Help with glucose readings

I am seeing a doctor on Monday. I’ve been suffering a long time. I don’t know if this is the correct forum to post in. I have heart palpitations almost constant for 3 years, numbness in fingers, toes, and thighs for 2 years, burning sensation in legs for 1 year. I can’t get anywhere with doctors thus far. EKG/ECHO normal, MRI of brain was normal. No other tests done. Insulin was tested 2 weeks ago and was a 6 (2-30). A1C was 5.5. Below: Clearly my fasting glucose is high. It drops after eating and drops even lower after eating any sugar. Reactive Hypoglycemia? A low carb diet isn’t helping. Would a drug like metformin help me or make me worse? Thoughts appreciated.

I bought a glucose meter:

Glucose meter results:

Day 1
126 fasting
120 @ 1 Hour
85 @ 2 hour

Day 2
125 fasting
106 @ 1 hour
104 @ 2 hour

114 Fasting
107 @ 1 hour
105 @ 2 hour
87 @ 1 hour
88 @ 2 hour

Day 4
124 Fasting
Skipped 1 and 2 hour
**High carb dinner as experiment
69 @(90 minutes after eating)

128 fasting… and woke with a rapid and hard heartbeat.

Diabetes does not seem to be your problem.

I don’t know about the numbness or burning sensations… But your fastings seem to be the only thing you have a problem with, glucose wise.

Palpitations and rapid heartbeat… do you always have a rapid heartrate? Have they had you wear a Holter monitor ( to see what’s happening over an extended time (1-2 days)? I personally just have a rapid heartrate (tachycardia), which is unrelated to diabetes. I take a beta-blocker to manage it. Before beginning the beta-blocker I had palpitations. They’ve since stopped. Sometimes (not always) these things happen in isolation. If you remain worried, seek second opinions from other (new) doctors.

Kari, for 3 years I have had heart pounding. It’s strange, all the symptoms(heart, numbness, burning sensations) seem to be much worse towards evening. My doc said I have tachycardia but offered no advice or treatment. I am not overweight and was in excellent physical shape prior to the heart thing. My fasting glucose is terrible so I thought blood sugar plays a role in this. It feels like my glucose is much lower after eating and too low after eating carbs.

I was thinking of a beta blocker too and asked my doctor. He said, “NO” because beta blockers are just band aids and he wanted to figure out what was causing it…that was 9 months ago. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better on beta blockers.

You may have the form I have, Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia. There is no known cause at this point, so searching for one is kind of not going to do much. You seem to fit some of the symptoms (good physical shape, a woman (don’t know your age, but it happens a lot in women in their 20s and 30s). Using EKGs and ECHOs doesn’t show much, as there are no ‘abnormalities’ in the heart’s beating - no missed beats, etc.

Beta blockers are a bandaid. Yes. Certainly they are. But until a cause is discovered in the general medical community it’s all we have. I was told that I need to be on a beta-blocker because sustaining high heart rates over extended periods of time will cause heart muscle weakness, which may be irreversible if the condition continues. Thus…bandaid of beta-blockers.

Do you see a cardiologist, or just your reg. doc? You may want to see a cardiologist if it’s possible.

Regular doc. Sometimes we need a band-aid for sure! I am 40 and it started at 37! Thank you.

Hi there.
Have you had what is called an ABI or TBI to (Ankle brachial index) to rule out arterial disease to the smaller vessels in your legs. It’s a simple test. How long have you had diabetes or impaired glucose levels? Do you have any other co-morbidities or past medical history, high blood pressure, protein in the urine, retinopathy, or is it only the heart palpitations and leg pain? Have you had your thyroid(tsh) checked? Sorry for all the questions. It sounds like two different things depending on your answers.
Feel free to email me.
Cheers. Are you on Gabapentin or Nortriptyline for the leg pain?

I do not totally understand the American way of measuring blood glucose levels, I come from the UK, but from what I DO understand, you are more likely to be suffering LOW blood sugars and also anxiety and depression. Low blood sugar levels are a whole different ball game to diabetes, though the diet would appear similar.

Metformin would definitely NOT help you, but would make you worse.

I developed something like that when I was in my early 30’s. I would lay down in bed, and my heart rate would go up to 130. And if I tried any kind of exercise, I would be in the 150’s and 160’s. It was extremely uncomfortable, and I was often out of breath. It also raised my BP.
When I went on beta blockers, all the symptoms stopped, and my BP came down, too. I have never been given a name for it, but Inapproprate Sinus Tachycardia sounds right.
I’ve been on Beta Blockers for about 30 years, and have had no side effects. They tried taking me off them after my coma, but the tachycardia immediately came back. Unpleasant, to say the least!
Natalie ._c-

Hi Natalie. Maybe at this point, a beta blocker would help. thank you.

