Low blood sugar and cravings.

Has anyone noticed a rise in cravings after a low blood sugar incident? If I have a reading between 4(64.8) and 2.5(40.5) I I hope I did the math right. I correct for it with juice or glucose tab, but then I always seem to want something sweet after that. Anyone else?


  • I've been at this for 20 years, but only started having low blood sugars the past 10, after discovering low carb.

    They did the same thing for me when I had a 40 mg/dL reading at the hospital once.. they didn't feed me for 30 hours.. they gave me half a cup of fruit juice, and yes, I had cravings.. since I already hadn't eaten. This is from sugar.. sugar causes me to have HUGE cravings.

    I have never used glucose tablets, and don't have any fruit or juice in my home.. just water.

    What I use is 2 ozs of extra sharp cheddar cheese.. All food turns into glucose, so you simply eat something easily digestible, and your glucose goes up.. sugar, or juice is #1 obviously, because it gets absorbed immediately.. but then you have added sugar in your body, which is being broken down into glucose and raising your BG levels, but the fructose still causes cravings.

    The thing is, it doesn't take a lot of carbs to raise blood sugar.. your body wants to be over 70 mg/dL. If I start getting blurry vision, I test, and if it's 50, I simply eat 2 ozs. of cheddar.. you can use anything though.. some crunchy green peppers, or some green beans.. and it will spike your blood sugar. I test it an hour later, and it's up to 102.. just from some cheese.

    How much does it spike your blood sugar when you take a glucose tablet? I know friends who use one, and in 15 mins., their BG is 180.. I don't want it high either. People tend to over-react.. low blood sugar is scary, so the go crazy, and eat to get rid of it.. but overdo, and see a huge spike.

    If you weren't having a low blood sugar, would you take glucose, or drink fruit juice? I wou;dn't, but I stay above 70 BG most of the time, by eating meat, eggs, cheese, butter, mayo, fish, fowl, and water.

    So most low blood sugars are due to not eating enough, or doing excess exercise.. you lower the glucose, or use it.. and the solution is more of the food you eat.. USUALLY.. if it is REALLY low, and you feel like you may pass out.. THAT is when you want to use fast-acting glucose, or juice.. but if it's 40-45, you should be OK, just having a snack, and letting the BG climb on it's own, back above 70.. it works, and you don't have cravings.

    You should discuss this with your doctor before switching, and ask if THEy are OK with what I just said.. I'm simply telling you what worked for me for 10 years, and why you have cravings.. your doctor may simply say.. deal with the cravings. They are temporary, and ignore them until the go away.. your doctor mostly wants to avoid low blood sugars. Discuss it, and see if they agree, or have their own suggestions.

    If you are regularly having low blood sugars.. smaller, more frequent meals, and medicine reductions are also possibilities. Your doctor may choose to do something so you have LESS low blood sugars, instead of talking about how you deal with them.

    Hope that helped some.
  • 2t9nty
    2t9nty Posts: 1,397 Member
    I have never experienced a measured low. There have been times when I have gotten fuzzy headed and a little shaky. I usually have a cheese stick or a spoonful of all-natural peanut butter, and that seems to take care of it. I suspect these have been lows for me.
  • You should TEST when you start feeling this way.. and after you eat the cheese or peanut butter as well, so you know not only how low it is before you start feeling this way..but also so you know how much your remedy affects your blood sugar. I know people who drink pop when they get low blood sugar, because they are worried, and then have a 300 blood sugar 2 hours later.

    I use cheese, because it only spikes it a little, and is one of the only foods I consume which has cabrs.. eggs being the other.. but you have peanut butter..still, see how much it ups your BG.. maybe you only need a 1/4 spoonful.. it doesn't take much.. you may still want the whole spoonful.. :D .. that's your choice, but if it spikes you BG to 170 mg/dL.. is it necessary? Especially if your next meal is a couple hours away.. maybe try a 1/2 spoonful, and it goes up to 130??

    You should know that when you eat the cheese or peanut butter in a set amount, that it will boost your BG X amount.. say 35-50 mg/dL.. the goal is to get back in the 70-120 range.. you may worry a bit more about it being 40.. since there could be much more imminent health risks, buy being at 170 also is unhealthy.

