Reactive hypoglycemia, please help!

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Reactive hypoglycemia, please help!


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Old 05-07-2014, 19:18   #1
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Default Reactive hypoglycemia, please help!

I am posting to this forum even though I am not diabetic, because I have found some helpful information on some of these forums. I think some diabetics may have experienced what I am going through in their past, and I hope someone can give me advice on diet and exercise. Without writing a book of everything I have ever tried and every health problem I have had, here are the basics:

I have been struggling with reactive hypoglycemia since I was 12 years old. I have a sister with the same problem. I have an average blood glucose level of 105mg/dL. I have reactive hypoglycemia and an ďaltered glycemic thresholdĒ that causes me to have hypoglycemic symptoms at 90mg/dL. I mostly have problems with dizziness and lightheadedness, inability to recall words or concentrate, shaking/trembling, and I get very irritable when Iím hungry. If my glucose ever gets down to 70mg/dL, those symptoms get much worse, plus sometimes my vision gets very blurry, I have shortness of breath and heart palpitations. I also sometimes wake up in the middle of the night hungry. Blood tests have ruled out anemia and thyroid problems. My doc warned that I need to get my bottom number down (90 mg/dL) or I might become diabetic.

I have never been obese. I was a very skinny kid and teen who thought eating all the time meant I was blessed with a high metabolism. Now I need to lose 30 pounds after having a baby. I ďcureĒ my hypo symptoms by eating several small meals a day. I canít seem to lose any weight and am stuck in sort of a catch 22 cycle. The more weight I gain, the harder it is to control my hypoglycemia, which causes me to eat more often, which then causes me to gain more weight. I have been told by everyone that I need to eat a low carb diet. My husband and I are eating a low carb diet right now, but I gained 3 pounds and he lost 15. What seems to work the best for me to balance my sugar level and not eat too many carbs is a balanced meal of complex carbs, protein, and (good) fat/oil. I am having trouble finding the right ratio of protein/carbs/fat to lose weight and still balance my sugar level. I also have trouble doing cardio, because I have to eat before and after to keep from feeling faint. If I am consuming more calories than I burn in my work out, Iím never going to lose weight. I am just hoping that the exercise will help me to burn calories throughout the day and help me sleep better at night. When I wake up in the middle of the night hungry, I have to eat a snack before going back to sleep. Thatís just adding more calories to my daily intake.

I need tips on food with a high satiety. Iíve found the only way I donít eat every 2 Ĺ to 3 hours is if I eat something that takes longer to digest and wonít spike my blood sugar. I can eat a salad and be hungry an hour later, no matter how much meat I eat with it to add protein. The only thing Iíve found that helps is eating a spinach salad, because it is high in fiber. I love seafood, but it has little to no satiety for me. I can eat it and still be hungry. I have avoided red meat my entire life, thinking that I was eating healthier, and now I find that the protein that keeps me fullest the longest is steak. I canít eat Atkins products because the alcohol sugars make me sick to my stomach. The same goes for any sugar substitutes. I need advice for healthy, filling, low carb snacks. I canít eat just a piece of fruit for a snack (or drink juice or eat a piece of candy, like diabetics do when they have a hypoglycemic episode), because it spikes my sugar and makes me feel worse. Protein powder or eating peanut butter regularly causes constipation. Greek yogurt doesnít fill me up and tends to be high in sugar. Right now, I keep trail mix or granola bars with almonds in my car in case of an emergency episode. Iím not sure these are the best snacks while dieting. Any supplements I have tried to boost my metabolism also bring on my hypo symptoms. Anything with taurine makes it so I can barely breathe and causes heart palpitations.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have read lot of info about healthy diet and exercise, but a lot of it is conflicting, and rarely does it ever offer suggestions with people who struggle with reactive hypoglycemia. I rarely ever come across any info that attempts to explain why I feel like I have to eat every 2-3 hours to keep from passing out when my glucose is only 90mg/dL. If you have experienced this and can explain it better, please let me know.

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Old 05-07-2014, 20:52   #2
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Hi, and welcome. First, try searching this site for the word reactive. There are other people who have posted about this problem (I just responded to one).

What worked for me was a low-carb/high-fat diet where I cut out all bread, cereal, rice, pasta, and potatoes. It took about six months for things to stabilize.

For satiety, fat worked for me.

Regarding the hypo symptoms, sometimes people feel hypos at 90 because they're coming down from a much higher number, or just coming down too fast. When do you hit 90? An hour after your first bite of a meal? Two hours? And what's in that meal?

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Old 05-07-2014, 22:28   #3
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Two of you new members have started threads on hypoglycemia. Here's my response in the other thread http://www.diabetesforum.com/diabete...tml#post572906


Quote:
Originally Posted by VeeJay View Post
My guess is that your breakfast is your most carb-laden meal. Especially when all you're eating is cereal and milk and OJ (pure sugar-water). What happens with hypoglycemia is that the BG goes up high, and then insulin is produced (but too much is produced) so that it gobbles up all the glucose and BG comes crashing down.

It's not the "low" that causes the symptoms, it's the fast lowering of BG that causes them.


