Low Blood Sugar - Reactive Hypoglycemia

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by PVLady, May 4, 2006.

  1. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I am beginning to think many of my problems over the past years are from low blood sugar. All my life I have been sensitive to eating sugar, caffeine, etc.

    Reactive Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar when you are not a diabetic.

    Recently I went on a diet for LBS and am feeling much better. Less fibro fog, anxiety, depression, etc. I had major problem with anxiety which is much better since controlling my blood sugar.

    I eat snacks of cottage cheese or crackers/peanut butter, Glucerna drinks, cheese/crackers, etc. Below is information on "reactive hypoglycemia". If anyone here is having anxiety, depression, hungry all the time, angry outbursts, fibro fog - you might try the diet to see if you feel better.

    Nutrition for Reactive Hypoglycemia

    Reactive hypoglycemia can occur when blood glucose falls, stores of glucose from the liver are exhausted and an individual chooses not to eat. The body gradually adjusts to this situation by using muscle protein to feed glucose to brain cells and fat to fuel the other body cells, but before this adjustment takes place, an individual may experience symptoms of glucose deprivation to the brain. Symptoms such as: anxiety, hunger, dizziness, weakness, shaking muscles and racing heart may result. Most of these symptoms diminish five to ten minutes after eating a source of carbohydrate. Because these symptoms are common to many conditions, a health care provider should be consulted to assess an individual’s specific symptoms and concerns.

    Reactive hypoglycemia occurs in about 2-3 out of every 10 young women - more often in obese women and less often in people over age 45. While most people experience low blood glucose levels at times, if the symptoms are severe or ongoing it is important to learn to eat a balanced meal or snack promptly. Reactive hypoglycemia does not lead to more severe conditions.

    Reactive hypoglycemia can be managed with:

    Nutritionally balanced meals

    Frequent meals and snacks

    Regular exercise

    Smoking cessation

    Weight management

    Medical supervision if indicated

    Regular blood sugar checks if advised

    When blood glucose falls, eating carbohydrate foods can bring it back up; a meal or a snack must be eaten. Some people believe the obvious solution is to eat a candy bar or drink a cola beverage. Such a meal or snack is very high in carbohydrate, and consists mostly of simple sugar. It may cause your blood level to rise quickly and then fall quickly. Some people then experience the symptoms of hypoglycemia.

    A more helpful choice is to eat food with complex carbohydrates (whole grain crackers, bagels, soft pretzel, breads or cereal). Complex carbohydrate foods deliver glucose over a longer period of time, eliciting less of a rise and fall in blood glucose. A cracker or other grain food with cheese or another protein/fat is the best choice. The protein/fat slows down the digestion of the carbohydrate and keeps blood sugar more stable.

    Some snack and meal suggestions that meet the goal of including a complex carbohydrate, a protein source or a fat include:

    Meat or cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread

    Yogurt and fruit

    Cottage cheese and whole grain crackers

    Turkey, cheese slices and veggies on a salad

    Salad with beans added

    Peanut butter and whole grain crackers

    Cheese and whole grain crackers

    Bean soup and whole grain crackers or bread

    Cheese on baked potato with skin

    Whole grain bagel and cream cheese

    Nutrition tips to manage hypoglycemia:

    Eat a small meal or snack about every 2-3 hours. Skipping meals can make symptoms worse.

    Choose high fiber foods at each meal and snack. Fiber helps stabilize blood sugar. Increase fluid intake when you increase fiber intake.

    Eat a source of protein and or a source of fat with carbohydrate at each meal or snack. Protein and fat eaten with carbohydrates will help slow glucose release and absorption.

    Limit simple sugars. (candy, soda, fruit juice) Simple sugar intake can make hypoglycemia symptoms worse. Moderate your intake.

    Limit alcohol and caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate).

    Eat a meal or snack 1-3 hours before exercise. Extra carbohydrates may be needed before exercise to compensate for energy used.

    [This Message was Edited on 05/04/2006]
  2. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    I'm a diabetic but this is interesting.Linda
    [This Message was Edited on 05/04/2006]
  3. usanagirl

    usanagirl New Member

    Why are we seeing such an increase in the number of people who are becoming diabetic in the United States? Americans believe a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet is the healthiest way to eat. Dietitians believe a carbohydrate is a carbohydrate, with absolutely no distinction of how fast we absorb the sugar from that carbohydrate. However, carbohydrates are simply long chains of sugars that are released at various rates in the body. This has been documented in the medical literature as glycemic index (the rate that sugars are absorbed and increase the blood sugar). Carbohydrates such as white bread, white flour, pasta, white rice, and potatoes release their sugars rapidly (high-glycemic foods) and increase the blood sugars faster than if you were slapping table sugar on your tongue. Foods such as green beans, rye bread, whole apples, and cauliflower release their sugars slowly (low-glycemic foods). This rapid rise in blood sugar after a high glycemic meal stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas, which is needed to control the blood sugar level. The blood sugar drops and our body’s crave more calories and more high-glycemic foods. We simply keep repeating this pattern over and over—day after day. Medical studies are now showing us that this type of diet causes us to become less and less sensitive to our own insulin (insulin resistance). It is a lot like crying "wolf" all of the time—we are simply stimulating the release of insulin time after time.

