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How to raise BG without sugar?

Discussion in 'Reactive Hypoglycemia' started by Atlantico, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. Atlantico

    Atlantico Reactive hypoglycemia · Well-Known Member

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    My 'normal'BG is around 5.2 and when I drop to 5 my thigh muscles start seizing up and I get symptoms similar to hypos and these get worse the lower I go. I feel at my best around 5.6 but my problem is, if I use sugar based things to pick me up, the sugar causes me to have dreadful pains behind my eyes which last 24 to 48 hours.
    This morning when I got up I was 4.6 and had rolled oats porridge, skimmed milk, flaked almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and yogurt. I know this is slow release but it didn't get me above 5.
    Does anyone have any suggestions for raising my BG without sugar. Thanks. Atlantico
     
  2. Kim Possible

    Kim Possible Type 1 · Expert

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    How does exercise affect your BG?
    Some exercise, such as weights or interval training raises my BG.
    I am not suggesting a full on body building gym session but you may find something like walking up a short steep slope or doing some star jumps or lifting some tin cans may help.

    Other things such as stress and illness are harder to manage.

    However, your preferred BG is very precise and our test meters are not this accurate.
    Perhaps there is some other issue - headache for 24 to 48 hours from some sugar sounds to me (but I am not a doctor and do not suffer form RH) like it could be something that you should see your doctor about.
     
  3. Emile_the_rat

    Emile_the_rat Type 1.5 · Well-Known Member

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    Did you get a diagnosis, just ask. Because it does not sounds like RH or any blood sugar issue at all to me.

    You won’t get hypo symptoms at such levels, there is no point in keeping blood sugar above 5 mmol instead of 4 mmol.

    Also, a rapid increase in blood sugar or hyperglycemia does not make dreadful pain behind eyes for 24-48 hours. This sound psychical to me.

    Also tight muscles are not a common symptom of hypoglycemia. Can I ask if you have had any readings below 4 mmol?
     
  4. Atlantico

    Atlantico Reactive hypoglycemia · Well-Known Member

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    Hello and thank you for your reply. I had an extended glucose tolerance test done in hospital with a laboratory result of 2.1
    Regards. Atlantico
     
  5. Atlantico

    Atlantico Reactive hypoglycemia · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I do enjoy exercise but this is usually where I struggle. I can more or less keep myself steady at home but as soon as I exert energy (I play golf and love brisk walking), then my BG drops and my muscles shake terribly, can't think clearly, my brain feels foggy etc. I don't seem able to eat enough of the right food to keep my BG high enough.
    Regards, Atlantico
     
  6. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Hi,
    I think it is worth remembering that the range of hypo symptoms is huge, and we each vary in the way we experience hypos. I have never had visual disturbance, but some people get it regularly. I get hypo-rage (scary) but other people report feeling sleepy and woosey. It is a looooong list.

    I suppose I am asking that we don’t declare ‘you aren’t having hypos because I don’t experience the same things you do.’
    That is unhelpful, and makes people feel that they are unwelcome here.
    - and they ARE welcome. We are here to support each other.

    We may be experts in our own RH or Diabetes, but we aren’t experts on anyone else’s.

    My own experience of RH hypos is that they are hard and fast. I had no idea how low I was going, because by the time I had realised what was happening, got the meter out and tested, my readings were all in the 5s. I ended up doubting myself. Was I making all of this up? Was I a drama queen and it was all in my mind? Was i mentally ill?

    Then I got the freestyle libre, and was able to see what was going on - and yes, they were real. Readings in the 3s, 2s and 1s. One was lower than the Libre can read. But the bounce back up (stress hormones driving a liver dump and blood glucose surge) meant that it just took a v short time to be back up to the 4s and 5s.

    The effect was horrible, left me feeling dreadful, but the readings in the 5s simply didn’t tell the whole story.

    @Atlantico
    Please carry on exploring your own experiences, and testing how your body experiences RH and hypos. We really are all different, but collectively, our individual experiences link together to show the whole range of possible variety.
     
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    #6 Brunneria, Nov 6, 2018 at 2:07 PM
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  7. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    @Atlantico

    Regarding your question about raising bg without sugar... phew! Complex question, and the answer is likely quite different for a non diabetic.

