Repeated Hypoglycemia May Not Cause Brain Damage

Richard157
By Richard157 Latest Reply 2014-07-15 23:30:11 -0500
Started 2014-07-13 12:34:16 -0500

A recent study asserts that "… the brains of type 1 diabetic
patients who suffer repeated episodes of hypoglycemia actually adapt
in a positive manner. The results of the study, published in the May
2014 issue of the Journal of Diabetes Investigation, … suggest that
the brain can increase its usage of alternative energy sources when
glucose is not sufficient, and this adaptive response can be promoted
by repetitive hypoglycemia."
For many years I have suspected this finding to be true. At the
present time I can have a hypo as low as the 30's gradually sneak up
on me and I do not notice. I have become so accustomed to these lows,
about three or four per month, that I can function very well, and do
not need help with them. If My BG drops faster I can feel them when I
am in the low 70's and have blurred vision. With a slow drop my body
and brain adjusts so well that I do not notice until I am very low. My
endo insists that I am having damage from these lows, but I do not
believe that. I had so many seizures from age six into adulthood, and
my mom, and eventually my wife, had to revive me with great
difficulty. I went on to six years in college and became a math
professor. My brain was not damaged, not at all.

http://asweetlife.org/feature/repeated-hypogl...


7 replies

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-15 22:10:47 -0500 Report

Richard, this is fascinating. Thanks a lot for sharing this. I am really hypoglycemic, though not diabetic at this point, and I also worry about the effects of low blood sugar episodes.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-07-15 22:10:33 -0500 Report

Richard, this is fascinating. Thanks a lot for sharing this. I am really hypoglycemic, though not diabetic at this point, and I also worry about the effects of low blood sugar episodes.

Type1Lou
Type1Lou 2014-07-14 17:49:31 -0500 Report

Prior to pumping, I experienced many severe and dangerous low BG's…some in the 20's. I don't think my mental faculties have been affected at all so it's reassuring to here about our body's adaptability. After starting to pump in 2011, I haven't needed glucagon nor have I visited an ER due to hypoglycemia. I've also had medical professionals tell me that I would lose brain cells by following a low-carb diet. If that were true, Dr Richard Bernstein wouldn't be the successful physician he is today! Thank you for sharing this Richard!

MoeGig
MoeGig 2014-07-13 12:50:34 -0500 Report

I agree 100% with your comments and have experienced a similar history since the age of 21 when this all began. In trying to maintain control, I use to aim low which resulted in many hypo's and quite a number of seizures requiring 911. But these days, I'm much more tolerant of the lows, although anything below 40 is danger zone for me. Anything in the 20's and I'm waking up from a glucose drip. I don't think I've lost brain capacity, but have not been tested. On a personal note, my son is entering PHD program with a "full ride plus stipend" in Mechanical Engineering with a love for Math. I expect he will be a college professor in the future.

Richard157
Richard157 2014-07-13 13:50:08 -0500 Report

MoeGig, I am glad that you have better control now. Engineering and math for your son, that is a great combo. College teaching is great, not a big salary, but the fringe benefits are usually very good.