Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Reactive Hypoglycemic

This is what I know.

 I've taken an intentional break from blogging to get my health situation checked out. The last two weeks has been full of doctors appointments and tests. Not fun at all. I didn't want to write about it until I knew exactly what was going on...hence my hiatus from writing. It's been the only thing on my mind for weeks, but I didn't want to worry you guys.

This is what I know: Part 2.

I have reactive hypoglycemia. Sounds pretty scary...but don't get bent outta shape. First thing's first, I'm not diabetic. Second, I don't have to take medicine or give myself shots. I can regulate my blood sugar with the food I eat.

But let's back up a bit so you can understand what it means to be a reactive hypoglycemic. Last week, I took a four hour blood glucose test. That translates to six individual sticks with a vial of blood each time. One initial stick to take a base reading. Then I drank a large cup of a super sugary orange drink. Then they took my blood at the 30 minute mark, the one hour mark and every hour on the hour for three more hours. (Does that make sense?)

At the hour mark, I had a freak out moment. I felt really sick and light-headed. Like my skin was crawling. And the lady couldn't find my "tiny vein" as she put it. So she proceeded to dig the needle into my skin searching for said vein. I almost threw up. It was bad.

Then there may or may not have been a crying episode where all my anxiety surfaced after said stabbing of the arm. I'm not ashamed. A girl can only take so much before the ultimate breaking point is reached.

Then I was just resigned to my fate of having to give my arms over to them every hour for the stabbing. By the sixth blood draw, my veins had had enough. And I was completely physically and emotionally spent and absolutely starving. I forgot to mention I had been fasting for 12 hours. Yikes.

This is what I know: Part 3.

During said freak out moment mention above in part 2, the nurses checked my blood sugar level and said it was normal.

But here's the thing.

When my blood sugar level is normal, it's too high. My initial level was considerably lower than normal. It jumped up to normal (or high in my case). Then plummeted down to really low again resulting in me being ridiculously tired and weak.

So there you go.

Unlike regular hypoglycemia, reactive hypoglycemia is a result of what you eat. So my diet and how frequently I eat will change significantly. And it will make me feel so much better. For that I am thankful.

So please follow along as I cut out all processed foods, refined sugars and limit my caffeine intake...And watch me learn to eat six small meals a day and the great importance of portion control. It's going to be a journey, and I can't wait to share it with you.

5 comments:

  1. you know, you don't actually need 6 meals a day to control hypoglycemia. If you eat foods that don't trigger an hypoglycemic episode you won't have blood sugar crashing just because you didn't eat every 2 to 3 hours. In other words if you prevent your sugar from increasing too much it won't rebound crash either.

    If it works for you, fine. But if you don't feel better, remember you can can control reactive hypoglycemia even eating 3 times a day

    You might even finding that intermittent fasting will fix your hypoglycemia. In fact fasting per se won't trigger hypoglycemia, since your hypoglycemia is reactive and not fasting it is triggered by food not by lack of food. Your body can control blood sugar in the absence of food, by burning body fat and maintaining proper insulin and glucagon level, it isn't good at controlling blood sugar when you eat something that increases your insulin too much. Usually at breakfast foods triggers a bigger insulin response. SO even skipping breakfast and wait to eat till lunch could help if nothing else works.

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    1. You are wrong. I have reactive hypoglycemia and if I go more than 2.5 hours without eating my blood sugar drops. If I work out more than 15 minutes without refuling my blood sugar drops incredibly. If I don't raise my levels before sleeping my blood sugar drops so dramatically so much so that I can't see even with my glasses on because it's blurry. If I eat the wrong things it also drops.

      Having hypoglycemia and skipping breakfast is one of the most harmful things you can do. I agree that "most traditional breakfast foods are bad for hypoglycemics" that is because most of them are filled with sugar and sugars should be consumed sparingly if at all. But skipping meals can be very dangerous advise.

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    2. You are wrong. I have reactive hypoglycemia and if I go more than 2.5 hours without eating my blood sugar drops. If I work out more than 15 minutes without refuling my blood sugar drops incredibly. If I don't raise my levels before sleeping my blood sugar drops so dramatically so much so that I can't see even with my glasses on because it's blurry. If I eat the wrong things it also drops.

      Having hypoglycemia and skipping breakfast is one of the most harmful things you can do. I agree that "most traditional breakfast foods are bad for hypoglycemics" that is because most of them are filled with sugar and sugars should be consumed sparingly if at all. But skipping meals can be very dangerous advise.

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    4. Michelle, you dont have REACTIVE hypoglycemia...you have FATSING hypoglycemia. Leo is correct, if you have REACTIVE hypoglycemia, intermittent fasting can help...

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