4

votes

Hypoglycemia, fat adaption and ketosis

Commented on June 30, 2015
Created August 03, 2011 at 3:00 AM

Hi there,

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I???m a recovering hypoglycemic ??? I haven???t had the extended GTT or anything like that, but both my parents were diagnosed with this in the late 80s and I know I have it based on my experiences.

I had a great breakthrough a few weeks ago by cutting carbs way back and eating more fat (by reading posts on this site - YAY). I???d always eaten plenty of animal protein, but fat was the key to more stable energy levels. Previously, I would be so ravenous and often be at the point of collapse and/or panic attack when my blood sugar dipped suddenly. That is still happening occasionally, though I???ve learnt a new slow-breathing technique which seems to knock the panic out.

So here are my queries:

  1. I???d like some more guidance because I???m still wrapping my head around ketosis and fat-adaption and feel like I need a good 101 to fully understand it. Can anyone point me to a well written article about these issues? Specifically ketosis and fat adaptation for hypoglycemics. Also I don't understand carb re-feeding, so info pointing me to that would be useful too.

  2. I know my body feels better using fat for fuel but it seems like I still need a little fruit sugar at some points if my blood sugar dips. Why do I still need that fruit sugar? Is this because I???m still in a transition period? I'm literally down to very minimal amount of fruit (most days I have none whatsoever) and the only other sugar I have is a tiny amount of rice or maple syrup in baking.

  3. I???m wondering how long it generally takes to fix a broken metabolic system so that I can tolerate some more carbs in the future? Obviously, I???m not going to go out on carb binges, but my choices out of the house seem to be pretty limited which makes me wary of social dinners.

  4. Eventually, I???d like to be able to IF, is this something that former hypoglycemics have been able to do even if a minor type of IF? Eg. fast overnight from 8pm to 11am? I feel so chained to food right now, and though I do feel much better, I would love the freedom of being able to IF now and again. I am constantly worried about making sure I have enough food when I go out of the house, it is driving me mad.

  5. I???m not really keen to use Fit Day as I don???t want to be doing too much counting. However, if hypoglycemics have had success in particular with Fit Day, I???d consider it. I don???t even know how to start counting and how to deal with unknowns (occasional restaurant meal).

Thanks!

60d3767b381fd97f27a85d1834f7a448

(0)

on June 30, 2015
at 02:25 PM

I have had hypogycemia since college (decades ago), confirmed by several GTTs.  A few weeks ago I started the ketogenic diet.  I haven't noticed any blood sugar issues.  In fact, I've noticed I could go much longer without eating, whereas before the diet I would feel faint and dizzy if I went more than a few hours without food.  

I think the increased fat and low carb in my diet is helping me not be so dependent on protein to manage my blood sugar.  Using protein may have helped me in the short term with low blood sugar, but eating high calorie proteins over the years has made me very overweight.  

Good luck. 

 

Aeec781cc234fcae119d4a71532058f5

(2047)

on August 18, 2011
at 10:01 PM

@sallycinnamon, I think the amount of time it takes to heal is really individual, but I started seeing good results within 2 weeks. It's been almost 3 months since I started and I still don't feel as good as I want to, but much better than I used to! I think whole fruit or berries are better than a Lara bar...it's so easy to eat a whole one and the sugar is very concentrated. If you're doing ok with eating fruit, don't give it up, especially local seasonal fruit which is soooo good! It sounds like you're doing all the right things. Keep it up and good luck!

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 18, 2011
at 02:04 AM

lol, that would be Q2 not 3. Argh, I need proper sleep!

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 18, 2011
at 02:04 AM

Sorry, you did answer Q3....maybe I'm not so coherent after all! Duh :)

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 18, 2011
at 02:03 AM

5. OK I'm sold on FitDay - thanks! Need to commit to doing it properly so I can kick this hypoglycemia for good! thanks again

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 18, 2011
at 02:03 AM

3.Will see if I can do Whole 30 - it's not too much of a stretch from what I'm doing - think I;d only need to ditch caffeine (which is very minimal as it is), sweeteners and bacon, will check it. 4. Yes, I do need to be kinder to myself - I've tried going from 7am to midday between breakfast and lunch but can't quite get there most days so I eat a few nuts and a little coconut milk to tide me over. I am thinking that eating breakfast a little later may work - say 9am instead of 7am and then slowly experimenting around that idea of longer fasting periods. That gives me more confidence, thanks!

