Contents for this article on diet for hypoglycemia
NB. The British spelling is hypoglycaemia. I have used the American spelling in this article.)
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Before considering a diet for hypoglycemia let us first answer the question 'What is hypoglycemia?'
Hypoglycemia means low blood sugar.
This article considers 'reactive hypoglycemia'. Unlike 'proper' hypoglycemia, reactive hypoglycaemia doesn't show up in blood tests. The diagnosis of reactive hypoglycaemia is based on the symptoms.
Reactive hypoglycemia is a common symptom of CFS or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).
Alternatively, hypoglycemia may be the only condition with which you live.
Hypoglycemia can be managed by a diet which helps to maintain a steady release of insulin into the blood stream.
It is ‘spiked’ levels of insulin which lead to the unpleasant symptoms below.
Do you ask yourself any of the following questions?
One possible reason for these observations is that you have Reactive Hypoglycemia. Please, as always, check with your medical practitioner.
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It is not necessary to have all these symptoms to have hypoglycemia.
If you have the illness Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) you may have noticed from the list above that there is an overlap between the symptoms of hypoglycemia and the symptoms of CFS.
It may be that you don't have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but only hypoglycemia.
It may be that you do have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but are able to relieve and manage your CFS symptoms though a diet for hypoglycemia.
The great thing about a diet for hypoglycemia is that it is a healthy long term diet - see below. It is worth trying the diet to see if hypoglycemia is the cause of dizziness or other CFS symptoms.
I have met several people with CFS who feel that eating little and often, and eating the right things to maintain blood sugar levels, is the most important factor in determining how well they feel.
If you live with the chronic illness CFS, click through to read further recommendations to improve your diet.
Sadly dietary advice is too often regarded as alternative healing. In my view, when treating any chronic illness, a medical practitioner should check that someone has a healthy diet.
For the years of more severe CFS/ME, I was on a strict diet for hypoglycemia.
This diet made a huge difference to my quality of life.
Now that I am significantly improved, I continue with a diet for hypoglycemia, but it is not so strict. In the last year, it has been rare for me to have the symptoms of hypoglycemia unless I forget to eat a meal.
Disclaimer: As always, when it comes to the information on this healing website please know that I am not a medical practitioner. Please seek advice as appropriate.
Before you know about the existence of hypoglycemia, you may be eating in a way which aggravates the condition.
One of the symptoms of hypoglycemia is to feel hungry, often desperately hungry. If the only snack you have available is a refined carbohydrate snack such as a normal sugary biscuit, then you will eat the biscuit and feel some relief as your blood sugar levels rise. However, because the biscuit contains refined carbohydrates your blood sugar levels will drop again fairly soon afterwards.
A cycle can be created where you frequently snack on sugary snacks, and often feel dizzy and tired.
A diet for hypoglycemia requires you to find a protein snack such as nuts, dried meat or a protein drink.
Protein snacks will not reduce hypoglycemic symptoms as soon as you take them, but they may help to avoid the spikes in your blood sugar levels which cause the symptoms in the first place.
Protein drinks can be included as a snack if you are on a diet for hypoglycemia, or they can be used as a meal in themselves.
I often have a protein shake for breakfast.
I also find a protein shake useful if I am going out. I take the powder in a beaker. I take the milk in a separate container. When I want the drink, I shake them together.
Are you saying or asking any of the following?
(1) Nuts are hard to digest. If you get stomach pain or notice bits of the nuts in your stools, you might choose to soak and dry the nuts before eating.
If you are looking for a vegetarian diet for hypoglycemia, this one tip may improve your health.
I have always founds seeds and nuts hard to digest but only discovered recently how to make the nuts and seeds more digestible.
Sadly, as with so many dietary considerations, there is some extra work involved which may be tricky when living with severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or other chronic illness.
The alternative to soaking nuts is to buy soaked nuts.
Where can I buy soaked nuts?
In the USA, pre-soaked nuts are sold by Radiant Life.
In the UK, pre-soaked nuts are sold by Raw Ecstasy.
Other sellers are no doubt available. These are the ones I have happened upon.
Read an article here on soaking nuts.
I have started coming across foods listed as actively good for stabilising blood sugar levels, so I thought I would post them as I find them.
The following foods can lower blood sugar. I am unsure as yet whether this means that you should avoid them in a diet for hypoglycemia or include them! Please do your own research.
There are many studies to show other health benefits from both apple cider vinegar and turmeric.
Trudy Scott is author of The Antianxiety Food Solution:
How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood
and End Cravings.
Amazon affiliate link to the book here.
I have benefited from Trudy's sharing of information about the use of amino acids to calm the nervous system and facilitate sleep.
Trudy writes on her wonderful blog that the following amino acids are ALL powerful for eliminating sugar cravings, "often within 5 minutes."
When hypoglaecemic symptoms were high for me, I didn’t have
sugar craving, I just had food craving. I do not know if the amino acids would help
in this situation as well, but I suggest it might be worth a try.
Which amino acid to choose?
In the following situation she suggests DPA to correct low endorphins.
"The big clue with low endorphins is that you may also feel weepy, overly emotional and sometimes experience physical pain. The emotional connection to the treat – be it chocolate or ice-cream or cookies – feels very real and very strong..."
I suggest you look up Trudy Scott for more advice.
Amino acids are something you only take when needed, as opposed to taking minerals or vitamins each day.
Read more recommendations for a diet for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
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