View Full Version : why not hypoglycaemia?

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Wed, Aug-07-02, 06:55
After several years of complaining about how tired I was all the time and being prescribed "more exercise!" I finally got a hold of a glucometer and put the results in front of a nutritionist who listened. She said, "Latent diabetes," which went against the endocrinologist's diagnosis of "non-hypoglycaemia". The endocrinologist said I had some symptoms that sounded like hypoglycaemia, but I couldn't have it because my reactions to food were far too fast. I'm totally confused about that. Can someone explain to me why it can't be hypoglycaemia if my blood sugar dives too low too fast?

After seven years of trying to get some answers, this guy only talked to me for five minutes. He sent a student nurse (or some such thing) in to talk to me and take down information. This kid had to be maybe twenty and was more than a little clueless. I was complaining about a possible blood sugar problem and she didn't ask anything about family history regarding daibetes or whatnot. Then she went into the hall, closed the door, and I heard her tell the doctor everything I said that she felt was relevant. He came in and told me his diagnosis. He said it was 'one of those things we could test and test, but in the end it was just something I'd have to learn to live with.' Endquote. He told me to see the nutritionist in three months and start the diabetic diet. Said if I just started eating sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes and stuff like that, I'd be much better in no time.

I argued with him until he gave me a glucometer and told me to test myself so I could see that just because I felt bad sometimes doesn't mean I had low blood sugar. My fasting blood sugar turned out to be 4.5 every morning. Great. Then I had a piece of white bread with margarine and it spiked to 7.6 in fifteen minutes. Another fifteen minutes later I was shaking and and faint and I clocked in at 3.2. I had a seizure before the next fifteen minutes was up. I called the endo back and he was too busy to take my call. He didn't return my message. I tested my reactions to things for the next two weeks. All simple - and even most complex carbs - caused a spike and a drop within half an hour to forty five minutes or an hour. My family doc says the endo is right in that the reaction was always too quick for it to be true hypoglycaemia. No one seems to be interested in finding a proper diagnosis. The family doc says my only options are to go back to the endo that dismissed me in the first place, or keep going on the low carb diet thing until I figure out exactly what and how much food and exercise makes me feel healthy.

Sorry for the long post. I just haven't had anyone to talk to who has any experience in this. If anyone has any answers or advice they feel is relevant to my situation, please feel free to share. I'm open.


Wed, Aug-07-02, 10:18
I see that you have read Protein Power, so you know the theory as well as most, high glycemic carbs for some people will cause high blood sugar and then the crash. I and several friends are guided by the glucometer as to what will cause the spike and crash and then avoid or limit those foods. This is a pretty well- trodden path for many of us.

If you want further reading then try the Bernstein Book He explains many issues for diabetics related to blood sugar control.
Also I see that you eat margarine...... read Fats that Heal and Fats that Kill by Udo Erasmus and you will never let this plastic food pass your lips again.

You are definitely on the right track and have found as so many others that you have to take your health into your own hands, and with the support of groups like this one (especially this one) you will find the key toyour good health.

Wed, Aug-07-02, 11:11
Hey...thanks. I appreciate your response. The margarine and bread I mentioned are no longer a part of my diet. My parnter is a true meat lover and kind of a purist in the kitchen. He does most of the cooking and prefers steamed veggies and broiled anything. He refuses to buy hamburger! We eat a lot of steamed spinach, brussel sprouts (too many make me fall asleep in my plate), asparagus...all that low carb green stuff.

I jump off the carb cliff with late night binging and eating out. We eat out all the time and I always eat what I'm supposed to, but far, far too much of it. As my handle dictates, I really do want more...more everything. Eating until I'm stuffed has long been a coping mechanism for the stresses and pressures of life. And with my hair trigger pancreas, moments of intense frustration and even moderate exercise tip the scales and send me crashing to the couch so I find I'm almost always craving the momentary relief of overeating. You know the stupidity and visciousness of that cycle. Be it blood sugar or whatever else, I've been enduring a 'hiding-under-the-bed' level depression for about four months now making it very difficult to get off the physical/emotional merri-go-round.

I'll get there. I am deeply encouraged by this forum already. So far today I've eaten some cream cheese on cucumber, three slices of hard salami, two cups of black coffee (yes, will do better tomorrow), and a soy protein/psyllium husk drink mixed with water and sweet n' low. Oh...and umpteen litres of water. Time soon for some eggs I think. It's even conceivable I may find the willingness for some modicum of exercise...but I won't promise. I still want to go back to bed.


Wed, Aug-07-02, 11:38
Hi, what you're describing sounds like my auntie and I have, which is 'reactive hypoglycaemia'. A lot of doctors seem not to know about it - I've had major problems getting them to talk sense to me. My auntie found someone who did understand and that's what they diagnosed.
That said, it is something you have to learn to live with, ie you have to learn to eat to handle it.
I'm now pretty stable, eating lowcarb, so that seems to have sorted it for me. Hope it does for you too!
Take care, Jay

Wed, Aug-07-02, 17:27
Thanks Jaykay. I've heard of reactive hypoglycaemia. I've pretty well been treating my food choices as though that is what it is, regardless of what the doc's say. I can't be too far wrong if not eating sugar means not having seizures anymore. Actually, I was binging once a month on caramel crunch cake with whipped cream and caramel and the whole bit. When I glut myself with tons of sugar like that all at once what happens is that I literally feel drunk from it. Speech slurred, giggly, coordination and balance all messed up...but I must confess it feels great...like a night out on the town. Near as I can figure, if the sugar goes way high, I punch out all kinds of insulin like always, but the insulin isn't enough to drive such high sugar levels down through the ground. Consequently, I don't hit the ground. I regret the hell out of it in the morning! Hangover and ubearable lethargy for a day or so! But no seizures.

What has proven most dangerous is taking smaller doses of sugar or carbs. My insulin seems to go ballistic over sugar and carbs no matter how much or little. So if I'm going to be stupid, it pays to be VERY stupid. (gotta appreciate the absurdity of the situation) But I'm not doing the cake thing anymore. I'm meeting too many diabetic amputees these days not to worry about ending up in their wheelchairs long before I reach a ripe old age.

I'm having a heck of a time figuring out what "enough" is for me. For instance, I ate all the good low carb stuff this morning and felt fine. Not tired or hungy at all. Then I walked down to the grocery store (about a half mile) and half way through my shopping I was feeling very tired and a bit shaky and irritable. By the time I carried the groceries home (up a long, steadily rising hill) I had just enough time to put the groceries in the fridge before I passed out for a two hour nap on the floor. Almost any exercise - even scraping and sanding chairs! - so easily shoves my bg down and I fall asleep until it rises. I'm finding I have to eat food every single hour just to maintain anything resembling balance. My entire life revolves around getting food into my mouth!

Does this still sound like reactive hypoglycaemia? Did you go through a seemingly endless period of adjustment like this? If you completely abstain from all the 'bad stuff', do you stop being so impossibly sensitive to food??

I'm thrilled to talk to anyone who has even the remotest clue. Thank you so much. I realize you're not a doctor, but the doctors available to me are not really 'available', if you know what I mean. They keep telling me to work it out on my own. "You know your body best!" they say. I'm not so sure. I'm hoping SOMEONE else knows my body better than me because I'm still missing a lot of information.

Thanks again for listening.