Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Hypoglycemia Forum

Gtt Results + Managing Hypoglycemia

Hey! I'm so happy to have stumbled upon this forum. I'm going crazy trying to deal with hypoglycemia. My doctors keep telling me to go to the psychiatrist and that it is all in my head.

So I convinced one of the doctors at my college to let me take a GTT (5h). The results came back strange:

fasting: 93
1h: 63
2h: 95
3h: 52
4h: 71
5h: 84

I can't make sense of it because it doesn't match anything online or in books that I can find. The nurses at my college clinic are clueless. When the nurse called me she didn't even know that 93 was within "normal" limits.

I've been on something rather similar to the diet described here since April. I figured it out myself through trial and error this summer but the last month has been HORRIBLE. By the end of August, however, i felt healthier than I had ever been in my life and could eat (in moderation) almost everything I wanted (except the obvious.... candy, sugar, white bread, etc). This past month I haven't been able to sleep through the night (with nightmares, night sweats, even violent shaking that wakes me up) and my body feels constantly achy. My mood swings are severe, from absolute elation to severely suicidal. I have a constant headache no matter what I eat and can hardly concentrate on anything as if my head is stuffed full of cotton. Its becoming impossible to attend classes and get hw done.

It was never like this. The first month or so was terrible once I went on this diet, but then everything became really good. Its only been recently that I feel like my entire system is short circuiting. I think I'm somehow easily depleting my sodium levels as well because every once in a while when I get really really fatigued and my hypo symptoms become worse, drinking salt water greatly relieves me of many symptoms. I'm going crazy!!!!!! can anyone help me understand what is going on????
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replied October 16th, 2007
Experienced User
Salt water does work for me as well. Drinking lemon juice and sea salt (get good salt with minerals) in water a few times a day (juice of ½ lemon and ¼ teaspoon sea salt in 6 ozs. water). It helps with anxiety/depression as well.
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replied October 17th, 2007
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As I always say, in most cases you feel good and then feel like dying for awhile until you get better. I suggest seeing an endocrinologist if you can and looking into diazoxide. You have, as I do, the NASTIEST curve for a hypoglycemic. Very hard to treat, and I'll tell you from my experience you may not start feeling moderately better for up to six months. However, the thing about this type is that it seems to be one of the few that's actually a biological condition, in the sense that it doesn't seem as reversible as the other types, and usually requires an abscence of grains, bread, etc. to get anywhere. Even after two years I still can't eat the stuff, and if you get to this point medicine is the only option. It actually works very well, you basically take it for about a year, it blocks insulin, and you keep eating healthy, adding in grains again but NOT cake or sugar or such things. After a year they ween you off and essentially your body has been retrained. You could technically do this yourself by just saying screw it and eating fairly normal with grains and so forth, but you'd need about a year of just sitting around to pull it off because the mental and physical strain from it is unbearable. I know because before I knew I had this, they said I had a virus so I ate a diet that was essentially for hypoglycemia, using whole grains. Took over 13 months to be better and I had to be put on antidepressants to make it through it and most of the time spent my days relaxing with no stress.
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replied October 17th, 2007
I've been struggling for 6 years to get diagnosed and everyone tells me that it is all in my head. Finally got it confirmed this weekend, even though I have been following a hypoglycemic diet for 6 months already. It has been living hell.

What in the world causes something like this? Is it partially genetic?

Also... tips on how to do long car trips? I have to move to california from ohio and I'm concerned about driving this alone.
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replied October 18th, 2007
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It can be partially genetic, seems to be common in people from slavic (like Polish for example) or Italian stock. If you have a history of diabetes on either side, then the likelihood of a biological link is high. Otherwise it's just the case of your beta cells (in the pancreas) slowly becoming overactive because of poor eating. The only thing to do for long car trips is to prepare a good amount of food to bring in a cooler, refilling with ice as you see fit. You could even go so far as researching what stores are on the way and simply buying what you need as you go along. I have had several long trips, not that long, but you'll be fine. At first it's rough, but just make sure to rest when you feel the need and stop to eat in a calm, relaxed manner. It really wouldn't be hard to do, you just need to be prepared for it and be aware of what you need to bring, where you could get it and where you'll be able to find things you need after the move. Planning is the best bet. In your case I still recommend seeing and endocrinologist. I've been told it's all in my head for awhile (though I have a great family doctor back home that knows all about the condition and was very helpful) and figured I'd treat it myself. Unfortunately, still being unable to eat grains and the insulin level being fairly high, I eventually got anal abscesses, one of which required painful surgery (turned into a fistula). This is apparently very common for diabetes due to taking insulin. Early signs of it are cystic acne or infrequent, huge boils and abscesses around the body. If you've ever had this, do yourself a favor and get to an endo before it happens. It's not that likely, but trust me, you DON'T want to go through with this. It's what made me decide to see about the medicine and see one, I go in under a week.
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replied December 30th, 2007
Update
so.... i've been in cali for 2 months now. Seeing a naturopath. test results come back that I have completely normal insulin levels. We have no idea what is causing the hypoglycemia.

