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Help Cure Reactive Hypoglycemia

Discussion in 'Reactive Hypoglycemia' started by Sarabeth23, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. pogoplum

    pogoplum Reactive hypoglycemia · Member

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    Good Morning Sarabeth

    When I was 26 years old, I first experienced what I now know to be reactive hypoglycaemia. I had numerous medical emergencies and collapsed unconscious from the low blood sugar. I was banned from driving and underwent so many tests, all of which were okay. My doctor said I most likely have sensitive blood sugar and should be careful what I eat. That was it. That was 30 years ago. It took all those years not understanding why none of the advice I heard worked. I put on over 30 kilos in weight. It was in 2014 I went on a medically controlled diet and the private doctor said if I followed his regime he'd guarantee I would not have hypos again. Stunned, I did, and he was right. The regime was very low carbs, moderate protein and high fat. Three years on, I am normal weight and sugar levels under control.
    I recommend you measure your levels before and 1 hour after every meal to understand what foods spike your levels. Personally, I have discovered that even oats and boiled carrots spike mine. I also know if a food sends my level over 11/215 within 1 hour, then I will have a hypo a few hours later. Unfortunately, I have no symptoms until my level drops to 2.8/50, about 60 seconds before I pass out.
    It is therefore critical to prevent the spikes. I never eat bread, potatoes, pasta, rice or high sugar fruits. I do eat full fat Greek yoghurt, berries and nuts/seeds for breakfast. I love tomato mozzarella (full fat) and often use peppers as a substitute for bread (e.g. For pate, tuna mayo and chicken tarragon).
    Also, worth reading Dr Zoe Harcombe's book Stop Counting Calories and Start Losing Weight for an easy to read and enlightening understanding of how our bodies process food.
    Good luck with your own journey of blood sugar control. Christina
     
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  2. pogoplum

    pogoplum Reactive hypoglycemia · Member

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    One additional suggestion. If you use The MyFitnessPal app to monitor your food intake, it will help you see your total carb intake each day. I stick to 20% carbs, 25% Protein and 55% fats so never feel hungry on 3 meals a day.
     
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  3. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    Hi Christina, hope you are ok?
    I couldn't have posted anything better.
    It is all about education and what the food does to you.
    We have a weird reaction to many basic foodstuff.
    Your story is a reflection of mine and so glad you have control.
    Best wishes.
     
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  4. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru

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    Hi and welcome!

    You've mentioned that you are not sure what to eat, and I think the quickest and best intro to Low Carbing is this one.
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/60-seconds
    That whole website is a goldmine of useful information, ideas and recipes.

    Congratulations on getting a diagnosis! Many of us RHers don't get one without a massive struggle, and end up bumbling around for years trying to find out what is wrong. So well done you, and your doc, for getting you that diagnosis. :)

    My own experience is that I feel better and better the lower carb I go, To the point that I now only have RH hypos when I eat something I know I shouldn't. That is a rarity, nowadays (maybe twice a year), so I can assure you that it IS possible to feel much better than you do at the moment. Imagine going from 365 days a year feeling afraid, stressed and grotty, to 363 days a year when you feel well. That is where I am now, and I am PROFOUNDLY grateful for all the Low Carb info I have been offered which has made it possible.

    Glad you found us :D
     
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  5. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    Being wary of something new and the thinking outside of the box will have your anxiety question you about the information and help we are giving you!
    Unfortunately, we can't charge you for this information!
    The best thing for for me was finding my energy and the belief that I had at last my mind had become clear, I knew that what I had learned was working.

    If you do find that you need help, do ask. The experience we have been through, will help you through this time.

    Best wishes
     
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  6. Sarabeth23

    Sarabeth23 Don't have diabetes · Member

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    I have found so much help on here. I want to also get better and help people with RH like everyone on here. It's a terrifying thing to deal with. Everyone is right about Drs not knowing how to help with RH. Thank you Lamont for your responses and input. I really appreciate it.
     
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  7. Sarabeth23

    Sarabeth23 Don't have diabetes · Member

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    I have yet to pass out only because I keep close eye on my sugar all through the day. I can't wait until I don't freak out about not having my glucose monitor on me. I'm happy to hear you are doing better Christina thank you for sharing your story with me. For the longest time my question was if my sugar is low why would I need to stop eating sugar to level it. I was confused on it. But everyone on here makes since and to actually hear it works is amazing.
     
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  8. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    What most doctors don't understand is that we have a natural intolerance to foods that raises our blood glucose. When our blood raises so quickly, that creates the symptoms. The spikes combined with the hypos create more symptoms.
    So to be healthy we need to eat as few carbs as possible, that gets rid of the symptoms. But it has to be a balance for the right nutritional value to live healthy.
    If that makes sense! (Confuse myself sometimes!)

    One of things that we go by and it is crucial that it is necessary to go by,
    No hypers, no hypos!
    Simply put, we don't raise blood glucose levels, so the likelihood of a hypo goes away!

