How low do you feel is too low for BG readings?

By PRINCESS KIMBERLY Latest Reply 2014-07-21 00:15:33 -0500
Started 2014-03-11 21:52:15 -0500

My Endo tells me that I will get use to my BG reading in the 70's on my meter, but when I get below 90 I start to shake. The other day I never skipped a meal or anything and my BG reading was 35. I thought I was going to pass out. I was so dizzy, skaking, didn't know what I was doing. I ate so glucose tablets really fast. I finally got it up to 95. I was so scared. I was alone. Has anyone ever had this happen to them and how did it make you feel?

Tags: blood sugar

43 replies

diabeetle 2014-03-17 17:54:07 -0500 Report

I think this has, or will be at some point, a problem for almost all diabetics. If your doctor isn't diabetic, they will probably say this to you, however, when I had this problem I talked to my nurse as well, and because she is diabetic herself, she understood me perfectly. I think that no matter what your doctor says to you, if you are in the 70's or 80's or wherever, and you feel scared or unsafe, you can fix it. If you feel that an a1c below a 7 is keeping you too low, tell your doctor. Everyone is different, and more or less sensitive to bg, and so if you feel that your lows are a danger to you, especially since you are alone, you should keep it it a healthy range that you feel safe in. Hope I helped!!-diabeetle

MrsCDogg 2014-03-17 11:28:08 -0500 Report

I can also relate. Mine got down to 38 and I was about to pass out. I was able to get something to eat but it took at least 45 minutes for it go start to rise. I called work and told them what was going on and that I would be in when it was in a safe range. Old dopey me. I should have called in sick because I felt tired and weak the rest of the day.
I find that if my blood sugar gets below 70 I start to get shaky, very hungry, and I see a strange "light doughnut".

Jan8 2014-03-14 11:40:06 -0500 Report

I can relate. When my Bg goes down into the 30s I feel weak,shakey and hardly able to stand up. Usually I overtreat it I have PB and jelly on rye toast with coffee. Sometimes I just go for the OJ right away and I can feel myself getting stronger. The glucose tablets don't work for me.(the 15 min rule)

jigsaw 2014-03-15 19:16:47 -0500 Report

I have never used glucose tablets. Fortunately, I haven't experienced many extreme lows. However, if I find my bg down around 80 or so, I have a teaspoon of peanut butter, or a couple of crackers, or even a slice of rye bread works well. Perks me right up!

Just curious, do you have a zero response to glucose tabs?

Jan8 2014-03-16 07:40:34 -0500 Report

a very small response

jigsaw 2014-03-16 16:44:19 -0500 Report

I always figured that there are always things around the house to take if necessary. Even if I'm in a store, I can always grab something nearby. Now if I was in locations like a campsite, or away from convenient source for a long period, then I guess a glucose tab would be convenient.

Jamiejo18 2014-03-14 10:52:28 -0500 Report

My sugars have been dropping to the low 30's over the last month usually overnight and I wake up shaking and drenched in sweat. Very scary. I just changed my insulin the other day and hopefully it will fix the problem. Be careful and keep juice close by to help bring it up quickly

Bowling Green mo
Bowling Green mo 2014-03-13 23:41:54 -0500 Report

There was once a time when I first was diagnosed that I dropped into the 40s and I didn't have any of my stuff. No one answered their phones and I walked all the way across our town like that. Saved by the bell I made it home in time. Never been that scared or mad since.

Bowling Green mo
Bowling Green mo 2014-03-13 23:38:37 -0500 Report

I have type 1 diabetes. I have had it since '11. 35 is real low for me, I've been that low one, but several times in the 40s. Try to stay above 60 and below 180 or so if you can. Listen to your endo. They know what they are doing. But trust me, 90s are fine. Explain to your doctor what you feel when your below 90. I'm sure they will tell you that is fine. But the more you get there, to that 70s area, the more it will feel normal. And I'm sure if the endo wants you there, you will feel better if you stay there. But talk to them about it again first. They want you to be healthy, not miserable!

Kats49 2014-03-12 16:38:29 -0500 Report

Each of us will feel different at different lows. I have dropped as low as 39…that was scary but as soon as i sucked down the nut butter and juice felt good in about 7 min.

camerashy 2014-03-12 13:15:56 -0500 Report

Low BG has happened to me many times. It especially happens when I use my insulin, planning to eat, then get distracted and don't eat. I don't start to shake until it gets under 70. When it begins to fall really fast, my dog warns me to check it frequently. Yes, being alone is exceptionally scary.

Type1Lou 2014-03-12 12:27:05 -0500 Report

I feel fine in the 70's but when it begins to dip lower, I start feeling it. I have been as low as 29 but that level is scary and dangerously low. Like mjhorgan stated below, you may be currently unaware of the lows because your BG's had been so high for so long before your diagnosis. Are you taking insulin? Shots or pumping? There is a device called a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) that can alert you when you are going low. It demands inserting it into your body and changing the insertion site every 3 to 6 days depending upon the CGM…it may be something you'll want to explore if you have insurance as they are not cheap.

jigsaw 2014-03-12 08:35:39 -0500 Report

Of course different blood glucose readings affect each of us differently. Don't forget that there is a +/- 20 % error factor built into most meters. Also, some meters read towards the high end of the acceptable range, and others read towards the low end. Unfortuntely that is leeway for quite a difference. Meters are simply guidelines that can be helpful. That is probably a a large percentage of why there are some differences in the numbers that effect how we feel.

