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Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation
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Low blood sugar

I am not diabetic, but I feel like I have low blood sugar a lot so I bought a meter to check, i have had it for over a year and never had a low and then In January I checked it and it was 3.5 (64) and I didn’t feel any symptoms I felt fine. I left it half an hour and tested again and it was 4.5 (74)? But this is ruining my life because it’s making my anxiety worse!

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Hi laurenx95,

Has your doctor suggested that you have a snack for morning and afternoon depending on the blood sugars?

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No they just say it’s not to worry about if it’s only happened once!

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What do you eat for your meals? You may have to count the number of carbs. and see if you have low numbers afterwards.

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I eat fairly healthy, I noticed it was happening after milk a lot I was feeling sleepy and rubbish, so I’ve cut that out. I have no health issues and I’m 23, I do have anxiety quite bad though so I always obsess about my health

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Milk? Most of the time, when I have a glass of milk, the number tends to go higher. Milk that’s skim/fat free has 13 carbs..

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Yes I felt awful after milk, numbers weren’t low after 2 hours they’d be around the 4. Something mark I don’t know if that’s normal for non diabetics but I always feel rubbish when they’re normal too, especially after milk!

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120-140 mg/dl is normal for a diabetic.

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Anxiety itself can increase your sugar level.

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Hi laurenx95

Low blood sugar particularly among non-diabetic females may be more common than one might think. It can be a trigger for migraines and other things. If you don't have diabetes there is no need to monitor the sugar closely or count the carbs. The simple solution is to eat regular meals and snacks between meals every day to keep your sugar more stable. Also a good idea to drink plenty of fluids.

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I wonder why. So it’s not worth worrying about?

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As I say, it can cause some problems, but some simple solutions should help to keep it in check. Otherwise it should not usually require the same level of monitoring that a diabetic would employ.

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You have some unkown issues --

You need to get tested for A1C -blood test -

You said only once -then why have meter for one year ?

In other response- you said it gets low LOT after milk ?/

Please check A1c - two times a year - and see

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My A1c is normal and my fasting blood sugar is normal, I’ve been checked a few times

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It is perfectly normal for a non-Diabetic person to have fluctuating blood sugar levels and even as low as 3.5 is not that unusual. Do you know what time of day it was when you took that test? When had you last eaten when you took the test and what did you eat? Had you been exercising? All these things and more can affect the sugar level.

Technically a "hypo" (a sugar level that is too low and requires some fruit juice or food) used to be 3 or below. Our son was diagnosed as Type 1 Diabetic when he was a baby. We were told 3 and below was a hypo for the entirety of his childhood and young adult life. That didn't mean we did nothing until he was 3. If we knew he is getting closer to 3, we dealt with it. They have changed that now to below 4, I think to prevent a hypo from getting too close to occurring rather than wait until it is very close to being a problem.

Something else that is important to note though is that blood testing machines can be "out" by a bit and it is not unusual for this to happen. My son's baby son has now also been diagnosed with Type 1. He has the newest blood testing machines and he has on several occasions had a test done twice when the result was questioned. We have found that the results were slightly different several times. One time his result was 1.7 but he seemed well so another machine was used and he was 12. The first machine was found to have a fault and was thrown away. Obviously that case was unusual but if in doubt do check twice.

There are some illnesses that can cause Hypoglycemia without having Diabetes but if your doctor has checked your Hba1-c and you have not had a lot of other very low results then I suspect you can rule out a problem with it.

You mention anxiety problems. It is vital to deal with that. If you have had your physical health checked and it is found to be fine you should look into dealing with your mental/emotional health. I don't know where you are located (NHS or health insurance or not) but either way there are a lot of "tools" that can help you heal yourself from anxiety if you give them a chance and practice them regularly. You must practice relaxation techniques as a start. :)

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Thankyou so much for your reply. I am on a Facebook group for Hypoglycemia because I thought for so long I had it and there’s so many people on the group saying don’t go under 4 it’s dangerous it’s low and it’s just made me worry so much!

Your words have been very reassuring t me that if I do go under 4 it’s nothing to worry about.

I had also not eaten for 5 hours I had my tea and then I tested and it was 4.2 tested again and it said 3.8 the other night so I left it and it was back up to 4.7 on the next test. So yes I do understand that meters can sometimes be of and I’m hoping it was just that!

My doctors don’t seem to think there is anything wrong with me and I have told them many times about my lower numbers. But all blood sugar tests are normal so far like my fasting ones and my HBA1c!

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Small point, but definitely worth mentioning. Are you sure your hands are scrupulously clean when you test? Contact with ANY substance will affect the reading. Also, even the best meters will often vary, even if you take another test almost immediately from the same finger. Change fingers and you could get a whole different reading. They really aren't definitive.

Your readings are not anything to worry about. As you are not dropping below 3 and your Hba1c is healthy then you are fine. Also as a non-diabetic who doesn't suffer constant hypo's, your body will immediately kick in with early warning signals if you drop much below 4.

If you are between meals and have been physically active, just have a biscuit.

My genuine advice to you (as a Type 1 with epilepsy and several co-morbidities), is ditch the meter readings unless you are doing something really outside of your normal routine. Maybe keep a packet of sweets stashed if you find yourself super busy and have missed a meal.

Trust me, unless have a hypo followed by an epileptic fit, collapse unconscious, have the police break your door down to allow the ambulance access, register a BG reading of 0.9, spend 14 hours comatose in resusc, followed by an emergency MRI scan, then 4 days in recovery,.......you really don't need to be worrying.

That's not meant to patronising, I'm currently undergoing CBT to try and help my anxiety problems - so I do get where you are coming from. I'm just trying to give an added perspective from someone has a little experience in these matters.

Best of luck, and more importantly- my best wishes.

R.

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