Monday, July 27, 2009

Reactive Hypoglycemia

I met with my doctor today about the low blood sugar issues I've been experiencing over the past couple weeks (longer, really). He agreed with me that it's reactive hypoglycemia. Which basically means that after I eat a meal or snack that's basically all carbs with no protein or fat to balance it, I'm going to have a spike in my blood sugar which will then dramatically fall very low within a couple hours of eating.


The cure: stop eating crappy carbs for meals! Duh!

When I eat like I should - protein first, moderate carbs - then my blood sugar remains level and within normal ranges. But if I choose a carb heavy meal (like oatmeal or a Fiber One pop tart or a slice of pizza) - then I'm going to have a hypoglycemia reaction. Which basically means that I need to follow the golden rules of WLS just like I always should have been doing.

Protein first and always.

So if I have a piece of fruit, I need to balance it with some type of protein like cheese or sliced of deli turkey. If I have oatmeal I need to add a scoop of protein powder to it, or have some meat or protein bar with it. Which is what I normally do. Exept that I've been a bit rebellious these past few weeks and I've now paid the price for it. (I'll write about the rebellion later.)

Doc wrote me a Rx for a glucose monitor and test strips. He doesn't think insurance will pay for it because it's not diabetes, but I'm going to try to get it anyway. If I can't, then I'll just pay out of pocket for the supplies so I at least have it on hand in case I need it.

The more I'm reading about reactive hypoglycemia, the more I'm finding that it's a common side effect of gastric bypass surgery. I knew it was a risk before surgery, but it wasn't really a concern back then. I'm glad it's not a total surprise to me, I guess. Its easily controlled and I just need to be prepared in the future if I have an episode while I'm out (carrying glucose tablets or lifesavers with me at all times). Otherwise, I guess it's not that big of a deal -- just something new to live with. :-)

~Pam

8 comments:

  1. heya Pam

    I get the same result sometimes from sugar. A piece of chocolate or ice cream and an hour later, I am shaky and hungry. The doc explained that to me and it was the exact thing you just mentioned.

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  2. Oh man, that oatmeal (minus protein powder) can make me have the shakes! And I don't mean protein shakes, I mean "episodes" for lack of better word. Reactive hypoglycemia! Whew. It kicks yer tail.

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  3. If I had not read posts like yours beforehand, I would have thought I was dying the first time I experienced the dizziness and shaking of reactive hypo. A couple of those episodes and I began to think more before reaching for an easy high-carb snack. Fortunately it is something we can control.

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  4. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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  5. I have been dealing with this "affliction" since 1993 and every now and then, I fool myself into believing that it's not real, or it won't happen this time. Wrong, unless I have eaten something with protein prior to having something with sugar (even fruits) I will get one or more of the following: hot flush, shakes, lethargy, the list goes on and on. Also I find that if I am on the heavier end of my weight scale, the episodes are much worse.

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  6. I mentioned over a year ago, a year after my bypass, to my consultant that i was suffering hypos and he told me this was new to him and to go home and sort myself out!!! I havnt been back in my second year because I felt a fool and maybe i was imagining it. Today has been really bad could not drive myself home, even had chest pain, wanted to cry. thought there must be someone else suffering from these hypos and decided to take five and go online. What a relief to read your article and to know i can do something about it. please keep writing.

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  7. Maria - you are not alone! There are many of us suffering from reactive hypoglycemia. And I know exactly how you feel about a medical professional doubting us. I went to an endocrinologist who is suppose to specialize in blood sugar issues and I was told "there's no such thing as reactive hypoglycemia" - needless to say anything he advised after that comment was taken with a grain of salt. I hope my article here gives you some insight and help in getting your blood sugar crashes under control.

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    Replies
    1. I want to thank you, i have been dealing with this for months and did not know what it was, my doc sent me to this website and after reading this i know i am not crazy now, wow such a relief!!

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