Weight Loss Support - low blood sugar?

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02-21-2007, 01:31 PM
I'm wondering if anybody out there has a similiar experience to mine.
I have perfectly normal blood sugar when I do the typical fasting blood test at my annual physical.
But I have noticed for many years now (probably since about my mid 20's or so-I'm almost 35) that if I allow myself to get hungry, I have some kind of scary personality and physical change. (sounds kinda funny but it doesn't feel that way)
I was never the type of person to skip meals. I wake up very hungry and absolutely HAVE to eat breakfast. I have to eat protein or I get all weird. I remember one time I stayed over somebody's house and they announced the night before that we were having fried dough(!) of all things for breakfast. That whole night I was wishing we were having eggs or something else for breakfast because I could just imagine how I was going to feel all morning. I couldn't understand why the other people thought this was an acceptable breakfast (and I don't even mean from a health standpoint-I was in my full fat mode at the time). Apparently, they could handle this.
When we went out for lunch, I practically dove into the steak tips. LOL
So what I'm saying is, this doesn't feel like it's normal, as I don't see other people feeling this way.
The way I lost weight (and I'm eating this way to maintain) is by eating small amounts every couple of hours. This works SO well for me. But if I can't get to any acceptable food (SCARY) in time, I get a faint feeling, I start to get irritable and almost desperate and sometimes feel like I'm going to throw up. I have to carry snacks with me. I feel like a prisoner to my food. Does this sound like low blood sugar? I've been reading about it on health sites and it doesn't seem as extreme as what is being described. Are there different "levels" of low blood sugar? Is there anything like "sensitive" blood sugar? It's so frustrating! My SO eats so differently. Neither one of us cares how the other one eats. We're on completely different schedules. He can eat a HUGE meal and not eat for HOURS while I will have eaten about 4 mini meals by the time he gets to his next one. LOL I just never understood how people skipped meals because they forgot to eat. ?!?!?!?!?!

02-21-2007, 01:35 PM
It's possible you have hypoglycemia. Talk to your doctor about tests for this and try not to have more than 4 hours between eating a little something. It could even be one or two reduced fat cheese cubes. The protein is definitely key, but if you get to the point of nearly fainting, 4 ounces of orange juice or a few pieces of hard candy with sugar will help.

02-21-2007, 01:42 PM
Does this mean I will eventually have diabetes if I have hypoglycemia?

02-21-2007, 01:48 PM
I have hypoglycemia, and I don't have diabetes, although from my understanding, by not controlling it via food, which it sounds like you do, if there's a history of diabtes in your family, which there is on both sides of mine, it can suddenly swing towards diabetes. Basically, I do what you do, I eat every 3-4 hours, 4 hours being the outside time limit, and even if it's just a few ounces of cheese, with an apple, or a piece of bread, it works for me. I do eat alot of meat and I found that fat is another key for me too. I try and use olive oil during cooking, a tbsp is all though, eggs, mayo etc, not Atkins, but I found with reduced fat foods like mayo, cheese etc, the feelings of dizziness, hungar, moodiness etc get worse! I do however pay very close attention to how much fat I use, 1 tbsp of mayo is enough for an entire can of tuna or 2 eggs, 1 tbsp of olive oil is enough for a 1 lb chicken breast with 3 cups of veggies all stir fried together. If I don't watch fat amounts, then I start to gain weight. Good luck.

02-21-2007, 01:58 PM
Thanks for your replies. I do have to say that the descriptions for hypoglycemia sound a little more serious than what I experience. I've never actually fainted in my life, but I HAVE felt desperate and weak. I eat a lot of snacks like oatmeal w/nut butter mixed in (carefully measured LOL) and if I eat ice cream, I put nut butter or nuts on it. I find what you say about fat to be true. I need to eat some fat. I could only imagine how awful I'd feel on a very low fat diet. Low fat is fine, but fat free-I could never do it. It's not good for anybody anyway. I just don't want to end up diabetic like my poor grandmother who got gangrene in her legs. :( That is one of the reasons I wanted to lose weight.