    With diabetes you are constantly trying to get into the proper range.. with food, meds, Insulin etc.. you are trying to split the uprights, to use a sports analogy.. not too high, not too low.. as good as you can, and testing, and noting how things affect you is how you get to X amount of pills, or Insulin, while staying in range most of the time.. simulating a healthy person, by manipulating carb intake, exercise, and meds.

    If done right, you stay in range, but 70-120 is not a big range.. it doesn't take a lot of some foods to go from 40 to 90, and be fine until you eat your next meal.. in theory, we want to be at 70 before a meal, 120 at our peak a couple hours later, and then slowly dropping back down to 120.. we take meds and sometimes you take a pill at a set time, like Glimiperide, to act quickly when you normally experience a jump.. maybe in the morning, or quick-acting Insulin, when you cave, and have that slice of cheesecake.. these assist your body in doing what it can no longer do on it's own... we also have slower acting pills like Januvia, and basal Insulin, which provides long term help, but not as much.. lowers the BG all day long, but not rapidly.

    That's all we are doing.. copying what would naturally go on in the body, and staying in that range.. so we don't want to be all over the place.. this isn't just guessing, unless you do not collect data, so you and your doctor can fine-tune things.. the body does it easily, but we have to work at it, and we need good doctors, who treat it as more than take a pill, use some Insulin, and when your BG levels are all over the place, explains it is what you eat as well, and that we should know how every bite of food is going to affect us, BEFORE we eat it, so we know we have the proper meds.

    If you have never measure a low BG, what do your numbers run? Are they in range? How often do you go above 120 mg/dL?

    You need to know this, because your daily numbers add up to your A1C.. here is a conversion chart.


    Click on that, or put it in Google, and you will find that to be at a 6.5 A1C, you need to average 140 mg/dL or less.. so a spike of 180, even for a couple hours, pushes that higher.. which is why you may test 2x a day, and get decent numbers, but your A1C is a bit higher.. the body was at 180, then 170, then 155, then 140, then 120, and are you ready to eat with a 120 BG? 5 hours later?

    180 is a 7.9 A1C.. so it has a huge effect. If you want to stay at a 5.8 A1C or lower, then you have to stay below 120.. average.. so you should be getting 70,80,90 readings, and hopefully almost never over 120, so you can average maybe 105, which is a 5.3 A1C.. depending on how well you know what you eat, you may be able to get a reduction in meds if you stay low.

    I mention this, because if you eat lower carb, and cause a low blood sugar reaction.. you overdid it a bit for the meds you are taking.. you want 70-90, not 40-50... BUT, even when treating the low blood sugar reaction, you don't want to offset all the hard work you do to be at 70-90, by jumping it up to 180 or more.

    So if the cheese and peanut butter work, and in 2 hours, you are at 130, then that is the proper amount to consume, when you have a low blood sugar reaction.. but, you should measure BEFORE you eat the peanut butter, so you know how low, and how high.. and the difference.. because if 1 oz of cheese pushes me from 55 to 85.. that's 30 points in my jump.. but if I had a 40 BG.. 30 points jumped, would only get me to 70.. so you see how that also helps you maybe say.. I need TWO ozs. of cheese if it's 35-40.. or maybe peanut butter jumps it 50.. so how low, determines whether you have an oz. of cheese, or a tsp. of penut butter.. you need to know the does to administer, to fix the problem, instead of blindly adding carbs, and then when the low blood sugar is gone, blurry vision and headache over, regrouping, and seeing where you are, and starting over.. if done right, you can have a 40 BG, eat a set amount of a set food, and KNOW you will be at 80 or 90 mg/dL when you test it... back in range, not simply UP.

    Most people don't pay attention, and what happens is they just rely on their doctor who they see once every 3-6 months, to guess why they had 130 one day, and 210 the next, and why their A1C if 8.2.. at that point your doctor smiles at you, and tells you all about the joys of a new drug, or Insulin, or increases a dose, because all they know are number are too high.. not why.. YOU have to be part of the process, and it will help you stay in the 70-120 range almost 100% of the time. It should be rare that you are out of range, and a sign that a mistake was made.. IF you know what is moving your BG up and down.

