T Nation

Understanding Hypoglycemia?

I’m trying to help a friend understand her low blood sugar levels. This is NOT a serious problem, I just want to understand more and help her to understand.

Some background: she used to eat “normal” and her blood glucose levels usually ran 90-110 after meals and during the day (these values came about age 15 until about 20ish and none of these values are fasted). She also has some symptoms of IBS, but has never been diagnosed.

From about 20 until 25 she hasnt had any issues with the hypoglycemia until about 4 months ago. 40 days ago she started a fairly strict paleo, which lasted about 25 days and she has slowly started to add in small amounts of dairy and gluten (cheese and breads) but broke out in rashes. She felt better on the strict paleo than before she started, with a few sluggish days here and there. Her IBS symptoms have gone away since paleo. She did consume more meats during the paleo.

She recently bought a glucosometer to test her levels. The past 3 days they have not gone over 85 and and her last meal yesterday she was only brought her to 72. Her husband ate the same meal (portion size the same I’m sure, I know he’s a light eater) and his levels hit 105.

I asked that she spike it with a glucose drink of some sort just to see if she has severe problems and her levels did hit 93 after 1/2 can of soda.

So she is functional and not going to die soon. Her activity level is low, she does a lot of walking and some recreational cycling here and there but that is all.

Do you guys have any thought? Tests? Questions? Are these levels normal?

Sorry if this all seems stupid, I’m not too well versed in this side of nutrition.

Thanks!

First off - I commend you on getting her started on Paleo! Definitely a great step in terms of helping your friend improve their long term and overall health.

Blood glucose is a bit of a tricky issue. But I don’t believe she’s experiencing hypoglycemia.

Most MDs will tell you to keep your glucose under 100 mg/dL. That is still way too high. The threshold value for diabetes is 126 mg/dL.

The optimal value of resting fasting glucose according to leading functional medicine practitioners should in fact be 70 mg/dL or less.

According to Bjornholt et al. (1999), there is a 40% increase in cardiovascular risk if your glucose is above 85 mg/dL.

Dr. Mark Houston estimates the increase in mortality from cardiovascular disease to be 5% for every mg/dL above 70 mg/dL.

So unless she’s experiencing severe symptoms of hypoglycemia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypoglycemia), which from your description it appears she is NOT, then she is perfectly healthy. In fact, I’d be more worried about her husband.

Hungryone - the levels you’re quoting are for a fasted glucose test, VTT is giving us post-prandial numbers…

VTT - why does she think she has hypoglycemia? Has she had a fasted glucose test?