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Hypoglycemia (Page 1)

Hi,

does anyone else have problems with hypoglycemia or low blood sugar since menopause. I've not only had the usual symptoms but also severe hypoglycemia. It started when I was perimenopausal, about 45 year old and then started again this year after my period stopped, at 54.

I'm on a low carb diet to control the symptoms but i'm still bothered by the rollercoaster effects of low blood sugar. Has anyone found help for this?

Thanks,
dianajj
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First Helper OldSchool81
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replied July 1st, 2006
Dj

just wanted to say "me too!" you're not alone. I am very hypoglycemic since beginning perimenopause. I can follow the diet to the letter and still have symptoms.

So if it's any consolation I feel your pain.

Ever get a dizzy/off balance feeling that just won't go away? That's the worst imo.

Good luck to you.
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replied August 14th, 2006
Dear Both
I have been perimenopausal for 4 years but have always been hypoglaecemic. I get the symptoms even when my sugar levels are relatively normal 5-6 but my worst was 0.7
i am also a yeast free fungus free vegan so my choice of snacks is quite limited!
The best thing that I have found is pumpkin seeds/sunflower seed mix, also oatcakes or ryvita with a little jam but dont discount a little boiled tattie with a splash of tomato ketchup !
Its more about eating regular, small amounts and watch out for exercising, very good for you but I can say that the more you do the quicker you bring on a hypo, even something as piddling as the ironing or hoovering that others wouldnt even class as exercise! Good luck to both of you!
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replied August 27th, 2006
Need Sugar
I'm only 31 but I had a total hyst last yr so I am going thru menopause now. And I was having the low blood sugar problems before also and they are getting worse now. I usually eat a spoonful of peanut butter to bring mine back up. I have cut out the chocolate. Where it used to be all I ever ate. So I know what you all are talking about too.
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replied November 30th, 2006
Hypoglycemia
I feel like I have similar symptoms what do you feel like when this feeling comes on I fel lite headed like im going topass out sometimes an upset stomach my sugar is always normal when I check when these eppisodes happen
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replied February 2nd, 2007
One Arm Away From Curling Up In a Paper Bag
Oh my god - people just like me with hypoglycemia problems and perimenopause! What a gold mine!

Do the blood sugar gods punish you if you exercise? I was exercising for 30 minutes, four nights a week, but the following morning it's always like my body is gasping for energy, so i've stopped doing that, even tho' all the health experts say I should!

I can't put any more than 12-13 carbs in my body at one time or I feel weird so I end up eating a lot of hard cheese with fat for energy - what else am I supposed to do? You know what? I've gained 20 pounds in four years, even with the exercise and restricting my diet - no soda, no sugar, no salty snacks, no sweets, no nothing!

If I accidentally eat too many carbs I get a weird sensation in my head followed by pins and needles all over my body. This has happened 6-7 times in the past year always when i'm out driving by myself and a few times when i've been more than an hour away from home. The same thing happens if I have a blood sugar meltdown, you know, that weak, i'm going to fall on the floor in a pile of bones feeling if I don't eat.

And even if I feel i've done everything right, the gods still assault me.

I am so afraid to go anywhere long distance by myself and I used to be pretty independent. This thing has really taken its toll.

Know what else? I see this posting from these vitamin guys and I think the last thing I want is someone pushing more pills on me. What i'd really like is a legitimate doctor to say, yes, your symptoms are worse because of menopause and this is what you should do. But no one ever does. And while I recognize you may have some tiny morsel of emphathy, my initial inclination, however rude as it may sound, is to tell you to keep your pills, boys.

From the rest of you: I could use some camaraderie and good advice.
Lorie Embarassed
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replied February 8th, 2007
Experienced User
Blood Sugar
Hi lorie,

so sorry you have this problem too. I wish I could tell you that i've found the answer but i'm still trying. Do you eat every 2 or 3 hours...That helps quite a bit. I've actually lost weigh in the last few months by eating frequent small meals. For snacks I eat nuts (almonds, walnuts etc) and also cheese or other protein.

I also have a problem with insomnia. It feels like my blood sugar drops during the night and it wakes me up. I usually have some protein before bed, like a whey protein powder (low carb) mixed water and I warm it up and drink it just before I go to sleep and it really helps.

Eating before and after exercise is very important. I usually work out 3 or 4 time a week and still feel pretty good. One time I didn't eat before I exercise and I felt awful by the time I finished - weak, fast heartbeat, faint...It was terrible. I'll never do that again.

Hope this helps,
dianajj
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replied February 14th, 2007
One thing I have found that helps me to maintain a more even blood sugar level is to be sure I eat a serving of protein with each meal.
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replied February 20th, 2007
Thanks All
Thanks everyone for your replies. Since posting my message I've felt a lot better because I haven't been exercising. Exercise is the problem because I don't eat a lot of carbs at once (maybe 14) and I have probably around 50 carbs a day.

I was exercising 1/2 hour roughly every other night on a stationary bike, burning about 480 calories (or so my bike told me) and I guess I was really over doing it Embarassed

So for those of you who exercise with hypoglycemia: how many carbs do you eat before and after exercise? I'd really like to know.
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replied February 22nd, 2007
And One More Thing
Also guys, I've recognized one important thing: My body can only tolerate 11-14 carbs at one time but it still needs energy, right? So I've found hard cheese to be a big help - a few pieces in the morning, at midday and maybe in the afternoon.

Cheese has the right combination of protein and fat and fat is used for energy. If I'm in a hypoglycemic episode, hard cheese always helps. In fact, I go no where anymore without having some pieces of hard cheese with me. And the low-fat doesn't cut it (unfortunately ) it has to have the fat in it or you're defeating the purpose.

