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Old 05-20-2006, 02:43 AM   #1
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Low Insulin Level

I am new to this board. I have been seeing an Endo for the past few years for hypothryroid. I had 1/2 of it removed 3 years ago and I am on medication. A new problem has come up. I have now been diagnosed with hypoglycemia. My insulin level is at 3.The 3 day monitor gave readings from 40-180. He is not calling me diabetic. I seem to be able to feel my sugars moving up and down and I get gastric symptoms all the time. I begin to get shaky at any reading under 75 and I get very flush at anything above 150. Has anyone else experienced any of these symptoms. My Doctor is trying to rule out tumors, cushings syndrome etc.. I am not overweight. I have been on the 1500 calorie diabetic diet and it has helped a little, but not much. He also just gave me a prescription for a carb-metabolizing drug, because carbs are what seem to send me high. This whole problem seemed to start with a torso rash I had 1 1/2 months ago. Also, I had a hysterectomy 6 months before the thyroid was removed and am on HRT. My body wil also not hold the estrogen and my levels are almost 0. Anyone have any ideas?? My Doctor seems to be stumped, and this process is taking so long. Otherwise, I am a very healthy 49 year old.

 
Old 05-20-2006, 06:38 AM   #2
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Re: Low Insulin Level

Sailbird,
I too have just had a total hysterectomy 7 months ago.
I am using the v-dot estrogen patch. the highest one.
I was chatting with other menopausal woman who mentioned they too began having problems with low blood sugar.
maybe it's the patches causing it or intensifying it? but you said your body is not recieving the estrogen? how can this be? why can't they tell you why?

I've been suffering with these low blood sugar attacks for five yrs now.
I remember very well when they first started and they're only getting worst as the yrs move by. I'm 45 yrs. old. not over weight by any means but the opposite and I quit smoking 7 months ago too to help put some of the lost weight back on. we can't figure out what is causing the drastic weight loss.
it must have been the chronic ovarain cyst.
it's hte only thing we can come up wtih.
I went to a gastro dr who tested my stool for fat in it which turned up positive. which means I'm not producing some sort of enzymes. but I wnet thru the MRI with the dye to test the pancreas and all is normal.
which is called malabsorption and I don't know now if I still have that.
I don't suffer pains in my stomach anymore after eatting but have the low sugar attacks. once a few weeks ago, it was immediately after eatting but it's usually four to five hours after and especially if I eat just a salad with a yogurt. I ahve to eat a full course meal at lunch time. eveyone teases me at work. it's no joke to have this problem. woman say they wish they had the problem so they could eat as much as I do, but I'm beginning to feel worst in my head. my head is lightheaded dizzy type feeling almost every day even though the blood sugar reads in the 70's. which is normal.
you had diabetes from the very start? or is the underactive thyroid that is effecting your sugar level?
can thyroid problems effect the sugar levels? I thought it was the pancreas and the adrenal glands. not the thyroid?
I am so confused about the type of foods I'm supposed to eat. I can never rembmer what is complex vs the other type. My memory is shot and is increasingly getting worst. does your low blood sugar effect your ability to work under normal conditions? I have to go over a problem four times and have to concentrate so intensely and not be interrupted while working on something otherwise I have to start all over again. so I don't amke a mistake. I get flusteered which in turn makes everyone nervous who's around me.
I can't control it though. they'd make a fuss too if they felt what I felt going thru these physical things.
how does your dr. treat your low blood sugar?

I'm glad you posted because I need your suggestions.
sincerely,
Linda

 
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Old 05-20-2006, 06:49 AM   #3
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Re: Low Insulin Level

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailbird
My insulin level is at 3.
I, too, wonder what a "low" insulin level means. My last fasting insulin (taken about a week ago) had me at 2.0. And my fasting blood sugar was good at 80. However, if I eat anything carby, my post meal readings go pretty high (into the 170s to 200 range). I've been diagnosed with Insulin Glucose Tolerance (I think the same thing as pre-diabetes).

When all this started 6 months ago I was also on the hypo roller-coaster myself. A strict low-carb diet is what seems to work for me. I even did metformin for a short period to help get it under control.

Interestingly, my problem showed up 3 weeks after knee surgery... (probably no correlation, but an interesting data point nonetheless).

If you find out what the low insulin level means, I'd be interested to know. I can't seem to find any good information on what it means to be low.

And welcome to the board...

 
Old 05-20-2006, 08:09 AM   #4
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Re: Low Insulin Level

I wouldn't say that level is exceptionally low, but 6 years ago I was found to have a semi-low level with hypoglycemia present. I was diagnosed hypoglycemic at the time. This year I was diagnosed with type 1.

 
Old 05-20-2006, 08:18 PM   #5
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Re: Low Insulin Level

Quote:
Originally Posted by blondy2061h
I wouldn't say that level is exceptionally low, but 6 years ago I was found to have a semi-low level with hypoglycemia present. I was diagnosed hypoglycemic at the time. This year I was diagnosed with type 1.
Blondy, what was your level at the time? I'm curious because I started with hypoglycemia myself.