Hi Trev. I haven’t had that test. I’m not sure how long my glucose has been impaired, probably years. The high fasting numbers have been high ever since I started checking with a meter a couple of months ago. For 11 years straight, I felt awful every night and literally peed ever 10 mintues for 3 hours. I had a thyroid tumor at age 21 and had half of it removed, the other half didn’t work. I’ve spent years pulling myself out of hypo-land. I’m definitely not hyper, this started when my free t3 (the active thyroid hormone) was below range. I’ve played with my thyroid meds for 2 years thinking I was just hyper but that never helped but make me feel hypo again. I tried cortisol for 2 years thinking my symptoms were adrenal related. Perhaps some of it was but after 2 years, I started to get high symptoms and had to wean. Electrolytes and ferritin/iron fine too. Blood pressure fine with a high-ish pulse. Here I am, me in a nut shell.

Depression and anxiety is not a disease. They are most likely symptoms that doctors can not or will not figure out the cause. We have plenty of doctors in the US too who treat everything as mental illness, damn shame. Everyone who feels lousy has anxiety and depression, don’t you agree? Walking around with low blood sugar all the time is definitely a cause for depression and anxiety.

Your blood sugars are very good except the fasting are a bit on the high side. Hard to know for sure if this is meter inaccuracy or actual phenomena. Might be worthwhile to have a few fasting lab tests done and compare the readings with your meter.

Many diabetics suffer high blood sugars because of the stress of walking up shoots the adrenaline and cortisol to the moon and hence ups the BG.

Not sure what to do some have better morning readings by having a protein snack before bed.

In my case a higher than normal blood sugar does raise my heart rate making it harder to fall asleep. I usually shoot for a BG of 5 then sometimes it goes below 3.5 which will really ruin the night sleep. Hard to win all the time.

Thank you Anthony. Exactly, cortisol and insulin are highest in the morning(which raises glucose) and lowest at night. Adrenaline also raises glucose any time of day. If I eat sugar towards evening I can’t sleep either, wide awake. Maybe the meter isn’t right, I don’t know. Every time fasting is checked at the lab, it’s lower but then again, it’s usually a couple of hours after waking up, who knows? I’ve read that people with inappropriate sinus tachycardia(as we discussed above) are extra sensitive to adrenaline which raises glucose…just thinking.

not sure about the palpitations but as for the strange readings… you are not alone… I too have lower readings after eating… apparently although rare… as long as it is consistant… it is just the way you are.

We did discuss the heart thing in a heart healthy class i took recently but it was more about the occassional heart flutters and big pumps once in awhile… which is a normal thing… but it sounds like yours is more often? or constant??? If so… INSIST you get an answer for that!

Good luck!

I was told that this condition is reactive hypoglycemia. Meaning, your insulin goes too high after eating lowering glucose too low. Once glucose is too low, your body will try to increase it by releasing cortisol and adrenaline…this of course makes you feel jittery and irritable…followed by more insulin. Adrenaline keeps glucose moving around like a roller coaster. Viscious cycle.
This is why I asked if metformin could help keep insulin more steady so glucose will be more steady. Many people can control reactive hypoG by eating small meals every couple of hours and eating a very low carb diet. Fat and protein should be your friend. Despite my efforts to low carb and no grain for 9 years, I still have reactive hypoG. Heart problem started 3 years ago…don’t know if it is related or not.

It is reactive hypoglycaemia, adrenilin is what is produced when there is not enough sugar in the blood (because of excessive insulin production). It is like your pancreas does not know when to stop producing insulin. It produces more and more, your sugar goes down and down, and the adrenilin kicks in - making your heart race, feel jittery etc etc.

Have you been losing a lot of weight? Do you feel the cold? You might have hypethyroidism, but that would need to be checked by the docs and can produce these symptoms.

Thanks, Crystal. When my heart rate went to 150 after carrying a small package for no more than one minute, I called my cardiologist, and he put me right back on the beta blockers. What is nice is to finally have an explanation for the symptoms I experienced – I had never heard of IST before! I KNEW it wasn’t garden-variety hypertension. I’m going to tell my cardiologist about it at my next visit at the end of February.

Well, they CAN be diseases. Brain chemistry is very complicated. When you are depressed for no apparent reason, and it lasts for months and months, and you can’t think of anything but killling yourself, that is a disease. On the other hand, feeling stressed because you may have diabetes, and no one is helping you find out yes or no, is not a disease; it is a natural reaction to uncertainty and worry.

If you have true depression, as opposed to natural, life-related stress and worry, it is time to call a doctor. And it is very important to differentiate between the two; true depression is life-threatening.