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Why Would A Non Diabetic Have Low Blood Sugar?

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How Many Factors Actually Affect Blood Glucose?

A printable, colorful PDF version of this article can be found here. twitter summary: Adam identifies at least 22 things that affect blood glucose, including food, medication, activity, biological, & environmental factors. short summary: As patients, we tend to blame ourselves for out of range blood sugars – after all, the equation to “good diabetes management” is supposedly simple (eating, exercise, medication). But have you ever done everything right and still had a glucose that was too high or too low? In this article, I look into the wide variety of things that can actually affect blood glucose - at least 22! – including food, medication, activity, and both biological and environmental factors. The bottom line is that diabetes is very complicated, and for even the most educated and diligent patients, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that affects blood glucose. So when you see an out-of-range glucose value, don’t judge yourself – use it as information to make better decisions. As a patient, I always fall into the trap of thinking I’m at fault for out of range blood sugars. By taking my medication, monitoring my blood glucose, watching what I eat Continue reading >>

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  1. CHERLYNA

    read message on insulin resistant, maybe that will help. I to am close to diabetes. Just make sure you keep food with you, make sure it is the right food not candy. I will keep a pack of cracker with peanut butter in my purse, car, desk. So that if I start to feel strange I will have something right away, I don't have to look to far. I have seizures on top of all that so I have to make sure I do not get over tired or miss meal. It is better to eat 5 to 6 small meals through out the day. Then I don't have a chance to get low blood sugar. Just remember it has to have protein in it not empty calories.

  2. BLACKROSEFENCER

    I also have non-diabetic hypoglycemia. I didn't change much about my diet at first. I just ate more often (which for me, that was a well needed change since I was skipping several meals a day...I really struggled with anorexia a lot when I was in high school so I probably seriously messed up by metabolism and stuff). Anyway, at first, it seemed to do the trick...I carried food with me all the time mostly like peanuts or sometimes candy for a real emergency. And I tried to eat regularly at the same time each day. I had some issues at first trying to eat the right amount....I passed out and I even had some hypoglycemic episodes resulting in tremors, hyperventilating and speech problems (stuttering), but then I learned how to better keep track of my food which helped....but I gained a ton of weight!! And now, I can't take it off.....
    I've been counting calories for about 2-3 weeks with Spark people, but I have gotten nowhere. I am following the diet plan designed for people with diabetes, but I just don't know what to do now. I cut down on soda...I used to drink soda once or twice a day....I've cut it down to once a week. I walk all the time at work (I work at a nursing home running activities for the residents...I walk all around the facility and I even push a lot of them to the activities). I fence once a week and dance once a week. I lost two pounds in two weeks, but in the third week I put them back on again. I just can't seem to get this right....

