Low bloodsugar Question

(Jim Van Der Woude) #1

Hello there,

I just started doing keto again since last week. I eat around 15 to 40 grams of net carbs per day and don’t really look at how many carbs I eat in one sitting. In that week I had a couple of times that I felt very tired and had to sit down a couple of times. I know this has to do with adjusting to ketosis and its all good and well. But something weird happened this morning. I was working with one client and at some point I had the feeling I was about to faint. I quickly sat down and felt a bit better, took some Himalaya salt and went on. But still felt a little bit off and had to sit down a lot. Its been like this for days now.

This morning I ate 1 protein shake with 45ml of extra virgin olive oil. Everytime that I sipped that protein shake I felt a little spike of energy and it dropped down soon. Salt didn’t help and caffeine didn’t help either. When I got home I tested my blood sugar and ketones. The result was my blood sugar was 2.8 mmol/l and 3 days ago it was 3.2 mmol/l. Wont lie, 2.8 scared me because that is just way way to low and dangerous to be in if im correct. Now I know that this can happen when your not fat adapted and your ketone levels can’t spike so cortisol kicks in and starts burning your muscle for fuel. But here comes the weird part, I tested my ketones and it was 1.5 mmol/l. The highest it has been in the last week that I tested my blood. How can it be this high and I feel so dizzy and low in body energy?

Does this mean my body is still trying to get fat adapted and learns to burn fat instead of carbs? And if so, how can I work around this problem? Because I do not want to faint or need to keep sitting down all the time. I do this for health reasons and to feel fit. I did keto before one year before and did not have this problem (I carbed up every weekend tho, it was a dirty keto)

I hope to hear from you guys :slight_smile:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #2

Short answer: eat more salt.

Longer answer: eat less carbs and more fat. You’re on the borderline, in and out of ketosis due most likely to still eating too many carbs. Stay consistently in ketosis and things will get better faster than if you don’t.


What do you eat when you have proper meals? Many things may cause dizziness… In my case, it’s rare and I usually need food (proper food so a significant amount of fatty protein), extremely rarely sodium.

(Bob M) #4

That is low (about 50 in US units). But it depends on how you feel. If you feel shaky, that’s bad. If you feel fine, it’s no problem.

A separate issue is probably the dizziness, though it could be related. Definitely test more salt and possibly other electrolytes (potassium magnesium). See what happens.

(Jim Van Der Woude) #5

Thats true, I at a big fatty omelet after I came home and felt much better afterwards. Maybe I will focus more on good fatty proteins. Good idea!

(Jim Van Der Woude) #6

Gotcha, will add more salt to my food and try to eat a little more frequent and lower my carb intake a bit more. Thanks for the advice

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #7

There are a number of issues involved here. Dizziness and lightheadedness are normally symptoms of insufficient salt intake and hypovolaemia (lack of hydration). Putting a bit of extra salt on your food and drinking to thirst should take care of those symptoms. Try drinking a cup of bone broth when you feel like that.

Another issue is lethargy or muscle weakness. This is a symptom of being in the process of ketoadaptation, and means that your muscles are now limping along on ketone bodies (they prefer fatty acids). You are not eating enough glucose (i.e., carbohydrate) and they are not back in fat-metabolising mode yet. This is normal and will pass in a few weeks. Don’t overstress your body with exercise during this period, and you’ll be fine.

The lack of energy issue is likely to be the result of not enough protein (especially if you also feel cold) or not enough calories. If you are getting enough protein, then eat more fat for energy. It shouldn’t take much extra fat, because fat contains twice as many calories/gram as carbohydrate. Eat to satisfy your hunger; you don’t need to go overboard with the fat, it’s not magical. And while we are at it, the healthiest fats are saturated and monounsaturated. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are turning out to have ill effects on the body that weren’t guessed at when the American Heart Association began recommending vegetable oil.

You are seeing a low blood sugar number because your body doesn’t need all that much glucose, and your liver is making ketones for the benefit of your organs and muscles. That is why your ketone reading was higher than you expected. If you are not experiencing symptoms of hypoglycaemia, then you are fine, your body is operating as designed. Bear in mind, as well, that glucose and ketone numbers rise and fall throughout the day. Exercise tends to cause blood glucose to rise, fasting tends to cause ketones to rise. Stress (cortisol) also has an effect. And the time of day is also relevant, since blood glucose tends to be higher in the morning, and ketones higher in the evening.

(bulkbiker) #8

Are you taking any medication that could result in low blood sugar?
If not you should be fine. I’ve been as low as 3.4 when fasting which feels slightly odd but if you are getting there naturally then it is not dangerous.

(Jim Van Der Woude) #9

Wauw Paul. Thank you for the well explained awnser!