I had hypoglycemia for years, and eating a low-carb diet helps wonders. When you aren't eating lots of carbs, and are eating protein and fats, then you won't be going on any BG roller-coaster rides. It's true that eating several meals throughout the day helps, but it helps more if these meals are less carby and more fatty.

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Old 05-08-2014, 15:07   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mar2a View Post
Hi, and welcome. First, try searching this site for the word reactive. There are other people who have posted about this problem (I just responded to one).

What worked for me was a low-carb/high-fat diet where I cut out all bread, cereal, rice, pasta, and potatoes. It took about six months for things to stabilize.

For satiety, fat worked for me.

Regarding the hypo symptoms, sometimes people feel hypos at 90 because they're coming down from a much higher number, or just coming down too fast. When do you hit 90? An hour after your first bite of a meal? Two hours? And what's in that meal?

The highest I've ever tested was at 130. My doc does think the change in 40 points within 3 hours is what causes my symptoms. These symptoms occur every day, every few hours, regardless of what I have eaten. If I have a small snack without any fat, it can happen again 30 minutes later. It's been happening for 18 years, but it's gotten worse (comes on within 2-3 hours) over the last 10 years. Like most people with RH, I gravitated towards high carb foods in my teen years. I know better now, but a high protein and high fat meal doesn't prevent me from experiencing the lightheadedness a few hours later. I'm just hoping I can wean myself off carbs (of the bread and pasta variety) altogether and stop feeling this bad after a few months. Losing weight helps, but it is difficult when you have to eat every 2-3 hours. I'm having difficulty finding the right amount of fat to keep me full, but still be able to lose weight. I'm eating more guacamole and humus. I've swapped my morning egg and cheese biscuit for eggs and oatmeal. I knew biscuits werenít healthy, but it was all I could find to keep me full for 2 hours until my lunch break. I eat more peanut butter now, but I worry I am eating too much to lose weight. My husband and I cook with coconut oil. Any snack/meal suggestions? I've found a few good ones on forums.

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Old 05-08-2014, 15:09   #5
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Thanks! I will check that out. I hate that other people experience this, but it is kind of nice to know I'm not alone!

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Old 05-08-2014, 15:17   #6
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When I was first diagnosed with hypoglycemia, from the results of a glucose tolerance test, the doctor's advice was to eat a candybar or crackers. I knew enough back then to know that was bad advice.

The internet was new then, but still, I was able to find some testimonials about handling hypoglycemia, and I found that those who were successful were on low-carb diet (back then it was more high protein than high fat - high-fat is the better of the two).

I found that whey protein powder was my friend. I mixed it with water (doesn't taste too bad) and had some first thing in the morning. I kept some in a small plastic jar in my purse for when I was caught out and about and feeling my BG going low - I'd just add some water from a drinking fountain and shake.

I know more now about how this all works, and my advice would be to increase fats and don't overeat the protein.

The LCHF way of eating is healthy for anyone, not just diabetics/hypoglycemics. It allows one to lose weight effortlessly and without feeling hungry.

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Old 05-08-2014, 15:18   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shygemini View Post
Any snack/meal suggestions? I've found a few good ones on forums.
Check out the thread about snacks in the "Diet Forum" on this board. While you're there, take a look at the meal threads.

Lots of recipes in the Recipe section, as well.

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Old 05-08-2014, 16:47   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeeJay View Post
I found that whey protein powder was my friend. I mixed it with water (doesn't taste too bad) and had some first thing in the morning. I kept some in a small plastic jar in my purse for when I was caught out and about and feeling my BG going low - I'd just add some water from a drinking fountain and shake.
I'll try the protein powder again. I have tried that before and it bothered my stomach and made me constipated (sorry for the tmi). I might just have to drink a little powder with a lot of water or try some different brands. It would be really nice to have something drinkable that I can carry on the go. I am usually in meetings in the afternoon when my sugar crashes, and not everyone is so happy with me eating in front of them.

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Old 07-28-2014, 01:56   #9
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Hello, I am new to the forum and I am experiencing nearly identical symptoms as the OP.

My last blood work my fasting glucose was 118 but my A1c was only 5.5 which is an estimated average of 111.

My blood sugar rarely gets over 120 at any time after eating. I too, find myself having to eat small frequent meals throughout the day and it is hard to keep my blood sugar up. I also believe I have an altered glycemic threshold as now any time I get in the 80s I start getting symptoms of being low. Whereas in the past I used to have to get in the low 70s and 60s to feel the symptoms.

I need to lose 20-30 pounds but it is hard to do when you have to eat all the time to keep from getting low.

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Old 07-28-2014, 02:04   #10
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Also just an FYI on what I deal with is I was feeling low a couple hours ago so I had a glass of milk, string cheese and a protein bar. I tested right after I drank the milk and was 82. 20 minutes later I was 109. Then I had a few pieces of pizza and checked 45 minutes after I ate as that is when blood sugar is supposed to peak and it was down to 94.

So I went from 82(and feeling low symptoms) to 109 and back down to 94 In less than 1 hour and 20 minutes from the first check.

It would seem that after milk, string cheese, protein bar and pizza my blood sugar would be higher than 94.


Sorry for the posts it's just really hard dealing with this roller coaster.

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