Example: A meter reading of 70 could actually mean that your blood glucose is anywhere from 56 to 84, This is assuming your meter is within FDA specifications.

dagger1234 2014-03-12 08:52:06 -0500 Report

Pfft sometimes I still feel horrible/shaky when I'm 100 and under . :/

jigsaw 2014-03-12 12:19:11 -0500 Report

Generally speaking, 100 is an excellent number. Is it possible that your blood glucose is in the process of dropping rapidly?

Nana D76
Nana D76 2014-03-13 10:26:18 -0500 Report

I know it depends on day .shakes and sweats can come for some around 100 even if it's diet controlled rather than insulin.

jigsaw 2014-03-13 12:13:24 -0500 Report

That's why I said generally speaking. I don't think that it's a common occurrence in those with diabetes. If it is, then I stand corrected.

PRINCESS KIMBERLY 2014-03-12 08:39:51 -0500 Report

I have a Insuilink meter. It keeps track of your A1C and the amount of insulin I use.

jigsaw 2014-03-12 12:23:14 -0500 Report

I read about the insulinx meter. The concept sounds interesting. I have no personal experience with it. Do you feel it has helped you to improve your blood glucose mgmt ?

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-12 08:11:04 -0500 Report

The lowest mine has ever been is 45. I was shaky and dizzy. Ended up in the ER because our police districts community officer happened to stop by to bring me something. He didn't want me home alone. I was not at all scared to be home alone. I could call a neighbor.

tabby9146 2014-03-12 07:55:42 -0500 Report

I feel it around 70 - 75. Sorry you have experiencing this. I had some episodes before being diagnosed, that were so scary! at the time I had no idea what was happening, dizzy, shaky, other times feeling as if I would faint. you will probably get used to it. best of luck to you.

mjhorgan 2014-03-12 05:53:45 -0500 Report

Yes the DR is correct, eventually you will feel fine at 70. One of the side effects of extremely week controlled and long term diabetes is low blood sugar unawareness. If you had been keep your blood sugar in the high 100 or higher and now you keep them down around 100 you will feel bad because it is not what you are use to. One you keep your sugars lower you will get used to it. One your BG starts to routinely dip below 100 you will get used to that. Most T1D that keep their sugars low enough and have had diabetes a lone time, these people can't even feel a low BG when it go down to 50.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-12 08:19:06 -0500 Report

The doctor isn't exactly correct. It depends on the person. I am fine between 70-75 and my blood sugar is normally between 90-120. Just because her doctor told her that does not mean it applies to everyone else.

I had a 9 am doctors appointment and did not eat my BG was 75 and he asked if I was okay. I said I felt fine. I walked down the street to his office, left went around the block to pick up breakfast I ordered just before leaving his office. Walked a block and a half back to my office and was at 65 and still felt pretty good.

haoleboy 2014-03-11 23:16:59 -0500 Report

Different strokes …
My bgl this morning was 75 and I was feeling just fine.

PRINCESS KIMBERLY 2014-03-11 23:22:32 -0500 Report

Well maybe you can handle it being that low. Thats gr8 if you can. But my body can not handle anything below 90. Keep up the good work at keeping it low.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-12 08:23:01 -0500 Report

Princess you can't base your diabetes on other people. What your doctor said to you was for you and not anyone else. I don't even get a buzz at 70. I know I am low, because I get really hungry.

When I first was diagnosed, I would get shaky at 80 but that doesn't happen now . Probably because I try to keep my BG between 90 and 120. If I get to 150 I start getting a headache.

PRINCESS KIMBERLY 2014-03-12 08:44:51 -0500 Report

I am not at all basing mine on anyone else. I am asking people howit made them feel. I have been a Diabeticsince 2009. Please I wasjustasking not basing.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-12 08:53:09 -0500 Report

ok. I think once your body adjusts to having Blood Sugar readings in the same range over a long period of time, 80 wouldn't really be a low. That also would depend on the person. I don't consider 80 being low in my case because it has not effect on me.

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-03-11 22:56:27 -0500 Report

I also get the shakes, with dizzyness, and break out into a cold sweat if I go below 90. One time I went down to 70 when I was taking a nap. Thankfully my dog could tell something was wrong and practically had to drag me out of bed. When I finally realized what was wrong and got my bg level back up. I was ok and my dog was happy. I credit him for saving my life. I have heard some people can handle levels that low but I can't.

jayabee52 2014-03-11 22:41:21 -0500 Report

Howdy Kimberly
That seems to be one of the quirks of diabetes. There are some PWDs (people with diabetes) who have hypo symptoms when they are below 90 mg/dl. My late wife often had hypo symptoms when she was actually high, but had been higher than that for a long time, and was coming down. Once she had hypo symptoms at 180 mg/dl and wanted badly to scarf down a whole box of cookies. She was frantic to get carbs in her.

If one eats the wrong kind of carbs the bottom seems to drop out of the BG levels. But sometimes it can happen inexplicably.

I pray that doesn't happen to you again!