Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hypoglycemic? Craving sugars?

I graze throughout the day, all day, every day:)   I'm not super big on food, oh, sometimes I like it, sure, food can be good and fun at times.  But primarily I eat as we need the fuel for our bodies.   If M isn't with me, say, away at her dads for a weekend, I find that I"m out of rhythm of providing meals for her, and I have often forgotten to eat.   I'd go into low-blood sugar periods before itd click, oh yeah, have I eaten?  Certainly that's not good.  So, I've learned.  I make myself eat.   Even if I don't feel like it, and especially if I am hungry.   I don't really like to bother with the time it takes, I'm happy with something small but packed with a lot of uumph (my ADD and impatience?), thinking I'll eat larger meals later and oftentimes I do just that.   I always eat/drink something before I head out the door with Daisy (unless she's particularly whining and "can't wait").  I have two breakfasts, a mid-morning something, and then I aim for lunch, plus a pre-dinner then dinner.   M likes to eat something (healthy! I make sure it's healthy!) while I'm preparing dinner, or to tide us over.  M apparently doesn't like to take as much time as she used to always take eating her lunch, so she eats less then.   I pack enough for her to have a full lunch and afternoon snacks plus horse snacks.   Today, she packed minimally.   I added two Golden delicious apples, as I know that packing M one apple would mean two bites by her, the rest eaten by Chance, her current favorite horse.  And cashews.  Just cuz a quick protein snack addition isn't a bad thing.

Grazing is apparently healthier for me, though, eating smaller meals more often.  It helps to keep my blood sugars more level and consistent.   We're both less cranky if we have something to eat when first arriving home, too, early evening, plus dinner.  So dinner is smaller.   It works out (balancing for healthy foods). 

It clicked for me this morning, reading CanyonSun04's entries, that she is mentioning potential signs of blood sugar problems.   Whether she has blood sugar issues or not, is for her and her doctor(s) to figure out, other medicines, whatever.   Hmmm, I'll have to add her link later (to her private journal), as I'm not finding it now.  Update:   Ang since checked out http://www.hypoglycemia.org and took an online test.   Great idea for any of us!  To quote them, "A higher score is evidence of probable adrenal insufficiency and/or deranged carbohydrate metabolism (Hypoglycemia), and would indicate further testing. "  Wow, serious sounding wording.   They're pushing sales, but otherwise have a fair bit of information on their site.  Yep, I still scored very high myself.

Some tidbits I'll relay for anyone who may be craving simple sugars or sweets, who can feel unenergized sometimes, who sometimes even feels cranky and irritable but feels better after having eaten and otherwise doesn't know why s/he'd feel cranky and irritable, who can feel shaky and not quite able to think clearly.   At least, those are symptons I've had.  Remembering later, I'd get close to passing out at times, too.

Testing for hypoglycemia is not the same as testing for diabetes, similar but not the same.  Typically a longer time frame is needed.

