How Low Can You Go?

I’m wondering at what low do people start experiencing blackouts or dysfunctional thinking? At what BG do seizures occur?

I today I was at work having intelligent conversations with clients, which I remember in full detail. I checked my BG out of curiousity: 41 mg/dl. I’ve had a similar incident in a Target where I had a BG of 44 mg/dl and I had remembered everything I came to get, and nothing extra. These seem insanely low. Is it different for everyone?

I’ve seen like 11 and 12 on my meter. I might have seen single digit numbers and sort of though “what’ wrong w/ this, where are the other digits?” but I don’t recall exactly what they were?

If you are so low that you have dysfunctional thinking, how would you know?

Cognitive impairment is really not something you are that self aware of.

I’ve never been low enough to blackout. I was 48 mg/dl once. I felt hypo, but I don’t think I was at risk of blacking out.

And my wife would suggest that I normally have dysfunctional thinking.

I’ve had lows in the 50s where I was barely coherent and lows in the upper 30s/low where I felt almost completely normal. I have never been able to discern why some lows are worse than others. I have also found that during the times when I’m really low and don’t feel it, the symptoms come on full force once I start treating and heading up. It’s really odd.

I usually don’t feel low until I am in the 40s. I haven’t had an instance where I didn’t remember the entire conversation, but I have definitely had times when the realization of how hard I had to think to carry on a conversation is what prompted me to check my blood sugar.

For me it usually depends on how fast I went low. If it’s gradual, I become disoriented in the 30s (once set all the clocks to AM cause I was sure it was morning LOL). Yesterday I had a 125 pt plunge to 57 and felt it big time. If I’m really high (for me, 180+), it can feel like a low.

Honestly, in 19 years I’ve been lucky enough knock on wood to never blackout or have a seizure from a low. I’ve been as low as 19.

Dysfunctional thinking for me only happens if I drop really fast. If it takes me 2 hours to get from a BG of 100 to 40…I’m ok. If it takes me 10 minutes to get from a BG of 100 to 40…I can’t think straight.

Sometimes you are aware later, because you discover you did something ridiculous while you were low :slight_smile:

When I get dysfunctional thinking as a symptom I feel ‘drunk’…and I usually remember later that I felt drunk.

I agree with the others that it probably depends on how fast you are dropping. Years ago, I had a 17 and 18 on my meter and they happened two days in a row. I was more freaked out by what I saw on the meter than how I felt. I had a 13 the beginning of last year - I discovered that on a routine test. Last summer I woke up to EMTs over me and they tested me at 38.

Hi, I asked my doctor, out of curiosity, if people have a limit and it’s that limit all the time, because my father-in-law, has type 2, and fell unconscious at 3.2 (or 58) and other times he went below that and was somewhat fine. My son (who has type 1), was acting weird once and I checked his BG (with OneTouch meter) and it said “LO”. I was so surprised (that he was still standing) that I checked again to be sure and it still said the same thing. That was SO scary.
So, I think, to answer your question, it’s different for everyone and it’s even different for “yourself” depending on the circumstances…

So, let me ask. Did you take the picture of the 13 mg/dl before treating? That would give new meaning to dysfunctional thinking.

No, I took the picture the next day thanks to meter memory and not being dysfunctional anymore!

Hurray. I still hold the record for dysfunctional thinking!! And I’m not even hypo.

You can keep your record and I “hope” that I am never in a serious competition for that record! What happens to your thinking when you are hypo?

I am actually still pretty hypo aware. Most of my hypos are mild, drifting down to the 60s and easily corrected with just a few grams of carbs. I have had a few more serious lows (and they are mild compared to many) after exercise and when I correct. I dropped fast, into the 50s a couple of times and once to 48 mg/dl. I felt jittery, sweaty and clammy, almost nauseous. But I didn’t feel my thinking go, but I also am not clear how self aware I am.

I think this is a similar question to whether I snore. I have never heard myself snore, so I don’t think I snore. My wife says differently.

Some nights I snore so loudly that I wake myself up…

Thanks for your answers everyone! This has helped me wrap my head this. Lows are scary. They scare me even more when I feel absolutely fine and I’m at 42. I guess it’s probably exponential as well. That the difference between 100 and 80 is no big deal, but the difference between 40 and 20 is likely huge. Just hoping I never find out!

Also this has taught me how reliant I am on my Dexcom these days. When I have my dex I never go below 65. However some days I forget my receiver at home or I wait too long to reorder my sensors, and it’s those days that I consistently go below 55.