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Diet For Reactive Hypoglycemia

Dealing With Possible Reactive Hypoglycemia--one Month Later

Dealing With Possible Reactive Hypoglycemia--one Month Later

I wanted to give you a quick one-month update on my progress dealing with a possible case of reactive hypoglycemia (although my symptoms don’t match the definition of this condition found on Wikipedia). This seems like an incredibly odd subject to be talking about as someone who has been faithfully livin’ la vida low-carb for the greater part of the past 4 1/2 years. How can a low-carber be dealing with something like this when a low-carb diet is supposed to be one of the best diets for stabilizing blood sugar levels and, more importantly, reducing insulin levels? As you know, I’ve been speaking with noted New York City low-carb doctor Dr. Keith Berkowitz who has been the only low-carb expert I’ve ever heard even talk about this phenomenon. His theory about reactive hypoglycemia for long-term low-carbers who have lost a lot of weight (like me!) seems to be valid on the surface (I’ll be conducting a follow-up podcast interview in mid-July with Dr. Berkowitz to answer a TON of questions that you have submitted for him to answer). But something very odd has been happening with my blood sugar levels and that even includes after I’ve consumed a VERY high-carb meal. You’ll recall last month I did an experiment where I splurged out on some pizza to test what would happen to my blood sugar since eating a “normal” low-carb meal produced a significant DROP in my blood sugar. I couldn’t believe it was possible for your blood sugar to go DOWN after a meal, so I forced the issue by consuming more carbs in one sitting than I had done since I started livin’ la vida low-carb in January 2004. The result? My fasting blood sugar of 91 actually DROPPED to 90 when I checked it one hour after eating (WOW!) all those slices of pizza, it finally rose to 100 by the second Continue reading >>

Going Paleo With Reactive Hypoglycemia

Going Paleo With Reactive Hypoglycemia

I have constant blood sugar issues which is why I would like to try a paleo diet again. I think I have reactive hypoglycemia but I am not diagnosed. I feel hypoglycemic all the time and need to eat like every 3 hours or I will not function very well. Basically I function best with huge amounts of sugar in me. Only then I don't think about moving my body and, my mind is really active. I consider this the way I should feel because I felt like that most of my life(childhood, etc). Without sugar I feel grumpy and don't want to do anything :( Energy is the spice of life and I'm really low on it most of the time. Can you guys help me get healthy again and function properly without huge amounts of sugar? What should I do? How often should I eat and how much carbs should I ingest. I would be thankful for any approach to mitigate this unpleasant condition. Maybe a paleo lifestyle could even cure this thing? Also I'd like to know if you guys would recommend getting diagnosed by a medical doctor. Continue reading >>

What Is Reactive Hypoglycemia?

What Is Reactive Hypoglycemia?

“What do you mean dinner isn’t ready yet?”, I ask in an aggressive, irritated tone and I can feel my eyes flooding with tears. I am trying to stay calm but I am so angry. My husband has seen this before. “When was the last time you ate?”, he asks as he hands me a few slices of cheese.I grab the food with shaky fingers and wolf it down. I close my eyes and wait for the surge of glucose through my blood stream. I am breathing steadily again. My anger, along with my pounding headache are slowly going away. “About four hours ago.”, I say.”That’s too long, sweetie.” he says gently as he is leading me to the couch.”I know, I know.” I retort sadly, “I just wish I could last without food for a couple of hours and not turn into a monster!” Have you experienced this before? How about confusion, irritability, impatience, shakiness or the inability to compete simple tasks when you miss a meal or just haven’t eaten in a couple of hours? If you or someone close to you who has, let me share what I have learned about this condition. These symptoms are characteristic of hypoglycemia (not to be confused with hyperglycemia, i.e. high blood sugar levels – a very different medical condition we will not be exploring today). What is Hypoglycemia? There are two varieties of hypoglycemia in non-diabetic individuals: Fasting Hypoglycemia and Reactive Hypoglycemia. Fasting Hypoglycemia According to Balch (1997) Fasting Hypoglycemia is rare and is caused by pathogens or disease. Examples of causes include pancreatic tumors, liver disease, adrenal malfunction, thyroid disorders, pituitary disorders, food sensitivities, and allergies. Reactive Hypoglycemia Reactive Hypoglycemia (aka idiopathic postprandial hypoglycemia or functional hypoglycemia) is a condition first Continue reading >>

Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive hypoglycemia, postprandial hypoglycemia, or sugar crash is a term describing recurrent episodes of symptomatic hypoglycemia occurring within 4 hours[1] after a high carbohydrate meal in people who do not have diabetes.[2] The condition is related to homeostatic systems utilised by the body to control blood sugar levels. It is variously described as a sense of tiredness, lethargy, irritation, or hangover, although the effects can be less if one has undertaken a lot of physical activity within the next few hours after consumption. The alleged mechanism for the feeling of a crash is correlated with an abnormally rapid rise in blood glucose after eating. This normally leads to insulin secretion (known as an insulin spike), which in turn initiates rapid glucose uptake by tissues either accumulating it as glycogen or utilizing it for energy production. The consequent fall in blood glucose is indicated as the reason for the "sugar crash".[3]. A deeper cause might be hysteresis effect of insulin action, i.e., the effect of insulin is still prominent even if both plasma glucose and insulin levels were already low, causing a plasma glucose level eventually much lower than the baseline level[4]. Sugar crashes are not to be confused with the after-effects of consuming large amounts of protein, which produces fatigue akin to a sugar crash, but are instead the result of the body prioritising the digestion of ingested food.[5] The prevalence of this condition is difficult to ascertain because a number of stricter or looser definitions have been used. It is recommended that the term reactive hypoglycemia be reserved for the pattern of postprandial hypoglycemia which meets the Whipple criteria (symptoms correspond to measurably low glucose and are relieved by raising the glucos Continue reading >>

Cpe Monthly: Nutrition Tips For Reactive Hypoglycemia After Bariatric Surgery

Cpe Monthly: Nutrition Tips For Reactive Hypoglycemia After Bariatric Surgery

Reactive hypoglycemia (also called postprandial hypoglycemia, hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia, or noninsulinoma pancreatogenous hypoglycemia) is characterized by recurrent episodes of symptomatic hypoglycemia occurring two to four hours after a high-carbohydrate meal (or oral glucose load). Patients who have undergone bariatric surgery, especially those in whom the pylorus is bypassed (gastric bypass, biliopancreatic diversion/duodenal switch), may experience reactive hypoglycemia. The dietitian is key to helping these patients manage symptoms. Symptoms Patients may experience any of these symptoms one to three hours after a meal high in carbohydrates: hunger, feeling shaky, dizziness, sleepiness, sweating, anxiety, feeling weak, confusion, heart palpitations, fatigue, aggression, tremors, fainting, or loss of consciousness. Dietary Modifications Work with your patients to help them identify and eliminate from their diets simple sugars, concentrated sweets, high-fat foods, alcohol, caffeine, and lactose (possibly). They also should avoid skipping meals or consuming meals comprised only of carbohydrates. Focus on how you can help patients modify their diets, including the following: plan mini meals spaced equally throughout the day (three to four hours); make low-volume choices; consume high-protein levels at each eating occasion, pairing protein choices with complex carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables; choose healthful fats; and separate food and fluid intake by 30 to 60 minutes. Soluble fiber from guar gum, glucomannan, and pectin and alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, (eg, acarbose) or somatostatin analogs (eg, octreotide) can help delay gastric emptying, increase small intestine transit time, and slow glucose absorption. Patient-Specific Tips Acknowledge that everyone may Continue reading >>

