Doing Math at 2.1mmol/L (37mg/dL)

“Ah, your wife fell unconscious,” said a woman’s voice on the other end phone. “She says she had a low blood sugar.”

That was about six years ago. Nicole and our son Jonah (age two and half at the time) were taking care of some errands in the center of town. Nicole’s blood sugar dropped. She took some sugar. But it kept on dropping.

She’s not too clear what happened next… She walked into a café and bought something. She can’t remember what that something was. I don’t think it was a spinach salad. She then sat down with Jonah. She ate whatever it was she bought. After the last mouthful she slumped to the table. Jonah, thinking it was nap time, curled up beside her.

Possibly a half-hour later, Nicole woke up. Oddly, nobody had noticed her condition. Very confused, she called out for help. The owner of the café came to her aid and eventually called me at home.

That’s how life used to be. If Nicole wasn’t going unconscious she’d become hysterical, angry or seemingly inebriated. There were some funny hypoglycemic moments, but most weren’t pretty.

One of the things that people with type-1 diabetes fear the most about trying to normalize their blood sugar is running into these types of hypoglycemic attacks.

We were pleasantly surprised, however, that these dramatic insulin reactions came to end when Nicole switched to a low-carb, high-fat diet three years ago. Since starting Buteyko Breathing, her resilience has become only greater. Nicole’s gone as low as 2.1 mmol (37 mg/dL) and can still walk, talk and do math. Yes, it’s uncomfortable. But it’s not disabling. And it takes a blood sugar lower than 3.0 mmol/L (54mg/dL) before she really even feels like there’s a problem.

Thursday afternoon, Nicole combined physical and breathing exercises without checking her blood sugar or taking any sugar. Within a half hour her glucometer read 2.1mmol/L. To prove that this is not a horribly incapacitating state – now that she’s relying more on fat and oxygen – I recorded a short interview. You can watch the video below:

While, she’s obviously not feeling her best, you can see that she’s not having a “diabetic attack.” (She would have answered the math problem quicker if our son wasn’t distracting her.)

Why is this? That’s a big subject, which I’ll save for the next post (subscribe so you don’t miss out). I’ll also share with you how a iron man triathlete (with type-1 diabetes) is finding he can now tolerate low blood sugars since changing his diet and his breathing.

Thinking outside the type-1 matrix,
–John C. A. Manley

P.S. To find out why we use carrot and beet juice for lows and how to make it quickly you can read: The Hypoglycemic’s Dilemma: How to Easily Treat Low Blood Sugar Without Glucose Tablets or Juice

P.P.S. For help adapting to normal blood sugars and higher oxygen levels – so you need not fear hypoglycemia – you can book a consult with me.

About the Author: John C. A. Manley researches and writes about alternative treatments for type-1 diabetes and its many complications. His wife, Nicole, of 15 years has had type-1 diabetes for four decades. Together they have lowered her HgbA1c below 5.5%, regained thyroid function, increased kidney function and reversed gastroparesis. Read more about their journey out of the T1D matrix or subscribe to their Diabetic Dharma blog..