Today, I received an e-mail by Jan, who is writing about a concern as shown below:
" I haven't been to the doc yet for testing and diagnosis because I just went through extensive blood work and everything was within normal limits.
Now I am experiencing feeling lethargic just don't feel well at times. I did a finger prick test and in the mornings it runs 104, 115.
Then before lunch, after eating something sweet mid morning, it will run below 100 and after lunch will sometimes be even lower."
At a very first look, your blood sugar results seem to be perfectly normal Jan; a fact that makes me wonder why you are feeling lethargic.
If your blood glucose falls lower than 100, please keep in mind that problems come when sugar is less than 50; so, I am wondering if your results are lower than 50.
To come to an exact conclusion, I would like to have some more information of your current health status trying to give some explanation without having your answers as following:
- You are saying that you are healthy, and not having problems with diabetes. This would exclude the possibility of using hypoglycemiant drugs. Do you have any familiar taking meds for diabetes? Do you remember if you ever took those meds accidentally?
- Next, are you currently (or have recently) using drugs such as Bactrim/Septra sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, an antibiotic) or beta-blockers (for hypertension) or pentamidine (antibiotic for severe pneumonia)?
- Do you consume alcohol regularly?
- Do you have regular meals? Sometimes, when you skip your meals, your body reacts with such hypoglycemia. This is especially true in cases where you are following some restricted diets providing less calories than you need for your daily duties and causing prolonged starvation.
You should stop following such diets and have your meals regularly without overloading with extra calories. Eat often but in small portions.
- Have you been diagnoses and treated for a severe infection (including hepatitis)?
- Another explanation with low blood glucose after eating is related to reactive hypoglycemia (postprandial hypoglycemia). In this case, excessive insulin is produced and released up to five hours after eating.
- There are some congenital defects that are related to hypoglycemia; therefore, your doctor would ask for additional tests to confirm if this is your case.
- In some cases, overproduction of insulin due to some tumors or gastric by-pass can cause hypoglycemia. Therefore, you can discuss with your doctor if these screenings are appropriate for you.
- There are some abnormalities in vital organs such as liver and kidney failure, insufficiency of adrenal gland that can cause hypoglycemia.
You can discuss with your doctor about the above-mentioned options to find out the real culprit of your hypoglycemic episodes after eating.
Hope it helped! Looking forward to have your screening results too:)))
Written by Dr.Albana Greca Sejdini, Md, MMedSc
Medically reviewed by Dr.Ruden Cakoni, MD, Endocrinologist