• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Low blood sugar

Juliematch

Registered User
Jun 24, 2017
149
For once I was glad dad was still in the hospital (waiting for a new care home to be found). I was sat having lunch with him in the day room.We were talking and he was enjoying his fish and chips( had seconds) when suddenly he said “I want to sleep darling”and went into what I thought was a seizure or a stroke.I shouted for help and they quickly took over( I was in a state). He came round quickly and they did his observations and found,other than low blood sugar everything was ok.He was absolutely fine after 15 minutes , ate his pudding , talking his normal nonsense. He loves his food and especially sweets so I don’t know how his sugars got so low. I did ask if this is because of the dementia but they were sure it wasn’t.Yet another thing for poor dad to go through , not that he remembers,which is a good thing,I suppose.
 

annielou

Registered User
Sep 27, 2019
722
Yorkshire
Sounds scary, did they say if going to investigate why his blood sugar was low and if they were going to monitor it to see if keeps doing it? I hope it was a one off and he is ok x
Like you say if he has lots of sugar it seems odd it was low but I have wondered if I have had low blood sugar at times even though I have sugar in tea and eat quite a lot of sweet things.
About 25 years ago I kept going a bit funny would suddenly go really shattered and feel like I would just go to sleep, I'd just sit there sort of awake but struggling to focus and stay awake. I used to have a drink of lemonade or a suck a mint or something and try really hard to focus and after a little while it would pass.
Then I had a little fit one day while eating my dinner and another a few weeks later just after I had been to the loo I had another. One minute I was standing in front of loo flushing it the next it was half an hour later, I was laid on bathroom floor facing completely opposite way at the side of the loo and the cat was licking and nudging my face. I went to drs next day had load of blood tests and was refered to hospital and had an eeg which didn't show anything but with hubbys description of how I'd been when he was with me and how i described what happened when had other one in bathroom they said it was a fit.
Dr explained how sometimes our brains become overloaded and its safety mechanism is to shut down for a short time and that was when I had the fit. He said a lot of people can have a couple of fits in their lives at times of stress,without it needing treatment, He said if I had had 3 fits close together they would say epilepsy and refer me for treatment but as I had only had 2 they would put it down to stress for now. At the time I was working lots of overtime and we were selling and had moved house and I was decorating on the day of second fit.
Now I do sometimes wonder if my blood sugar was low and that had caused it. When I'd originally gone to the doctors for my blood test the dr said my blood sugar was low right on the cusp of being considered too low but as I had not eaten since the night before it was probably because of that. I didn't say anything to dr but I didn't know it was a fasting blood test as no one had told me so the morning they took blood I had a cup of tea with two sugars and full fat milk, a bowl of frosties with milk and two bourbon biscuits and I'd also had a cup of hot chocolate made with milk and a piece of shortbread the night before at around 11 so I was surprised it was so low but didn't let on as felt silly for eating before test but afterwards wondered if I should have said so. Although the hospital did blood tests too and didn't say snything bout them.
The last year or so I sometimes get that feeling again that I will just drop off to sleep and struggle to focus on whats happening and stay with it. Hubby notices it sometimes and will start calling my name and I can hear him but struggle to answer him. It doesn't last long luckily but I do sometimes wonder if its a drop in blood sugar or something, although the amount of sugar I have it would be a surprise as like your dad I like sweet things. I don't know if you can eat lots of sugar and still have low blood sugar and if so what causes it.
Anyway sorry to ramble on but I don't know if its linked to your dads dementia, it might not be, maybe it was a reaction to some other medicine he is on in hospital. Hopefully it was a one off but it may be something that needs watching so hopefully while he is in hospital they will keep a check on it.
 
Last edited:

silkiest

Registered User
Feb 9, 2017
113
If you eat sweet things with no fibre the blood sugars go up quickly but also down quickly (causes bigger peaks and troughs). If you have sugar with fibre or starchy foods your blood sugar goes up and down more slowly so you get a more stable blood sugar. Obviously diabetes upsets the bodies control of sugars but there are other conditions also - my friends mother had an 'insulinoma' - a growth on her pancreas which made her over produce insulin and cause severe low blood sugars - it took a long time to diagnose and she needed a high fibre diet with slow digested carbohydrates for life to help counteract it.
 

Juliematch

Registered User
Jun 24, 2017
149
Thank you for your comments. It was very scary. It’s interesting hearing how blood sugars can affect someone. He’s always had a sweet tooth and dementia has made it worse.He eats very well and at 84 with ,what I think is middle stage dementia thought,if he can’t have what he wants now ,when can he have it,especially as reading on here things can change for the worse.I’m going to ring the hospital after lunch,as I can’t go in today and see if they have any answers. Hopefully it was a one off.
 

Moggymad

Registered User
May 12, 2017
475
Hi @Juliematch what you described happened to my mum a couple times. She was diabetic but not on medication at the time. The first time we were in a local cafe had just had a meal & sitting drinking tea. I looked at mum & saw her gradually turn her head to one side then start shaking & slump in the chair. I thought same as you either a fit or stroke. She came to after a short time & didn't fall off the chair which I worried she would. Ambulance came & checked her out. The paramedic thought it could be postprandial hypotension... Low blood pressure due to eating a meal which he said was quite common in elderly people. Hospital didn't find anything & no one else mentioned what paramedic had said. Second time it happened was again in the cafe after a meal but mum was sitting on the loo. This time I didn't panic & it passed. Just thought I'd mention this as a possibility despite your dads low blood sugars.
 

Juliematch

Registered User
Jun 24, 2017
149
Thank you moggymad.I knew if I put this on TP someone would have some idea what it could be.I couldn’t get through to the hospital yesterday so I’m not sure what tests they did.I don’t think I would panic next time,it’s just the shock of it ,as he was fine before hand and his normal self afterwards.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
1,785
The paramedic thought it could be postprandial hypotension... Low blood pressure due to eating a meal which he said was quite common in elderly people.
The GP suggested the same with regards Mum. She had some episodes of unresponsiveness and I noticed that they occurred during mealtimes or just after. As she is in a nursing home the staff were able to check pulse, blood pressure at the time and this showed that Mum's blood pressure was low and her heart rate was high. Mum was back to normal within 10-15 minutes. The GP said that when eating a meal the blood rushes to the stomach and in the elderly it can result in low blood pressure, causing the heart rate to raise to compensate. Blood tests, including diabetes, came back clear. Mum really loves her food and will eat everything she's given but since then I have asked the home to provide smaller portions and to feed her more slowly and there have been no more 'episodes' since.
 

Juliematch

Registered User
Jun 24, 2017
149
Interesting reading your stories.Glad your mum hasn’t had anymore episodes.Dad also loves his food and it was always a family joke that he always finished a meal before anyone else. Eating is about control for him I think so sweets, cheesy biscuits are always on hand in his care home.Perhaps he’s not picking so much in hospital and the meal he had came as a shock to his system. I will mention your experiences and see what the hospital think caused it. Thanks