    An estimated 24% of the adults in the U.S. have insulin resistance, also known as Syndrome X or more recently the Metabolic Syndrome. Many patients beginning in their late 30s or early 40s begin gaining a significant amount of weight around their middle (central obesity). They then begin to develop increased levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides along with very low levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol. Shortly thereafter, they develop hypertension, which needs to be treated. By their late forties, they’ve become diabetic.

    Insulin resistance is the beginning event of a complicated metabolic change that occurs one’s body. Our bodies still wants and needs to control blood sugars. Therefore, the beta cells of the pancreas simply put out more insulin and our blood insulin levels rise. This elevated insulin in our blood stream is called hyperinsulinemia and leads to a constellation of metabolic changes in our body called Syndrome X.

    When a person develops full-blown Syndrome X, he or she has a 20-fold increase risk of developing cardiovascular disease. After 15 to 20 years in this state, the beta cells of the pancreas finally wear out and your insulin levels begin to fall and your blood sugars begin to rise. First, you develop pre-clinical diabetes (blood sugars are elevated, but not high enough for you to be called diabetic). Then a few years later you actually become diabetic. However, it is important to realize that your arteries begin to age at an accelerated rate as soon as you first develop this insulin resistance. This is why 60% of the patients already have major cardiovascular disease the day they are first diagnosed with diabetes.

    Clinical trials have demonstrated patients with pre-clinical diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance have significantly lower levels of antioxidants. There was evidence of significantly increased levels of oxidative stress, which led to a depletion of our antioxidant defense system. In other trials, this oxidative stress was more significant in those who had secondary complications of their diabetes like retinopathy or cardiovascular disease. These authors felt that antioxidant supplementation should be added to the traditional insulin treatment as a means to help arrest these complications. The neurology department at Mayo Clinic reported a study where they experimentally created diabetic peripheral neuropathy. They concluded this complication was indeed caused by oxidative stress. They were able to reverse this nerve damage by giving alpha lipoic acid, which is both a fat-soluble and water-soluble antioxidant. They also noted if the subjects had good levels of alpha-lipoic acid because of supplementation before they induced the oxidative stress, there was no nerve damage.

    Many micronutrients have been found to be deficient in patients with Syndrome X, pre-clinical diabetes and actual diabetes. One of the most crucial is chromium. Chromium is critical in the metabolism of glucose and the action of insulin and has been shown to greatly improve insulin sensitivity, especially in those who are deficient. Studies indicate that almost 90 % of the American population is deficient in chromium.

    Physicians are treating blood-sugars rather than the underlying problem, which is insulin-resistance. Why? In my opinion, because there is no drug for it.
  4. usanagirl

    usanagirl New Member

  5. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    I have had hypoglycemia most of my life. While it has become worse with CFS, it is only a small part of my problem, since I keep it pretty well under control.

    Quite a few people around here seem to have hypoglycemia. Thanks for sharing this information.
  6. jhmitch

    jhmitch New Member

    Thank you for the very interesting post, PVLady!

    A couple of years ago, my husband began having episodes of low blood sugar. Our doctor had indicated that we should monitor his blood sugar levels on a regular basis since sometimes, hypoglycemia can indicate future diabetes.

    Sure enough, several months ago, my DH was diagnosed with diabetes and is now on pills to control it.

    Has anyone else heard that low blood sugar episodes might indicate diabetes in the future?

  7. usanagirl

    usanagirl New Member

    Please read my reply regarding insulin resistance...

    hope this helps!
  8. Dee50

    Dee50 New Member

    Thank you for this information. Have you read Dr. Paul St. Amand HG diet in his book, "What Your Doctor May not Tell You About Fibromyalgia". I think you would find it very interesting. His HG diet has helped my pain level to be lower and I'm not moody. I feel more centered.
    Take care,
  9. Smiffy

    Smiffy Member

    I didn't realise that I was hypoglycemic until I read the book mentioned in the post above; I could not understand the constant carb cravings.

    Dr St Amand's low carb diet is especially designed for fibromyalgics with hypoglycemia. There's two diet's on his Guaidoc website, one being for weight loss.
  10. Hope4Sofia

    Hope4Sofia New Member

    I definitely struggle with hypoglycemia as does everyone in my father's side of the family in varying degrees. I have made a big effort to get it under control with diet and supplements.

    I also carry protein snacks with me and eat about every hour and a half to keep from crashing.

    I had hoped that controling my BS would reduce my pain but that hasn't been the case for me. It does help with my energy and congnitive ability though.

    My doc said that more than likely the FM is primary and the hypoglycemia is secondary. I don't know what I think yet.

    I know it has been much more difficult to control either one than I imagined it to be.

  11. Hope4Sofia

    Hope4Sofia New Member

    It's on ketones and glucose. Just more on the subject.


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