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Hypoglycemia without Diabetes

Hypoglycemia without Diabetes

Is it possible to have hypoglycemia without diabetes? The answer is yes, and it's important to know why. As more and more cases of diabetes pop up, people are trying to diagnose the early warning symptoms of the disease. Just to get the terms straight, hypoglycemia is a state of low blood sugar or glucose, due to an overproduction of insulin or from a poor diet. Hyperglycemia is a state of high blood sugar usually due to low levels of insulin. Diabetes is the persistent medical condition of a body's underproduction of insulin, or of a cell's inability to process the insulin, either of which leads to high levels of blood sugar and dangerous conditions within the body, even death. Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia are often associated with diabetes because all three conditions have to do with insulin and improper levels of blood sugar. The real difference between the three is that diabetes is a persistent medical condition, whereas hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia are states within the body that come and go.

People wondering whether they can have hypoglycemia without having diabetes might be wondering whether or not they can have hyperglycemia without diabetes. We'll address that first before moving on to having hypoglycemia without diabetes. Diabetes causes hyperglycemia because without insulin, the body can't metabolize blood sugar for fuel and energy. The blood sugar builds up in the bloodstream and if it goes unchecked can be very hazardous to person's with diabetes and can even cause death. Certain conditions can cause hyperglycemia without diabetes, but these are rare.

Before you go, make sure you read through the comments section below. The community has left some amazing research, stories, and tips for dealing with hypoglycemia. Nanda especially has done a lot of research that's tremendously useful.

Another great resource is this Hub on Hypoglycemia from Conrad.

Dealing with Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive Hypoglycemia is a condition described as recurrent episodes of symptomatic hypoglycemia occurring 2–4 hours after a high carbohydrate meal.  Unfortunately for the general public, reactive hypoglycemia is a condition that seems to be very often misdiagnosed by doctors. If you read the comments below, you'll see how many people had to figure out for themselves that they had an unnaturally high sensitivity to certain foods that would cause their blood sugar levels to become highly imbalanced. If you think that you have hypoglycemia without diabetes, then you're definitely not alone. Unfortunately, with this sort of condition, it's not always possible to know right off the bat which kinds of foods and habits will throw your body into an episode of hypoglycemia. That's why one of the best things a person can do is to keep a food journal. With a food journal, you can write down what you ate and how it affected your body. Foods and habits that seem to cause a bad reaction in your blood sugar can be documented so that you can try not to duplicate the process. Slowly but surely, you'll be able to discover what kinds of foods and habits lead to stable blood sugar levels.

Glucose Regulation

Changing your eating habits and making sure to eat more nutritionally dense foods is a great step in learning to deal with reactive hypoglycemia. But there are a few other steps that might help along the way as well. One of those is glucose regulation. There are a number of different natural supplements that use herbs, minerals, and other natural ingredients to help the body better balance blood sugar levels. I've done a lot of research to find the best glucose regulation supplement, and the product I've listed below is both cheap and effective. It's also from a very reputable brand, Source Naturals. Clinical trials have shown that Holy Basil can help to stabilize blood sugar levels when supplemented. It's a powerful adaptogenic herb that's used extensively in India and Ayurvedic medicine.

Magnesium Supplements

One thing that many of the commenters have noted is that magnesium can be a very effective tool for calming the body down from a hypoglycemic attack. Magnesium is a powerful relaxer, and since two of the biggest symptoms of hypoglycemia are shaking and anxiety, magnesium supplements can really help. I had never made this connection until a few commenters below informed me that taking magnesium supplements had really helped them. Magnesium is just great in general. It's involved in over 350 processes in the human body and is essential to life. Here's a link to a form of magnesium that's especially calming.

Hypoglycemia without diabetes can be caused by a number of factors.

Hypoglycemia without diabetes can be caused by a number of factors.