    At this point, I welcome low blood sugars, because I can measure them, record them, and with 3 daily readings, and an A1C around 5, I can make an argument for reducing diabetes meds.. my goal is to get back to no pills, or Insulin, and keep my A1C between 5-5.5.

    Use the data, get as much as you can, because the average diabetic, after a few years, should be FAR better at managing their diabetes than a doctor, who likely is NOT diabetic, and is not with you day-to day. Your doctor's job is ONLY to keep you from harming yourself, but that is a general goal.. the day-to-day work is up to YOU.. and can all be worked out by paying attention to how every bite of food affects your BG.

    You should want to KNOW you had a low BG, first of all.. so you aren't eating peanut butter just because you feel "fuzzy". Low BP can make you feel this way too. Always verify, then treat, and see the result 2 hours later.

    Good Luck, and talk all this over with your doctor.. I spend at least an hour discussing my health with my doctor every 3 months. Make them do the work, and become experts at what works for YOU.
  • 2t9nty
    2t9nty Posts: 1,397 Member
    Pretty much every time I check BG, it is between 100 and 120. My morning fasting reading will be 118 or something and is sometimes it will be the highest reading of the day. Certain things like green beans will give me a 145 an hour after eating, but it is back at 110 after another hour. Anything like gravy thickened with flour will give me a 165 that is slow to come down. Potatoes in clam chowder will give me a 180, and it will stay high, even if I pick out the potatoes and don't eat them.

    My last A1C was 5.9. It has been in the 5.4-6.1 range since I started managing things with a keto diet and my doctor took me off meds. I have been very strict with the diet and have a fairly good sense of what works and does not work for me.
  • judyvalentine10
    judyvalentine10 Posts: 48 Member
    Thanks everyone for your responses. I don't usually treat a low unless it's below 3(48). That's when I would use a glucose tablet. But, if I start to get too many lows, my doctor has said to change the ratio of insulin I use. And I like the idea of just using some cheese if it's too low. If it's above 3 I usually just have my meal, and it's fine.
    After having two stents put into my coronary artery, I have to watch my cholesterol intake. Also, because of the pancreas damage done by a surgeon, I have to watch my fat intake. So, I've been slowly lowering the amount of simple carbs in my diet and adding more veggies.
    I'm still a work in progress it seems.
  • judyvalentine10
    judyvalentine10 Posts: 48 Member
    Oh, and I do test 15 minutes after correcting a low to make sure I'm back in range. Then I'll either have my meal, or a snack. I sometimes feel like I'm starting over because of this heart disease, so, I am paying closer attention to everything I put in my mouth.
  • It doesn't have to be cheese.. any small amount of food will do. Even a little protein will bump the BG level up some. I also have heart disease, but mine is due to a damaged heart, with enlarged heart, and arteries.. clear as can be.. no plaque. So I do cheese. I also eat 4-6 Jumbo eggs most days, and sausage, beef, including liver. I'd eat shellfish, if I didn't have allergies to it. ALL high cholesterol.

    My Tchol is 105, my HDL is 42, my LDL is 25, and my tris are 74.. they dropped when I cut carbs, probably because I cut all the other high cholesterol foods, like fried foods, fast food, dessert/sweets, and processed meats.

    I consume 4-6x the RDA, and it's fine for me. I feel sympathetic for you, because I couldn't handle having to not eat these high cholesterol LC foods.. overall, they said it would be better to have blockages, which they could remove ( stents ), instead of damage to the heart muscle, and arteries which is permanent.. BUT, I do enjoy steak, cheese, eggs in large amounts. Not a problem for me, since my arteries are clear.. my cholesterol improved, even though I consume 4-6x the RDA.

    You are likely more prone to clogging the pipes, and have higher cholesterol.

    I get the same speech.. stay away from cholesterol, but unlike some people who eat LC, my cholesterol did not go up.. and I think the problem is like eating high fat with carbs.