02-21-2007, 02:06 PM
Same here. My dad's experience with diabetes is horrifying. He went from 289<my own highest weight> to 135 in less than a yr. He's 5'9", had a heart attack at age 36, 3 more heart attacks before they did a triple bypass on him, and was diagnosed with full blown diabetes during the recovery portion of the surgery. He went from thinking he had no diabetes, to 8 shots a day. SCARY. He still passes out, wakes up delusional and scares us all regularly. They live in the sticks, and they've had to call medivac out for him because he was in a borderline diabetic coma. One incident of his last year was my wake up call. When we were visiting, he woke up about 4 am, he got up to go pee, and fell through the glass wall of his shower, because his sugar was so low. It scared me to see my dad, who I've always thought of as this hugely invicible man to be on the gurney and being flown out. It completely changed my life. In changing my life, I've changed his, he's started working out with weights, he had lost so much muscle tissue, his skin literally hung off his frame like a set of clothes, he's started incorporating healthier eating habits, WHICH HE SHOULD HAVE DONE AFTER THE FIRST HEART ATTACK!! He use to eat fried clams, french fries, and buttered and fried bread for lunch, now he eats a dark green salad with chicken or turkey and olive oil and vinegar dressing. He says his suagr is much more balanced now that he's quit avoiding good/better fats than it was when he followed the diabetic/heart patient diet they recommend for patients. Which is basically no to low fat. We're both watching the fat content for each other carefully, and I encourage him to experiemet more with his fish and game. He spends his retirement fishing or hunting all day, depending what's in season, and he has come up with amazing deer stir fry recipes.

02-21-2007, 02:14 PM
Wow. What a story. It is so difficult to see loved ones going through a health crisis. It can shake you to your core.
The scary thing about diabetes is it can affect so much in your body; so many organs.
I think I look better leaner, but also, I want to do this for my health. There is also a lot of arthritis in my family. I don't want too much weight on my joints as I get older. I've noticed that my knees don't hurt anymore, as they used to on occasion! My blood pressure is also now normal.
Let's hope we can all keep up the good work!

02-21-2007, 02:20 PM
I am exactly like you describe, especially if I don't eat enough protein. The only difference is that I usually am not hungry first thing in the morning, depending on what I ate the night before.

Frequent, small snacks between larger meals is really helpful for this--and especially right before doing exercise. It's good to have some sort of protein about 30 minutes before exercise.

Oddly, I have felt better since I've been doing regular exercise. (surprise surprise). I think having more fit muscle tissue from walking, biking, etc. just helps even things out.


Beach Patrol
02-21-2007, 02:26 PM
I was hypoglycemic in my older teen years & early 20's. I had to completely get off sugar & fried foods, and I HAD to eat every 2 or 3 hours or I would get dizzy & faint. I got fired from a dept. store job because my boss wouldn't let me take "an apple/peanut butter break" so I snuck back to my locker & ate it standing there & she caught me & fired me on the spot. (That is equivalent to a big ol' lawsuit today!...but back then... I was just SOL!)

I was 121 pounds when I graduated hi school in June 1981. By August 1981, I was 92 pounds. I barely ate anything. Maybe one meal a week! - I would drink a big glass of O.J. in the morning & grab an apple or banana sometime during the day, & that would be it. Of course, I kept passing out all the time! Finally found out that I was hypoglycemic & anemic, and thus started my road to "recovery". The doc told me then that I would always have to be careful of my sugar/fried foods intake, because a hypoglycemic could easily swing to HYPERglycemic at any time - meaning diabetes.

So far I've been able to manage that - but currently am dangerously close to insulin resistance. I started the SBD in January, and so far have lost 13 pounds (altho I can't tell it at all!) and am working on my cholest. & blood sugar.

