Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blood Glucose of 40

Around midnight last night I got out of bed to test my blood sugar.  I was lying in bed reading when I realized that my heart was racing and my tongue felt fuzzy and my lips were tingling. I wasn't shaky or light headed at all, though, (my typical crash symptoms) so I wasn't expecting a low count - I was just curious and wanted to know what it was.

A blood glucose count of 40 surprised and scared me! Oh the joys of hypoglycemia. I have trained myself well enough to be able to catch a low blood count before it it gets this low - I can usually catch it when I drop down into the 60's or somethings into the low 70's. It's highly unusual for me to get down to 40 or below.

So what caused this blood sugar crash?

As I said before, I absolutely wasn't expecting a crash. Afterall, I'd had a mug of protein chai tea before I went to bed.... who has a reactive hypoglycemic crash after pure protein anyway?  Apparently I do. Here's what yesterday's eating looked like.

  • Commute to work (about 7:30am) -- Kristy's Vanilla Caramel Protein Tea
  • Breakfast (about 10am) -- Carbmaster yogurt with sliced fresh strawberries
  • Lunch (about 1pm) -- leftover Chinese food. Unfortunately, I'd eaten most of the chicken on Monday, so Tuesday's lunch was lighter on protein and heavier on carbs than I normally would have chosen. But it wasn't horribly out of balance with mostly veggies and some light noodles.
  • Afternoon Snack - nothing
  • Dinner (about 7:30pm) -- leftover slice of pizza (x2) with sausage, pepperoni and mushrooms. Yes, another kinda-heavy-carb meal, but the crust was fairly thin and the toppings were mostly protein. Out of balance on nutrients, but again, not horrible.
  • LNS (about 10pm) -- Protein Chai Latte - I knew I was light on protein for the day so I added a second protein drink before bed
  • Post-Crash Food -- 2 cheesesticks, handful of grapes.... then a bit later peanut butter crackers.  The fruit and cheese didn't raise my numbers like normal, so I had to do the crackers for an extra boost. The process of getting my numbers back to the 100-range took about 40 minutes.
Let's also look at the overall stats (this is before the "post-crash food"). My goal is 1200-1400 calories a day with 40% protein, 35-40% carbs and 20-25% fat.

Calories: 1,145
Fat: 26g (20%)
Carbs: 134g (46%)
  Fiber: 12g (definitely a bad fiber day)
Protein: 99g (34%)

So what happened?

My only guess is that I crashed because my indivdual meals were out of balance. Sure, at the end of the day my numbers came out pretty good for a carb-heavy day and things weren't too far off if you look at the overall numbers.  BUT the problem seems to be individual meals.  Both lunch and dinner were way out of whack with too many carbs and I attempted to make up for it by adding straight protein with shakes to keep things in balance. But my body is smarter than me, apparently. It wants balance at every meal, not just for the day as a whole. I need to focus on the 40/35/25 balance on my plate everytime I eat.  Of course - this is just a theory, who knows what the real reason might be.  Anyway, I'll do better in the future with keeping each meal in balance to avoid the scary situation of a crash so low. 

The aftermath...

I had a difficult time waking up this morning because of the aftermath of such a low crash. My limbs are heavy and my head is foggy and I have a general feeling of shakiness today.  I tested my blood this morning before I left for work to make sure I was safe to drive. My fasting glucose this morning was 79 - which is in the normal range but my typical number is usually around 90. So the drive to work was a bit nerve wracking because I was dealing with the fear of another hypoglycemic crash on my 1.5 hour drive -- which was not a logical fear since I was eating breakfast on the drive. But still, the mental aftermath kinda sucks just as much as the physical aftermath.

When I have a crash that is as low as 40 it takes a few days to get my body back to normal.  So for the next several days I'll cut back on carbs and increase fat and protein - for a balance that is more like 45% protein, 25% carbs, 30% fat.  Fat makes my body happy and when combined with protein things are much better. I'll focus mostly on dairy, veggies and low-gylcemic fruit for my carb intake and cut out most flour-based foods for the next couple days. Once I go a few days without another low count my body will get back on level footing again.

It's always one adventure or another, right?


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts

Related Posts with Thumbnails