 
Old 05-21-2006, 09:28 AM   #6
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Re: Low Insulin Level

there's a difference between low and high insulin levels compared to low blood sugar.
diabetes 1 doesn't produce insulin at all.
type 2 diabetes does produce insulin
and hypoglycemic or low blood sugar, produces TOO much levels of insulin when the body doesn't need it to.

Am I wrong about this?
because my family dr told me the other day my insulin level is fine and it's the BLood Sugar that isn't.
please correct me on this if I'm wrong.
Linda

 
Old 05-21-2006, 01:43 PM   #7
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Re: Low Insulin Level

Quote:
Originally Posted by lintek45
there's a difference between low and high insulin levels compared to low blood sugar.
diabetes 1 doesn't produce insulin at all.
type 2 diabetes does produce insulin
and hypoglycemic or low blood sugar, produces TOO much levels of insulin when the body doesn't need it to.

Am I wrong about this?
because my family dr told me the other day my insulin level is fine and it's the BLood Sugar that isn't.
please correct me on this if I'm wrong.
Linda
Yes, no (or very little as I understand it) insulin is produced with Type 1, whereas Type 2 produces insulin, sometimes lots and lots of it trying to keep blood sugar levels low (although in later stages I think your pancreas can wear out in Type 2, and quit producing insulin - no?).

And yes, hypoglycemia can be caused by too much insulin being produced, thus suppressing blood sugar too far, by "overshooting" what it's trying to control it to (the level of blood sugar, that is).

For example, in November, when I was having hypoglycemic problems, my fasting insulin level was 57.6 (normal range for this lab is 6.0 to 26.0).

Now, my insulin level is 2.0. My question is does it mean anything to be too low? In particular, does it mean my pancreas is wearing out and not producing enough insulin now, at least during fasting?

By the way, you mentioned your doctor told you that you don't have an insulin problem but do have a blood sugar problem. But I thought the blood sugar problem is caused by insulin not being able to keep up with it - in other words, an insulin problem. Is this not correct?

 
Old 05-21-2006, 02:08 PM   #8
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Re: Low Insulin Level

Before I got diabetes my fasting insulin level ranged from too low to too high. I'm not sure an exact numbers, but I know one time I missed type 1 ranges by like .5, another time I was double normal. It was almost as if my pancreas started dying, made one last "horray" then died totally. Now I get insulin in a pump

 
Old 05-21-2006, 08:42 PM   #9
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Re: Low Insulin Level

Blondy, are you Type 1 did you say?

If so, how long from onset of symptoms to discovering your illness?

Last edited by disjointed; 05-21-2006 at 08:43 PM.

 
Old 05-21-2006, 09:14 PM   #10
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Re: Low Insulin Level

Yeah, type 1. I started noticing major symptoms in May, and was diagnosed in September. It progressed to the point where I was downing about 10 liters of water a day and peeing every 30 minutes. By the time I was diagnosed I was still considered in the early stages, so I had a pretty slow onset.

 
Old 05-23-2006, 06:06 AM   #11
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Re: Low Insulin Level

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailbird
I am new to this board. I have been seeing an Endo for the past few years for hypothryroid. I had 1/2 of it removed 3 years ago and I am on medication. A new problem has come up. I have now been diagnosed with hypoglycemia. My insulin level is at 3.The 3 day monitor gave readings from 40-180. He is not calling me diabetic. I seem to be able to feel my sugars moving up and down and I get gastric symptoms all the time. I begin to get shaky at any reading under 75 and I get very flush at anything above 150. Has anyone else experienced any of these symptoms. My Doctor is trying to rule out tumors, cushings syndrome etc.. I am not overweight. I have been on the 1500 calorie diabetic diet and it has helped a little, but not much. He also just gave me a prescription for a carb-metabolizing drug, because carbs are what seem to send me high. This whole problem seemed to start with a torso rash I had 1 1/2 months ago. Also, I had a hysterectomy 6 months before the thyroid was removed and am on HRT. My body wil also not hold the estrogen and my levels are almost 0. Anyone have any ideas?? My Doctor seems to be stumped, and this process is taking so long. Otherwise, I am a very healthy 49 year old.

I am hypothyroid too. Estrogen will suppress your thyroid hormones. I was on HRT for a few years before anyone told me about estrogen suppressing your thyroid hormones. Geez, no wonder I did not feel good on HRT.

If I get the money, might go on natural progesterone cream. It is suppose to be good for hypo folks.That is what I heard anyway.

Now don't know if this would happen to someone without low thyroid. But, just wonder sometimes.
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:00 AM   #12
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Re: Low Insulin Level

Quik update on my blood sugar levels. I finally hit over 200 over the weekend. The endo is putting me on Metformin and is now saying I probably have diabetes. He will not order a glucose tolerance test due to the erratic way I am presenting. I still wake up in the 70's and only spike in response to food. I can eat the same thing at the same time on two different days and react differently each time. I can feel my blood sugar gping up and down which he says is unusual. Any ideas???

 
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