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Very low blood sugar

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 30, 2013 at 9:06 PM

Hi, I'm fairly new to the paleo life style, just 3 months in.Enjoying some fantastic results, however, in my most recent bloodtest my blood glucose readings were significantly below normal. I've also noticed that lately I'm feeling incredibly tired and irritable- related? Is there anyway I can boost my sugar intake while remaining faithful to paleo lifestyle?

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on April 19, 2013
at 09:39 PM

That's the standard advice. Been there done that, didn't work :-S

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on January 31, 2013
at 03:17 AM

I'd suggest getting a meter and learning what foods cause these drops. Meanwhile , more fat and some protein with less carbs will even out your blood sugar.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on January 31, 2013
at 03:16 AM

Do you feel like your blood sugar drops after meals or snacks--typically within two or three hours? If so, that sounds like the insulin resistance roller coaster. You feel better when you eat carbs because they bring your blood sugar up, but if you're insulin resistant it takes a LOT of insulin to get control of that rising blood sugar. Once the muscles let the insulin in, there's a lot of insulin and your blood sugar drops like a stone, making you feel rotten and irritable. Sugar, including starchy carbs are the last thing you need!

6f130886c1a1e43f7b8223aa8b6f8a6e

(-10)

on January 30, 2013
at 10:44 PM

not a fasting blood test, blood sugar was about 2.8. had breakfast about 2 hours beforehand was just some veggie leftover soup from last night. i tend to feel better after i've eaten a bit more, especially carbs such as potatoes or yams. usually i eat mainly veggies, with occasional fish (usually salmon) a few times a week. red meat maybe once a week

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4 Answers

2
19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on April 19, 2013
at 09:35 PM

Hi, I used to have very low blood sugar.
My vision blacked out and I fainted if I didn't eat a big meal every 30-40 minutes. Literally.

Every morning, my husband had to strip the blankets away from my body, shake me vigorously, give a few slaps to my face, open the windows so the wind blows on my face, and put a very cold wet towel on my face hoping that the sudden coolness would startle me awake. It took almost 10 minutes for me to gain consciousness every morning despite all that.
Then he had to take some food (like 2 granola bars and an an apple or banana), cut small pieces and put it in my mouth (with my eyes still closed and my head on the pillow, somewhat awake but still barely conscious). Every few seconds he would tell me "you have some food in your mouth, chew". But mostly I would just let it dissolve in my mouth until it got swallowed with saliva, because I wasn't conscious enough to chew.
He had to do this to me every morning before he left for work, or I wouldn't be able to wake up at all until he came back home from work at 5 pm. After doing all this stuff, he was able to get me out of bed and make sure I eat an actual breakfast before he left for work (a bowl of cereal with milk and some fruit). Even so, I still felt lousy all day, and could barely do anything, like light house chores.

When outside the house, I always had fun size snickers, granola bars, fruits, or sugar wafers in my purse in case of emergency. (The snickers were the most effective and make me feel much better for much longer, probably because of the fat). There were several emergencies everyday so they were all gone by the end of the day (even after eating 3 square meals and a very generous snack every 30-40 minutes).

   -

What helped me, literally in one week, was to eat big meals with lots of fat and protein. The least carbs, the better, but I love vegetables so I eat plenty. I eat breakfast and lunch. At first I needed snacks, but now I don't.

I eat a breakfast like:

Picnic roast pulled pork (about 1 cup and a half)
Two large zucchinis and two large yellow summer squashes, sliced and stir fried in 3 tbsp lard (in addition to the lard already present in the pulled pork, and more lard to reheat the pulled pork)

And then a lunch like:

As many shrimp you can fit inside your two cupped hands until you can't add anymore (9 oz or so?)
Two large red peppers and one yellow pepper, one onion, sliced and stir fried with 1/4 cup of fresh basil packed tight
Half cup coconut milk (just the solid part that rises to the top, not the watery part) and 3 tbsp coconut oil to form a sauce

(Please note, I was a sedentary woman, if you're active and/or a man, you probably need more food than that)

During the first week I needed plenty of snacks like whipped cream with strawberries and chopped nuts, one cup of leftover shredded beef pot roast with one avocado, about one cup sliced carrots cooked in 3 tbsp of butter, or a can of sardines.

-

I don't have any symptoms of low blood or high blood sugar anymore. I wake up on my own without an alarm, get out of bed, and start my day full of energy with a smile on my face. No grogginess, I never need coffee.
If needed, I can go 48+ hours without eating and I still feel really good. No symptoms of hunger, I feel just as good as if I'd just eaten. Eventually I tell myself to stop fasting and eat something, even though I'm not hungry, because I think it's just ridiculous to go so long to go without eating :-D I thought that was impossible... specially for someone like me!
I can even exercise for hours like that, and still not feel hunger or nausea when I'm done. It's awesome!

So I think you can fix that problem, but I don't think sugar is the answer. Sugar was never the answer for me.

1
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on January 30, 2013
at 09:11 PM

Can you be more specific? What was the blood sugar reading? Was it a fasting bloodtest? What did you have in the last meal before the blood test and how long was it from the blood test?

Do you often feel tired and irritable between meals and better when you've eaten something?

What's your current diet like in terms of macros (protein, fat, carbs percentages)?

6f130886c1a1e43f7b8223aa8b6f8a6e

(-10)

on January 30, 2013
at 10:44 PM

not a fasting blood test, blood sugar was about 2.8. had breakfast about 2 hours beforehand was just some veggie leftover soup from last night. i tend to feel better after i've eaten a bit more, especially carbs such as potatoes or yams. usually i eat mainly veggies, with occasional fish (usually salmon) a few times a week. red meat maybe once a week

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on January 31, 2013
at 03:16 AM

Do you feel like your blood sugar drops after meals or snacks--typically within two or three hours? If so, that sounds like the insulin resistance roller coaster. You feel better when you eat carbs because they bring your blood sugar up, but if you're insulin resistant it takes a LOT of insulin to get control of that rising blood sugar. Once the muscles let the insulin in, there's a lot of insulin and your blood sugar drops like a stone, making you feel rotten and irritable. Sugar, including starchy carbs are the last thing you need!

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on January 31, 2013
at 03:17 AM

I'd suggest getting a meter and learning what foods cause these drops. Meanwhile , more fat and some protein with less carbs will even out your blood sugar.

0
27f90b18b0e295756a29559a497f18e7

on April 19, 2013
at 07:26 PM

I find it annoying that people underestimate fruit. Fruit is a key part of foraging/prehistoric diets. And if you are feeling low, try to have some fruit with your meals or in between. I bet that there is nothing here an apple or a banana can't fix. ;)

My seven year old son is an insulin dependent diabetic. If you have low blood sugar it's because your body has a surplus of insulin and your blood can't cash the cheque. The only fix is sugar. If you don't eat something high in sugar (raw fruit seems totally paleo to me) you will feel like sh*t. End of story.

There is no reason sticking to a diet that makes you sick. Eat some fruit. Live happily! :)

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on April 19, 2013
at 09:39 PM

That's the standard advice. Been there done that, didn't work :-S

0
89985542ffc00c296552951369fe809a

on April 11, 2013
at 02:31 AM

Perhaps you need to eat smaller meals more often throughout the day. While this isn't exactly "paleo" like, everyone is different when it comes to the schedule that they eat, so it may help for you to eat smaller high protein meals to keep your blood sugar steady so you don't experience irritability as often.

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