Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Hypoglycemia Forum

Severe reactive hypglycemia (Page 1)

I can no longer eat most carbohydrates.

My diet consists only of meat and eggs.

Over the past 5 years I have gone from 4-6 hr response to oatmeal and complex carbs down to a reaction after 20 mins.

Its so fast of a reaction, I cannot document the drop on my meter. I used to be able to see me go from 115-110-105-90-75 and then jump back up to 105 when symptoms kicked in.

An extraordinary situation. I can no longer even eat a slice of cheese or have sausage.

Haven't done a cortisol test, but have succesfully passed a 12 hour fast with insulin, proinsulin levels versus glucose okay, plus TSH, CBC, catecholmines urine okay.

Have read about extreme circumstances, but I have almost completely lost the ability to eat carbs without extreme panic and confusion as a result. Is such a situation possible without a critical illness?

Any suggestions about what to look for next?
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First Helper rozella
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replied August 18th, 2008
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I'm going to guess that you thought you were eating okay before but weren't. Sausage, for example, has sugar in it.
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replied August 19th, 2008
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Eating a sausage wouldn't throw someone into a fit of low blood sugar, so low it can't be documented, in 20 minutes. Unless you had injected a bucket load of insulin.

Are you sure your blood sugars are falling severely low? I would have thought if that was the case you would be falling unconscious and medical professionals would have interfered straight away...

Have your doctor check you for food allergies and intolerances. I'm surprised nothing has been done given the reaction is so severe. Have you even seen your doctor about this?

It's important that you see your doctor, with a reaction speed that high and symptoms so extreme it's more likely to be an allergy or intolerance.
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replied August 19th, 2008
The problem is the state of panic and confusion. My body can handle the drop - the adrenaline kicks in to sustain a normal glucose level - this is why my readings are always normal.

Unfortunately, since I've eliminated most carbs, it doesn't take much insulin to cause a reactive response.

One endocrinologist said give it about 10-15 years and things should mello out. I'm 37.

At least I can eat every 4-5 hours without carbs. Before, it got down to having to eat every 2 hours with complex carbs and then eventually my body told me not to eat any more carbs at all.

Waiting to lose eggs any day now (apparently there is justunder 1 g in each)
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replied August 19th, 2008
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I didn't mean a single sausage, I'm suggesting that they were eating not so good things a lot. I'm also going to assume that you didn't give yourself time to adjust, you just kept taking things out. The healing process takes time, there is no way around it, you can't just keep taking things out without giving yourself at least several months to get better first.
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replied August 30th, 2008
well, you say you experience confusion and panic after eating anything other than meat or eggs. could you describe what happens? and you say your glucose levels read normally even though you experience the panic? I'm wondering if maybe a part of the panic is just that you anticipate a reaction thus causing the exact reaction you anticipate. I just can't see how you could experience such an extreme reaction to anything other than eggs or meat while not passing out or experiencing any other symptom of low blood sugar other than the anxiety.
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replied September 8th, 2008
Hello i have just been reading on this page about a extreme reaction in hypo's. I do have this extreme reaction to carbs, to the point i pass out, but i have also found that caffeine will mimice this feeling without it dropping of the extreme low blood reading. My sugar will drop 100 to 150 points within 10 muintes leaving me almost lifeless, and a host of other symptoms, but the caffeine will only make me shaky, and leave me with the headach and anxiety. The Dr. has me eating extreme smalls amounts of carbs, in a meal, and limited my caffeine intake. if the caffeine is in a soft drink with sugar then i will get a high reading and then the quick drop, which involes more symptoms,, but if it in a diet drink i will only get the reaction within 3 to 4 hours after drink it. You might want to try cutting out the caffeine to see if this will help your symptoms. Good luck
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replied September 9th, 2008
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Caffeine has a similar effect on the brain, same as nicotine can. Yes cut these out.

Are you finding the extreme low carb meals is helping you? What are you eating instead?
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replied February 4th, 2009
Update
I finally lost eggs a month ago. I haven't had anything to drink except for water over the past 6 years.

My diet is now 0 carbs and I can successfully go about 4-5 hours without eating and sleep through the night with about a 12 hour fast from previous meals. Getting IGF-1 and IGF-2 test drawn in the next couple of days just to rule out another rare condition.
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replied February 13th, 2009
Check this out...

for info and a list of books; some that have recipes of what you can eat without a reaction and info on food allergies, etc...
Maybe you should try a raw food diet.
Detox for one week (veggie juice detox) then slowly reintroduce non-processed foods.
Try Brewer's Yeast (natural chromium source and rich in B vitamins).
Take a vitamin and fiber supplement.
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replied February 17th, 2009
Postprandial reactive hypoglycemia
I have a similar problem... I am very fit and otherwise healthy, but my life has been dominated by this issue for around 20 years. Even small amounts of sugar reliably send me into a weeks/months long tailspin, and any carbs on an empty stomach can put me out of comission for a day. You sound pretty sophisticated about the topic, ballroomeast, but if you haven't, look up a review paper with the same title as this message, written by Brun, Fedou and Mercier, available as a PDF online. It is the most complete description of this problem I've seen anywhere. Their section about treatment options lists acarbose as first line treatment, and got me to give this medication a try (my doctor was willing to play ball). My expectations were nearly nonexistent, having been let down more times in the past than I can recall. Within days it markedly increased my energy level and decreased feelings of shakiness/anxiet etc... all the counterregulatory response symptoms. Four weeks in, I haven't been able to expand my diet, but feel much better on the old restrictive one (which nonetheless does include some complex carbs). I have a feeling that the body, in our situation, responds to decreasing carb load with increased sensitivity to BG/insulin fluctuations, which defeats our attempts to regulate by diet. Not sure if acarbose will turn out differently. It is inexpensive, quite safe, and widely available. Even without a definite diagnosis, it may be worth a try.

