Post # 1
I was diagnosed about 6-7 years ago. At first it was really hard for me to control but then as time progressed I joined track and the exercise really helped me. Once high school was done I stopped running (I honestly wish I could get myself motivated back into it) and for about the last year or so it’s been hard for me to be able to control as well as I would like. With my work schedule being completely out of wack ALL the time it’s hard for me to have set meals and with the holidays (I’m going to be completely honest) I’ve not been that good with avoiding sugar. When I went to the grocery store yesterday I made sure to buy only healthy and low-sugar items like salad, sugar-free (no aspertame) pudding, etc. I know I need to get back into exercising again but it’s really hard.
So i’m curious, those of you who have hypoglycemia, how do you control it so you don’t feel awful. There are some days that my sugar gets so low I have an awful headache and I feel unrealistically sleepy and dizzy which I’m sure is not good for me or my organs.
NOTE: for those that don’t know hypoglycemia is when you eat too much sugar your overall blood sugar actually drops, so it’s basically the opposite of diabetes.
Post # 3
@SweetRose2011: i believe that I have hypoglycemia but have never been diagnosed -I snack all the time. If I dont eat enough I get extremely irritable and feel sick and dizzy. I cant exercise for long periods of time because I feel like I will pass out. THe problem is that I do eat sugar so I guess I dont really control it. Ive never been to a doctor about this so havent gotten any pointers on how to eat or what to avoid…..but Ive been thinking about going for a while
Post # 4
@PitBulLover: When I went to get tested they just give you a nasty nasty tasting orange drink that is full of sugar. Then they test your sugar every half an hour for six hours by drawing blood. It SUCKS, but at least I was able to find out. But your symptoms sound very familiar to mine.
Post # 5
@PitBulLover: I have the same issues but I’ve never done the testing either. I’ve been getting worse and worse about taking care of my habits to keep it under control too.
Post # 6
I have wondered if I have it too. I get VERY irritable when I’m hungry, and I often get dizzy or headaches if I have gone too long without eating. I read somewhere that sweating at night is a symptom as well, and I have that problem all the time. My dad also gets dizzy when he’s hungry, and he’s suspected for a long time that he has it too.
This may be a dumb question, but does anyone know if there are levels of severity or is it the same for everyone? I don’t know much about it, but I am interested to learn more.
Post # 7
I just wanted to give my two cents as I just finished my dietetic internship and just have to take my RD exam before calling myself a dietitian. I also think I have hypoglycemia but haven’t been diagnosed.
Hypoglycemia isn’t caused by eating too much sugar..it’s actually the opposite. If there’s not enough glucose (sugar) in your blood, then you develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). I was taught that if it’s very low, you treat it just like a diabetic would, with juice, glucose (sugar) tablets sold at drugstores, and even pure sugar. Juice is the best…that’s what I do when I have symptoms.
There is one type of hypoglycemia called reactive hypoglycemia and it’s when you eat a meal with a lot of simple carbs and your body produces too much insulin and then the blood sugar goes low. One way to help that is by adding more complex carbs in your diet. I was never taught that you should avoid sugar if you have symptoms of going hypo. That’s when your body needs the sugar.
Diabetics also can get hypoglycemia (especially type 1) as well as hyperglycemia.
Hope this helps a bit but your Dr knows you best so maybe ask them for more info.
Post # 8
@Hillzie: That makes more sense. i find that if i eat too much sugar then I feel blah (like if i eat pancakes for breakfast instead of cereal). Are you saying that would be reactive hypoglycemia?
Post # 9
Usually reactive hypoglycemia happens in overweight individuals who eat large meals of carbs often but that may also be true if you eat a lot of pancakes instead of cereal (although most cereals have a lot of sugar…even raisin bran).
Like I said, I haven’t been diagnosed with hypoglycemia but I have had symptoms (I almost passed out a couple of weeks ago in the hospital). The first thing the nurses did is give me 2 packs of juice to bring up my blood sugar. I think avoiding sugar when you have symptoms is the worst thing to do. At least eat something that has carbohydrates in it: sugar, juice, dairy products (like a glass of milk), grains (bread, cereal, granola bar), or fruit. All those items raise your blood sugar. My friend was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and she’s 25. It’s a scary feeling when your blood sugar is low so when the symptoms come on is when you should eat something with carbs. She always drinks juice when she has symptoms.
Post # 10
@Hillzie: Thats what I thought it was too. Even before I knew what hypoglycemia was I would always say “I have low blood sugar” DH would make fun of me for saying it all the time but thats the only way I could describe it! I have actually fainted because of it and come close several other times. One time I started sweating profusely, felt nauseous and dizzy and everything went blurry. Luckily I was in a doctors office (I was a pharma rep at the time) and they gave me juice and crackers and almost immediately I felt better. I always just have to make sure I eat enough and often enough. If the only solution to hypoglycemia is keeping up your blood sugar then I dont really see the point of me going through drinking nasty stuff and having blood drawn.
