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Thursday, December 5, 2013
Low Blood Sugar Levels
I recently had a 4 hour gluclose test. My levels came back dropping to 37 and then 25. What can happen to me with such low levels?
Normal glucose (blood sugar) levels are between 90 and 110, fasting, and up to about 145-150 after eating. When a person's blood sugar is low (below 70), often he/she will develop symptoms such as jitteriness, weakness, fatigue. If it gets really low (below 40-50), sometimes he/she will lose consciousness.
Some people are able to tolerate a low blood sugar; others don't, especially individuals who are older. Sometimes if a person has underlying coronary artery disease (hardening of the arteries), a low blood sugar could precipitate a heart attack.
The purpose of your 4 hour test was to see if your blood sugar gets low after eating. Obviously, at least for this test, it does. I am sure that your doctor will explain to you that it is important for you to eat frequent small meals (or snacks) while you are awake. Having such a low blood sugar over time is not healthy.
W. Fred Miser, MD
Associate Professor of Family Medicine
Director of Ohio State Medicine Residency Program
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University