Longterm complications of LOW blood sugars?


(Perk) #1

Here's a random question.

WE all hear about the longterm effects on our bodies due to high blood sugar levels, but has anyone heard of any longterm effects due to a higher amount low blood sugars?

 


(Josie) #2

I have heard unfortunately that if a low blood sugar is especially bad or long it can cause some brain damage.  I wish I could remember where I read that, it was quite a while ago.  Now when I have lows, I often think about that and make sure I treat them very fast.


(TinaTenn) #3

I haven't heard of any that I am aware of...and I treat my son's lows pretty fast too!


(joe) #4

there are studies (sorry no references today) that very young children (under 3) have congnitive problems if they have many episodes of hypoglycemia.  I am pretty sure thare aren't any conclusive hypo v. problem studies for anybody older.  I have had lows (45-69) daily from age 12 to my 30's on MDI, and sometimes more than once per day, however I have never had a severe hypo (where somebody has to intervene), ever.   I don't think I have any brain damage.... but some of my friends might argue =)   I have always considered high sugar to be damaging, and low sugar to be dangerous, and a very tiny happy window where every thing is okay. 

 


(Rosemary5) #5

I'm pretty sure there are no longterm effects of going low, unless you go so low that you can pass out, go into a coma, or die. So, it is important to treat lows, but having numbers in the 50s-60s most likely won't have any longterm effects.


(K2ThaTJ) #6

I agree with Josie. I heard/read somewhere a long time ago that it can kill brain cells/cause brain damage.


(K2ThaTJ) #7

I found this:

 

Recurrent hypoglycemia may impose long-lasting damaging effects on the brain,
resulting in impairment of memory or other cognitive functions. This is
especially a concern in the early childhood years when the nervous system is
still developing. While there is substantial evidence that hypoglycemia
alters human behavior, and recurrent episodes of severe hypoglycemia may lead
to memory loss or impaired cognitive function, the pathogenesis of
hypoglycemic-induced nerve cell injury is largely unknown.  Mechanisms that
could result in damage to cells of the CNS include, but are not limited to,
excitotoxicity related to a dysregulation of the glutamate-glutamine cycle or
an impaired capacity of astrocytes to generate reducing equivalents in the
presence of oxidative stress.  To understand the effects of acute or
recurrent hypoglycemia on the cells of the central nervous system, it is
essential to characterize the response of CNS cells to reduced glucose
levels, to determine the extent of CNS cell injury induced by hypoglycemia,
and to identify the mechanisms involved in hypogylcemia-induced cell or
tissue damage in brain.

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DK-03-017.html


(imax386) #8

I've asked this question to a couple physicians, especially those who do lab research involving diabetes, and their general response has been "no, there isn't a long term effect."  I've always taken antioxidants when my BG goes high to try to curb the after-effects of oxidative stress (body producing free radicals) that the body undergoes during highs, but there doesn't seem to be any similar oxidative stress when you go low from what they know right now.

I asked about the brain damage stuff and they said there hasn't been any conclusive studies done on its long-term effects so they don't know right now.

I hope that train of thought doesn't die, b/c I definitely like to play it on the lower side so I don't have to worry about long-term high complications.


(Perk) #9

Thanx for all the comments guys.


(christina) #10

I've also heard that constant episodes of low blood sugar can cause some permanent brain damage.  Then, I've heard that having low blood sugar more often than high blood sugar is WAAYYY healthier. . .(which we all know, duh).  But it just seems like we're screwed if we do, we're screwed if we don't.  This disease is a pain in my pancreASS!


(Perk) #11

HAHAHAHA pancreASS thats awesome!


(Dylan404) #12

The most recent scientific studies find no reduction in cognitive abilities in individuals who suffer frequent hypoglycemic episodes versus thoe that do not. 


(2Sweet4U) #13

My endo told me that highs have complications but there are not any complications to having a couple mild lows each week. So I am encouraged to run lowER, with maybe a few lows a week, rather than to run high and risk serious complications.

but that's just what I've heard! interesting insight from others.


(Perk) #14

I find the consensus to be that in, general, lows don't cause any longterm damage.... but one has to wonder whether or not it is just because there are fewer studies done and fewer people who have constant low sugars versus constant high sugars.... less reasons for research and less subjects to research. 

Its kinda like the whole t2 versus t1 thing... we hear sooooo much about t2 in the news but not so much about t1.

Just a thought


(meme) #15

hi Ideen,did anyone suggest taking antioxidants after bs goes high ? might try this ...


(the kid) #16

Of course there are long term affects Candice. If you canstantly have low blood sugars you begin to not feel the affects until you are really low. Plus it can affect your brain. You ever notice how when your really low, your not thinking straight and you cant remember nothing that happened before you went low, while your low, and after your low. Thats because your brain is affected by the lows, so therefore there would be longterm affects to your brain.


(the kid) #17

Of course there are long term affects Candice. If you canstantly have low blood sugars you begin to not feel the affects until you are really low. Plus it can affect your brain. You ever notice how when your really low, your not thinking straight and you cant remember nothing that happened before you went low, while your low, and after your low. Thats because your brain is affected by the lows, so therefore there would be longterm affects to your brain.


(bassoonist1719) #18

yeah, I agree with what others have said about lows damaging the brain, but I'd only heard this for young children, under age 4-5.  It makes me wonder if I would feel different not having suffered from lows since that age though.