Can You Have Hypoglycemia Without Having Diabetes?
Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs when the sugar levels in your blood are too low. Many people think of hypoglycemia as something that only occurs in people with diabetes. However, it can also occur in people who don’t have diabetes. Hypoglycemia is different from hyperglycemia, which occurs when you have too much sugar in your bloodstream. Hypoglycemia can happen in people with diabetes if the body produces too much insulin. Insulin is a hormone that breaks down sugar so that you can use it for energy. You can also get hypoglycemia if you have diabetes and you take too much insulin. If you don’t have diabetes, hypoglycemia can happen if your body can’t stabilize your blood sugar levels. It can also happen after meals if your body produces too much insulin. Hypoglycemia in people who don’t have diabetes is less common than hypoglycemia that occurs in people who have diabetes or related conditions. Here's what you need to know about hypoglycemia that occurs without diabetes. Everyone reacts differently to fluctuations in their blood glucose levels. Some symptoms of hypoglycemia may include: You may have hypoglycemia without having any symptoms. This is known as hypoglycemia unawareness. Hypoglycemia is either reactive or non-reactive. Each type has different causes: Reactive hypoglycemia Reactive hypoglycemia occurs within a few hours after a meal. An overproduction of insulin causes reactive hypoglycemia. Having reactive hypoglycemia may mean that you’re at risk for developing diabetes. Non-reactive hypoglycemia Non-reactive hypoglycemia isn't necessarily related to meals and may be due to an underlying disease. Causes of non-reactive, or fasting, hypoglycemia can include: some medications, like those used in adults and children with kidney failure any d Continue reading >>
WHAT IS NON-DIABETIC HYPOGLYCEMIA? Hypoglycemia is the condition when your blood glucose (sugar) levels are too low. It happens to people with diabetes when they have a mismatch of medicine, food, and/or exercise. Non-diabetic hypoglycemia, a rare condition, is low blood glucose in people who do not have diabetes. There are two kinds of non-diabetic hypoglycemia: Reactive hypoglycemia, which happens within a few hours of eating a meal Fasting hypoglycemia, which may be related to a disease Glucose is the main source of energy for your body and brain. It comes from what we eat and drink. Insulin, a hormone, helps keep blood glucose at normal levels so your body can work properly. Insulin's job is to help glucose enter your cells where it's used for energy. If your glucose level is too low, you might not feel well. You can have symptoms of hypoglycemia, but unless your blood glucose level is actually low when you have symptoms, you don't have hypoglycemia. WHAT CAUSES NON-DIABETIC HYPOGLYCEMIA? The two kinds of non-diabetic hypoglycemia have different causes. Researchers are still studying the causes of reactive hypoglycemia. They know, however, that it comes from having too much insulin in the blood, leading to low blood glucose levels. Type of Non-diabetic Hypoglycemia Possible Causes Reactive hypoglycemia Having pre-diabetes or being at risk for diabetes, which can lead to trouble making the right amount of insulin Stomach surgery, which can make food pass too quickly into your small intestine Rare enzyme deficiencies that make it hard for your body to break down food Fasting hypoglycemia Medicines, such as - salicylates (a type of pain reliever) - sulfa drugs (an antibiotic) - pentamidine (to treat a serious kind of pneumonia) - quinine (to treat malaria) Alcohol, esp Continue reading >>
Hypoglycaemia (low Blood Glucose) In Non-diabetic People
What is hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose)? Hypoglycaemia or low blood glucose is a condition in which the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood, drops below a certain point (about 2.5mmol/l). The condition manifests itself by a number of symptoms that usually disappear 10 to 15 minutes after eating sugar. People differ slightly in the exact level of blood glucose at which they begin to feel symptoms of low blood sugar. Insulin is normally produced in the pancreas and helps the cells in the body absorb glucose from the blood. Normally, the glucose level rises after a meal. Too much insulin in the blood and other diseases can cause hypoglycaemic episodes (also known as 'hypos'). What can cause hypoglycaemic episodes in non-diabetic patients? Too much insulin in the blood: reactive hypoglycaemia (see below) a tumour – very often benign – in the insulin-producing pancreas. This is a very rare condition indeed Other diseases: a disease in the adrenal glands (Addison's disease) a weakened pituitary gland a severe reduction in liver function patients who have had their stomach removed fasting, malnutrition Reactive hypoglycaemia is possibly the most common reason for hypoglycaemia in non-diabetics but is often overdiagnosed. This form of hypoglycaemia is probably caused by an overproduction of insulin from the pancreas after a large meal with a lot of carbohydrates. The insulin can still be detected even after several hours, although the level should be back to normal at this time. This condition is probably most common in overweight people and those with Type 2 diabetes, where the large demand for insulin can sometimes cause too much insulin to be produced in the pancreas. There is some evidence to suggest that reactive hypoglycaemia can precede Type 2 diabetes. What happ Continue reading >>