    I would suggest that you combine carbs with fats and proteins to experiment and see how things work for you, with the best idea being to avoid the lows in the first place. :) that is, of course, easier said than done!

    I find snacking on nuts is v good to avoid dipping into the hypo in the first place.
    Similarly, i find a slow release snack bar (e.g. peanut 9bar, or nutty snack bar, even some bitter choc) will ‘head the hypo off at the pass’. Much more comfortable than waiting for it to hit, then treating.

    I have had sugar-high-headaches on occassion, but they never last like yours do. And sometimes my eye muscles ache. No idea why!

    If the sugar is mixed with fat or protein (choc or yog, or similar) then that reduces the effect, mainly because it reduces the speed of ‘the hit’.

    Mixing carbs with fat and/or protein and/or fibre reduces the speed they are digested. So they are less effective at rescuing us rapidly from a hypo, but they do mean we can avoid the precipitous highs and lows.

    Hope that helps. :)
     
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    #7 Brunneria, Nov 6, 2018 at 2:24 PM
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  8. Atlantico

    Atlantico Reactive hypoglycemia · Well-Known Member

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    Hello Brunneria, first of all, thank you for your very supportive comments.
    I really appreciate all of your advice and what you say makes so much sense. I will certainly try implementing as much as possible. Thank you so much. Kind regards, Atlantico.
     
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  9. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    Would it perhaps be better to avoid grains and seeds first thing in a morning - when many people find that they are most resistant to insulin - by eating porridge etc and low fat you are starting off a rollercoaster.
    It is touted as slow release - well my insides obviously didn't get the memo about that, and during my recovery I had some very wobbly mid afternoons until I began to eat breakfasts with a few gm of carbs, 10 at the most, and that seemed to settle things down for the rest of the day.
     
  10. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    @Brunneria has given you some great advice and pointing out that everyone is different, but I would try lower my carbs intake even more, because I believe you are still suffering symptoms, from whatever it is that is causing them, and you may be still getting a rebound effect from the food you are eating.
    The idea that starting the day without carbs at all will set up the day for whatever you do. Not having to try and push your blood levels back up is a sign that something is pushing it down, and the usual suspects are carbs.
    As a long time RH patient, I have found certain foods are what triggers the symptoms.
    I don't eat them even though they are supposed to be healthy and nutritious. Because they aren't healthy for me.
    The symptoms are your brain telling you to have something that will give your brain glucose quickly, it is a signal that is not wanted, because the message is not what your body or brain needs, it is so use to having a quick fix, because of the gastric dumping. You have to train your body to stop doing this, only good fats and proteins in a (for you) a healthy balance. This will take time, and means lots of testing and experimentation, recording and getting rid of the food you are intolerant to.
    A food intolerance is similar to a food allergy, but it only effects your blood glucose levels. But both will bring on the symptoms. If you had a peanut allergy, would you eat peanuts?
    In my experience, the best way is to find something as has been suggested, a bite of something that will nudge you into normal blood levels, rather than above, is essential to stop the rebound effect. Since diagnosis, a plain biscuit is plenty to just nudge you into normal levels. The last thing you need is to rebound again. That is why, fifteen minutes after the very small carbs, you need to test again to see if has worked, if it has, then have a small very low carb meal, this should satiate you, but you really need to stop having the episodes. Are your fasting blood glucose levels in the morning normal? Do you fast?

    Exercise is important, too much is not good, too little is not good. Once you get good control, your energy levels will increase, you can do more. Golf should be okay, as long as you haven't overdone the carbs beforehand, walking, swimming, gentle exercise is always good. Strenuous exercise for me is out, it will give my liver a chance to stimulate a liver dump, more glucose than you need and raise your blood glucose levels.

    Understanding how and why you are getting hypo episodes is as important as how to treat and get really good control, because dietary intake is the only way to treat RH.
    Since I got really good control and avoided my intolerance foods, I have not had the hypos I did.

    The list of food you have posted is very bad for me, rolled oats, hypo!
    Skimmed milk, lactose intolerant! Hypo!
    Yoghurt, if it is low fat, lactose and added sugar intolerant! hypo! Full fat, a couple of spoonfuls okay!