If anyone can tell me a good substitute for hard cheese, let me know.
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replied February 25th, 2007
Community Volunteer
Fat is good for you, only bad when you're eating a high carbohydrate diet, and this is the dietary bane of modern society. Actually, it's been our bane ever since we decided it was a good idea. Increasing your protein intake will help, so try that at first. How many carbs are you eating per day now?
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replied February 26th, 2007
Low Carbs
Hi Stan - For close to two - maybe 3 - years now I have limited by carb intake to under 50 grams a day - and I even think for close to a year that number was probably under 40 grams a day - and I was exercising, sometimes 1 1/2 hours daily. I got my energy from fat.

Yeah, I was bad. I have since discovered on my own that you can't really support exercise on a high fat diet and I think my water weight gain and my body's refusal to give up weight (despite the fact that my diet is fairly good) has to do with my exercising on a low carb diet.

As of now I have given up exercise for 1 month because I honestly don't know how to support the exercise if I'm not eating sufficient carbs.

But you know ... how many doctors have I seen over the course of the last two years - all of whom applauded me for exercising. All of whom knew my diet. Not one told me of the problems with exercising on so few carbs - and believe me, I can tell you: based on some terrifying health incidents over the past 2 years - those problems have been many.
Lorie
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replied February 26th, 2007
Community Volunteer
Well, all advice I have read says to never, ever drop your carb intake below 60g. You can easily increase this by eating more vegetables like green beans and brussels sprouts perhaps. More protein will give you more energy too, a ketogenic diet (high fat) can put a very bad strain on your liver. Gives you the poops too.
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replied March 2nd, 2007
Thanks
thanks Stan - that's good to know.
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replied August 24th, 2007
Menopause And Hypoglycemia
In respone to Blood Sugar Blues, don't give up going out. I have those same feelings you described and have had for two to three years, since reaching the end stages of menopause. They don't lead to anything worse than feeling sleepy and vague for me, but they are alarming.

I appreciated your description and those of the others on this site. I have been trying to peg mine to something specific in my diet because I could not imagine hypoglycemia being brought on by menopause.

Has anyone been through this and come out on the other side yet?
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replied August 27th, 2007
Thanks Kolam
and yes, there is most definitely a link between menopause and increased hypoglycemia problems - the same organ, the pancreas, is involved in all of it.

a tip for you: I've started a gluten free diet and have felt A LOT better.
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replied August 19th, 2008
Menopause And Hypoglycemia
I am glad to see that is it not just me! I have always had hypoglycemia but could control it with smaller, more frequent meals, snacks, etc. It wasn't a major problem until I hit menopause.

Now, it is very difficult to control. I want to exercise more and eat less but it is difficult when almost any kind of exertion triggers a low blood sugar attack.

The snacks aren't working anymore. More and more, I need to stop whatever I'm doing and get a major meal. There has to be a better way.

I have purchased a blood glucose meter to hopefully get a better idea of what is going on.
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replied August 19th, 2008
Experienced User
Hello Kolam and Everyone,

I'm the one who started this subject back in 2006. I'm very happy to say that my blood sugar problems have resolved themselves and hopefully it will stay that way.

I'm about 3 year postmenopausal now and all my symptoms (including hypoglycemia) are so much better. I still eat frequently just to keep my energy up but no terrible episodes like I used to have. I try to stay away from a lot of carbs and especially sugar but even when I do eat carbs, I still feel pretty good. Mostly I'm doing it for my health now.

Hopefully, many of you will have the same experience. Hormonal imbalances can really cause major problems and make you feel awful!

Best Wishes,
DianaJJ
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replied August 20th, 2008
Hi DianaJJ. Since my original post, my body has calmed down dramatically; turned out that my body did something really freakish and it was all due to hormones: in 1999 my system couldn't tolerate a lot of carbs and I lost a lot of weight.

In 2003 I started to gain the weight back (I was diagnosed in peri in late 1999) and in 2005-2007 I suffered through the worst of the hormonal imbalance - really horrible panic attack episodes that I very recently deduced were brought on by low blood sugar/hormonal imbalances and me, trying to stave off the weight gain, not eating and especially not eating carbs and over-exercising.

After my original post above, I went to a nutritionist and a doctor, both of whom told me I had to up my intake of carbs, which I did and slowly my body came out of its tailspin but it's taken over a year and a half, with light to moderate exercise. And then unexpectedly my biological system started to need carbs - like it was starved for carbohydrates. So now I'm eating between 60-80 carbs a day. I feel much better.

I also feel as though there was nothing I could have done during that two years of turmoil. My system was resetting itself, my hormones were readjusting and it just needed time to all balance out.

I've started to lose a little weight. I still don't go anywhere without food - it's going to take a long time for psychological recovery of what those episodes did to me.

So thanks for your posting and your support!
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replied September 18th, 2008
Not just nuts
Hello DianaJJ, blood sugar blues & everyone else in this post,
I want to let you know what relief you have given me with the information that you have posted here. I have been experiencing strange and sometimes severe symptoms. My GYN just suggests that I get on the pill or an anti-anxiety med. I really feel that my symptoms are hormone/blood sugar related and I can't get anyone in the medical field to give me any answers. It's like they just don't have any answers. I get the shakes, I get a real crashing feeling like a weight is on my head, I have trouble sleeping and I get extreme debilitating panic that just hits me out of the blue. It is difficult to function this way, especially with the panic because sometimes when this happens I am at work or in a business meeting. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for putting the info out there because it helps me to know that I am not just going nuts and can move forward and find relief with diet alterations.
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