Hypoglycemia is somewhat the opposite of diabetes yet very related.  In diabetes, the body cannot produce sufficient insulin to convert sugars properly and timely (or something akin to that).   In hypoglycemia, the body produces too much insulin and converts sugars too rapidly. 
This means that someone who is hypoglycemia who eats, say, a candy bar, will initially have her blood sugar level raised, perhaps even soaring.   Testing the blood sugar level then won't show the full picture.  In time, the blood sugar level drops, sometimes dramatically so, sometimes even the shakes and light-headedness can happen and the low blood sugar is similar to a diabetic low blood sugar then and is also dangerous if too low.   So, the key is that eating simple sugar products puts a hypoglycemic person on a roller coaster / yo-yo, feeling sluggish eat something to perk up, perks up but drops again, feeling cravings for more sugar to perk back up.  
(Blood sugar problems can be triggered by various things, such as pregnancy, also.)
If feeling a craving (and not a seriously low blood sugar problem in which case, drink orange juice, or consume a quick sugar plus then a protein).   If craving sweets, try a piece of fruit instead of sugar-sugar.  In time, they taste better than white sugar items (or soda).   I don't even like donuts, for example.  Albeit, I love ice cream:)  lol
Eat a piece of complex-carbohydrate such as a low-glycemic piece of fruit, along with, say, a piece of cheese or a yogurt to counter balance (the sugar levels) with the longer-acting protein and fat.  It'll help bring the blood sugar levels back upyet not in as chaotic way.  
I'm no doctor, obviously.   There are likely tons of websites on diabetes and hypoglycemia.  If you feel, see, read something that could be you, check with a doctor, please.
I've spent years learning what does and doesn't trigger my hypoglycemia.   I can have sweets, in moderation and balanced.  Some people can't.  I can't drink a regular soda unless it's with a meal, and sometimes even then it's too much for me.  When in a social setting where alcohol is an option, I have to balance that out, too, if I chose to drink, not eat as many desserts as others are AND a glass or bottle, for example, and that's okay.   I'm fairly regulated at this point, and I don't actually count the number of carbohydrates, thankfully.  I'd hate that but if I needed to to feel alright, I'd need to.  I started off with no clue about this, feeling almost faint all the time and yet not lacking sleep or exercise or iron.  I recall driving home from work one early evening, just feeling as if I could just close my eyes and die, I did not wish to die mind, just felt physically as if I could.  I had so little energy.   I had to be very strict about my diet at first, get my body back in whack.  I can still occasionally not realize I'm dipping (blood sugar levels), every thing I eat (or skip) counts.  Mostly, I'm balanced out now.  I can eat vegetarian even, just nixing most simple sugars and meats from ones diet can be trickier, and keeping my blood sugar levels level is more important, so there have been times I can't stay strict about my vegetarian eating preference.  
Each persons body is unique:)   If anyone out there is having symptons, and diabetes symptons can include being thirsty often and some other symptons, please consult medical information / professional.  
I'd love some semi-sweet "protein" bar right now (some of them are VERY high in carbs, have you noticed?  WOW).  But, I'll heat up my "savory lentil" soup (with carrots, etc.,) instead.   Ahh, I do love lentils, though.   And, I'll feel better for it.



  1. I'm defintly looking more into this.  ALthough with Hypoglycemic, the only treatment (which I would be glad to have no more meds) is diet , yes??  I could do that.  

  2. I *think* so, Ang.   At least, I've not known anyone with any other "Rx" provided.  Perhaps for some, a change in current medicines prescribed for other things could assist.  But, I *think* that hypoglycemia itself is controlled just by diet.  

  3. Can I just stress that any serious problems with blood sugars (whether it be high or low) should be discussed with a doctor FIRST? Hypoglycaemia is a very serious issue, which can lead to black-outs and in extreme instances death.

    Hypoglycaemia is part of diabetes [mellitus], and can occur for a variety of reasons. It rates as a medical emergency (as in: 911). Conscious patients should be given sugary drinks followed by a biscuit or two. Those who are found unconscious should be dealt with by paramedics, who will commonly administer glucagon.

    I dislike tests as displayed on the hypoglycemia.org website, as they are way too unspecific. The symptoms outlined in the test could point to any number of illnesses - or NOT.

  4. Yes, please do, and thank you for doing so!   I know what mine is, and primarily have it controlled, and my mother has less troubles than I do.  But, for others, it varies, and can be very serious!   And, of course, an emergency situation is an emergency.    I was not trying to give medical advice per se, but to alert people to the potential of having this, seeing potential symptons in another journaler.   I agree that the test on there is not great, but I felt it was useful as a guide for then obtaining professional medical advice.   Thanks for your comments!  -- Robin  

  5. Managing sugar levels is such a problem for so many of us.  I'm a diabetic but I also have to be watchful for hypoglycemic episodes.  I take medication for the diabetes and if I don't eat on a schedule and balance my carbs and sugars properly then I my blood sugars can drop too low or zoom too high.  Neither is desirable!  If anyone has any blood sugar leel issues, high or low, I would suggest seeing a doctor immediately!  Diabetes is often a hidden disease and people don't intially recognize the symptoms--Sheria

  6. My wife's diabetic, so she has the blood sugar testing kit handy. I get lightheaded if I don't eat regularly because mine drops to the 70 range. I think it comes with aging, sorry to say. I wonder if you and I will have to go on meds for it eventually. I'm guessing at some point it can't be regulated with diet any more.