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 18, 2011
at 02:01 AM

2. How long do you think it takes to heal? A month? Would love to read more about this. I'm still happy eating minimal fruit and sweeteners but I don't want to ditch them altogether for good. If I had some idea of how long healing takes, I can mentally prepare. But if you can't answer that (or even guess) that's understandable. I think it was partly anxiety and panic attacks which made me think my blood sugar was dipping so I reached for a Lara Bar - though I only have a half one in that case.

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 18, 2011
at 02:01 AM

Hi Mindi Apologies for the delay in responding - feeling better now so I should be coherent! Thanks so much for the thoughtful reply, it helps to hear of others' experiences. 1. OK, will ignore talk of re-feeding until/if I decide to do hardcore exercise (not likely!)

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 18, 2011
at 01:50 AM

thanks Eric, I will try IF gradually. I want to do it more for convenience sake and to rid myself of food anxiety (to prove to myself that I'm not going to collapse if I don't have food every 2-3 hours). Agree, protein and fat work best for keeping me satiated. Good to hear the validation on that.

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 09, 2011
at 02:34 AM

hi ladies, thanks for the comments, I will respond in a bit more detail tomorrow. Have been a little under the weather. cheerio.

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 05, 2011
at 11:17 AM

Happy Now - I had my first panic attack while driving and it was from low blood sugar (my fault as I had a coffee and a fruit juice....this was way before paleo) - isn't it the worst experience having that happen when driving? I still can't drive as it's become a big phobia now :( Working on that slowly. Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 03, 2011
at 03:14 PM

Yes, I would think the fruit (or other) sugar is really just prolonging the prolonging and perpetuating the problem. While you're healing, continue to eat on demand, but of fat and protein.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 03, 2011
at 07:47 AM

Great question. I just tried fitday for the first time a few days ago and it is actually easier than trying to add things up in my head. Easy peasy, and you don't have to stick with it. I also accidentally IFed 2 days this week when I had a big meaty breakfast, plus a spoonful of coconut oil. Just didn't get hungry or have any energy drops until dinner, shocking....and I used to pass out from low blood sugar (2 times while driving frighteningly enough). I'm not a doctor, but I've noticed with myself avoiding things that spike blood sugar will keep it from dropping quickly too.

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2 Answers

2
Aeec781cc234fcae119d4a71532058f5

(2047)

on August 03, 2011
at 12:04 PM

Welcome! I've been diagnosed with hypoglycemia and tried my doc's dietary advice for awhile. I gained weight and was a slave to food. The blood sugar crashes on the "eat 6 times a day" program were awful. Since I discovered Paleo, I'm amazed at how much better I feel.

  1. I don't know of any specific resources for you, just what my experience has been. I have never tried a re-feed, but I think it would be a very slippery slope for me. I feel fantastic now and don't see a need to load up on carbs. I've always heard discussions of re-feed from people who work out pretty intensely,which I don't!

  2. I would try to completely eliminate the sweeteners and fruit until you are healed. Then slowly and carefully add 1 thing back at a time and see how you feel. I look at this the same as how it's recommended to introduce foods to babies...try 1 new thing and then wait a few days to observe reactions. My cravings for sweet and fruit are more mental than physical, but it's easy to trick myself into believing my body "needs" it. When that happens, eat a snack with good amounts of protein and fat, drink a bunch of water and see if the craving subsides.

  3. That's a very individual thing. I'd give it at least a month of completely clean eating (Whole30 is a great program to follow) and see how your symptoms/cravings are.

  4. YES YES YES!!! Being able to IF is one of my biggest victories! You'll need to enter into it slowly; waiting until 11 am to eat might be too long at first, so you could start by waiting just an extra hour at first and extend it as you feel you can. Getting your body used to not eating for a period of time helps a lot in the social situations you mentioned...you can eat little to nothing for a few hours and be fine, NOT driven mad by food anymore! Just make sure your meals contain plenty of fat and protein to keep you satisfied and do eat when you are hungry; it can take awhile for your body to heal so take it slow and don't feel like a failure if it doesn't work as quickly as you want. You'll get there!

