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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

The forum is requiring I put in a diagnosis and year, but I am not a diabetic, but a hypogyclemic. I am asking for my father who is a Type II diabetic for about 14 years now since the mid-1990s.

My mother was a lifelong Type I from the age of 8, but passed away a few years ago from diabetic complications and heart disease. :(

Anyway, he has been able to keep most symptoms at bay by drastically reducing his intake down to roughly 900-1200 calories per day, that I can see of what he eats. He keeps his weight at 174 nevertheless at 5'10", and it goes up to about 190 when he eats more calories.

He tells me his blood glucose is in the normal range was was previously on metformin, but was experiencing headaches after he ate, so his doctor took him off of that. He is, however, still on meds for his arthritis and heart disease.

He is in fairly decent shape considering however, he's treating his arthritis naturally also with various fruits and that seems to be helping. However, he still still getting the headaches.

From what I can tell, although he drastically reduces his caloric intake, his choices of food are pretty bad. Viritually no veggies, or fruits of any kind. Breakfast will tend to be gravy and biscuits, he will snack on maybe a chocolate bar (kitkats and the like), and then dinner will be very tiny, such as a half a bowl of chili con carne, or half of a steak. He will nurse a single can of soda for two days.

So basically, while I wouldn't call his diet stellar, I would call his portions birdlike, and I'd suspect the headaches are as a result of low blood glucose, as I know all too well from those symptoms. The odd part is, although I had these symptoms as well when I wasn't eating enough, is his headaches are AFTER he eats, usually when he goes to bed, so that keeps him from eating, which he suspects is causing it.

From what I've read, sugar seems to be a culprit in all of the headache material I've read from hypoglycemic attacks to migraines. However, if the headaches are a result of him not eating enough, he should be eating more. When he went overseas two years ago, his weight plummeted to 138, so I KNOW he's getting more calories than what I'm seeing, though I suspect since he eats so little, his calories are closer to 1500, rather than 2,000 or so per day because of starvation mode and all those carbs.

He's pretty stubborn about what he eats, so suggesting more wholesome foods in general is kinda sketchy to him, but he is keeping the calories VERY low, low enough I suspect hypoglycemia.

Any any rate, has anyone else experienced anything similar, or has any advice, it's very strange. Low blood sugar is my suspicion, but the fact that it occurs AFTER eating is suspicious.
 

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So is he doing his own testing or are these lab tests which he tells you are within normal range? He needs to have a meter at home & test at the time these headaches hit; then you won't have to speculate whether it's low blood sugar or something else. Is he doing any of the cooking or is he eating packaged meals?

I would say it's HIGH blood sugar. Biscuits & gravy for breakfast? That's just asking for a spike. Chocolate candy for snacks? Asking for another spike. Chili con carne can spike too, depending on the recipe. The only diabetes-healthy food he's eating is the steak and I hope he isn't using catsup or steak sauce on it. I also hope those sodas are diet sodas, but I bet they aren't. It appears that he's doing nothing to control his diabetes.

He's eating WAY too much carbohydrate and not enough protein and fat. That's why his weight increases with additional calories - they're calories from carbohydrate. If you have read any other threads in our forum, you're bound to run into the subject of low-carb/high-fat diet, with regard to weight loss and blood sugar control. The old propaganda of lowering calories being the way to control weight & blood sugar is just so much horsefeathers.

If he has a meter, test his blood when he's having one of these headaches. That's the place to start. It's doubtful you can reason with him about his diet, but if he wants to be rid of the headaches, then he'd better learn to be more reasonable. (I have a stubborn dad of my own, y'see . . . I've been there. Mine doesn't even say "no", he just disregards what we tell him & does what he wants.)

p.s. I'm confused about this part "
he's treating his arthritis naturally also with various fruits and that seems to be helping. However, he still still getting the headaches.