    Because we keep in normal blood glucose range. We get our energy from ketones, not from carbs, for some reason, this helps with the weight loss, that helps with insulin resistance, we don't create the second insulin response, so no excess insulin, because of the fats we digest slower so no glucose surge. No excess glucose, normal blood levels. The balance in our blood is normal, our bodies like it there. The brain is happy, the body is happy, you've got good energy, the symptoms go!

    Doctors believe that we need glucose from complex carbs to ensure our brains get enough to ensure good brain function.
    For us it's the opposite, if our brains need glucose, the liver provides.
    Carbs create the symptoms of brain fog, the forgetfulness, the shakes, the headaches, the anxiety. Going very low carb gets rid of them!

    Doctors don't understand, even my endocrinologist keeps suggesting I need them!
    I don't!
    Of course it is how much carbs we have, around 20 gms is about the tolerance levels for us. But I don't count, I have never counted carbs or calories, I tried long ago, but I found my monitor was better at giving me the results I was needing to steer me through the process of testing, testing, experimenting, testing, recording, and recording in my food diary. You would be advised to use one as you track your journey. You will then have something to see how your tolerance levels are doing.

    Sorry for the long rambling, but, there is so much you can do and it is about giving you valuable information.

    Best wishes.
     
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  9. Sarabeth23

    Sarabeth23 Don't have diabetes · Member

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    I went my whole life eating sweets and soda. Even after i had my child i went back down to 110 pounds. My metabolism worked amazing. Then this started happening a 1 1/2 years ago. I have went a year without eating sweets and caffeine. That was a big step for me because I was used to it.
    Are you on thyroid medicine? They put me on 50mg and for a few days my sugar was worse and so I stopped taking them. I never thought it was my thyroid. It was at a 3 and they wanted my thyroid at 1. Well it got there and I was still the same. My fasting insulin was 23 and within 2 months it was 20. But they haven't tested me again in months said that the test didn't matter. I know this is off subject. I was just curious if other people were on thyroid medicine as well.
     
  10. pogoplum

    pogoplum Reactive hypoglycemia · Member

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    I am on Levothyroxine. Because I had a thyroidectomy in January, so will be on it for life. And, yes, it does make blood sugar levels higher. This just means I have to be more careful not to have too many carbs.
     
  11. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    No, I'm not on any other meds except, sitagliptin, Irbesarten and aspirin.
    I also take an antihistamine for my chronic burning itch at night!
    I think the fasting insulin test is unnecessary because it is not that stage that creates the excess insulin that creates the hypos!
     
  12. Sarabeth23

    Sarabeth23 Don't have diabetes · Member

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    Once you changed your diet how long did it take for you to see your blood sugar improve?
     
  13. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    Not straight away!
    It took a few weeks and I was advised to take it slowly, which I did, but I did see improvements slowly after the first couple of weeks.
    Your body needs to adapt to the new diet.
    The need to be strong and resolute is not going to be easy.
    But it will be worth it!

    I would possibly think that your average blood levels are above normal. You probably still have too much insulin and your insulin resistance is still high.
    Until you get your normal levels in normal range more often, will you feel the benefits from very low carb.

    We have different bodies and tolerance to insulin and insulin resistance, so it's logical that we all take individual differences in how long it takes to get there!

    Have you noticed anything at all, yet?

    Best wishes.
     
  14. rahul371

    rahul371 · Newbie

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    i am having low sugar after 2hrs of eating.. it was just 68 after two hours of eating. i feel weired symptoms like weekness, shaky legs, brain fog etc.. so m planning for an appointment with diabeties specilaist but at the same time i have read that there is no medicine out tgere for RH help.. n they say that cutting carbs is the only way to go.. so m very much confused to do anything.. what should i do? shoupd i go for a doctor or i try cut my carbs out? n at the same time m vegetarian.. and my diet mostly consist of wheat, pulses, lentils, porridge and nuts.. i think right now m consuming atleast 120 to 150 gms of carbs or even more.. m in pain.. please help me on this.. i shll b thnkful for this.. thanx..
     
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  15. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    Hi and welcome to our forum.
    I cannot diagnose you and I'm not sure by what you have posted, that my advice is what you should be doing.
    However, if you are having episodes of Hypoglycaemia then seeing a specialist endocrinologist is a must. Only a specialist can order the tests which must be supervised in a medical facility, as mine were done in a hospital.
    RH is a condition in there is no cure, but you can control the symptoms, with diet.
    I'm not vegan, but there is vegan low carbers on this site.
    If you do have a type of hypoglycaemia, the food that you gave as an example, are too carb laden and would make me very ill.
    I would read the following forums, on this site, first this sub forum for RH. Then the vegetarian forum, they have some great recipes and ideas. Then the success stories forum, I myself, have had great success with very low carb diet to control my RH.
    Do you have a glucometer, to test your blood sugar levels? I would keep a food diary to record my readings, my food, my portion size and exercise.
    If you do have a glucometer, how do you use it, when do you test?

