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Super low blood sugar: Please help!!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

For the last few months, my husband has been almost falling down "drunk" at least 3 times a week from low blood sugar:  he can't finish sentences, he trips over things that aren't there, he says mean things to the children and me, when he eats food falls out of his mouth all over the table, he can't remember anything that he's done the next day, and he usually falls asleep pretty quickly after the symptoms start.  He's been trying to eat more, has eliminated grains, and has eliminated sugary beverages but it's still happening.  He doesn't seem to have any other symptoms of diabetes and is nervous to go to the doctor about this problem because he doesn't want to follow a conventional diet or take medications.  I need help because I'm worried about him, I can't trust him enough leave him with the children (which I need to do sometimes especially since I'm a homeschooling mom and I'm with them ALL the time), I feel like I'm doing everything in our house and it's frustrating. . .but most of all, I'm worried about him!  I need help!  Everything I read online is either about lowering high blood sugar or says to give him candy or juice when he's low. . .both of which I don't really want to do.  Help!!

post #2 of 12

While that sounds like it could be low blood sugar it could also be something else. I would think it's best to go and get checked out. For me even if I wanted to research different paths from the "standard" medication route I think some testing is in order to find out what I'm dealing with.

 

While the symptoms do sound like a diabetic hypo (low blood sugar) it would be unlikely for an undiagnosed diabetic to get the low blood sugar. That is usually a result of injecting more insulin than needed for a meal or doing more exercise than expected. An undiagnosed diabetic would be much more likely to have high blood sugar since their body is either not producing enough insulin or is not able to use the insulin effectively and so the blood sugar level goes up.

post #3 of 12
I agree with the PPs, unless you are actually measuring his BSL during these episodes I think it's unlikely to be a hypo. Apart from anything else, with those symptoms you would expect him to progress to coma without getting a rapid release glucose hit, such as juice or sweets, followed by a slower-release glucose such as a complex carb.

To be honest it sounds more neurological to me and my first thought is a TIA or MS or similar. I am an ED nurse and if it were my husband l would probably be calling an ambulance.

Sorry to be scary but I would strongly encourage you/him to get this checked out to eliminate a possibly serious cause.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, I finally got him in to the doctor.  The doctor also said it probably isn't diabetes, but said it does sound like severe hypoglycemia which is really rare.  He asked my husband about his diet and when my husband said that we're grain free. . .well, that's all the doctor could focus on for the rest of the visit.  He told my husband that he has to eat bread, pasta, and baguettes (we're in Belgium lol). . .my husband was bummed because he feels much better since we've eliminated grains in our diet and he thinks maybe this doctor doesn't know what he's talking about.  I did tell my husband that man cannot live on cheese and meat alone and maybe he should think about adding in more carbs but he can still shy away from gluten since his eczema is finally gone and his digestive problems have stopped.  The doctor is also having his blood checked for pretty much everything.  I've been looking online and it's really pretty scary the things his symptoms are linked to.

post #5 of 12

Hope you get some answers from the testing, not knowing is always scary.

 

Did you get any advice on treating the episodes? Being diabetic I've tested quite a few options. I find pure orange juice works pretty fast to bring my blood sugar up, and tastes a lot better than many of the glucose tablets an gels.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

The doctor told my husband to make sure he eats before doing any exercise, he recommended a baguette (ugh) and to make sure he's eating several times a day.  Now my husband is keeping some juice with him for when I tell him he's acting funny. . .problem is, he doesn't realize that it's happening. . .so I have to be there to tell him or he just gets fall down drunk with it.  I wish there was a way to get him to recognize when it's happening so it didn't have to go so far into it. . .but, right now, it's the best we can do.

post #7 of 12

Actually, there are carbs in vegetables so you CAN live without traditionally recognized "carbs" (which are really starches--the term is regularly misused).  So if he would prefer to be grain, starch and sugar-free he can certainly do that and just make sure to eat plenty of vegetables and notsomany fruits (which resolve to sugar in the body).

 

There are a number of insulin-regulating disorders outside of diabetes.  Be sure that one of the tests is at least a fasting insulin test if not the 2-hour Insulin Response Test.  Most doctors are looking for diabetes and run all kinds of tests on sugar levels but not insulin levels.