The Best Snacks For Reactive Hypoglycemia

The Best Snacks For Reactive Hypoglycemia

It comes on suddenly and you feel nauseous, faint and maybe even dizzy. The only cure is to eat something fast because you’re also feeling extremely hungry even though your last meal was only a few hours ago. Reactive hypoglycemia, whether your blood sugars are dropping below normal or not, can be scary. Eating regularly and including healthy snacks may help prevent the dip in blood sugar and unsettling symptoms. Reactive hypoglycemia must be diagnosed by a doctor, so if you think you’re having episodes of low blood sugar, consult with your doctor to get the right diagnosis and treatment. A Little About Reactive Hypoglycemia Reactive hypoglycemia, also known as postprandial hypoglycemia, is a condition characterized by low blood sugars that occur within four hours after eating a meal. It affects people with and without diabetes, people who are overweight and those who’ve had gastric bypass surgery. Doctors aren’t certain what causes the sudden drop in blood sugar, but it’s thought to be an excessive secretion of insulin, the hormone that carries glucose from the blood to the cells. Symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia vary and may include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, increased hunger and headaches. While reactive hypoglycemia can cause low blood sugar, some people experience the symptoms of the condition without their blood sugar dropping below normal. How to Snack With Reactive Hypoglycemia The only treatment for reactive hypoglycemia is diet. But you don’t need to eat special foods or special snacks. The same healthy foods that are recommended for everyone are good for people with reactive hypoglycemia. That means meals and snacks of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy proteins and healthy fats. However, to gain prevent the drastic Continue reading >>

Reactive Hypoglycemia - Hypos After Eating

Reactive Hypoglycemia - Hypos After Eating

Tweet Reactive hypoglycemia is the general term for having a hypo after eating, which is when blood glucose levels become dangerously low following a meal. Also known as postprandial hypoglycemia, drops in blood sugar are usually recurrent and occur within four hours after eating. Reactive hypoglycemia can occur in both people with and without diabetes, and is thought to be more common in overweight individuals or those who have had gastric bypass surgery. What are the causes of reactive hypoglycemia? Scientists believe reactive hypoglycemia to be the result of too much insulin being produced and released by the pancreas following a large carbohydrate-based meal. This excess insulin production and secretion continues after the glucose derived from the meal has been digested, causing the amount of glucose in the bloodstream to fall to a lower-than-normal level. What causes this increase in pancreatic activity is unclear. One possible explanation is that in rare cases, a benign (non-cancerous) tumour in the pancreas may cause an overproduction of insulin, or too much glucose may be used up by the tumour itself. Another is that reactive hypoglycemia is caused by deficiencies in glucagon secretion. In the U.S. the National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that "the causes of most cases of reactive hypoglycemia are still open to debate". Signs and symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia Symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia can include: Anxiety Blurred vision Confusion Fatigue Headaches Heart palpitations Increased hunger Irritability Light-headedness Sleeping problems Sweating Weakness When talking about the signs of reactive hypoglycemia, it's important to note that many of these symptoms can be experienced without actually having low blood sugar. In fact, it is rare for such sympt Continue reading >>

Reactive Hypoglycemia--an Experiment?

Reactive Hypoglycemia--an Experiment?

Reactive hypoglycemia is a condition which is characterized by unusually low blood sugar that occurs one to four hours following a meal. The symptoms are the typical ones for low blood sugar--shakiness, light-headedness, weakness, confusion, anxiety, depression, hunger, pounding heartbeat and sweating. Progressive development of insulin resistance is often the cause of reactive hypoglycemia. When the pancreas becomes insulin resistant, it is unable to release the proper amount of insulin in response to the stimulus of carbohydrates and proteins. Sometimes the pancreas will overshoot its estimate of the amount of insulin needed to store ingested carbs and proteins. The excess insulin produces hypoglycemia and its associated symptoms. A more detailed explanation of the process can be found in my original post called Reactive Hypoglycemia. (Be sure to read the comments section.) Reactive hypoglycemia can be diagnosed with a glucose tolerance test. If the test is positive, the patient will typically be advised to eat every 2-3 hours to relieve the symptoms. Although freqent ingestion of food does keep blood sugar from falling too low, it will not provide a long-term resolution of the underlying problem. One of my readers, Alex, who blogs at Low Carb New England, entered the discussion on the original post with the story of how he has been dealing with reactive hypoglycemia since he was a teenager. Over the years he has systematically tried many different approaches and has taken careful note of what result each personal experiment has produced. To summarize briefly, Alex initially tried eating less sugar and eating frequent meals, but eventually he gained nearly 100 pounds. Next he investigated low-carb eating. By using the Atkins diet, he lost weight and many of his sympto Continue reading >>

