Very very low blood sugar & MS

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Very very low blood sugar & MS

Postby Wonderfulworld » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:47 am

MS 12+ yrs but something has been happening me over the last while - I could do with advice especially given the 'This is MS' thread on diabetes and MS etc- and I will of course be going to my GP asap on this one. My Dad has diabetes but had hypoglycaemia for years before he became diabetic.

Over the last while I've been feeling more unwell than normal, freezing cold, achy, moods up and down all the time. I have been suspecting I'm developing depression and was keeping an eye on it with a view to taking myself off to see the GP if it didn't improve.
This afternoon I felt particularly tired, cold and grumpy and out of curiosity I took my blood sugar using a monitor I bought a few months ago when this debate about MS/diabetes started. My bloods were 1.1 nmol. I ate a spoonful of sugar and ate dinner a while later and now I feel fine again. Going to re-test in about an hour and I'm making an appt to see my GP asap. What to make of this? I had eaten lunch (tuna sandwich, hot cross bun) 5 hours before and eaten a small bag of popcorn and an apple 2 hours before I was 1.1. I'm a bit shocked it was so low. :?:

p.s. I happened before in my pre-MS days 15 years ago, and I collapsed due to low blood sugar (it was reading 2.1 then) but the hospital just thuoght I was dieting - even though I told them I'd eaten dinner.
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RR-MS dx 1998 and Coeliac dx 2003
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Postby LR1234 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:45 pm

I had this for a couple of years. I also tested my blood sugar when I was having an attack and it was way too low.

It mostly happened about an hour after a meal.

At the time I was on a healthy eating kick and had cut out all sugar completely and had cut down on salt but what I learnt was that my body for some reason was taking too long to convert complex carbs into simple sugars so I was having hypoglycemic attacks.

I stuck some sugar back into my diet (juices/fruit etc) and I also found out my thyroid levels were at the bottom range of normal and went on 25mcg of thyroxine. I no longer get these attacks anymore.
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Postby jimmylegs » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:19 pm

ziiiiiiiiiiiinc lol
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Postby lyndacarol » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:47 pm

Wonderfulworld – You can't be surprised that I am responding!

Insulin takes glucose out of the bloodstream; excess insulin will take the glucose level way down to hypoglycemia (The body always produces more insulin than necessary in response to the amount of glucose.). Although the professionals credit low blood sugar for many of the "symptoms," excess insulin causes many of the same sensations.

I think excess insulin was causing your dad's hypoglycemia; when his pancreas was exhausted by producing so much of the hormone or his cells became resistant to all the insulin in his bloodstream, he developed diabetes. If he had had a fasting serum insulin test (or even more than one as his situation changed), we could be more sure of what was actually happening.

As you expect, I'm sure, I encourage you to request a fasting serum insulin test.
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Postby Wonderfulworld » Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:51 am

Thanks LR, JL and LyndaC.
At the time I was on a healthy eating kick and had cut out all sugar completely and had cut down on salt but what I learnt was that my body for some reason was taking too long to convert complex carbs into simple sugars so I was having hypoglycemic attacks.

Interesting LR - I too had re-started the BBD in the last few days. I had cut out dairy and maybe I hadn't eaten enough. LR it's interesting too you mention thyroid - I was planning to ask my GP about both thyroid and depression because my hair has thinned again and I'm so cold and tired.

JL - zinc!? - surely not?!!!:lol:! I know I forgot to get my zn levels tested recently but D3 is finally a healthy 125 nmol/Lk, calcium 2.25 and I suspect Zn to be ok because I am taking 200% RDA for the last while. I suppose though, if I was starting from a deficient baseline, I could still be deficient, so I will ask for a test.

Wonderfulworld – You can't be surprised that I am responding!
No Lynda I'm not surprised! I never really thought the insulin thing was a runner in MS, but now I am coming around to your way of thinking. I will ask my GP for a fasting serum insulin test for definite, thanks.
Thank you all again for the responses.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Concussus Resurgo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RR-MS dx 1998 and Coeliac dx 2003
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copaxone, Cymbalta. EPO, Fish Oils, Vitamin D3 2000 IU daily, Cal/Mag/Zinc, Multivitamin/mineral, Co-Enzyme Q10, Probiotics, Milk Thistle.
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Postby Leonard » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:24 am

lyndacarol wrote:Wonderfulworld – You can't be surprised that I am responding!