Other Causes of Hypoglycemia without Diabetes

As we discussed in the first section, people are becoming more and more wary of diabetes and the early warning signs of the condition in order to help prevent it before the condition becomes permanent. In order to be able to do that, you need to be able to distinguish between hypoglycemia that comes from diabetes, and hypoglycemia that arises from other factors. Here are some of the other factors that may cause hypoglycemia:

1. Excessive Alcohol Consumption

  • You don't need to be a doctor to know that too much alcohol is hazardous to your health. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause hypoglycemia. Why is that? When your body processes sugars and releases them into the bloodstream, some of the sugar is stored as glycogen in your liver and released slowly over time. Because we all know that alcohol heavily affects the liver, and one of those effects is that the liver is inhibited from releasing its stored sugar back into the bloodstream.

2. Some Medications

  • Some medications can cause hypoglycemia. Some antidepressants, Quinine, and other things can cause hypoglycemia. Read the labels for side effects.

3. Hormone Imbalance

  • Insulin release and production is regulated by hormones. Hormones are produced and regulated by your endocrine system. Your endocrine system, when healthy, is in a state of homeostasis, meaning balance. But a wide variety of things can throw your endocrine system out of balance, causing incorrect hormone production. One of the main causes of endocrine imbalance is steroid use. But there are many other causes.

4. Fasting

  • Not eating for extended periods of time can cause hypoglycemia. Blood sugar levels can drop as a response to a lack of food.

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia just makes you feel nasty.  Because of the fact that I've fasted before, I know what it feels like to not have enough blood sugar in your body.  Everything just feels wrong and tense.  Here are a few of the specific symptoms of hypoglycemia:

  • Nervousness
  • Weakness
  • Intense Hunger
  • Sweating and Trembling
  • Difficulty Concentrating and Speaking

Comments

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on November 14, 2019:

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I get hypoglycemic with no reason. Thanks for the information and I'm off to read the comments.

Katie on May 16, 2016:

I am a 22 year old. What I was diagnosed with is reactive HYPERglycemia. I was wondering if you have any ideas on good supplements to take to conteract the reaction from when I eat too many carbs? (I go into a comatose like state for about 3-5 hours and I cant move or even wake up). I know this is a lot different than your article but was hoping you may have written one on my disorder :)

paulaas on April 13, 2014:

Several years ago I was diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia and my endocrinologist put me on metformin. It has worked wonderfully. Now I have just had a complete hysterectomy. My doctor has put me on estrogen and testosterone injections. I feel like I did before I started taking the metformin- hungry all the time, etc. Have you seen any research on the effects of estrogen/ testosterone on blood sugar/hypoglycemia?

Mary on November 23, 2013:

Was diagnosed yesterday with hypoglycemia. Have also thought so, but having a doctor say so makes it seem better. I have learned much from this site. Thank you.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on December 03, 2012:

For Boris, I have managed my hypoglycemia by eating time intervals 3 hours early on then 4 hours lately. I don't wait for pangs of hunger because at that time it will be too late to avoid dizziness. Refined sugar is bad for hypoglycemic, brown sugar is better, or honey, fructose for that matter like sugar from coconut flower exudates turned sugar. We have plenty of that in the Philippines which is exported. Blood sugar test for diabetes would not do, it should be six hour glucose tolerance test. Anyway, you may not need that test if you have symptoms like those mentioned in this Hub. You may want to read my Hub on how to counter hypoglycemia which Benjimester has provided a link here.

HYPOGLYCEMIA SUCKS!!! on December 02, 2012:

I'm 14 and have hypoglycemia without diabetes. My dad is a chiropractor, and after a lot of weird eating habits, he tested my blood sugar and I in fact did have hypoglycemia. My family has a diabetes history and i'm really fortunate to not have that! When I become hungry, I become really depressed. People will walk up and say "hi" and I will start crying. Also, I become increasingly dizzy and frustrated with everything! I've learned to live with it and so have my friends. They know now when I start crying I need food, and will help me find some because of my inability to function. However, I am glad that I do not feel dizziness anymore. When I was in 5th grade, I was forced to carry around a bag with snacks because I was in danger of fainting when I became hungry. I am happy I am not the only one with this problem!!! I am soo happy I found this article.