I am still waiting for an appointment with an endocrinologist... Curious to hear what, if anything, your new tests have turned up.
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replied February 18th, 2009
I sympathize with you, ballroomeast and serz4u, because it seems I also have this hypersensitivity. About 15 minutes after a lunch of two lettuce leaves and a 2oz patty of beef, I would start feeling the slight dizziness, burning eye sockets, and inability to concentrate which would last for about an hour--all common hypoglycemic symptoms. Even eating one stick of broccoli with a cube of cheese for my 2-hourly snack would have an almost instantaneous effect, albeit it doesn't last as long or is not as severe. So really the only times I feel normal are the hour (or even less) after the reaction and before the next snack or meal, when the entire cycle viciously starts again.
The hypersensivity seems to be related overly sensitive andrenalin reponse. Please update with any progress you have made or doctor's findings. Thanks.
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replied February 19th, 2009
That is what makes everything so hard. If you eat too much or too fast the pancreas overreacts...then if you don't eat enough it [email protected]! Getting that perfect balance of protein and complex carbs is exhausting!! I feel best for the longest period of time if I eat nothing...but THEN eventually my adrenals freak out.
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replied February 19th, 2009
Oops, I wasn't finished. ANYWAY, I have an appt. with an endocrinologist March 2nd. I think I will ask about acarbose. I have never seen this Dr. I certainly hope there is no such thing as an endocrinologist who doesn't believe in Hypoglycemia. I will take my BG results. Third hour my BG fell to 35.
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replied May 18th, 2009
i am the same
...i cant tolerate any carbs, though i crave sometimes, but i now experience the same with some proteins.... an no it is not anxiety... i cant tell u that after two years of therpy and 6 stone weight gain from "overcoming a fear of carbohydrate".... a glucose tolerance test confirmed my case. I have been eating a diet of fat, small protein and tiny carb trace... but even no longer works, its like the body adapts....
3 endocinologists later... all the professor of endocinology can say when the nurses ask what to do when im in hypo, is ask her shes lived with the condition for over 20 years....
would be interested if u find anything and likewise will do the same
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replied August 27th, 2009
Let me say right off the bat that I have never found so many great points on this topic as I have on this thread. Three months ago I learned that I had Celiac's disease and, after a thrity-day avoidance of all gluten products, my intestines healed. Unfortunately I was then presented with a whole new problem: reactive hypoglycemia; specifically, the MOST SEVERE case of reactive hypoglycemia ever as far as I was concerned (until I found this message board). Like Ballroomeast (who I hope is doing okay as he/she started this thread before the Carter administration), my sanity and concentration have barely been able to tolerate anything on the Glycemic Index that breaks down faster than eggs. Whenever someone suggested to me that I "eat complex carbs instead of simple carbs" I would become speechless with frustration.
With this said, I think I have some useful information to contribute here that I believe has set me on the course to a recovery much closer than 10 years from now.

I'll start with a little trick that I don't hear too much about; Stan is correct. Sausage, like many foods, has a seemingly negligible amount of simple sugar in it -- 1g per serving. Unfortunately, that's all it takes for us reactive hypoglycemics. So, the first step to getting better is staying on the lookout for this (Even completely natural products like raw nuts have 1g of simple sugar. I know. What?). Now, get this: whenever you put a liberal amount of salt on any foods with a little simple sugar in it, you avoid the spike in blood sugar that would normally lead to an insulin crash. I know this sounds crazy (and unhealthy) but it works for me every time. Whether or not you are interested in trying the salt thing, I am convinced that this next (less insane-sounding) point is what makes the entire reactive-hypoglycemic diet merely a temporary one.

In all of the discourse I read online surrounding reactive hypoglycemia, there is one thing I never hear get brought up: exercise.
With a combination of VERY low-glycemic foods (e.g. eggs, red and white meat, tofu) coupled with at least thirty minutes of exercise immediately afterward (well, let yourself digest first) I am confident that you can make significant steps toward an eventually complete recovery.
Now, as you may know, an excessively low-glycemic diet eventually depletes the glycogen that allows a person to exercise in the first place, which is why you will want to "replenish" yourself every few days with a high-carbohydrate meal (no, won't always be comfortable. However, the best way to look at it is that you are making progress by taking five steps forward, one step back, and then repeating. Also, you will notice that when you have depleted your glycogen from exercise, your pancreas is significantly more tolerant of carbohydrates.)
I am looking forward to trying this Acarbose drug that Serz4u mentioned as well as seeing an endocrinologist as I believe that all of these means of treatment can only help. However I urge everyone to remember that physical fitness seems to be the missing link between today's hypoglycemic and complete recovery.

