OK, I tested my glucose levels at supper and I was 1.7, (30.6 for my American readers) not my lowest recorded low, the lowest was 1.4 and I was still conscious. My question for the group is this. How low have you been? What is your record low?
I have never seen lower than 65. I was conscious but well into symptoms of low blood sugar.
- I have never lost consciousness from lows (KNOCK ON WOOD!), but one thing to remember is that the BG meters we use are not 100% accurate, and even less so at the two extremes. So what a 38, or a 30, really is is impossible to tell with a 15 or 20% allowed margin of error. Although obviously it’s rather low.
(Here is a good description of what I think is the most current standard: http://www.healthline.com/diabetesmine/glucose-meter-accuracy-fdas-new-dual-call-for-tighter-standards#6.)
LO, or in other words too low for the meter to read, which on my meter was either 1.1 mmol/L or 0.6 mmol/L and still fully functional. As a kid I had readings as low as 1.2 mmol/L and 1.5 mmol/L (and once got a reading of 0.6 mmol/L) and felt fine (to me, sometimes friends or family could tell I was low). I had several lows growing up where I was not fully conscious, and no one bothered to test me on those occasions, they just rubbed glucose gel into my cheek.
I used to have lows of 1.7 mmol/L or 1.8 mmol/L once or twice a year, but fortunately that hasn’t happened since getting the Dexcom (with the Dexcom, the lowest I’ve been is 2.1 mmol/L).
I’ve been as low as 37 but I once lost consciousness a few minutes after testing and treating a 44.
My lowest was 23 – I did not know I was low until I tested… I did have a 29 once, again, I was conscious, but that time, I was confused - couldn’t understand what someone was saying to me. Thankfully, I’ve never lost consciousness from a low.
I’ve twice measured a 31. The second time was just a few minutes after I had arrived home after driving 80 miles. In the last few blocks I began to be faintly suspicious that I might be low, but expected my BG was likely in the sixties or maybe high fifties, so I tested as soon as I got home. Was certainly shocked at the reading and determined then to always test about once an hour when driving long distances.
The frightening thing is that a relative of a good friend of mine was found one morning in a coma from which she never recovered - with a BG of 31.
27, 28 a few times. Those types of lows for me had always been slowly dropping lows, so I really didn’t feel them. I’d get home from walking to the store and back and say to myself, “I feel weird.”
Now, if I have an 80 and I’m dropping fast, it’s like someone just removed the ground from under my feet.
I very rarely get lower than the 40s now (and only because I’m concentrating on something and not looking at my CGM).
I can be in the low 20s and still conscious, as long as I have descended gradually to that point. Once in the back of an ambulance racing to the hospital, my blood sugar was measured at 16, which the EMT said was the lowest he had ever seen.
By the way, there is data showing that the number of emergency admissions for hypoglycemia has greatly increased since strict control began to be recommended, but the idiotic physicians who insist on it keep applying the whip with no understanding of what they are doing to people. Since I lived as a type 1 diabetic for 20 years before home glucometers became available, thus making strict control possible, I can say its introduction caused a vast reduction in my quality of life, which I estimate at easily a 50$ reduction in the value of my life. Is that really outweighed by the decreased risk of complications, given that they are inevitable anyway, and that there is increasing evidence of the major role played by genetics and the persisting autoimmune disease of type 1 diabetes, which damages much more than just the pancreatic beta cells, causing the characteristic compliications of the disease?
Thas said -
“I did not know I was low until I tested…”
I have been down to 42, but even before that I start sweating, headaches, massive hunger and shaking uncontrollably, like shivering.
All this is an easy way to see when I am low. I am “aware” of when it happens, usually starting around 55.
Record low while conscious would be 35…I didn’t feel anything and it just happened to be time to check my sugar. And once I checked it and saw the number then my body freaked out and got sweaty and shaky.
Unconscious I was 26 and had a seizure because of the low. Waking up to a room full of medical personnel and freezing to death is not a fun way to spend the early morning hours.
Since I’ve switched to a low carb diet, I rarely go low at all – so now, I generally do feel “low” in the low 70’s, or even higher, if it’s falling quickly. Oh, still in control, but definitely not enjoying that feeling - and have a hard time not over-correcting!
During my first pregnancy I tested 27 with no symptoms. I’m 27 weeks pregnant with my second child and thanks to my CGM I’ve not had anything below 45. I’m always surprised at my lack of symptoms while pregnant. I would expect my body to be hyper-vigilante about lows, but it seems to be the exact opposite.
I’ve had my meter read in the 20’s and I’ve been conscious (although just barely - having some involuntary arm/leg/eye jerking seizure-like). I’ve had the paramedics meter read 40 and I’ve been unconscious.
I’ve measured into the 20’s mg/dL (1.1’s mmol/L) while fully conscious and coherent. I’ve passed out at least three times that I’m aware of in 33 years. I suspect I’ve I’ve gone “unconscious” many times due to low BG while I was sleeping. I know this is highly likely due to my body’s habit of huge hyper rebounds after a sustained low, greater than 15-20 minutes, even when treated with few grams of emergency glucose.
I experience very few serious lows, < 54 mg/dL (3 mmol/L), now. I am much more aware of my blood sugar status using a CGM as part of a hybrid closed loop system. I also live with a hypo-alert dog. I find that 2/3 of these lows are actually false lows due to compressing the CGM sensor site while sleeping. The remaining 1/3 are excursions that only briefly slip into dangerous hypo range for 10-15 minutes and the approach angle of the glucose trend is shallow.
@Terry4 - At what levels will your dog alert you?
Anything < 100 (5.6). While I personally don’t consider anything above 65 (3.6) as hypoglycemic, it keeps my dog in training and interested in the “game.” He earns a treat for any alert <100 (5.6).
I’ve thought about revising this “treat threshold” since using the hybrid closed loop has allowed me to spend lots of time below 100 (5.6). It’s something I should ask the service dog trainer. My dog, Norm, is now nine years old and I don’t want to upset a working routine – the old dog and new tricks thing.
Wow @Terry4, that is incredible! How do they know? I always assumed those dogs were tuned into hypo symptoms like sweating or something but at those levels you obviously wouldn’t be presenting symptoms.
Hypoglycemia alert dogs use their sensitive sense of smell to detect low blood sugar. Apparently we give off an obvious smell to them even before we actually drop low. Norm has alerted me to hypos 15 minutes or more before a BG drop. He’s not 100%, but then again, neither is all the D-tech I use. Multiple and redundant safety systems offer higher safety collectively than any one considered on its own.
Wow. Truly amazing, another great reason to love dogs!