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The only way to fix your hypoglycemia easily

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After reading, trying different approaches and reading some more, I have finally figured out the only way to beat hypoglycemia, without waiting months or years, without following super-restrictive diets asking us to eat weird foods or unneeded amounts of certain foods and without giving up your favorite foods forever.


Hypoglycemia is caused by the body secreting too much insulin in response to a sugar spike. Just like people with diabetes a person with insulin needs to flatten his/her blood sugar, not completely but there should be no blood sugar above 130 mg/dl in the first hour. That also prevents low blood sugar in the next hours

It's first of all a matter of how many carbs more than what kind of carbs
A person with hypoglycemia must find the threshold of carbohydrate that the body can tolerate without having low blood sugar reactions.

And there's no point in eating weird foods, trying weird diets, waiting for months if not years for sugar to stabilize. All is needed is a glucose meter. That's it

You should test 1 and 2 hours after eating. If a meal is causing a spike, cut 10g of carbs from that meal until you find the appropriate amount of carbs your body can tolerate without spiking. If a food keeps spiking you even at the smallest amount, it probably is a food your body can't tolerate (i.e. corn)

Using the meter you will notice, except for certain foods, it's more a matter of how many carbohydrates per meal.

Testing this way I have figure out I can eat 90g of carbs when I don't exercise and 140-160g when I am active. I figure out I can tolerate 30g of carbs per meal from starches, 40g of carbs per meal from starches+veggies, 10-20g of carbs per meal from sugars

This is what I ate yesterday:

breakfast
2 scrambled eggs with mushrooms sauted in oil, grated swiss cheese and chopped onion

snack
a cup of whole milk yogurt with 4 wallnuts and a tablespoon of cashew

lunch
2 grilled sausages with spinach and butter and 1 slice of bread
few slices of salami and a piece of cheese

snack
slice of bread with peanut butter and 2 squares of dark chocolate

lunch
grilled fish with cheery tomatoes and black olives
ice-cream (half-cup)

but it could by anything, using the blood sugar meter I ALWAYS know what spikes me and what doesn't so it's never a guess or becoming too restricted because of the fear that anything might spike me. I will eat spaghetti and meatball (decreasing the portion of spaghetti) cheesecake (not too big of a slice) lasagna, barbequed meat, battered fish, pizza.

Well, that's all. I finally realized that there's no point in diets telling you a list of forbidden foods, telling you that certain foods are good for you (even if your body doesn't tolerate them) and certain foods are bad for you (eve if your body DOES tolerate them) making you eat in a very restricted and monotonous way.
What you need is to understand how YOUR UNIQUE body react to certain foods and from there to build "no-spike" meals.

Forget the "no-sugar or "low-carb" or low-starch" diets. All you need is a "no-spike" diet and the only way to create such a diet is using a cheap blood sugar meter and testing, testing and testing.
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First Helper User Profile Niklas89
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replied October 3rd, 2012
But doesnt it change by time? i mean your limits and sensitivity?
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replied October 5th, 2012
Experienced User
just a little, it's lower in the morning and higher at night but by using your meter you will know for sure
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replied November 3rd, 2012
Atletlic with Constant Hypoglycemia
Hi. Your article is great!. I don't have diabetes and I am a very athletic person who suddenly started with hypoglycemia. What glucose meter do you recommend? Right now I can not run more than 3 consecutive days because I begin with hypoglycemic problems and in this moment carbohydrates like rice or bread or alcohol affect me more that before without exercise.
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replied November 20th, 2012
Experienced User
The glucose meter I use is the One Touch Ultra 2
It's extremely precise and painless because the sting is so thinner than other glucometers.

If you're prone to hypoglycemia you might need to eat/drink something before, during and after exercise.
For example I have a meal one hour before exercise, fruit juice immediately before exercise, frit juice after 30 minute of exercising and a small meal (yogurt and granola) immediately after exercise

This is the way I can prevent hypoglycemia induced by exercise.

Hypoglycemia can also appear when we drop carbs too much suddenly. After many years of just positive testimonials about low-carb eating finally we see a lot of failure stories. People who have suddenly regained al their weight or after two years of low-carb became sick and had super high LDL or people who lost muscle mass in spite of the hypothetic protein sparing effect of low-carb. Expecially more and more people are reporting they can't tolerate a very-low-carb diet anymore, even if it worked for them in the past, now they feel miserable and depressed unless they raise their carb intake. And not surprisingly athletic people are complaining about lack of energy and worsened performance.

120-150g of carbs works for me
occasionally, on sedentary days, I might do well with even 80g and on very active days I can tolerate 200g
But never below 80g. I feel miserable and I have tried a month to adapt because once I thought that would be a good way to eat but my body never adapted and I felt progressively worse, including muscle spasms, light intolerance till I increased my carb intake, eating starches again and symptoms disappeared immediately.

Another problem with low-carb eating is that the more you are on a low-carb diet the more glucose intolerant you become. People on a low-carb diet believe that they are extremely glucose intolerant because even a small piece of bread or fruit is enough to spike their blood sugar. But this actually means that their diet has made them very glucose intolerant to the point that they get hypoglycemia with normal amount of carbs that would otherwise cause no symptoms. So beware of this happening if you're feeling more ill effects from carbs and reducing them more and more.
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replied November 3rd, 2012
Athletic with Constant Hypoglycemia
I don't have diabetes and I am a very athletic person who suddenly started with hypoglycemia. What glucose meter do you recommend? Right now I can not run more than 3 consecutive days because I begin with hypoglycemic problems and in this moment carbohydrates like rice or bread or alcohol affect me more that before without exercise.
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replied November 9th, 2012
Niklas,

I have been trying different diets and have had limited success. I have been testing my glucose levels in the past, but I never checked it on a regular basis. For the past few days, it has averaged in the low 70's. Yesterday morning it was 54. I may be eating too many carbs. I do not seem to be getting an sugar spike though. The highest my levels have been is 88. I have been eating around 190g of complex carbs a day. I tried cutting down to under a 100, but I feel extremely week. I am currently on a 2100 calorie diet. I have a few questions.