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Expected Blood Glucose After A High-carb Meal
Blood glucose levels normally rise after a high-carbohydrate meal and drop back to normal levels within a few hours. But if your glucose levels rise higher than normal and recover more slowly, you might have diabetes. Your doctor can administer tests that measure your blood glucose levels immediately before you consume a high-carbohydrate meal and for several hours afterward. If you already have diabetes, your doctor might want you to check your blood glucose levels after meals, to make sure you're keeping your glucose within the expected range. Normal Levels After Eating Healthy, non-diabetic people normally have blood glucose levels of less than 120 milligrams per deciliter two hours after a normal meal, rarely exceeding 140 mg/dL, according to the American Diabetes Association. Levels return to normal within two to three hours. When you undergo a glucose tolerance test, you consume a high-carbohydrate drink or snack containing 75 grams of carbohydrate. At one hour, your test falls into the normal, non-diabetic range if your blood glucose remains below 200 mg/dL. Two hours after your meal, blood glucose should remain below 140 mg/dL. A level of over 200 mg/dL at two hours post-prandial -- which means after a meal -- indicates diabetes. Levels between 140 and 200 mg/dL indicate pre-diabetes, a condition with a strong risk of developing diabetes in the future. Expected Results in Diabetics Diabetics experience larger spikes in blood glucose that take longer to return to baseline. For diabetics, blood glucose an hour after eating should remain below 180 mg/dL or no more than 80 mg/dL over your pre-meal levels. The highest spikes in blood glucose levels often occur after breakfast. If you experience hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose levels before a meal, you might experi Continue reading >>
Can A Non-diabetic Man Also Have High Fasting Blood Sugar?
Also known as non-diabetic hyperglycemia, this condition refers to having high blood sugar levels even though one has never been diagnosed with diabetes before. Our pancreas constantly release a low level of insulin in order to prevent the vital organs like the liver, kidneys and intestines from inappropriately converting bodily proteins into glucose and thereby raising blood sugar. While a rise in blood sugar is mostly attributed to diabetes, non-diabetics can have high fasting blood sugar due to various other reasons like unchecked and prolonged consumption of certain medicines or drugs like asthma medicines and other steroids. Another factor that contributes to the rise in blood glucose levels is when the body is in a state of extreme mental or physical stress, commonly related to a critical illness like stroke or heart attack. General stress that interferes with your sleep directly increases your fasting blood sugar in the morning. This is more to do with general cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol makes your body a little more resistant to the effects of insulin, so the blood sugar levels may rise a bit. Another commonly observed cause of high blood sugar is an active blood infection, known as sepsis. Other infections also include urinary tract infection. All these cases are conditions when the body releases its own hormones which lead to high fasting blood sugar. The normal blood glucose range for a non-diabetic varies between 80 and 100 mg/dl. A diet rich in carbohydrates can also directly raise your blood sugar levels. If you are a non-diabetic, and in order to remain in control of your blood sugar levels and overall well-being, you should start by monitoring it regularly with a glucometer. Continue reading >>
How To Treat Exercise-related Hypoglycemia