Preventing Reactive Hypoglycemia With Exercise

Preventing Reactive Hypoglycemia With Exercise

Hungry, shaky, sleepy, anxious, dizzy, confused, nervous, sweaty, irritable, or "hangry". Ever experience any of these symptoms right after starting a workout? These are symptoms of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. This is a condition that can occur in under certain circumstances shortly after starting to exercise. In response to eating carbohydrates our body releases insulin, a hormone that’s main goal is to drive glucose into cells for storage or use. This normal process is what returns our blood sugar to normal following a meal. During exercise, a separate process, independent of insulin, pulls glucose from the blood stream and into muscle, also lowering blood sugar. Now, imagine for a moment what could happen if both of these processes were to occur at their full capacity at the same time. This is what is known as reactive, or rebound hypoglycemia, meaning your blood sugar gets too low. If you’ve ever had this happen, you know how tough it is to keep working out. Historically, it was recommended to avoid carbohydrates before exercise altogether to prevent this phenomenon from happening; however, our viewpoint on this has changed. In those that have experienced reactive hypoglycemia or are prone to it, the timing and type of carbohydrates before exercise is important. Since both blood glucose and insulin concentrations peak 20-40 minutes after eating a meal/snack, eating carbohydrates within the 10 minutes before starting to exercise or during the warm up is one strategy. Also, choosing low glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates, such as a slightly under-ripe banana, may also help. This will result in a gradual (versus rapid) rise in blood glucose and therefore insulin. If neither of these strategies work for someone who is prone to reactive hypoglycemia, avoiding al Continue reading >>

How To Change Your Diet If You Have Hypoglycemia

How To Change Your Diet If You Have Hypoglycemia

Expert Reviewed Hypoglycemia, a condition characterized by lower than normal levels of glucose in the bloodstream, can be caused by many factors. Reactive hypoglycemia is defined as hypoglycemia which occurs when there is no underlying medical condition to explain an abnormal production and regulation of insulin, the hormone which lowers your blood glucose.[1] Your body overcompensates and reduces blood glucose levels too much after eating (postprandial). This tendency can be counteracted by changing your eating habits so that glucose enters the bloodstream at a slow, steady pace.[2] 1 See a doctor to rule out other causes of hypoglycemia. Organic hypoglycemia is caused by medical conditions such as liver or kidney disease, certain tumors, or hormone deficiencies; addressing the underlying cause is the treatment. Hypoglycemia also can be caused by some medicines, especially ones used to treat diabetes. Do not change your diet before a trained medical professional rules out other causes and diagnoses you with reactive hypoglycemia.[3][4] 2 Seek the advice of a registered dietitian. Your new diet should meet the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) in terms of the calories, proteins, minerals, and vitamins needed for a healthy adult.[5] A dietitian can guide you as you add and remove foods from your diet. They will assist you with planning the content of your meals and snacks. 3 Monitor yourself for the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Let others know about your diagnosis. Everyone can look out for symptoms like anxiety, irritability, hunger, sweating, shakiness, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, tingling around the mouth, dizziness, and hot flashes.[6][7] Break your diet and eat sugary foods. The goal is to get your blood glucose back to a normal range as soon as possible[8] Let friends, fa Continue reading >>