-Are you able to tolerate caffeine?
-What is your target blood glucose level? 100?
-Are you still protein linking?
-Are you saying your total carb intake is under 90g a day or are you able to go that high in a meal?


The other day I ate a meal and my blood glucose actually started going backwards without increasing.

Before dinner 88
1hr later 84
2hr later 75
3hr later 74

Dinner: 20g carbs 25g protein total carbs 45g fiber 3.5 1g sugar

What are your thoughts on this?
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replied November 20th, 2012
Experienced User
First of all if your morning sugar is 54 you need to raise it. There's the belief that the best way to treat a morning hypoglycemia is a piece of cheese or peanut butter. But that's wrong. Proteins and fats may need up to 10 hours to become sugar in your metabolism and you will feel horrible the whole day, excerbating future symptoms.

And if you feel a bit better that's because your liver has released glucose in the bloodstream but this not a good thing because as someone who suffer from hypoglycemia, liver dumping is impaired and is going to pump more blood sugar than needed in your blood stream creating a daily sugar roller coaster.

So when your blood sugar is 54 you need something that will spike your blood sugar quickly enough.
I suggest 100 of fruit juice or peach nectar.
That's 15g of carbs and you should feel better within 20-30 minutes. This should bring your blood sugar up 25-30 mg/dl up to 80 mg/dl without causing a rebound.
But a sweet yogurt or 6 grams of pure glucose from candies like smarties would work.

This is something people with reactive hypoglycemia should know. There's no point in following the "natural" route all the time, enduring the pain of low-blood sugar and doing nothing for fear of ingesting "bad foods". We don't live a natural life anymore and if something like glucose tablet, candies, sugar and fruit juice can help, so be it.

I don't tolerate caffeine
My target blood glucose is 90-95

Most of the time I protein link although it has become an habit without counting carbs and protein precisely, overall I feel better when I combine carbs, proteins and fat in a meal. But I rely on my blood glucose meter more often now. If my blood sugar is high I might reduce the carbs in the next meal and if it's low I might eat more carbs than linking would allow.

My total carb intake is not always 90g. In fact lately has been higher than that as I have been exercising more. Yesterday I ate 120g of carbs.

I usually do better when the total carb intake is spaced through each meal, so 120 is like 4 meals of 30g each. Occasionally I might fast from dinner to dinner, borrowing from the Warrior Diet concept. In that case I eat all my carbs in just one meal. If that happens it takes more time for me to eat my dinner (90 minutes at least) and I have to make sure the meal has enough proteins and carbs as well. Fasting like that, only occasionally, works because hypoglycemia is often caused by eating and disrupting the blood sugar balance rather than not eating. When not eating my body burns its fat for energy and blood sugar is stable. This though doesn't happen when I exercise. So the fasting mutation experiment is done every so often on a sedentary day.

As for your meal
I think your carb intake was too little
If you were 88 before the dinner, you should planned more carbs in your meal.
I see no mention of fat, it's important to avoid spike/crashes to balance your carbs and proteins with some fat as well.
Maybe some kind of dessert would have been a good idea, considering it is best tolerate after a meal.
Maybe a piece of fruit, a cheese cake slice or even ice-cream.

If you were 74 and feeling symptoms you should eaten some sugar to raise your blood sugar. Again 50g of fruit juice, or 5 small o 1 big candy or even a glucose tablet would have helped you to feel better without increasing your insulin so much to cause another crash.
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Users who thank Niklas89 for this post: clawzy 

replied February 22nd, 2013
I find all your information helpful. It shows a way to be hypo and live normal. I too find that when I work out I need more. I have never added up all the carbs I eat in one day but I know I should. Its hard to know if you are eating enough or to much. I do test my sugar a lot. My only downfall is how stressed I get if its low. I have been struggling for over a year and the stress of the lows seem to cause the low sugar. Some meals come with a sugar level of 90 after two hours. Next day 70... depending on stress. Its a bad cycle.
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replied February 26th, 2013
You know the weird thing is that stress is one of my major symptoms. Well, I should say excess cortisol. My corisol levels are high, but they are not high enough to be diagnosed with cushings. I have an eye condition that is caused by stress hormones. I actually see visual disturbances based on food intake. It is one of my signals that I need to eat. I can't figure out if stress is contributing to my blood sugar issues or if the blood sugar is causing stress and cortisol release. I'm not getting much assistance from my doctors.
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replied March 4th, 2013
I struggled with the same thoughts.. Then I tested my sugar when i was stressed and noticed it dropped bad when I was stressed. Sometimes I feel like one does not help the other. I am a big believer that stress causes the sugar to drop and feeling fear about the low sugar causes stress. Does this make sense??? Also I wear contacts and I notice that my contact shifts when it gets low and they become dry.
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replied December 8th, 2012
10 hours! no wonder why I still feel horrible in the morning! thank you!
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