Post # 11
I’ve never been diagnosed, but my grandmother and mother have been. I just assume I have it because I have the same symptoms they have.
I’ve always been told by my mother that when I’m having a “hypoglycemic attack” (seeing spots, blurry vision, really dizzy, shakey, etc) to eat protein. I’ve always done that, and it seems to help almost immediately. I’ve also been told to try to eat more complex carbohydrates as opposed to simple sugars. It seems like eating the complex carbs lasts longer and doesn’t have the crashing effect eating, say, a candy bar would have.
I don’t have any advice on how to regulate it in everyday life, as I’ve always just fixed it when it’s gotten bad (which, in all honesty, can’t be good for my body).
Post # 12
I’ve had similar symptoms (again undiagnosed). What I do is snack periodically throughout the day, as a rule. And not on cookies or candy, but granola bars and fruit if I can. The one tip I’d give is to have high fiber granola bars EVERYWHERE. I’m talking a couple in every purse, in your car, your desk, etc. I hate when I start to feel weak and sweaty, but I just eat a little something right away, and the carbs + placebo effect make me feel better right away. My favorites are the Fiber One oats and chocolate bars, but anything with a lot of fiber will do. Good luck!
Post # 13
- Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas
I’ve never been diagnosed formally, but I am pretty sure I could be hypoglycemic. If I haven’t eaten in a while I will often get verrrrry dizzy and lightheaded, and I get very shaky and often don’t feel better until I have some sugar in my system. It’s not terrible, though, and as long as I’m careful to eat every few hours, it doesn’t bother me at all.
Post # 14
@Hillzie: I see your point. I’ve avoided sugar in the past because I was under the assumption that by eating it it would make my sugar go even lower. Usually when I begin to feel the symptoms I try to eat something whole grain so that it will bring up my sugar as it is a carb but it will not bring it up too fast so my body won’t shoot it down again. If I feel awful, though, I quickly eat some sugar to bring it up and I feel better.
Maybe I’ve been doing it all wrong for a long time, and I’ll be the first to admit I probably have, which is why I can’t feel better. I’m not overweight, though I’m worried it could still be a precursor to diabetes, however.
Post # 15
@PitBullLover- Yeah, those are the symptoms I always get. It’s the worst feeling in the world! It used to happen when I wouldn’t eat much at night and then go to bed..then in the morning I would feel faint and would run to get some orange juice and not even make it to a chair…I would sit on the floor while drinking it. Very scary!
If it happens more often to me I want to get tested to make sure it’s not type 1 diabetes..I don’t think it is but you never know. My friend who was just diagnosed with type 1 is only 110 lbs, vegetarian, a health educator, gymnast. Basically one of the healthiest people I know…and she didn’t find out she was diabetic until she got really sick and wasn’t getting better.
I eat snacks often because I get hungry and if I wait too long then my sugar would go low. Like LindsayB said, complex carbs (like whole grains) are better to eat because the fiber makes you fuller for longer and the blood sugar doesn’t rise and drops as quickly as it does with simple carbs. It’s also the general recommendation unless you have a contraindicating medical issue (such as crohns).
Post # 16
Wow…you ladies are all over the place.
First, “hypogycemia” just means low blood glucose level. As one person pointed out “reactive hypogycemia” (or postprandial hypogycemia) is what the OP is attempting to discuss.
That 6 hour glucose test is old school now. There were problems with that testing strategy. Now what is recommended is that a person take a glucose monitor and when he/she has symptoms, he/she take his/her blood glucose level and then check to see if the symptoms go away quickly once glucose is raised by drinking/eating something.
Many of you are all over the place. The first step is to see if you are hypogycemic in the first place. Some of you that are describing phemomena after meals might just be having a reaction to certain things you have eaten or it may be that your body releases certain things after you eat that affects your brain (they traditionally used to descibe blood going away from the brain and to the gut but researches are working to prove that it is actually more of different substances being released and responses to those substances rather than actual blood flow. Any theory can work until things are definitive). Even if one does have post prandial hypogycemia, it could be functional, hyperplasia of Islet cells of the pancreas, or early signs of future diabetes.
Others of you are describing what MIGHT be low blood suger after NOT eating. This shouldn’t happen in most normal people (at least not causing symptoms). Again, you would want to get a low blood glucose to match symptoms. This would be totally different than postprandial hypogycemia and you would need to be worked up to make sure yo don’t have a type tumor of the pancreas (insulinoma) or other tissue.