Insulin takes glucose out of the bloodstream; excess insulin will take the glucose level way down to hypoglycemia (The body always produces more insulin than necessary in response to the amount of glucose.). Although the professionals credit low blood sugar for many of the "symptoms," excess insulin causes many of the same sensations.

I think excess insulin was causing your dad's hypoglycemia; when his pancreas was exhausted by producing so much of the hormone or his cells became resistant to all the insulin in his bloodstream, he developed diabetes. If he had had a fasting serum insulin test (or even more than one as his situation changed), we could be more sure of what was actually happening.

As you expect, I'm sure, I encourage you to request a fasting serum insulin test.


your fast serum insulin does not tell everything.

if you develop diabetes because the cells become more resistance (calcification due to aging; I understand this is a "normal" self-protective mechanism of the cells) you won't see it in the fast serum insulin response. this process may start many years (10 - 7 years) before diabetes is diagnosed.

but there are other markers like ATP and ET-1 and the balance Collagen III/I that would possibly suggest an increasing resistance.
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Postby mrbarlow » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:09 am

Although new to MS I am becoming more and more convinced that the condition has a link with blood sugar levels. Today (and it is often the case) I get home from work with mild symptoms (heavy eye, tingling). I eat some fruit and find the symptoms diminish.
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Postby Leonard » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:30 am

mrbarlow wrote:Although new to MS I am becoming more and more convinced that the condition has a link with blood sugar levels. Today (and it is often the case) I get home from work with mild symptoms (heavy eye, tingling). I eat some fruit and find the symptoms diminish.


mrbarlow, see http://www.thisisms.com/ftopict-15188.html and in particular my posting on page 6 of 20 Mar 11 9:21am
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Postby Wonderfulworld » Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:53 pm

Is there a way to overcome the increasing insulin resistance? Or does therin lie the rub?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Concussus Resurgo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RR-MS dx 1998 and Coeliac dx 2003
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copaxone, Cymbalta. EPO, Fish Oils, Vitamin D3 2000 IU daily, Cal/Mag/Zinc, Multivitamin/mineral, Co-Enzyme Q10, Probiotics, Milk Thistle.
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Postby lyndacarol » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:27 pm

Wonderfulworld – To my knowledge there is no medication to improve insulin resistance.

I have heard that only a diet (low in carbohydrates – starches and sugars, and avoiding anything else that will put glucose in the bloodstream, resulting in the production of insulin) will reduce insulin production; if excess insulin is not bathing the cells for a while, the cells can regain their sensitivity to insulin (i.e., they lose some of their resistance to insulin – the cells return to normal allowing insulin to open the cell door, letting in the glucose once again to be used as energy).
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Re: Insulin Resistance

Postby NHE » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:19 am

Lyndacarol wrote:
Wonderfulworld wrote:Is there a way to overcome the increasing insulin resistance? Or does therin lie the rub?

Wonderfulworld – To my knowledge there is no medication to improve insulin resistance.

I have heard that only a diet (low in carbohydrates – starches and sugars, and avoiding anything else that will put glucose in the bloodstream, resulting in the production of insulin) will reduce insulin production; if excess insulin is not bathing the cells for a while, the cells can regain their sensitivity to insulin (i.e., they lose some of their resistance to insulin – the cells return to normal allowing insulin to open the cell door, letting in the glucose once again to be used as energy).


Some people have had success controlling high blood sugar with cinnamon. Try half a teaspoon per day mixed with some plain yogurt. It's quite good.


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Postby Leonard » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:34 am

I think the best results are obtained by cutting down drastically on sugar.
I know, it is not easy because some of us are so dependent on high sugar intake, myself included.
Possibly complemented with Metformin, a "natural" drug to improve insulin sensistivity of the cells.
Another possible alternative to provide "sugar energy" is Glutamine.

