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drewab

A time when low blood glucose is a bad idea

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I hope everyone here is doing well and having a great summer. Recently I had an episode where low blood-glucose nearly caused me a big problem. Several days ago I underwent a vasectomy (my kids are getting older now and I'm happy to end my chances of further procreation). The procedure itself went well and was relatively uneventful - I was happy to see that Dr. Greger recommends it as his preferred form of birth control. Immediately after the procedure, you are kept in a holding room to see how you are feeling and I was doing great. Smiling, laughing, chatting with the hospital staff, and so forth. My BP and HR were taken and were great (110/70 HR 60, which considering I have white coat syndrome is good). They also commented on how lean I was and I said I "must be a runner." Which is somewhat true, but not anywhere to the extent to which I actually am. My leanness is probably 80% due to diet, not exercise. They come to offer me some juice and cookies and inform me that people routinely faint from this procedure. I kindly inform them that I don't consume processed food. The doctor says, "at least drink the juice - I've seen too many people faint from this." So I drink about 200ml of juice and don't touch the cookies. Feeling great, my wife drives me home, I sit on the couch, and proceed to faint! Fortunately, she was there to catch me bring me some orange juice and a big bowl of dates and instant oatmeal. I actually lost consciousness for 30-60 seconds according to her. While I follow a low glucose lifestyle with post-prandial exercise after most meals, this may have been a time when low glucose was a bad idea. If I fainted, fell and hurt myself, the outcome could have been much worse. Just thought I would share my experience here! It reminds me of how Dr. McDougall fell this past year and was injured after contracting a viral illness. Medical instances may be a time for forgetting about low glucose!

 

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Did you measure your blood sugar after you fainted?   Did you have significant other signs of hypoglycemia?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypoglycemia

 

If not consider reflex/vasovagal  syncope as a possible cause.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflex_syncope

 

I used to faint frequently when giving blood or moderately injured.  Being hot or hungry made it worse but I don't think they were the causes.  The problem is completely resolved now and I can give blood while fasting without issue.  In my case I think it may have been electrolyte imbalance in part caused by eating a very low sodium and high potassium diet.

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I presume you were fasting for the procedure, drewab. Orange juice on an empty stomach is taken up quickly and triggers an insulin surge for an expected meal. The insulin sops up the glucose from the blood.

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Al Pater is onto something. Next time, don't opt for extremely high glycemic quickly absorbed sugars (especially drinks), but something that takes longer to unlock, so you have a gentler insulin response curve.

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