Laura on November 03, 2012:

Wow! information galore on here! I have been dealing with this my whole life. I have also done extensive research on hypoglycemia.

Someone mentioned "enlarged cells on the pancreas". Only a few people even realize what role tumors on the pancreas has on increased levels of insulin production.

What most people don't know is that hypoglycemia wthout diabetes is 90% a matter of usually benign tumors on the pancreas and increased overproduction of insulin as a result. The pancreas is small and fairly hidden so this is rarely detected. The good news is that 99.9% of these growths never become malignant. By the same token this is another reason pancreatic cancer I so deadly because most times it is diagnosed too late but I digress...

I observed many people mentioned that diabetes runs in their family. So there is a connection there.

Finally, some have posted that they started out as hypoglycemics and ended up as diabetics.

My mother had hypoglycemia but never knew it. As they say hindsight is often 20/20. From her symptoms now we know. As a result she ate a lot of sugar and food (intense hunger as part of hypoglycemia) and I have a theory that all of us with hypo can end up with hyper or diabetes. She is now very diabetic and is on pills and insulin.

My theories:

If a hypoglycemic eats too much and too much sugar rather than a low gi diet at regular intervals, it is possible that the body becomes insulin resistant and diabetes starts. Other theory, if too many masses grow on pancreas eventually instead of overproducing insulin it may start underproducing leading to diabetes.The pancreas is super sensitive in our case and works 10 times as hard as the normal person's so eventually it could perhaps enlarge and slow down the production much as hyperthyroidism tends to lead to goiters (enlarged thyroids) and hypothyroidism.

Regardless, for these reasons I consider hypoglycemia a type of diabetes and don't believe we can truly say it is not related.

I have found like many on here that a diet in balanced complex carbs, protein and fruits and vegetables and low in simple carb and sugar is best for both hypoglycemia and diabetes. Since this way we won't be making our pancreas work too hard and this in turn will hopefully maintain a balanced sugar level as well as decrease chances of our becoming insulin resistant in the future. (the #1 reason for diabetes by the way, many people think it is not having enough insulin but the real culprit is becoming resistant to insulin which explains why my mom in her advanced stages of diabetes is on pills AND insulin shots and STILL had sugar levels of 300).

I think the fact that so much of the population is obese and suffering from diabetes that docs love to see low blood sugar and don't understand it can be just as deadly. I almost passed out at the docs office and made them take my blood sugar level and only then did they say. "How are you still conscious and alive with a blood sugar of 40!" Yeah no thanks to you doc. People, do your research and don't rely on the docs that's all I can say! Remember, no one knows your body like you do...docs laughed at me when I did all my research and diagnosed myself and was not laughing when the blood results came back and my self diagnosis was right. I am not telling people to believe the first thing they read online nor to become a hypochondriac but listening to your body and extensive research coupled with ADVOCATING for yourself at the docs office ARMED with a list of your symptoms and requesting...nay...DEMANDING that the tests be done to rule out or confirm the diagnoses can be beneficial to our living a normal life and enjoying it to the fullest till the good Lord takes us!

conradofontanilla from Philippines on October 16, 2012:

For Leah,

You have a pancreatic tumor? That may contribute to your hypoglycemia. It may block production of glucagon that induces the conversion of glycogen to glucose when needed. Glucagon must be balanced with insulin that if it is preponderant glycogen is stored in the liver, released slowly if at all. You would be using glucose from diet. Early in the morning just up from bed the usual sugar level is 70, too low for hard thinking and exercise.