    Yes, it is slow release but the way your body metabolises these intolerant foods increase the likelihood of hypos, the gastric dumping triggers the glucose initially swamping the background insulin, after this dumping the overshoot of insulin will drop you into hypo levels. But wether they go actually into hypo levels, it will still trigger the symptoms. It is the rapidity of the glucose dumping, will give you the roller coaster ride you are getting, up and down, from the moment you start eating your breakfast, it is not surprising you are getting lots of different symptoms.
    Before diagnosis, I had a continuous headache behind my eyes for years, it wasn't there in the morning, but come midday, it was there. Since diagnosis and control, no headache! The same with a lot of symptoms.
    My endocrinologist asked me to list my symptoms. I nearly filled a page from a foolscap pad, and then he asked if I had others and they were added.
    It can be really long list of symptoms, some like being itchy, vivid dreams, and of course forgetfulness, or memory loss, forgetting things, oh, I've said that!

    Keep asking, knowledge is important, find those intolerant foods.

    Best wishes
     
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  11. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Thanks @Lamont D :)
    I forgot to mention food intolerances.
    Mine include whey, soya, and especially gluten. There are more, but they bore me so much I expect them to bore others even more. ;)

    For me, gluten seems to be the biggie. My bg levels become much more unstable and unpredictable for several days after eating gluten, and it triggers an autoimmune reaction in the form of aching joints and psoriasis as well.

    My personal view is that food intolerances are key to understanding RH, but I don’t have any studies or research to back up that opinion, and I have no idea if it applies to a minority or a majority of RHers. :)
     
  12. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    I am of the opinion that intolerance to certain foods have a bearing on everything we suffer from, basically, it may be called something akin to inflammation.
    Our gut bacteria, has a huge bearing on how we respond to food, the trigger to release hormones to metabolise nutrition and how it effects our health.
    How many times have you heard, eating or drinking too much of one type of food is really bad for you, eat everything in moderation, have a healthy balanced diet! A good lifestyle!
    If your immune system is healthy, so will your well being and general health.
    Poison is not poison until it becomes too much in your body at any one time, most medication is bad for you if you overdose! The same applies to so called healthy foods. If your hormonal responses are out of whack!
    I hold the belief, we are what we eat and our bodies adapt to the signal our brains keep giving us, when we are hungry( can't remember that one) it means your brain is wanting what ever it wants to alleviate the symptoms or lack of nutrients. It does not mean food necessarily, as with hydration, your brain doesn't tell you directly you need water, but, you become thirsty, it is not to salve your thirst, or moisten your mouth. It is to rehydrate the liquid within your body to get back to normal levels that you have used.

    Basically, it is what we eat, how healthy us RH ers can become.
    So many times I have said avoiding intolerance to certain foods is the key to better health.

    Mine are the usual suspects, potatoes, wheat, grains, rice, cooked vegetables, basically, I'm carb intolerant! Anything over 3-5% carbs is too much.

    I believe a gut bacterial infection called heliocobacter pylori was the catalyst to alter my vulnerability to carbs, it changed my chemical hormonal response to carbs. It gave me a very weak first insulin response, followed by an overshoot of secondary insulin response to the glucose. And basically, no carbs, no hyper, no hypos!

    I'm still learning about RH.

    Can't help it, I'm weird!

    Best wishes @Brunneria
     
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  13. Atlantico

    Atlantico Reactive hypoglycemia · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I will take your advice and tomorrow morning I will try a carb free breakfast and see if that helps.
    Regards, Atlantico
     