 

I would also be sure to have a neurologist check him out, too.  Possibly an endocrinologist.  Especially if the bloodwork comes back clean (assuming the bloodwork includes insulin levels--not just sugar levels).

post #8 of 12
I've had a low blood sugar problem before. Not that bad to where I'm' almost going to pass out, but I would feel it in the afternoons sometimes. Through applied kinesiology, we figured that supplementing with Inositol would fix it. It did. It worked within just a few days. Another symptom I had was I was extremely sensitive to cold before. I would get cold easily. Supplementing with Inositol also fixed that.
post #9 of 12
Cinnamon helps your body regulate blood sugar. There's a couple others, but I can't think of them at the moment.

Potatos can supply the carbs without grain.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by treemom2 View Post

Well, I finally got him in to the doctor.  The doctor also said it probably isn't diabetes, but said it does sound like severe hypoglycemia which is really rare.  He asked my husband about his diet and when my husband said that we're grain free. . .well, that's all the doctor could focus on for the rest of the visit.  He told my husband that he has to eat bread, pasta, and baguettes (we're in Belgium lol). . .my husband was bummed because he feels much better since we've eliminated grains in our diet and he thinks maybe this doctor doesn't know what he's talking about.  I did tell my husband that man cannot live on cheese and meat alone and maybe he should think about adding in more carbs but he can still shy away from gluten since his eczema is finally gone and his digestive problems have stopped.  The doctor is also having his blood checked for pretty much everything.  I've been looking online and it's really pretty scary the things his symptoms are linked to.

Well does he eat veggies? Those have carbs.

I have reactive hypoglycemia with very similar symptoms to your DH. I find I have to follow a diet somewhat similar to a diabetic diet... look up low-glycemic diets, it's a little surprising which foods affect blood sugar (i.e. potatoes can be a problem, but sweet potatoes are lower GI). I am also grain-free (and grains could be a problem, depending on the cause of the hypoglycemia, so your doc sounds a bit off to me). Does he consume caffeine? Aside from the obvious effects, caffeine also affects blood sugar. Alcohol too, does he drink? Has anything in his diet changed since this started? Is he eating more frequently or less frequently? Is he on any new meds? I would be concerned if this has come out of nowhere. I've been hypoglycemic virtually my whole life (and it appears to run in my family), I don't know that it's normal for it to just suddenly come on like that, but I'm not a doctor... I'd get a second opinion depending how the blood tests etc. turn out. Pancreatic tumor and adrenal insufficiency keep popping into my mind for some reason so I'll just throw those out there for you, kind of random...

As far as regulating it in the meantime (if it is indeed low blood sugar... have you tested it?) Avoid large meals & switch to 5-6 mini meals spread evenly throughout the day. Avoid sugar (including fruit) and refined carbs, or at least pair it with something high in protein. If his blood sugar gets low, he may need quick sugar to even be able to get his level up enough to eat something else. So juice or sweets isn't an unreasonable option, but would need to be followed up with a more complete snack/meal. Milk (like soy milk or almond milk) usually helps me, because it's got extra sugar but also some protein.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

After going to the doc and getting blood test results back, there's still no clear answer.  He does have a bit of insulin resistance when doing the 3 hour glucose tolerance test, but his A1C was 3.5.  He does drink a bit of coffee in the morning, maybe 2 cups and will sometimes have an alcoholic beverage in the evenings.  It is definitely worse when he's had that alcoholic drink.  He also just doesn't eat often enough.  We've found that if he eats well several times a day he doesn't have these episodes unless he has alcohol, a soda pop, or is very tired.  He was pretty hypoglycemic as a teen, passed out a couple times when we were out for all day concerts or things like that. . .however, it hasn't happened in years until recently.  Our son was diagnosed in Dec 2012 with Type 1 Diabetes, so we're pretty familiar with a diabetic diet and I think following this diet is helping my husband eat more regularly. . .he's now down to one episode a week instead of almost every night. 

post #12 of 12
Ginger, cinnamon and zinc all help to stabilize blood sugar. The ginger and cinnamon have to be real, so I suggest teas.
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