From what I can tell, although he drastically reduces his caloric intake, his choices of food are pretty bad. Viritually no veggies, or fruits of any kind."
So is he eating fruit or not? Fruit is going to jack up his blood sugar too.

 

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I also wonder what "normal ranges" are. His diet is terrible for a diabetic whether it is low calorie or not. As a diabetic he should be under 100 for fasting and
120-140 or under after meals. How many times a day does he test? If he is not eating enough calories he will assistance from his liver by converting stored glycogen into glucose. I would guess the headaches are from way too many carbs and too much insulin production. The only way to know if you are hypo, under 70 is if you test. I wold suggest more fat and protein and less biscuits and gravy, fruit and Candy bars.
 

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You keep talking about his caloric intake when its carbohydrates that cause a high BG in T2s for T1s its calories you need to worry about.

You have read that high BG can cause headaches well carbs will cause high BG
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
p.s. I'm confused about this part "[/COLOR][/SIZE]he's treating his arthritis naturally also with various fruits and that seems to be helping. However, he still still getting the headaches.

From what I can tell, although he drastically reduces his caloric intake, his choices of food are pretty bad. Viritually no veggies, or fruits of any kind."
So is he eating fruit or not? Fruit is going to jack up his blood sugar too.

It's confusing, for his arthritis, he'll keep a bunch of cherries in the fridge (occasionally), and eat a few, and for his arthritis, he treats it with a Filipino juice called Ampalaya, which is a bitter melon folk treatment from the Philippines for both arthritis and diabetes, which seems to yield positive results at least on the arthritis. He's anglo, his wife is Filipina, I'm anglo, lol.

But overall, he's pretty anti-vegetable, when he orders a hamburger, he asks that it be removed of lettuce, tomato, or onion. He will make a bacon and tomato sandwich now and then. The only veggies he will eat is corn (sweet or on the cob), he does tend to avoid things like ketchup for the most part, but is a serial baker, bakes cakes, pies, fudge, but to his credit, as I said, eats birdlike proportions.

The food in the refrigerator will sit for months nearly rotting because he doesn't eat it. But what he does eat, is yeah, really bad for a diabetic.

But if we are out eating together, when I order a dinner salad before the meal, he will chide me and call me a "vegetarian" lol.

But he's good at avoiding condiments or keeping them very low. I've never seen him test personally, but he visits his doctor regularly and was taken off the metformin.

His elder brother was also a type II diabetic but severely morbidly obese in the 300-400 range, but passed away from complications years ago, so I believe that my dad feels like as long as he's keeping his weight and portions under control that that's controlling his diabetes. When he was a young man, my dad's typical weight range was 195-205.

I've never seen my dad test personally, I can only go by his word, and surely not before and after meals. Once a day, when he does at most, but I feel I would be pushing things if I asked to see the results personally. But I do suspect his diabetes could be out of control, as with all that sugar it's theoretically possible he could be keeping his weight down as a result of ketoacidosis and be severely hyperglycemic. However, what turns down that theory is his regular doctor visits.

Dinners for him are usually steak and baked potato, he also likes spaghetti, but as I said, very, very light portions. He will eat half the steak and pick at the potato, but put butter or sour cream on it. For spaghetti, he will eat a quarter of a small plate, MAYBE one garlic bread. He doesn't always eat dinner. Sometimes, his meal is just his breakfast.

So I'm not sure if he is controlling his diabetes by portion control alone or not, or if that is possible. I know it's like way, way too many carbs and sugars. The headaches tell me something is up though. I wish I knew how often he tests, the numbers, and if I could trust what he tells me in that regard.

I know he eats more than I see, because I saw his chocolate stash one day, but his thin weight and those types of foods tells me it isn't all that much.

At any rate, thank you everyone. :) Will keep you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I forgot to add, to top everything off, my dad is a smoker, but on that too, he's cut back to about a pack per week or so (or maybe it's per day, I forget), but it's less. But I know that lace cigarettes with sugar too, which could aggravate his diabetes even more.
 
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