Did you know, according to diabetes experts, muscles are responsible for about 90 percent of the body’s use of glucose as fuel? Exercise also affects various hormones which have a direct impact on blood sugar levels. It’s not surprising then, that non-diabetic hypoglycemia (or low blood sugar) is common in frequent exercisers and athletes. If you’ve ever worked out on an empty stomach, you’ve probably experienced the dizziness, muscle weakness and exhaustion of a blood-sugar crash. Understanding how your blood-sugar levels are controlled, and what you can do to prevent these crashes, can help you avoid these symptoms. 1. Understand What Hypoglycemia Is And How Blood Sugar Works The sugar called glucose, which is stored in the muscles and liver, is the primary fuel your muscles use during strenuous activities. As part of a careful balancing act, two hormones are released to try to maintain healthy levels of glucose in the blood, where it can be used readily. Insulin is released into the blood by the pancreas when blood sugar levels are too high, where it bonds with specialized receptors on the cells. Insulin stimulates the cells at these receptors and tells them to absorb glucose. Once these cells respond to insulin, blood sugar levels drop. When blood sugar is too low, however, the pancreas releases glucagon instead. This hormone tells the liver to releases some of its stored glucose into the blood so that can be used as fuel. Exercise puts much higher demands on your muscles, forcing them to utilize more fuel — in much the same way as making your car go faster, or pull a heavy load, will increase how much gas it burns. Overtraining can even cause a permanent shift in this balance by increasing insulin sensitivity, which will make it much more difficult for yo Continue reading >>
Non-diabetic Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
The body needs glucose for energy; it is especially critical for the brain and the rest of the central nervous system. While most cases of low blood sugar are due to the effects of medications for diabetes, some cases are unrelated. Patients experiencing non-diabetic low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, usually experience symptoms and quickly eat or drink something containing carbohydrates. Uncorrected hypoglycemia can lead to coma or death. Hunger Fortunately, the body usually alerts us to a drop in blood sugar by causing us to feel hungry. It is common to crave something sweet, such as a milkshake or soda, which will quickly raise blood sugar. Shakiness A person suffering hypoglycemia may be shaky. This is often accompanied by sweating and an increase in heart rate. Weakness Low blood sugar may make a person feel weak and dizzy. She may feel as though she is about to pass out. It may be hard to fully rouse her, and her movements may be clumsy and uncoordinated. It is not unusual for the patient to spill her drink as she is trying to consume it. Headache Headache is a classic sign of dropping blood sugar. According to the Mayo Clinic, blurry vision may also be present. Some people have double vision, making eating or drinking difficult. Confusion The lack of glucose in the brain may quickly lead to confusion. The person may be cranky, nervous or have poor inhibition of what he says to others. His speech may be slurred; this is sometimes confused with drunkenness. Nausea Drugs.com describes nausea as another indicator of hypoglycemia. The person may be warm to the touch and complain of tingling skin. How to Avoid Recurrent hypoglycemia should be treated by a physician. To avoid symptoms, eat five small meals spread throughout the day. Eat an early breakfast and Continue reading >>
The Dawn Phenomenon – T2d 8
The occurrence of high blood sugars after a period of fasting is often puzzling to those not familiar with the Dawn Phenomenon. Why are blood sugars elevated if you haven’t eaten overnight? This effect is also seen during fasting, even during prolonged fasting. There are two main effects – the Somogyi Effect and the Dawn Phenomenon. Somogyi Effect The Somogyi effect is also called reactive hyperglycaemia and happens in type 2 diabetic patients. The blood sugar sometimes drops in reaction to the night time dose of medication. This low blood sugar is dangerous, and in response, the body tries to raise it. Since the patient is asleep, he/she does not feel the hypoglycaemic symptoms of shakiness or tremors or confusion. By the time the patient awakens, the sugar is elevated without a good explanation. The high blood sugar occurs in reaction to the preceding low. This can be diagnosed by checking the blood sugar at 2am or 3am. If it is very low, then this is diagnostic of the Somogy Effect. Dawn Phenomenon The Dawn Effect, sometimes also called the Dawn Phenomenon (DP) was first described about 30 years ago. It is estimated to occur in up to 75% of T2D patients although severity varies widely. It occurs both in those treated with insulin and those that are not. The circadian rhythm creates this DP. Just before awakening (around 4am), the body secretes higher levels of Growth Hormone, cortisol, glucagon and adrenalin. Together, these are called the counter-regulatory hormones. That is, they counter the blood sugar lowering effects of insulin, meaning that they raise blood sugars. The nocturnal surge of growth hormone is considered the primary cause of the DP. These normal circadian hormonal increases prepare our bodies for the day ahead. That is, glucagon tells the liver Continue reading >>
Why Is My Blood Glucose Sometimes Low After Physical Activity?