  5. I love using FitDay occasionally to make sure I'm on track. I aim for 70% fat, 20% protein and 10% carbs each day. It doesn't take too much time and it's a great visual for determining what's working and what needs tweaked. For the unknowns, you can estimate what you ate; if it's just an occasional meal, it won't completely derail anything if you eat as closely to how you eat at home as you can.

Good luck with your journey! It sounds like you are on the right track!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 03, 2011
at 03:14 PM

Yes, I would think the fruit (or other) sugar is really just prolonging the prolonging and perpetuating the problem. While you're healing, continue to eat on demand, but of fat and protein.

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 09, 2011
at 02:34 AM

hi ladies, thanks for the comments, I will respond in a bit more detail tomorrow. Have been a little under the weather. cheerio.

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 18, 2011
at 02:03 AM

3.Will see if I can do Whole 30 - it's not too much of a stretch from what I'm doing - think I;d only need to ditch caffeine (which is very minimal as it is), sweeteners and bacon, will check it. 4. Yes, I do need to be kinder to myself - I've tried going from 7am to midday between breakfast and lunch but can't quite get there most days so I eat a few nuts and a little coconut milk to tide me over. I am thinking that eating breakfast a little later may work - say 9am instead of 7am and then slowly experimenting around that idea of longer fasting periods. That gives me more confidence, thanks!

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 18, 2011
at 02:01 AM

Hi Mindi Apologies for the delay in responding - feeling better now so I should be coherent! Thanks so much for the thoughtful reply, it helps to hear of others' experiences. 1. OK, will ignore talk of re-feeding until/if I decide to do hardcore exercise (not likely!)

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 18, 2011
at 02:01 AM

2. How long do you think it takes to heal? A month? Would love to read more about this. I'm still happy eating minimal fruit and sweeteners but I don't want to ditch them altogether for good. If I had some idea of how long healing takes, I can mentally prepare. But if you can't answer that (or even guess) that's understandable. I think it was partly anxiety and panic attacks which made me think my blood sugar was dipping so I reached for a Lara Bar - though I only have a half one in that case.

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 18, 2011
at 02:03 AM

5. OK I'm sold on FitDay - thanks! Need to commit to doing it properly so I can kick this hypoglycemia for good! thanks again

Aeec781cc234fcae119d4a71532058f5

(2047)

on August 18, 2011
at 10:01 PM

@sallycinnamon, I think the amount of time it takes to heal is really individual, but I started seeing good results within 2 weeks. It's been almost 3 months since I started and I still don't feel as good as I want to, but much better than I used to! I think whole fruit or berries are better than a Lara bar...it's so easy to eat a whole one and the sugar is very concentrated. If you're doing ok with eating fruit, don't give it up, especially local seasonal fruit which is soooo good! It sounds like you're doing all the right things. Keep it up and good luck!

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 18, 2011
at 02:04 AM

Sorry, you did answer Q3....maybe I'm not so coherent after all! Duh :)

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 18, 2011
at 02:04 AM

lol, that would be Q2 not 3. Argh, I need proper sleep!

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 03, 2011
at 06:48 AM

Sounds like you are doing a lot of great things.

Fit day is good for a few days or so. Just to see if you are in the ballpark.

Don't feel you need to fast. I like a solid breakfast every day. One with Protein and fat. You may find that, after awhile, you can really stick a meal (Prevent hunger for hours). For me it is protein (Eggs or meat) with fat. One tablespoon of butter is enough for me for breakfast. When you do this you will eventually notice, perhaps that you are not hungry for lunch one day (unscheduled fast for a meal when you are not hungry). I would rather experiment fasting for Lunch than breakfast. I would not do it more than once or twice a month when you are starting out. Then to break my fast I eat high protein and more fat than normal (This makes it so I am not hungry for hours). I think that is an easy way to try a fast.

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 18, 2011
at 01:50 AM

thanks Eric, I will try IF gradually. I want to do it more for convenience sake and to rid myself of food anxiety (to prove to myself that I'm not going to collapse if I don't have food every 2-3 hours). Agree, protein and fat work best for keeping me satiated. Good to hear the validation on that.

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