    You need to understand why you are getting low blood sugar levels. You need to understand, what triggers the hypos, the symptoms, the reason why you need help,
    Getting that diagnosis is the first step in your future health.
     
  16. kitedoc

    kitedoc Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @pogoplum, Just a thought about carrots, etc. and with the provisio that for carbs in your low carb diet that all I say is best discussed with a dietician. If you google mendosa.com, and click on Glycemic values ( American spelling tut-tut) the SECOND table with food/GI and GL columns will give the GI (see definition for Glycemic Index) but essentially how high and for how long a particular food when eaten will raise the BSL compared to glucose (which = 100) and GL ( see Glycemic Load) essentially the density or amount of carbs per weight of food ( Recommendations for diabetics are GI , 55 and GL < 10)
    you can see that under Breakfast cereals several brands of UK rolled oats range of GI = 55 to 63 and GL = 13 - 19, AND
    Instant Oats have a average GI = 79 and GL = 21.
    If milk is added to rolled oats (the fat in milk slows absorption and thus influences the GI and GL values, UK brands rolled oats with milk average GI = 45 and GL = 11.
    For boiled carrots: under Vegetables (way, down the list !!) range of GI = 60 to 92 and GL 4 to 6.
    I am assuming that for you, prescribed a low carb/high fat diet, that food with a GI over 55 and GL over 10, also depending on quantity might be more likely to increase your BSL and possibly make you more prone to a reactive hypo latter. Of course that is just my thought and your dietician is best placed to guide you on this.
    If you read other posts in the RH forum you will see some sufferers also have food sensitivities/intolerances which precipitate their RH. Another subject of possible relevance, perhaps.
    I wish you all the Best in sorting through your condition and finding the best solutions.
     
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  17. nomoreporridge

    nomoreporridge · Newbie

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    Hi everyone. Older post but so helpful for me THANKS! I'm still in that mind prison of anxiety and uncertainty that comes with the hypos and not understanding why as I'm not diabetic (as far as I know). V little help from GPs, I believe this is a rare enough condition that most of them had to google what my symptoms meant. I'm on levothyroxine 75mcg for auto immune thyroidits which I take every morning but otherwise fit and well. In the last year or so but particularly last 1-2 weeks I had some horrible hypo episodes where my voice came out slurred and had blurred vision in one eye (all checked normal at the docs). I bought a glucose monitor and was able to record readings of 3.7mmol/L around 2-3 hrs after breakfast and coffee. Breakfast consists of porridge made with water, to which i'd add a large banana and blueberries (sometimes a tea spoon of honey). I use the Flahavan's oats that need cooking in a pot so their GI should be low and release should be slow but I still get the hypos. Smth I want to add is that after breakfast+coffee(black), my blood sugar doesn't spike (is under 8.2mmol/L), or at least didn't show that after 1 hr or 1.5 hrs so I'm not sure if this is classed as RH. Will be phoning the GP on Monday to ask for a referral to an endocrinologist but until then I will stop the porridge, albeit I'd like to test my blood sugar more often after I eat it to see if that's the issue and not smth else.
    I guess my question here is, could I have RH without the blood sugar spike?
     
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  18. catinahat

    catinahat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum @nomoreporridge
    As I understand it low blood sugar is not a symptom of diabetes. T1's no longer produce their own insulin and in the case of T2's we produce plenty of insulin but it no longer works effectively. So without medication or diet control our problem is high blood sugar, only too much medication can cause hypos.
    With reactive hypoglycemia the problem is over production of insulin in response to eating carbs. I don't know if it's possible for someone with RH to experience a hypo without first having a spike, I suppose it depends on whether it's your 1st or 2nd phase insulin response that's gone wonky. Of course it's possible that you are just missing the spike (if there is one) not all carbs are equal, some hit our blood stream quickly other more complex carbs can take a lot longer to be digested. I hope someone more knowledgeable than me comes along to help
    @Lamont D . Maybe a continuous blood glucose monitor would be helpful, expensive I know but it would show which foods you are eating are causing the excessive insulin production
     
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  19. nomoreporridge

    nomoreporridge · Newbie

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    Thanks catinahat. Appreciate the input, my GP told me the same thing, that it's not diabetes if my blood sugar is low. I have put in an order for a CGM and I`m hoping I can help others by puttin this on here. FreeStyle Libre 2 have a 2 week trial on a CGM sensor which they send out to you for free. They send a voucher code to your email which you use when purchasing it and costs nothing.
    sample.freestyle.abbott/gb-en/freestylelibre.html

    P.S. I didn't mention in my previous post, but I have felt better and didn't have low blood sugar on a morning where I had nothing to eat 'til about 3.30PM and I have done some 100 pushups as well, which do burn some calories given i'm a 99kg male (or at least I like to think so).
     
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  20. alanboo

    alanboo Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    feeling lowis one of the worst experiences and very dangerous one..thanks to my nightrider that it beeps multiple alarms when sugars go low so that one can take immediate action. Reactive Hypo can be a threatening situation in case if not treated on time. Blucon is very useful and highly recommended in such cases.
     
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