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What causes drop in blood sugar level?

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Posted on Mon, 21 Jul 2014
Question: I have a Blood Sugar related question.

I am NOT diabetic. But I purchased a glucose meter due to some weird feelings that I thought might be low blood sugar. My fasting levels are between 75mg/dl and 85mg/dl. But after I eat they do the following:
Fasting - 83mg/dl Eat breakfast. Whole grain wrap with chicken/cheese and vegetables
30 minutes - 112mg/dl
60 minutes - 95mg/dl
90 minutes - 57mg/dl
120 minutes - 75mg/dl
150 minutes - 82mg/dl
180 minutes - 75mg/dl

And when I exercise I get dizzy and have tested during exercise, and it said 50mg/dl about 6 minutes into working out. I stopped exercising and it went back up to 80mg/dl on it's own.

Is this normal for blood sugar to drop after a meal like this? and during exercise?
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Answered by Dr. Binu Parameswaran Pillai (5 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Reactive hypoglycemia ?

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Good day.

It looks like that you have reactive hypoglycemia. what is your height and weight? Do yo have family history of diabetes? What about alcohol intake ?

This is due to an exaggereated insulin secretion after a carbogydrate rich meal. ( i have noted that your blood sugar reached 57 after 90 minutes). Again glucometer only can suggest, it is not a great tool to diagnose.

You may need something called extended GTT to diagnose this condition. Please meet an endocrinologist who can arrange this. This reactive hypoglycemia or postpradial hypoglycemia after a heavy carbohydrate meal is seen in many obese patients. They may develop diabetes in future.

One other thing is that, if you are developing a low sugar after an exercise, it may be due to a low carbohydrate content in your meal before exercise. Or due to the effect of exercise itself. However, when your liver start producing glucose to compensate, it goes back to normal. Please note that glucometer can sometimes give wrong readings. Ideally, blood sugar reading shouldnt fall so much during exercise.

Meet a dietician and switch to a complex carbohydrate regime. Stop simple sugars and soft drinks. You may also need an endocrine consultation.
Please feel free to discuss further.

Regards
Binu
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Binu Parameswaran Pillai (3 minutes later)
I am 5'11" and weigh 175lbs.

I eat mostly complex carbs and protein, 6 meals a day.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Binu Parameswaran Pillai (7 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Hi

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Your weight is appropriate for height. Do you have fat arouund your abdomen or a pot belly ? If not, reactive hypoglycemia is unlikely. Ignore the glucometer if you do not ever experience dizziness or seating etc 2-3 hors after eating a carbohydrate meal. As i said earlier, glucometer is a monitoring tool only. It is not for diagnosis. If you are in doubt, please arrange for an extended GTT ( using venous blood).
Regards
B
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Binu Parameswaran Pillai

Endocrinologist

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 1435 Questions

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What causes drop in blood sugar level?

Brief Answer: Reactive hypoglycemia ? Detailed Answer: Hello, Good day. It looks like that you have reactive hypoglycemia. what is your height and weight? Do yo have family history of diabetes? What about alcohol intake ? This is due to an exaggereated insulin secretion after a carbogydrate rich meal. ( i have noted that your blood sugar reached 57 after 90 minutes). Again glucometer only can suggest, it is not a great tool to diagnose. You may need something called extended GTT to diagnose this condition. Please meet an endocrinologist who can arrange this. This reactive hypoglycemia or postpradial hypoglycemia after a heavy carbohydrate meal is seen in many obese patients. They may develop diabetes in future. One other thing is that, if you are developing a low sugar after an exercise, it may be due to a low carbohydrate content in your meal before exercise. Or due to the effect of exercise itself. However, when your liver start producing glucose to compensate, it goes back to normal. Please note that glucometer can sometimes give wrong readings. Ideally, blood sugar reading shouldnt fall so much during exercise. Meet a dietician and switch to a complex carbohydrate regime. Stop simple sugars and soft drinks. You may also need an endocrine consultation. Please feel free to discuss further. Regards Binu