Wednesday, 11 November 2009


For the last year or so, I have been struggling with hypoglycemia--at least that's my best theory. For the last 2 months I have been taking control in a more deliberate way by keeping track of what I eat, when I eat it, and how I feel. I try to eat protein every 2 hours. I try to stay away from refined carbs but don't do too well at that yet. Also I don't eat sugar, or even concentrated natural sugars such as fruit juice, because they make my symptoms worse. What are my symptoms? Although they seem to fluctuate with severity depending on my diet and stress level, I have experienced: vertigo, dizziness/lightheadedness, fuzzy-foggy brain, shortness of breath, pounding heartbeat, aches in my armpits, confusion, fatigue, extreme fatigue, dry mouth, irritability, depression, adrenaline buzz, slightly blurry vision. Mostly though, I think of it as feeling 'off.'

There are several types of hypoglycemia and I believe the version I have is called Reactive or Postprandial. Basically what happens is about 2.5 hours after eating my blood sugar drops. This has something to do with insulin but I forget what. The way to fix it is to eat foods that release sugars slowly into my blood instead of crashing down the doors. So whole wheat and brown rice are in. I also eat lots of protein because it just helps. Nuts, sandwich meat, milk, yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese are my favourites. Ideally I would eat more legumes such as lentils (eatabean!) as they are rich in protein, and other grains such as quinoa, but I'm still working on that. Did you know that the average loaf of 100% whole wheat bread has sugar in it? So I'm also working on eliminating little sources of sugar like that. I have noticed improvement when I stick to my diet.

Last week I definitely felt better. I even had two 'normal' days in a row with my old energy back. Then on Sunday morning I 'crashed' on my way to church. What went wrong? I think I just ate too much in the way of carbs that morning, plus some white grape jam probably didn't help. Last night I ate some sugar-rich cereal before bed, and this morning I had a 'sugar hangover.'

From what I've read and heard, recovery takes about 3 months after starting a decent diet, then I can start experimenting and figure out what foods are the best for me. I'm pretty sure I'm near the has been great to see improvement.


Jennifer Gardner said...

Caffiene is supposed to be a trigger too. Affects the adrenaline which messes up the insulin. The problem with the insulin is that the body doesn't make it quick enough, so when it finally does release it, it dumps a whole bunch, which causes your sugar to crash. (At least for me, I don't know if all hypolgycemia is the same). Protein bars are also good (and easily transportable).

Andrew said...

Thanks, Jen!