Diet For Reactive Hypoglycemia

Diet For Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive hypoglycemia is a medical condition in which sugar level of the blood drops suddenly. But, it is possible to keep this condition under control. The only need is to follow a strict diet plan. Check it out this post and know more about the reactive hypoglycemia diet. Food to Eat There are certain foods that must be included in the diet plan to keep this medical condition under control. Check it out some foods that must be incorporated in the diet plan for reactive hypoglycemia’s patients: Whole Grain: As we all know whole grains are one of the best sources of carbohydrates. So, whole grains should be the part of reactive hypoglycemia diet. Whole grains include healthy oatmeal, cereals, brown rice, brown bread, wheat bread and so on. Fresh Fruits: Intake of fresh fruits is highly effective to keep this medical condition under control. Fruits rich in fiber are considered to be the best for treating this disorder. Fruits which should be the part of the diet plan are apple, orange, plums, pineapples, strawberries, berries, melons, pears, grapes and many other fiber rich fruits as well. Meats: For non vegetarians, meat is going to be the best diet. The options that are available for the diet are egg, fish, veal, chicken, prawn etc. Vegetables: Protein and fiber rich vegetable are considered to be very effective for reactive hypoglycemia. Protein and fiber prevents the level of blood sugar to drop and keeps the situation under control. Vegetables that should be incorporated in the diet plan are sweet potatoes, while potatoes, spinach, mushroom, peas, cucumber, carrot, radish, tomato etc. Dairy: Dairy products are also a great choice to go while preparing for reactive hypoglycemia diet plan. Low fat cheese, yogurt, skimmed milk, buttermilk are great to control reactiv Continue reading >>

A Reactive Hypoglycemia Diet May Be Your Answer To Ill Health

A Reactive Hypoglycemia Diet May Be Your Answer To Ill Health

Reset Reactive hypoglycemia is sometimes referred to as postprandial hypoglycemia. These terms refer to a condition in which an individual who does not have diabetes experiences symptoms of hypoglycemia within a few hours of consuming a meal rich in carbohydrates. It is thought that the carbohydrates trigger a flood of insulin that continues beyond digestion and metabolism of glucose from the meal. The most effective treatment for this condition is to follow a reactive hypoglycemia diet, which involves eating several small meals consisting of high-fiber and starchy foods, limiting sugar, and regular exercise. It is difficult to say how many people are affected by this condition, as there is not one standard defined diagnostic criteria. The US National Institutes of Health defines reactive hypoglycemia as hypoglycemic symptoms accompanied by blood glucose levels below 70 mg/dL, that are relieved by eating. Some doctors use the HbA1c test to measure blood sugar averages over the course of a couple of months, or a six hour glucose tolerance test. However, regardless of diagnosis, symptoms can be easily avoided by following a reactive hypoglycemia diet. Symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia very depending on an individual’s hydration and sensitivity to the drop in blood sugar concentrations. Some symptoms include visual disturbances, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, cardiac arrhythmias, fatigue, dizziness, sweating, headaches, depression, anxiety, irritability, sugar cravings, increased appetite, nausea or vomiting, numbness in the hands and feet, and disorientation. In severe cases, coma can also result. If you notice any of these symptoms occurring within a few hours of eating a high carbohydrate meal, consider talking with a healthcare professional about a reactive hypo Continue reading >>

Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive hypoglycemia is a condition in which the body reacts to a perceived catastrophic drop in blood sugar. I say perceived because during an episode, the blood sugar readings may be in the normal range, but still "feel" like low blood sugar to the person having the reaction. In my experience, hypoglycemia happens to most people when first beginning a low carb, ketogenic diet. It may be especially strong in people who have already developed insulin resistance or pre-diabetes from a chronic excess of carbohydrate intake. There are different types of low blood sugar causes. Transient hypoglycemia normally happens when most people who have been eating a high carb diet drastically reduce carbohydrate intake for the first time. This type happens during the first several weeks of carb reduction because the body has not had time to create the enzymes or metabolic state to burn internal fat stores for fuel. Basically there is a gap in the amount of carbohydrate available for fuel, and the process of accessing fat stores for fuel. The lack of fuel sources results in transient low blood sugar. Reactive hypoglycemia is more of an acute reaction to a very high carb meal. For instance, when a person eats 2 or 3 glazed donuts, there is a huge spike in blood sugar and compensating insulin secretion after such a meal. The large insulin spike drives blood sugar very low several hours after the meal. How Reactive Hypoglycemia Happens Insulin, a hormone, is secreted from the pancreas in response to eating food, especially foods high in carbohydrates. Its main job is to move the sugar your body makes from the food you eat into your cells so that this excess sugar can be broken down for energy or stored. Insulin is a very powerful hormone, and it acts very quickly. The amount of insulin Continue reading >>