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  14. Atlantico

    Atlantico Reactive hypoglycemia · Well-Known Member

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  15. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    @Atlantico, baby steps, baby steps!
    Please take it easy on yourself, I think you are reading too much in your under 4 readings, there is a debate on how low a hypo starts or is a hypo under 4?
    3.9 is not a hypo, as we are different, my hypo symptoms start around 3.6, and would take action then, but you get the start of symptoms, so something like you did is preventative rather than an actual hypo.
    My endocrinologist says that for a non diabetic 3.5 is a hypo. But I would always take action if I know that it is a rapid drop. Don't forget, that rapid rises and drops in blood glucose levels would give you the same symptoms.
    Well done on your breakfast! That sounds wonderful to me!
    If you don't mind me asking, what did you fry your egg in?
    Fasting levels are normal and if you can call us normal, (I'm totally weird, according to my GP and endo!) Staying in normal levels is the aim. So, in my experience because of the 72 hours fasting test I did in hospital, taught me many things, including how a good fasting regime can be so beneficial to my health.
    Fasting doesn't alter blood glucose levels unless you do strenuous exercise or because of another condition. It remains in normal levels all the time.
    So, your body reverts to a fasting state, which means the trigger from your hormonal response doesn't happen and any excess hormones roaming around will be used up. Your body uses the glucose, insulin and if you have hyperglycaemia, hyperinsulinaemia and insulin resistance, this is lowered the more times you fast.
    It doesn't have to be drastic, just missing breakfast or any other meal as long as your blood glucose levels are in normal levels before you fast. Think of your last meal before going to bed, say 9pm, If you miss breakfast, that is a fast of fifteen hours if eat at midday. I will often not eat till I get home from work, which is about 4pm, from the night before.
    I have to tell you, I am in ketosis. Which means I get my energy from ketones rather than from carbs. If you are like me because of RH and the gastric dumping, the lower the carbs, the better I am, so if you continually eat very, very low carb, you will find yourself in ketosis. A lot of diabetics especially T2s, have a lot of success with being in ketosis.
    It may not be for you, or for some reason you can't!
    The only way to find out is to actually do it!
    I will finish with what I started, baby steps, take care of your health, think about what has been happening to you, is there a better way to care for yourself?
    I found out!
    With RH and gastric dumping, we are literally carb intolerant, and it is necessary to avoid as much as possible.
    What we eat, can cause some serious symptoms, we have to think outside the box, healthy foods are not healthy for us, we are weird!
    We have no alternative.
    Eat to our meters.
    If you suffer symptoms, it is because we are going to go hypo. Not going hypo is so much better.

    My best wishes.
    Keep asking, take it easy!

    Just, Lamont please!!!!!:)
     
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  16. Atlantico

    Atlantico Reactive hypoglycemia · Well-Known Member

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    Hello Lamont
    Thank you again for your prompt reply.
    You asked what I cooked my egg in, I always use olive oil for cooking. I have decided to take your advice and miss breakfast tomorrow and see how I feel.
    When I have read previous posts from yourself I didn't realise you had Rapid Gastric Emptying, it is good to be able to speak to someone about this. Anyone else I have heard of with it have had stomach surgery but I haven't and don't know what caused it. Actually, mine started in 1997 but it was 2012 before I finally got it diagnosed.
    Regards, Atlantico
     
    #16 Atlantico, Nov 7, 2018 at 8:19 PM
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  17. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    Just to give you an idea how quickly I spike from my experimental meals,
    I had normal levels before the meal 4.7. I ate one medium sized potato, half a tin of beans and a pork loin chop. My 30 min levels was 12. One hour 14.6!
    So after eating just the same sized potato without the meat and beans, it still reached 13.9 after an hour.
    I know that you probably dump quicker than me. But it showed me that every time I spiked I would go hypo. And the symptoms were really bad.

    I will tell you, that I had a bacterial infection in my stomach, which I have read, probably caused the problem, it is called heliocobacter pylori.
    The symptoms are similar to stomach ulcers, lots of wind, problems with bowels, reflux, indigestion. I was having these symptoms and I got a referral for an endoscopy.
    The treatment is a dose of antibiotics, which cured it completely and I have really good gut bacteria.
    But, I'm convinced that both the bacteria and the cure changed my response to food and particularly anything carbs or sugars.
    From reading the forum and other experiences I have read about, only 100% virgin olive oil should have no effect on bloods, but I only use animal fats as I don't like the feeling from olive oil and I'm just happier knowing that I have no worries from fats. Vegetable oils are a definite miss for me, from reading again, I have observed myself that these oils can be unhealthy.
    I'm not anti vegan or vegetarian, it is just my body telling me that these oils are not for me. I can't abide cooked vegetables and i have a dairy intolerance, wheat intolerance, grain intolerance and of course starchy vegetables intolerance.
    It can be a battle to convince not only yourself but others of what is happening to you. I have had plenty of conversations with dieticians and nutritionists (I work with one!) Never mind my GP, dsn, and endo! This is we're my food diary comes in and the results speak for themselves, also, my energy levels and good health (especially for my age!) And I admit to them all, that how I go about my lifestyle and my food choices to ensure my health. You only have to read my threads about my last few annual review results, how healthy my system is now, my body can and does live without carbs, I'm in ketosis permanently, this is where my body likes to be.
    I am really aware of what is known as, hypo or hyper awareness, I know very quickly now, when my blood levels go up or down below normal levels, that is because my lifestyle has been without as few as possible carbs for over four years now.