There seems to be some sort of allergy thing going on but we can't figure out what i'm allergic to. We are going to test for candida and other buggies soon. In addition we have learned that my adrenal glads are getting stressed. They have not reached "fatigue" status, but are getting close. My DHEA levels are really high. But everything else is normal.

My health insurance dropped me because i am no longer a student (had to take medical leave because the hypo and whatnot was too overwhelming to function at school). But I can't get health insurance now because I have a pre-exsisting medical condition that is unresolved. Makes all this really frustrating. Ended up in the ER right b4 my insurance dropped me because I have started to vomit/diarieah uncontrollably on a regular basis now. They released me after a full pyciatric review and a repremand that I need to grow up and deal with it. I'm trying to pay all my medical bills out of pocket. My parents can't/won't help me. I don't know what to do.
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replied January 6th, 2008
... i seem to be allergic to yeast. When I avoid yeast, the hypoglycemia gets better, but my hypoglycemia is still bad. Avoiding yeast allows me to eat more than 15g of carbs a day! But now, when I eat too many carbs my body gets really really heavy feeling and my fingers and extremities start "tingling"... like when your foot falls asleep. what causes this???
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replied January 7th, 2008
Community Volunteer
Hmmm, what kind of yeast are you talking here? How many and what kind of carbs are you eating?
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replied February 26th, 2008
any kind of yeast or yeast by-product (citric acid, alcohol, etc) gives me allergy type symptoms. I'm eating only complex carbs, yogurt, keifer, milk, and non-starchy veggies... i don't even own sugar or anything with simple sugars. I can't eat most fruits either. I've pretty much memorized the fiber and carb counts of every food I have ever encountered, including a good deal of ethnic food.

found out a few weeks ago I'm insulin resistant. still can't get a doctor because I can't get health insurance. I want to get on Metformin and there is a second drug that increases insulin sensitivity. I was on a naturopathic formula that helped a lot with the seesaw pattern of high and low blood sugar. my body has become numb to the hunger pains and headaches and many of the other physical symptoms I constantly have. unfortunately, the formula brought back the headaches and unbearable hunger pains. I'm basically starving and am starting to look like I'm from a 3rd world country, despite eating 6-9 times a day. I've lost so much weight that there isn't any more fat on my body, my bones are sticking out. My hypoglycemia seems to be caused by too much insulin building up in my blood before my cells finally start reacting to it and pulling down my blood sugar.

One of my biggest problems is that the hypoglycemia is causing me to have panic attacks. Apparently tons of hormones are released, including adrenaline, when your blood sugar gets too low. I used to wake up a lot in the middle of the night with low BS and my body coursing with adrenaline. I don't wake up in the middle o the night anymore... but i know it is still happening because when i wake up the next morning, i am totally stressed out to the max and my body feels terrible. i've been living with a diabetic for the past 6 weeks and i guess there is a saying about hypoglycemia at night in the diabetic community... "dead in bed"... if your body stops waking you up in the middle of the night because of low BS (this is common!), eventually you will slip into a coma or if you go too low and have convulsions and no one is around to feed you something to bring your blood sugar up... dead in bed. this totally freaks me out.

I just read this evening that 2 tsp of cornstarch (uncooked!) in a glass of milk before bed will supposedly reduce hypoglycemic episodes at night. The cornstarch, if raw, will stick to your intestines and take up to 8 hours to break down providing a slow and steady dose of carbs all night. What is great is that it supposedly won't make your blood sugar go up either.
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replied February 26th, 2008
oh... and in case anyone is curious. the strict hypoglycemic diet is also called a dysglycemia diet, which you can find at the following link... http://www.functionalmedicine.org/content_ management/files/ifm_Dysglycem_Diet_091503 .pdf

of course, everyone is different. Some people with hypoglycemia can have more carbs than others. So adjust accordingly. But that link has absolutely been a godsend to me, especially trying to explain to someone what I CAN eat.

I find the most important part of managing my hypoglycemia has been taking a really good multi-vitamin (make sure it has chromium!), fiber capsules 5 min before I eat (helps slow down the carbs so your system is not overwhelmed by a big sugar load), and making sure I have trace minerals in my water (I use Liquid Ionic trace Minerals by Marine Minerals because my salt balances get out of whack really easily. Just a few drops in my glass). Avocados really do help too. I also find that taking omega-3's help to keep my body running smoother and to reduce the confusion/dizziness when my BS is too low. You can find omega-3's either as flax seed oil or fish oil (i find the flax seed oil easier to digest). Holy basil will help reduce stress caused by all the hormones released when your blood sugar drops too low.

My naturopath told me that you should always eat the protein and fats on your plate first before you eat the carbs or veggies because that will slow down the sugar as well! You should be eating 80% protein and fat on your plate each time you eat!
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