    If you eat high fat, with sugar, you have a doughnut, and it's bad, but high fat gets a bad rap. I consume 66-80% fat, with no plant food, and I get weight loss, lower cholesterol and BG levels. I think the same is true for cholesterol.. high cholesterol in a Quarter Pounder, is different than a cheesy omelet.

    We just don't have enough people cutting out half their diet, so we can test that theory, so what we have is ancedotal evidence, and we all vary, so we have to work with our doctors, not copy others.

    My doctors love my results, and are baffled how it works. They won't even speak of what I eat, like my diet is Voldemort.. they know what i eat, but simply say.. the results are great, keep " doing what you are doing ".. but never say.. continue eating Carnivore!! It's like they know it is working, but all their training says it shouldn't, and they want me to be healthier, but when they think of what I eat, they cringe.

    I guess I am just lucky. We got to do what makes us healthy, and if cholesterol is a problem for you, then you have to take preventitive measures.. eat more low-starch veggies, less eggs, red meat, and cheese.. I have to applaud you for being able to do LC, while not enjoying many of the most delicious aspects of it.. I doubt I could stay on low carb, without eggs, and those are 235 mg per egg.. the bulk of my cholesterol.. today i had 6 sausage links cooked in butter instead, and today I am only at 631 mg cholesterol.. better, according to my doctors, but I am not sure they would like sausage either.

    One funny thing is that the 12 ozs. of perch I ate last night, has 320 mg of cholesterol, but no one considers fish to be high cholesterol. A lb of haddock has 260 mg, and 12 ozs. of boneless, skinless chicken thighs has 225 mg.. ground beef is 240 mg per 12 ozs. Yet only beef is frowned upon, and we aren't warned off chicken, or fish, only beef. Seems that any 12 ozs. of meat or one egg, gets you 75% of your RDA of cholesterol.. makes 300 mg a day almost impossible for me.

    It's weird what is OK or not, and what works for each individual. I hope you get good control of your blood sugars AND cholesterol, and find a way to be as healthy as you can be. It takes a bit of work to get to where it is all working like you want.

  • judyvalentine10
    judyvalentine10 Posts: 48 Member
    My last check-up with my doctor was great! A1C 6.7%, cholesterol 1.8 just like the cardiologist wants. Since 80% of cholesterol is made by your body, well, it is what it is. Exercise will increase the HDL, which is the good kind. She reduced my insulin ratio so I'm pretty pleased with that.

    The fat issue, is different for me. My pancreas was severely damaged when a surgeon removed a gallstone. He knicked my pancreas, which then got infected, and became necrotizing pancreatitis. While in the hospital(4.5 months), 50% of my pancreas died off and went out into a tube attached to a bag. Took almost two year to finally come out the other side of this adventure. When I left the hospital, the doctor said I have chronic pancreatitis and to do everything I can to reduce flare ups.
    Over the years, if I have too much fat in my diet, I get pancreatitis flares and can end up in hospital. As long as I stick to a low fat diet, I do pretty well. Over the years, with different flares, I now only have 10% of a working pancreas.
    It is recommended 30 to 40 grams of fat a day, and aim for 10 grams per meal. I have to take digestive enzymes to make up for the ones my pancreas doesn't make.
    All in all, I think I'm doing okay. Just some new questions because of the stents, but my doctor says to keep on doing what I'm doing.
    Considering, I nearly died during the adventure with my pancreas, just glad I'm still here to enjoy Christmas with the grandkids.
  • sandra2bfit1
    sandra2bfit1 Posts: 747 Member
    When I get to low ( 35 ) I have to have sugar to get it up. I had a polyp removed next to my pancreas the doctor nicked my pancreas and overnight I was a diabetic.
  • judyvalentine10
    judyvalentine10 Posts: 48 Member
    Wow, I think our stories are probably very similar. I had a gallstone removed, doctor nicked my pancreas. 4 1/2 months in hospital with necrotizing pancreatitis. Left with 50% of my pancreas. It took a bit longer, but about 1 year later, many bouts of pancreatitis, and I become diabetic.