On the devastating effects of high sugar consumption
http://nancyappleton.com/

and more scientifically, see my posting on http://www.thisisms.com/ftopic-15188-90.html of 28 Mar 3:10pm
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Postby Wonderfulworld » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:04 pm

I have heard that only a diet (low in carbohydrates – starches and sugars, and avoiding anything else that will put glucose in the bloodstream, resulting in the production of insulin) will reduce insulin production; if excess insulin is not bathing the cells for a while, the cells can regain their sensitivity to insulin (i.e., they lose some of their resistance to insulin – the cells return to normal allowing insulin to open the cell door, letting in the glucose once again to be used as energy)

That is what I'm wondering about Linda - if my blood sugar was (and is very frequently) very low after eating a fairly low sugar diet, how do you function ok without sugar? Every time I've had a good try at a low sugar diet I 'crash' with low blood sugar..... :?:

Some people have had success controlling high blood sugar with cinnamon. Try half a teaspoon per day mixed with some plain yogurt. It's quite good.
NHE that is interesting. I don't think I can take it though because my problem is the opposite, but with an over-reliance on sugar to lift my blood sugar. I wonder if cinnamon is a general regulater, or does it just lower sugars?

Leonard interesting indeed about Metformin (though my GP won't give it to me on a hunch) and Glutamine.....will read on.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Concussus Resurgo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RR-MS dx 1998 and Coeliac dx 2003
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copaxone, Cymbalta. EPO, Fish Oils, Vitamin D3 2000 IU daily, Cal/Mag/Zinc, Multivitamin/mineral, Co-Enzyme Q10, Probiotics, Milk Thistle.
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Postby lyndacarol » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:59 pm

Wonderfulworld – To your question:
"how do you function ok without sugar? Every time I've had a good try at a low sugar diet I 'crash' with low blood sugar....."
I suspect that your 'crash' was due to too much insulin rather than too little glucose in your system. The resulting symptoms are much the same in both conditions.

The human body functions perfectly well with fats as the energy source. Glucose is not the only possible energy source; glucose is not absolutely necessary; fats are. This is a generally accepted fact today and has been stated in many places:

Several years ago there was successful treatment of children with seizures at Johns Hopkins. The treatment was a ketogenic diet (diet high in fats and protein-- NO direct glucose source) and did control the seizures. The brains of the children could function just fine on ketones – glucose was not necessary for brain function.

In the 1920s anthropologist-turned-Arctic-explorer, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, spent a decade among the Inuit, eating nothing but meat, no vegetables or fruit. His observation was that those who lived on this diet were among the healthiest imaginable. His observations contradicted conventional wisdom at that time that a varied diet was essential for good health. "It is a misconception that the brain and central nervous system require dietary glucose to function." See pages 319-325 of Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.

A few months ago, 1-18-11, on the TV program, The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Joseph Mercola stated that ketone bodies serve as an alternative fuel source to glucose: about 4:20 in the video at

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/alternat ... versy-pt-2

I believe in my case my pancreas continues to pump out insulin in response to the slightest bit of glucose in my system and in response to even a sweet taste in my mouth (such as from the sugar alcohol – sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, erythritol, etc. – in toothpaste, mouthwash, some chewing gum, even fish oil capsules). Insulin is a caustic substance; I think it damages the villi in the small intestine (resulting in poor absorption of vitamins and minerals) and once it is absorbed into the bloodstream, it damages the inside of the blood vessels, and it thickens and stiffens smooth muscles (Smooth muscles compose the walls of blood vessels, the human urinary bladder, and sphincter muscles.). Insulin passes through the blood brain barrier, able to damage myelin on nerve cells.

So goes the insulin hypothesis!
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Postby Wonderfulworld » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:27 am

Thank you for the detailed reply Lynda, that is fascinating.
In the 1920s anthropologist-turned-Arctic-explorer, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, spent a decade among the Inuit, eating nothing but meat, no vegetables or fruit. His observation was that those who lived on this diet were among the healthiest imaginable.
I am particularly interested in this - off to read more. I remember seeing a programme on tv about the Sami peoples of the Northern Hemisphere and thinking if I ate their diet I would be perfectly healthy. More here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2080452/.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Concussus Resurgo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RR-MS dx 1998 and Coeliac dx 2003
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copaxone, Cymbalta. EPO, Fish Oils, Vitamin D3 2000 IU daily, Cal/Mag/Zinc, Multivitamin/mineral, Co-Enzyme Q10, Probiotics, Milk Thistle.
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