Low blood glucose is defined as a blood glucose level below 70 mg/dl if your meter measures whole blood, or 80 mg/dl or below if it measures plasma glucose (a plasma blood glucose of 90 mg/dl or below with symptoms is also a sign of hypoglycemia). One of the most common causes of low blood glucose is too much physical activity. In fact, moderate to intense exercise may cause your blood glucose to drop for the next 24 hours following exercise. This post-exercise hypoglycemia is often referred to as the "lag effect" of exercise. Basically, when you exercise, the body uses two sources of fuel, sugar and free fatty acids (that is, fat) to generate energy. The sugar comes from the blood, the liver and the muscles. The sugar is stored in the liver and muscle in a form called glycogen. During the first 15 minutes of exercise, most of the sugar for fuel comes from either the blood stream or the muscle glycogen, which is converted back to sugar. After 15 minutes of exercise, however, the fuel starts to come more from the glycogen stored in the liver. After 30 minutes of exercise, the body begins to get more of its energy from the free fatty acids. As a result, exercise can deplete sugar levels and glycogen stores. The body will replace these glycogen stores but this process may take 4 to 6 hours, even 12 to 24 hours with more intense activity. During this rebuilding of glycogen stores, a person with diabetes can be at higher risk for hypoglycemia. Here are tips for safe exercising. Guidelines for preventing exercise related hypoglycemia Check your blood glucose before exercising to make sure your blood glucose is sufficient and/or consume an appropriate snack. Avoid exercise at the peak of your insulin action. Avoid late evening exercise. Exercise should be completed 2 hours bef Continue reading >>
Common Questions About Blood Sugar
How often should I test my blood sugar? This is a very common question, and the answer isn't the same for everyone. In general, you should test as often as you need to get helpful information. There's no point in testing if the information you get doesn't help you manage your diabetes. If you've been told to test at certain times, but you don't know why or what to do with the test results, then testing won't seem very meaningful. Here are some general guidelines for deciding how often to test: If you can only test once a day, then do it before breakfast. Keep a written record so that you can see the pattern of the numbers. If you control your blood sugar by diet and exercise only, this once-a-day test might be enough. If you take medicine (diabetes pills or insulin), you will probably want to know how well that medicine is working. The general rule is to test before meals and keep a record. If you want to know how your meals affect your blood sugar, testing about 2 hours after eating can be helpful. Test whenever you feel your blood sugar is either too high or too low. Testing will give you important information about what you need to do to raise or lower your blood sugar. If you take more than 2 insulin shots a day or use an insulin pump, you should test 4 to 6 times a day. You should test more often if you're having unusually high or low readings, if you're sick, under more stress than usual, or are pregnant. If you change your schedule or travel, you should also test your blood sugar more often than usual. Talk to a member of your health care team about how often to test based on your personal care plan. What should my test numbers be? There isn't one blood sugar target that's right for everyone with diabetes. It's important to work with your health care team to set Continue reading >>
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: What is non-diabetic hypoglycemia? Non-diabetic hypoglycemia is a condition that causes the sugar (glucose) in your blood to drop too low. This can happen in people who do not have diabetes. The 2 types of non-diabetic hypoglycemia are fasting hypoglycemia and reactive hypoglycemia. Fasting hypoglycemia often happens after the person goes without food for 8 hours or longer. Reactive hypoglycemia usually happens about 2 to 4 hours after a meal. When your blood sugar level is low, your muscles and brain cells do not have enough energy to work well. What causes non-diabetic hypoglycemia? Fasting hypoglycemia: Certain medicines or herbal supplements such as fenugreek, ginseng, or cinnamon Alcohol Exercise Medical conditions such as liver disease, hypothyroidism, and tumors Eating disorders or malnutrition Stomach surgery or hemodialysis Reactive hypoglycemia: The causes of reactive hypoglycemia may be unknown. Hyperinsulinism Meals high in refined carbohydrates such as white bread or foods high in sugar Prediabetes Any surgery of the digestive system What are the signs and symptoms of non-diabetic hypoglycemia? Blurred vision or changes in vision Dizziness, lightheadedness, or shakiness Fatigue and weakness Fast or pounding heartbeat Sweating more than usual Headache Nausea or hunger Anxiety, Irritability, or confusion How is non-diabetic hypoglycemia diagnosed? Blood tests are done to measure your blood sugar levels. These tests may also be done to find the cause of your hypoglycemia. Fasting tests may be done. You may have an overnight fasting test or a 72-hour fasting test. After you have fasted overnight, your blood sugar levels will be tested 2 times. For a 72-hour fasting test, you will not be given food for a period of up to 72 hours. During th Continue reading >>
The Ultimate Guide To Biohacking Your Blood Sugar Levels (and Why Sugar Sometimes Isn’t Bad).