  3. BFIT4BABY

    I will be your buddy too! I've had hypoglycemia episodes since I was a kid. I remember getting off the school bus, walking down our long driveway and having absolutely no energy as young as 2nd grade. It wasn't diagnosed until I was 14 when I went on a diet recommended by my pediatrician, who said I was "obese" (which I was barely in that zone). Given that I was entering high school and feared this "diagnosis" along with all the "warnings" I decided to diet and exercise more. I did lose weight and got down to the low end of healthy - but I was passing out at school, getting migraines, and a whole myriad of other health issues.
    First advice I can give is go to the endocrinologist AND get a dietitian to go over your issues with you. They know soooo much more about hypoglycemia and what to eat than any doctor! One thing I've learned is that most doctors dismiss the idea of hypoglycemia all together, and the ones that acknowledge it think it's some kind of precursor to diabetes. haha, I laugh now, because my mom and my grandmother (both still living) have also suffered from hypoglycemia their whole lives, and NONE of us have ever had a blood sugar reading over 130!! So - yes it does exist and unfortunately a lot of doctors don't get it.
    I did go to an endocrinologist and it was the best and the worst thing I've ever done for my health. The best - because it was accurately diagnosed with 2 different glucose tolerance tests (1 of which I couldn't complete because my levels dropped really low) and a 72 hour hospital doctor observed fast. I learned that my blood sugar levels stabilize while sleeping and that I can fast for 3 days if I keep my activity to an absolute minimum. I also got to meet a dietitian who worked closely with me to create a plan that would keep me feeling energetic all day. (which isn't hard to follow - but old habits die hard!). The bad part of it was - the doc put me on a new drug at the time - Advandia that treated type II diabetes - and while on that medication I gained back all the weight I had lost on my other diet and then plus about 20 lbs. Ughhh - the diabetes medicine CAUSED weight gain! Imagine that! Then several years later there was a recall and a lot of warnings about the drug Advandia. Gee - another not-so-surprisingly surprise!
    Now, if I truly went back on the diet the dietician recommended 12 years ago I would absolutely lose weight - but due to some emotional things I'm working through regarding my weight, I've chosen to eat what I wish. HOWEVER, there are hypoglycemia rules that I do follow that I WANT to follow to avoid the horrible consequences of not following them.
    1. Breakfast always! High protein/high fat (eggs, meat). Fruit (banana, apple) for the fiber and complex carb, maybe some cream of wheat or oatmeal. Sometimes I mix in spinach, mushroom, onion for flavor. Or in a rush I'll have a high protein shake with fruit. Once a week I eat a chicken biscuit from McDonalds with the apple dippers.
    NEVER at Breakfast - cereal, waffles (unless mixed with high protein powder), pancakes, juice of any kind, or any other refined food-like product.
    I have found that coffee helps me focus; however, I don't drink more than one small cup - a caffeine crash makes me feel like I'm having low blood sugar - and perhaps it has an affect - so I keep it to just one cup a day and not every day - just when I'm feeling sluggish.
    2. Before exercise (yes finally getting to that) - basically same principals of breakfast. Protein/fat from meat/fish, fiber/carb (from fruit or veggies) or protein shake with fruit.
    NEVER before exercise - any simple carb of any kind - no chips, juice, potatoes, candy, etc.
    I eat about 30 min before working out - not a snack - but an actual balanced meal.
    A salad consisting of only vegetables is NOT a balanced meal. It has lots of fiber YAY, it is healthy YAY, but will not provide enough protein to sustain a work out. Add a good serving of meat or fish (I like salmon cakes over mixed greens or chicken on romaine) And if I do make it through the work-out on a salad, I will for sure have ravishing cravings for sugar afterward.
    3. I keep these little facts in the back of my mind - dairy products are not good protein or carb sources because of their lactose and high carb content. Complex grains are ok and good in 1-2 servings (meaning no more than 30g of carbs before work out and always combined with protein). Too many carbs at once = increase in insulin = blood sugar crash later. Nuts are high in protein but lack some other sources to keep blood sugar sustained, so they can't replace protein in a meal. Some fish, the fattier ones like tuna and salmon are sustaining, but lighter white fish like talapia are not. So - there's got to be meat or alternatively a high protein powder with every carb!
    4. I don't eat sugar, juice or simple carbs during the day while I'm working at my high energy job. If I get sugar cravings intensely in the evening its' because I probably ate sweets OR didn't eat enough high protein sources.
    5. If I screw up and eat junk food all day long on a weekend and feel like exercising I do! But I stay close to home or take food with me :) Then I eat a well balanced meal - even if it means going over calories for the day - because eating junk, then exercising, then skipping protein = sugar crash before bed = bad night sleep = sugar will stabilize somewhat while sleeping, but then mad sugar cravings the next morning!
    6. Always food in every place I will be or might be!! This is THE MOST IMPORTANT rule I follow. There's nothing like having low blood sugar and having nothing to bring it up with. And juice, candy, etc really is NOT the best way, as it perpetuates the high insulin that will shortly lead to a crash. This is when dairy products (cheese and yogurt) are our friends! Enough carbs to bring sugar up and enough protein to keep it there til you can get some real food. In my car and work locker though (I don't keep yogurt in there for obvious reasons) I have a substantial protein bar, which also has moderate amount of carb and protein. (btw protein bars are not suitable for meal replacement for people who have hypoglycemia - it's not enough fiber, protein, carb and it's not real food - emergencies or days on the rush only!)
    I hope this helps! It certainly is extra challenging for us to lose weight when we have the constant fear every day that we could not get food when that cold sweat and headache comes on. And then fighting the sugar cravings when we did make a mistake during the day... it's challenging. I don't know much about how to lose weight while keeping blood sugar stabilized because I have no proof I've ever done it. But once I lost a lot of weight and currently I haven't had many hypoglycemic episodes, so I'm hoping with some careful tweaking of my habits I can merge the two together to see results!

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