Some days it's easy. Some are not. The fried foods are easier to give up than sugar foods for me. But I haven't given up EITHER totally & 100%. But so far, I am feeling much better. :D

02-21-2007, 02:34 PM
I also have the EXACT same problem. I get totally crazy and nasty if I dont eat, and I almost feel like I could get violent. At the same time, the longer I go without eating the pickier I become because my stomach starts getting queasy. With me its mainly fat rather than protein that fills me up I think. I eat a lot of nuts in my FF yogurt or whole grain oatmeal and that really fills me up for longer periods. I find I last longer in the morning if I eat carbs versus protein. This morning I tried egg whites with mushrooms and 2 slices of whole wheat toast and I was actually hungrier when I have a roll with butter. Go figure! I'm going to try the eggs thing again tomorrow though to be sure. DH also eats a large meal and can go hours without eating so he doesnt understand when I need to get food NOW or I WILL become psychotic. That's why I have to eat so many calories and I'm not losing that quickly. Jay, I actually thought my muscle tone (which I think is pretty high) was contributing to this constant hunger and need to eat.

02-21-2007, 02:35 PM
I have the same thing. I will get nauseous, dizzy and nearly pass out if I don't eat well balanced meals at regular intervals. If I eat something that has a lot of carbs but low in fiber, 4 to 5 hours later, I'll be really sick. The same is true if I don't eat something an hour before I exercise, 10-20 minutes into the exercise, I will start to feel really sick. One reason I really like whole foods and eating fiberous carbs, it helps control it quite a bit.

02-21-2007, 03:07 PM
I have exactly the same thing. I turn into a raging jungle beast if I either dont eat or eat something like a donut.

It may be a symptom of insulin resistance too. Your blood sugar is still being controlled, but perhaps not quite as well or as quickly as optimum ("sensitive" blood sugar as you put it)

In either case I would listen to your body. Dont starve it and dont feed it junk! It is telling you something and you need to listen to it! Listen to it NOW and you can avoid long term problems

Eat often, eat well, skip the refined stuff and dont go super low fat.

02-21-2007, 03:09 PM
At the same time, the longer I go without eating the pickier I become because my stomach starts getting queasy.

OMG! dh has finally learned that if I am complaining about being hungry AND not liking any suggestions he needs to get me food FAST FAST FAST. No matter how much I say I dont want that, just shove something down my gullet.

Beach Patrol
02-21-2007, 07:30 PM
OMG! dh has finally learned that if I am complaining about being hungry AND not liking any suggestions he needs to get me food FAST FAST FAST. No matter how much I say I dont want that, just shove something down my gullet.

"just shove something down my gullet" :lol: that just really tickled me!

02-21-2007, 08:58 PM
My dad is diabetic. He's taken two shots a day for many years. His feet are so bad now that he cannot go without shoes, even in his own home, for fear of a puncture wound. He and mom started the South Beach diet the first of the year. Then my dad had an episode. Middle of the night, he started hallucinating. Mom called the paramedics. His blood sugar was extremely low and dropping rapidly. They tried to give him a shot and he tried to give them a kiss. Scarey at the time, but we can't stop laughing at the visual my mom describes now. LOL

They prescribed a pen for both my mom and dad to carry to give him a shot if it happens again and they can't get his sugar levels up. Plus dad now carries a gel he puts on his tongue to help.

About 4 weeks ago, it happened again. I was over there and mom was fixing his breakfast. He kept saying he needed his breakfast soon, he had to eat, he didn't feel well. Then he started complaining of his sight, he couldn't see anything. Mom said something and it looked like he was confused. Thinking he didn't hear her, I repeated what she said and he stared at me. Mom tried talking and he stared at her. We got him a cup of OJ with sugar in it and he downed that, he started feeling around like he was blind. But his levels started improving and he was fine again.

After that, his doc put him on a diabetic diet rather than SB and lowered his medication doseage. He hasn't had another of those episodes since.

02-21-2007, 11:22 PM
I had this in HS, where my doctor never wanted to put me through the testing, he was about 100% sure that is what it was. I always had to carry food with me at school (my dr even wrote me a note so I could eat in class) after eating several small meals a day plus snacking, I felt much better.

But I would go to your dr and keep getting tested as my dr did say it can turn into Diabetes, which I now have. (not saying you will, but just keep going to your dr and getting re-tested, just to be safe)

Also you may want to have your dr prescribe you a blood sugar monitor so you can keep track of what your blood sugars are.

Just some thoughts, I hope you feel better!