glucose levels are measured in milligrams/deciliter (mg/dL). Fasting levels range from 70-100 mg/dL. Before meals 90-130 mg/dL , less than 180 mg/dL after meals depending on the source of information (some say less than 140). Hemeglobin A1C (HgbA1c) levels are used to monitor glucose levels over several months. Glucose "sticks" to proteins in red blood cells, which can live up to 3 months. Ususally, we like to see HgbA1c less than 6 or whatever the PCP has set a a parameter. Which test did you have?



Eating some protein along with or just before carbs can help prevent glucose level spikes and crashing low. I am not sure how much protein is in soy milk (prefer rice or nut milks myself). Maybe not enough.

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#3 Old 08-20-2008, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by vheogl View Post

So i went to the drs yesterday because recently i've been suffering from a lot of muscle weakness especially when exercising and after, and also extreme tiredness and also unintential weight gain. He ordered some blood work, which all came back normal (woo i'm not aneamic!). Anyway one thing i did notice on the results is that my blood glucose level was pretty low 3.8 to be exact (3.5 and below is classed as hypo in diabetics or abnormal for the purposes of blood results). The test was taken about an hour after i'd eaten, i had my normal breakfast of a large bowl of berry mussli, non sweatened soy milk and a sliced banana, i'd not exercised, only taken the dog for a 15 minute walk. I had a fasting glucose done about a year ago which was 4.9 and my normal glucose level 2 hours after eating also about a year ago was 6.2. Is it just me or does it seem a bit low?





3.8 is at the low end of the scale but still within the accepted parameters, so unless you were actually feeling symptoms of low blood sugar at the time (headache, weak, shaky, irritability, dizzy, blurred vision etc), don't worry about it



You probably had something cause your sugar to drop low overnight (low level on retiring to bed, or alcohol, or strenuous exercising) which meant that you still had a low-ish reading when tested.







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I am confused. What unit of measure was used? Normally serum glucose levels are measured in milligrams/deciliter (mg/dL).



It's Millimols per Litre (mmols/L), it's the standard measurement used in the UK and Australia.
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#4 Old 08-21-2008, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by sybaritik View Post

It's Millimols per Litre (mmols/L), it's the standard measurement used in the UK and Australia.



Okay then, now it makes sense to me.

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#5 Old 08-21-2008, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by sybaritik View Post

3.8 is at the low end of the scale but still within the accepted parameters, so unless you were actually feeling symptoms of low blood sugar at the time (headache, weak, shaky, irritability, dizzy, blurred vision etc), don't worry about it



You probably had something cause your sugar to drop low overnight (low level on retiring to bed, or alcohol, or strenuous exercising) which meant that you still had a low-ish reading when tested.





I know its within the normal ranges, but is it normal soon after eating? It just seemed a little odd to me. I suffer from headaches, weakness, dizziness/disorientation/visual disturbance and sudden hits of tiredness/exhaustion a lot of the time and actually at the time of test i was very tired and disorientated, I don't drink alcohol at all and considering currently running a mile is pretty much near impossible there was no strenuous exercise involved. Only an earlyish morning and a 15 minute walk before work, nothing that abnormal from my usual routine.



Anyway i have an appointment with my Dr for tuesday so he can give me the results, so i shall mention it then it could be entirely normal i guess it just struck me as a little odd.
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#6 Old 08-22-2008, 01:35 AM
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I know its within the normal ranges, but is it normal soon after eating?



Not really no, but there is some slight variation from person to person regarding blood sugar levels (BSL's) and what is 'normal' for them, so some flexibility with the intepretation of results is required. However, if your result was 3.8 and you were having low BSL symptoms at the time the test was taken, then that is a definite concern.



When you see your doc on Tues make sure you tell him you were experiencing symtoms at the time of the test and that you have also been getting symptoms at other times otherwise he wont be aware that there's an issue.



Hypoglycemia in vegetarians can be fairly common, I had it in the first few years I was a veggie. The usual cause for it is not eating enough protein. Normally, it's easily fixed by increasing your protein intake, eating protein in combination with complex carbs and good fats, and making sure you don't go longer than about 3 hours between meals.



Another cause for low BSL in vegetarians can be low sodium levels....which ended up being the major cause of my hypo episodes. Changing to a veggie diet can often mean a reduction in salt intake. This reduction caused my sodium level to gradually drop over the course of a few years to a level where it became a problem.



Having an adequate sodium level protects your body against sudden rises and falls in insulin levels which cause your BSL's to increase or decrease. If your sodium level is too low there's no protection and you'll have no defense against sudden drops in sugar levels resulting in all those horrible symptoms like weakness, shakiness, mood swings, headaches, blurred vision etc.



My problem righted itself after I introduced some more salt into my diet again and got my levels back up to normal, and I haven't had a problem with it since.
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#7 Old 08-22-2008, 07:06 PM
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Have you been diagnosis with diabetes and/or on any medications? Do your symptoms have any pattern to them? like time of occurance, exacerbating trigger or are relieved by something?

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#8 Old 08-23-2008, 02:10 AM
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Have you been diagnosis with diabetes and/or on any medications? Do your symptoms have any pattern to them? like time of occurance, exacerbating trigger or are relieved by something?



No diabetes and no family history of either. Not on any medication at all. Hmmm not sure there's really a pattern and I can't think of anything that really exacerbates then. Feeling 'out of it'abd sudden bursts of tiredness happen at any time, more usually when in at work but I think that's mostly because they're more obvious to me there.
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#9 Old 08-23-2008, 08:02 PM
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Try keeping a food log and symptom log. Include time of day and month, what and when you ate when the symptoms occur, what they are intensity, etc. The may still be a pattern. In the mean time try eating protein with your carb and see if that makes a difference. What did your doc say?

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#10 Old 08-24-2008, 10:44 PM
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i have diabetes and i notice that veg protein really doesnt do so much to keep my blood sugars up...BUT fat really does! Peanut butter, for example, will help keep me going more than,say, tofu.
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#11 Old 08-26-2008, 06:48 AM
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Went to the Doc this morning, as I already knew everything was normal apart from my random glucose. He assumed it was fasting (though apparently even fasting it's pretty low) but when he found out it was an hour after i'd eaten pointed it out that it was pretty abnormal. To see if it's a strange one off (which imo is quite likely my body is far from normal) he's requested a fasting glucose (argh no food for 10 hours! i will die) and if it's any lower than 3.8 he's referring me to an endocinologist to investigate. Apparently it's very rare to over produce insulin which makes me think it's unlikely this is anything more than a one off, but i guess we'll see, better to be safe than sorry and all that.



As for veggie protien, I've been vegan for 5 years next month and have never had any noticable issues with my blood suagr or protien intake, as for fat PB & J is my best friend and i consume it a fair bit, in addition to other fats in nuts, seeds avocado and healthy oils. I also consume a fair amount of sodium so can't see that being too much of an issue.
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