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Author Topic:   Blood sugar
posted 10-02-1999 11:10 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have had a couple of non-fasting blood tests in the past 6 months where the levels were 4.1 and 4.0. I am starting to think that this is abnormally low and might explain weight-loss and generally feeling weak and crappy. Is this too low, and does it warrant further investigation? What kinds of things could cause that?


Posts: 225
Registered: May 99

posted 10-02-1999 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sisyphus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ummmmm, I think you need to review you numbers. My last FASTING blood sugar (taken a couple of months ago) was 93 mg/dL (miiligrams per deciliter). The normal range is 70 - 110 according to one of my medical books, and 60 - 125 according to another. The Centers For Disease Control guidelines state a fastings blood plasma glucose level of greater than or equal to 126 mg/dL, or a casual plasma glucose (taken any time of day) of greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL with the symptoms of diabetes are considered diabetic levels for Type II diabetes, or non-insulin dependent. Type I is the very low blood sugar levels.

If your level truly was a 4, you would be in a diabetic coma. When blood sugar levels drop too low--a condition known as hypoglycemia--a person can become nervous, shaky, and confused. Judgment can be impaired. Eventually, you could pass out. Some diabetics in the first stages of hypoglycemia appear drunk. The treatment for low blood sugar is to eat or drink something with sugar in it.

Check you numbers again. It would be interesting to know what they are.

For more information, check out

[This message has been edited by Sisyphus (edited 10-02-1999).]

[This message has been edited by Sisyphus (edited 10-02-1999).]


Posts: 57
Registered: Sep 99

posted 10-02-1999 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Queasy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have hypoglycemia and have taken the 5-hour glucose tolerance test. If I am remembering correctly anything below 5.0 is hypoglycemic. I think my lowest number during the five hours was 5.0 and at that point I was getting confused and slurring my words. Along with the usual shakiness and weakness. I think you should be checked out. If you are hypoglycemic you will most likely have to change your diet quite extensively.


Posts: 137
Registered: Aug 99

posted 10-03-1999 12:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for debidoo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not sure about the numbers (haven't had a GTT since 1987 - I hate those things!), but I can tell you how it feels when your blood sugar drops below normal: Within a couple of hours of eating a high carbohydrate meal, you suddenly begin to feel intense hunger, coupled with nausea deep in the pit of your stomach. You start to feel so nauseous, as a matter of fact, that you're not at all sure you will be able to eat and keep anything down - but eat you must! You start to tremble, and your hands become cold and clammy. Your heart begins beating faster, and your mood changes dramatically. You become very irritable and there's no question in anyone's mind that you do not want to be messed with. Your head starts to ache and you can't seem to think clearly or operate a vehicle safely. You want to get something to eat NOW!!! You feel absolutely capable of murder under the right circumstances, so hopefully everyone will stay out of your way, at least until you get some food in you.

It's a horrible feeling, and one I am all too familiar with. Diabetes runs in my family very strongly, and I am pretty much destined to become diabetic if I don't watch the carbohydrates in my diet. Since I started on the Atkins Diet back in April, my low blood sugar symptoms have disappeared. Also, my IBS symptoms have improved drastically.

Another thing you might find helpful is taking Chromium Picolinate, which helps to regulate your blood sugar levels. Good luck!


posted 10-03-1999 07:31 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would imagine that the symptoms are different for everyone. If I convert my numbers, they are 410 mg/dl, which I guess is too low. Maybe that explains why I feel so strange all the time. My skin feels scratchy or crawly, I have trouble concentrating on anything for longer than 30 seconds, and feel generally really weak as though a breeze will knock me over, and can't stay up much past 7 or 8. My wife also tells me that I sweat profusely during the night.

The strange thing is that I never feel hungry, although I do eat somewhat normally. I usually crave carbohydrates and anything that has sugar in it. My father developed insulin-dependent diabetes at the same age as I am now, so I am probably a candidate. He also went through 2 years of hell with depression and weight loss before it was diagnosed, as I am doing now. However, I always thought that high blood sugar had to be present for diabetes.

I did a quick search and there seem to be many different causes for blood sugar to drop, maybe I will get it checked out. Finding the cause might be difficult.


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posted 10-03-1999 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for flux   Click Here to Email flux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sisyphus, I have an explanation of what’s going on..

Weakndizzy is reporting the results in in SI units (mmol/L) and you are reporting them in “American” units (mg/dl). When converted, 4.1 mmol/L is 74 mg/dl (certainly not 410 mg/dl, which would be way too high).

Oh and “diabetic coma” means the sugar level is way too high. The term you were looking for is “insulin shock”.

Of course, I wasn’t reading it right, in fact, that number is quite in the normal range! The Merck manual lists hypoglycemia as being lower than 50 mg/dl or 2.78 in those other units (for men), so low blood sugar doesn’t seem to be the cause of your problem!

[This message has been edited by flux (edited 10-03-1999).]

posted 10-03-1999 11:08 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, whatever the units used, the last result was flagged as "LOW" on the lab report. I am awaiting a follow-up with the doc who ordered the test to see whether it might be a problem.


Posts: 225
Registered: May 99

posted 10-03-1999 03:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sisyphus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, flux. I knew diabetic coma wasn't right, but couldn't remember the right term and didn't have time to search. I need to be more careful.....

I knew the 410 couldn't be right, or he would be in a diabetic coma, not posting in this bb! Thanks for explaining that to us. Weakndizzy, your report actually listed it as LOW? Was it on the LOW side of the normal range, maybe? Did you check out that link above? That gives some really good info.

Let us know what happens. Good luck!

posted 10-03-1999 04:21 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was below the lower threshold listed on the report as normal ranges. I don't remember exactly what the lower and upper limits were, but my result was BELOW the lower limit, and not 'low average'. It was flagged as LOW.

All times are ET (US)

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