Cibolagirl said something interesting: "I certainly hope there is no such thing as an endocrinologist who doesn't believe in Hypoglycemia". Now, while this comment is hilarious, it is also a reminder of how grateful I am of these message boards as it sometimes seems that they are all we hypoglycemics have.
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replied October 5th, 2009
I am simply amazed at this forum! I thank my lucky stars that I found you guys! I've been going at this alone for several months.

After enduring symptoms of dizziness, heart palpitations, extremely dry eyes, overall dryness, and anxiety, I researched "reversing diabetes" in google and came up with the book.

It's from a guy who reversed his diabetes through eliminating all hydrogenated oils and consuming omega 3 fatty acids through flax oil. Through his research, he found that reactive hypoglycemia is just one of the stages of diabetes.

After reading his book, I started eating raw foods and got my blood sugar under control.

I then saw an endocrinologist who pricked my finger (BS=55 at the time) and said nothing was wrong with me. He didn't do any further testing at all. It's only through my symptoms that I know that I've got RH. So, to cibolagirl's point, many of the doctors in this area (northern virginia in the US) have so many patients and no time. He just shy of kicked me out of his office.

I've found that if I eat raw foods - specifically green, leafy vegetables that I feel ok. However, I've been snacking on almonds and kept getting dizzy. Now I know why! They have sugar in them! Thanks notbrendon!

All the raw foodists I researched juiced vegetables so I recently bought a vitamix blender so I could try it out. Green, leafy vegetables with wheatgrass and flax oil works really well (no dizzy episodes) and lasts for quite a while. From my experience, it seems that I can pretty much only eat raw foods. If I don't, I keep getting dragged back to eating raw because of my symptoms. It's a real bummer to be around junk food addicts (I know, I know, this is how I got here in the first place!)

Anyway, happy eating! It has been a real pleasure reading your posts!!

Thanks!
Kat1V
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replied November 9th, 2009
This thread is wonderful. I agree that anxiety is the most over diagnosed issue and hypoglycemia is the least diagnosed in the medical world today. Yes, of course, anxiety may have an underlying cause, which can be helped with therapy and meditation — I said meditation and not medication, although some go that route, too.
I started having panic attacks this past June along with severe migraines, cold hands and feet, shakiness, dizzy spells, and my doctor wrote it off as anxiety and gave me a script for Xanax along with the name of a therapist.
Neither of those things helped me. I was also ironically the thinest I've ever been during this time.
It wasn't until my dad said, "EAT! You're hypoglycemic, I've been saying that this entire time!" that I really did try some tuna fish with some cheese on wheat crackers that I thought, "Oh my goodness. My legs stopped shaking. I'm talking and feeling like a normal person again!"
I knew I've been hypoglycemic since I was 12, but my symptoms came back with force when I started eating unhealthy and in minimal amounts by the age of 26. I have a family history filled with hypoglycemia and diabetes, and by talking to my family, I found that my symptoms were identical.
I eat lots of fresh veggies, proteins, whole grains, and no caffeine or alcohol and very minimal sugars.
It took me about four months to feel normal again, but it works. It took my father about two years, but throughout my experience, I am convinced that so many anxious people out there can feel better with a proper hypoglycemic diet. I did develop some anxiety and fears throughout my three months of hypoglycemic symptoms without knowing what was wrong with me, but I practice positive thinking techniques, yoga, meditation, and I eat, eat, eat lots of good and healthy foods.
I hope you all feel well real soon.
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replied June 28th, 2010
through reading all this I have the same problems-but most of you dont talk about blood flow. Every time after I eat and have the reaction my veins in my whole body sink in and skin becomes dry and rough. Also from the constant flux of blood pressure my gums and teeth have been suffering. Whenever I get balanced for a whole day, my gums seem to become brighter and healthier.

Also something else weird-I seem to have RH and went down to 50 in 5th hour of GTT, but if I do eat sugar I seem to feel balanced WAY longer. but then mentally feel very strange.

Also I am only 20 and sense having these episodes I have NO Sex drive at all. Anyone else? buttt if I eat something with sugar the sensation seems to come back to my penis ha weird
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replied June 28th, 2010
through reading all this I have the same problems-but most of you dont talk about blood flow. Every time after I eat and have the reaction my veins in my whole body sink in and skin becomes dry and rough. Also from the constant flux of blood pressure my gums and teeth have been suffering. Whenever I get balanced for a whole day, my gums seem to become brighter and healthier.

Also something else weird-I seem to have RH and went down to 50 in 5th hour of GTT, but if I do eat sugar I seem to feel balanced WAY longer. but then mentally feel very strange.

Also I am only 20 and sense having these episodes I have NO Sex drive at all. Anyone else? buttt if I eat something with sugar the sensation seems to come back to my penis ha weird
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