Suddently Crashing -- Hack My "Unexplainable" Hypoglycaemic Episodes

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 25, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Hey all,

Long time reader -- thanks to everyone on here for providing such helpful informartion.


  • 26yo Female
  • 100 lbs @ 5'5 (small boned, have always been small)
  • Following a 90% paleo diet for about 1.5 years (had occasional frozen yogurt, cappuccinos), derailed the past 4 months with poor eating habits brought on by stress I think

Food History:

  • Gluten sensitivity - very careful to avoid it
  • New found dairy sensitivity -- used to use my 10% non paleo time to indulge in frozen yogurt (high sugar, pretty crappy food vice) + cappuccinos with loads of milk foam (organic), but have recently quit cold turkey given circumstances
  • Extremely bloated/painful stomach after meals high in carbs (before Paleo: cereal + legumes, on Paleo: large amounts of fruits/starches/sugars do the same thing)

Medical History:

  • Tested for celiac - failed (not accurate I'm sure)
  • Elevated liver enzymes for past 3+ years -- they did an abdominal xray and found nothing out of the ordinary
  • Food allergy test says I have a load of "allergies", including things like beef, pork, asparagus and 30 other things. Leaky gut related?
  • Other blood work is "perfectly normal" according to doc
  • Amenorrhea for 2+ years after stopping birth control (had been on for 6 years)


  • Vitamin D3 (3,000 IU)
  • FCLO/Butter Oil - tsp
  • Multivitamin
  • Chromium, Zinc and Natural Calm
  • Kombucha (home made)
  • Probiotics x 2 a day

Now to what brought me here:

On Friday, Aug 16 I suffered what I feel was a sudden crash followed by an anxiety attack. It was such a dramatic feeling -- I thought I was actually going to die. When we got home I shovelled 2 bananas and an apple down and that seemed to stop the crash, but since then (over 1 week now) I have felt shaky and lightheaded and unable to do my normal daily tasks (cooking breakfast is difficult, as is walking ver far without getting exhausted and feeling like I need to eat fruit).

Yesterday it came to a head -- my bf found me after I had fainted on the floor in the kitchen and I was brought to the ER by ambulance. Before I fainted, I got the light headed feeling and managed to scarf down 2 bananas an apple and some raspberries before feeling dizzy and passing out. Paramedic tested my BS when he arrived (20mins after I had the fruit) and it was 3.5 mmol/l. I was taken in, given standard blood tests + EKG -- all came back normal.

I got a blood sugar meter and tested my blood sugar today. I was unable to test fasting -- I felt too weak and dizzy and got nervous so I had breakfast first. I had 2 eggs + banana and tested 3.6 mmol/l. Felt dizzy again around 9, so had a few bites of sweet potato, another egg and some grapes. Tested BS after that and was at 4.1 mmol/l. Just had another sudden dizzy spell..tested and BS was 3.5 mmol/l. It's all low, not not as low as 2.5 mmol/l which is what I've been told gets you diagnosed with hypo.

I have never had this type of thing happen to me before. I am up and down mood wise, anxious feeling, fatigued, thirsty, cold extremities. I have been very stressed out lately -- but it can't just be stress related can it?

I'm generally lowish carb (around 80-100g a day getting carb from mostly veg) and was exercising 5 days a week. Usually 2 x 30 min intervals, 2 x 40 min low intensity cardio, 3 x strength training each week. I was feeling so good and so strong doing this so I continued...perhaps it was too much? I upped carbs about 2 weeks ago when I felt a little tired, adding in an extra apple in the am and berries in afternoon along with some frozen yogurt in the evening.

I'm going to see my family doc asap. What baseline tests should I get done to find out what's going on? Adrenals? Hormones? I feel like I need to start at ground zero and start looking into root causes. Can anyone help me figure out what tests to start with? I really want to start fresh and do Paleo right to get healthy again!

Thanks and sorry for the rant...just feeling a little lost.



on August 27, 2013
at 03:58 PM

I have a glucose monitor I can use. When in the hospital they said my blood sugar was normal... going to ask for the test when I see my doc.



on August 25, 2013
at 07:58 PM

Can you ask for glucose tolerance test?

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

2 Answers



on August 25, 2013
at 06:20 PM

I wish I had the answer... :( I have the same issue. It is called reactive hypoglycemia. I can't tell you how many times I passed out. I started out by having levels in the 60's 1h after eating, with the feeling I could kill someone if I didn't eat. After seeing a doctor I was adviced to eat carbs every 2h. You can only imagine what happened next.. Right after eating my blood sugar was 35! This happened countless times, to the point I no longer had the symptons of hypoglycemia. I had to carry a glucometer and fruit/something with sugar in my purse everywhere I went. I almost died... It was the most traumatic experience. I became an anxious person, always feeling dizzy, shaky and lightheaded. Anyway, what I did that helped me was to eliminate any carbs for a couple of days and then start reintroducing them very slowly. But you want to consider eating every 2h (fat) until your blood sugar is stable. This is very important (read protein power by Dr. Michael Eades). I did a 72h fast in the hospital (they suspected it was an insulinoma) and everything was ok until I got home. I ate dinner that day and 1h after eating my blood sugar dropped to 35 again. It was always very very low and I had no symptoms by that time. You should always test with the glucometer to know where you stand. I also started supplementing with magnesium glycinate, omega 3 and chromium but you're already doing that so I'm afraid I can't help more. I just hope you'll be able to solve this... Besides proteinpower try to contact Diane Sanfillipo of the 21 sugar days detox (she had reactive hypoglycemia in her teens so nothing like talk to someone who experienced the same). Don't make the same mistake as I did and make sure you get a good doctor. i've always wondered why I had been plagued with this. You mention amenorrhea... I didn't had my period for 2 years, so maybe that's the cause. I read somewhere (in Chris Kresser blog I think - not sure) that the adrenals and hypothyroidism are the most common causes for hypoglycemia... I have Hashimoto's but I have it for 6 years and after started taking levothyroxin I never had any issues, and my labs are also fine. You should test anyway. To finish, I'm also trying to do an ASI test... It's been hard to get that test, I live in Portugal. But I truly believe it's the missing piece of the puzzle... I'm so sorry I can't help more. Good luck to you.



on November 16, 2013
at 06:58 PM

I think you will feel a lot better if you grab protein when your blood sugar drops. Grab nuts, seeds, or meat jerky. Not only will you feel better right then, you will stop the cycle. Try it. It works for me. The sudden hypo is definitely from being a sugar burner, so I'd up your fats and eat some protein every time you eat anything. Eating only sugar (fruit) when hungry sets up this cycle.

Answer Question

Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!