If you enjoy the post you’re about to read, you may want to check out the free Diabetes Summit from April 18-25, 2016, in which 30+ experts (including me) share the best tips, strategies and secrets for controlling and reversing blood sugar issues, type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome… In one of my Quick & Dirty Tips articles last week, I mentioned that one “hack” I use to avoid experiencing big spikes in blood sugar from a big meal is to do some basic strength training with a dumbbell prior to eating that meal, which, as I explain in that article, activates specific sugar transporters responsible for taking up carbohydrate into muscle tissue, rather than partitioning those sugars into storage fat. Since my own personal genetic testing has revealed that I have a higher than normal risk for Type 2 diabetes (there are specific genetic variations associated with diabetes that you can check out here), hacking blood sugar levels to get them lower is a topic near and dear to my heart. This should also be a very important topic for you to educate yourself on, since not only are there are specific genetic variations associated with diabetes that you can check out here), hacking blood sugar levels to get them lower is a topic near and dear to my heart. This should also be a very important topic for you to educate yourself on, since not only are Type 2 diabetes rates rising, both in the United States and globally (even among athletes and so-called “healthy” people), but so are a host of other chronic disease, neural degradation and weight issues directly related to high blood sugar. Characterized by insulin resistance and chronic high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), type 2 diabetes can lead to both brain and metabolic dysfunction, and is also a sig Continue reading >>
Identifying And Treating Signs Of Low Blood Sugar In People Without Diabetes
Blood sugar levels are of particular concern for people with diabetes, due to health concerns that narrow the safe range of glucose in the blood. But for those who don’t, the window of blood sugar content is simply wider than diabetes patients, and worth paying attention to if you experience temporary or persistent issues that correlate with low blood sugar. The umbrella term for the various issues caused by low glucose is non-diabetic hypoglycemia. The Two Types of Non-Diabetic Hypoglycemia When people without diabetes suffer from low blood sugar, their symptoms are further categorized under two types of non-diabetic hypoglycemia. Fasting hypoglycemia describes low blood sugar levels caused by little to no food consumption for eight hours or more. Top causes include: Strenuous exercise without eating properly Consuming alcohol without food Taking some medications or supplements outside the recommended meal window Regular fasting or under-eating Hypothyroidism, or other non-diabetic conditions that cause sensitivity to low blood sugar levels Not eating well when recovering from surgery, or an injury Reactive hypoglycemia happens in the hours after a meal, and is rarer for non-diabetic patients. It tends to correlate an additional non-diabetic health issue. Common causes include: Consistently eating foods high in refined carbohydrates Hyperinsulinism, when insulin reaches above normal levels in your blood Temporary blood sugar sensitivity or imbalance caused by surgeries in any part of the digestive system Identifying the Symptoms of Non-Diabetic Hypoglycemia If you’ve suffered from the following symptoms, low blood sugar is a possible cause: An overwhelming feeling of hunger Unprompted confusion Blurred vision Loss of balance Difficulty concentrating Sweating withou Continue reading >>
Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar) In People Without Diabetes
A A A Topic Overview Is this topic for you? Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is most common in people who have diabetes. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes and need more information about low blood sugar, see the topics: What is low blood sugar? You may have briefly felt the effects of low blood sugar when you've gotten really hungry or exercised hard without eating enough. This happens to nearly everyone from time to time. It's easy to correct and usually nothing to worry about. But low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can also be an ongoing problem. It occurs when the level of sugar in your blood drops too low to give your body energy. What causes hypoglycemia in people who don't have diabetes? Ongoing problems with low blood sugar can be caused by: Medicines. Diseases of the liver, kidneys, or pancreas. Metabolic problems. Alcohol use. Stomach surgery. What are the symptoms? Symptoms can be different depending on how low your blood sugar level drops. Mild hypoglycemia can make you feel hungry or like you want to vomit. You could also feel jittery or nervous. Your heart may beat fast. You may sweat. Or your skin might turn cold and clammy. Moderate hypoglycemia often makes people feel short-tempered, nervous, afraid, or confused. Your vision may blur. You could also feel unsteady or have trouble walking. Severe hypoglycemia can cause you to pass out. You could have seizures. It could even cause a coma or death. If you've had hypoglycemia during the night, you may wake up tired or with a headache. And you may have nightmares. Or you may sweat so much during the night that your pajamas or sheets are damp when you wake up. How is hypoglycemia diagnosed? To diagnose hypoglycemia, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your health and a Continue reading >>
High Blood Sugar Mystery Post-exercise
I've been eating paleo for about two years (before I knew it had a name!). Recently I started testing blood glucose levels (I'm not diabetic). Fasting levels are generally in the "normal" range (about 85 mg/dL). One hour post-eating, levels are about 100 to 110. I decided to experiment by taking a reading after playing an indoor soccer game. Note that I play goalie, so my activity does not include running. More short bursts of motion. I imagine high cortisol levels (much like a prey item being hunted, which is why I like it, oddly...). Anyway, my level was 167 post-game. Almost diabetic levels! This on a day when I'd been intermittent-fasting (I always fast on game days). I thought the meter might be the suspect (actually Dr. Kurt Harris suggested this, I kind of wondered why there would only be one outlier, in all my tests). So I re-tested after another game. The result? 181 mg/dL! So it appears my liver is dumping large amounts of sugar into my blood, possibly as part of a "fight or flight" norepinephrine or cortisol-mediated response. Is this normal? Continue reading >>