Healthy Eating Guidelines For People With Reactive Hypoglycemia

Healthy Eating Guidelines For People With Reactive Hypoglycemia

Introduction Reactive hypoglycemia is low blood glucose (sugar) that occurs within four hours after eating. Symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia may include anxiety, fast heartbeat, irritability (feeling very stressed or nervous), shaking, sweating, hunger, dizziness, blurred vision, difficulty thinking and faintness. Follow the tips below to help keep your blood glucose levels steady and prevent symptoms of hypoglycemia. Steps You Can Take Eat small balanced meals or snacks throughout the day (about every three hours). Choose a variety of healthy foods from at least three of the four food groups at each meal and two of the food groups at each snack. A meal of chili (Meat and Alternatives, Vegetables and Fruit) with cornbread (Grain products) and a glass of milk (Milk and Alternatives) contains all four food groups. Limit foods and drinks high in sugar such as doughnuts, frozen desserts, fruit flavoured drinks and soft drinks. Avoid long stretches of time between meals. Choose foods that are high in soluble fibre and starchy foods that have a low glycemic index at each meal. These types of foods can help keep blood glucose levels stable. Foods high in soluble fibre include: oatmeal, oat bran and barley dried peas, beans and lentils vegetables and fruits with their skin. Aim for 5-10 grams of soluble fibre per day. Starchy foods low in glycemic index include: oats, converted/parboiled rice, barley and bulgur breads made from stone ground flour and heavy mixed grain such as pumpernickel bread dried beans, peas and lentils. Most vegetables, fruits and low-fat milk products have a moderate or low glycemic index and can be included at each meal. Talk to a registered dietitian for help with choosing and adapting recipes to add low glycemic index foods in your meal plan. If you d Continue reading >>

A Food List For A Diet For Reactive Hypoglycemia

A Food List For A Diet For Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive hypoglycemia is low blood sugar that occurs 3 to 4 hours after eating a meal. Symptoms include hunger, weakness, shakiness, lightheadedness, anxiety and confusion, according to MayoClinic.com. Reactive hypoglycemia requires a medical evaluation for a diagnosis. To treat your reactive hypoglycemia, you need to eat small frequent meals -- going no more than three hours without a meal -- that include foods high in fiber. Video of the Day Whole grains provide carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Carbohydrates in food turn into sugar and raise blood sugars. But the fiber in whole grain helps slow the release of the sugar into the bloodstream. A slower release of sugar helps keep the blood sugar level consistent, notes the Jackson-Siegelbaum Gastroenterology Group. Whole grain foods to include in your diet to prevent reactive hypoglycemia include whole wheat bread, oatmeal, whole grain ready-to-eat cereals, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, barley, bulgur, whole grain crackers and popcorn. Fruits also provide carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. People with reactive hypoglycemia should choose whole fruit over its juice for its fiber content. Drinking juice leads to a rapid rise and then fall in blood sugar, according to the Jackson-Siegelbaum Gastroenterology Group. Fruits high in soluble fiber delay stomach emptying and also slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream. High soluble fiber fruits include oranges, apples, strawberries and pears. Other healthy fruit choices for reactive hypoglycemia include melons, berries, grapes, plums and peaches. Vegetables contain only small amounts of carbohydrate, but act as a good source of fiber to help delay digestion. Healthy vegetable choices for reactive hypoglycemia include Brussels sprouts, white and sweet Continue reading >>

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