    I hope I'm not overloading you with too much advice about my personal experience, on how to try and get your health and life back.

    Just keep asking and let us know how you get on.

    Best wishes.
     
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  18. Atlantico

    Atlantico Reactive hypoglycemia · Well-Known Member

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    Hello Lamont,
    It was interesting reading how you have overcome all your problems and intolerances and come through it feeling so well. You are an inspiration.
    My dumping is classed as late dumping as my symptoms happen between 1 and 3 hours.
    Yesterday I missed breakfast completely and had my lunch at 12 noon. I was perfectly fine and wasn't even hungry at lunch time. My BG stayed around 5 which was okay. How often would you suggest fasting?
    Regards, Atlantico
     
  19. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    I am now of the opinion and it does go against all medical advice I have had over the past twenty years or so. That really, we eat too much, we can survive eating little amounts of nutrition depending on on our metabolic rate and how much we need that nutrition. I eat randomly, never sticking to meal times, always having small low carb meals, when I feel like it, often fasting throughout the day, never sticking to ritual or planning too much, if I cook, the freezer is my friend, for curries, soups, or some fresh meat prepared for later in the week, sausages, gammon, pork, in the fridge and chicken whichever way you like to prepare. Salad vegetables in the fridge, always without the dressing of course. Lots of eggs for frying or omelette or boiled as a snack. And my only dairy, a few spoonfuls of full fat Greek style yoghurt, with some berries or strawberries, I also have pieces of fruit throughout the day.
    It's called intermittent fasting or my idiot diet!
    Simply you either eat something or not! Simple and easy to keep to. Because there is no planning, no extra shopping, no extra cooking, no extra expense, just when and if you want to, as I say an idiot can follow it, because there is nothing to follow except being really low carb, with a good balance of protein and saturated fats, a little fruit if you can tolerate it, avoiding all the unnecessary carbs. And fasting whenever you feel like it.
    Today, because it is a day off, I have just had my breakfast, at 3pm, (ish) watching the footie, I had gammon, onion, mushroom and tomatoes fried together with fried eggs on top. I don't plan to eat till before 9pm. And that will be probably yoghurt with strawberries. I might treat myself with a couple of pieces of 90% dark chocolate with it! The last time I ate, was 6pm after I finished work Saturday evening, was a couple of thighs of chicken roasted. Small salad at lunch, with a small apple while watching the match.
    Tomorrow, at work, will fast until lunch and then decide wether a salad, prepared by me later or some meat, then probably a something cooked, possibly some pork loin steaks I got Friday, with a small salad.
    That is if I want to!
    The reason why you don't feel hungry is because the body is adapting to the few carbs that is in your food, not many. When you go very low carb or in ketosis, the energy you get is from ketones, not from carbs. It is very refreshing to feel better without eating, which is against all dietary advice, you have to have nutrition, eat three square meals a day, get your five a day of fruit and vegetables. Eat complex healthy carbs and so on, droning on about how we need these foods that will keep you healthy.
    Well, not me, I'm different, I'm weird, my body, my metabolism is definitely not needing healthy eating as has been advised to me for so long by so many medical practitioners.
    Through my own personal experience through testing and experimentation, my body is healthiest when not eating the so called healthy foods.
    Rant over, sorry!
    If you want to, when I first started on low carb, I spent a couple of days scanning the forum, reading the threads on the low carb forum, some really interesting recipes and ideas, especially if your tastes are a lot more refined than mine!
    It's also interesting to scan the likes of some other forum threads or YouTube.

    Hope you continue to feel better.
    Keep battling, keep letting us know how you are doing.

    Best wishes
     
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