I suggest don't take a bath with cold water; don't lock the door of the bath room. Tumor of the pancreas can be remedied with soursop (guyabano) or noni juice which was proven to kill colon cancer in a research done by the University of the Philippines, Manila that also manages the Philippine General Hospital. This is one of the biggest in the country that is accompanied by the College of Medicine. I mentioned this research in one of my Hubs on cancer. You may access conradofontanilla.hubpages.com.

LEAH on October 16, 2012:

This is refreashing to read that I'm not alone. I passed out in the shower and was woke up by my three year old daughter yelling and shaking me. I have a wonderful doctor who admitted me to find the issue. I failed the glucose test miseribly. I was diagnosed with this. My concern is that a pancreatic tumor could be causing this from the research I have done? I have had all kinds of problems with my pancreas over the past year. Just trying to connect the dots. All I know is this is something very serious and some people don't take it that way. I never want my daughter to be scared like she was but she was able to help the EMS with me when they got there and was a trooper. My husband and her father is in Afghanistan so it is just me and her and God knows I have to be healthy to keep up with her.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on October 03, 2012:

For Andrea,

It looks the symptoms your husband shows are very much for hypoglycemia. The beers might bring it on because of some five percent alcohol. Alcohol, coffee and smoking are no no for hypoglycemics. Dizziness is owing to lack of energy for the brain. A hungover from alcohol is actually hypoglycemia.

Andrea on October 03, 2012:

I have thought that my husband has been hypoglycemic for a few years now, he went to the doctor and they did blood work with good results, however did not do a proper glucose test over a set amount of hours. My husband knows there is something wrong but doesn't want to face up to it. I know when he hasn't eaten well and he seems very drunk after only one or two beers sometimes. He has nightmares where he will wake up screaming, he is clammy and sometimes sweats though his pjs, slurred speech, he forgets simple things like last night he asked me if I was going to have dinner after I just finished my meal in front of him. On rare occasions he stumbles and has to sit down because he is dizzy and sometimes is unusually aggressive ( this is not his personality at all!). I still think it is hypoglycemia any thoughts? Please help.

Boris on September 14, 2012:

Hi,

I'm wondering lately if this is my problem. Whenever I have the tiniest amount of sugar, I slowly get an allergy-like reaction within the hour. But what's worse is, about 4-5 hours later I experience a huge crash.

I feel extremely poisoned. My legs and arms ache, and I feel my entire digestive tract tingle and then go extremely numb. I get a runny nose and I feel the nerves in my head twitching! My hands shake, and I lose focus as though I'm in a dream and can't really control my thoughts. I lose vision, especially in one eye, and I generally feel like I'm going to black out, but if I lie down, I have trouble breathing.

This will gradually go away over the next 2-3 days. It doesn't happen when I eat complex carbs, but any kind of simple carb will bring it on.

I've done random and fasting blood sugar tests and they were normal, so the doctor dismissed anything related to blood sugar. He thinks I'm crazy, at this point.

Could this be hypoglycemia? Diabetes?

If the former, then you'd expect that eating sugar would resolve it, but eating more sugar just makes me worse. And I doubt that I'm diabetic, or the fasting test

Could anyone please point me in the right direction? I've searched and searched and found nothing (I'm convinced it's not candida. I was treated for it just in case, a while ago, and I saw no improvement).

This has been destroying my life for over a year now. Is this hypoglycemia? I should point out that eating more sugar only makes me worse during an attack, not better.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on August 31, 2012:

Your new medication may be depleting your trivalent chromium. Check it out. Refined sugar depletes chromium that is why there is a need to supplement chromium from Brewer's yeast (not baker's yeast) for example. This Hub of Benjimester has a link to my Hub "How to counter hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)" you may get added information there.

pinkshoes99 on August 31, 2012:

I have also been dealing with hypoglycemia since I started randomly passing out at a young age, the doctors tested me for everything, and even wanted to put me on Xanax at age 11. Luckily, one day it happened in a parking lot and a nurse was there who got the bright idea to pull out her sugar meter and check my sugar and in 5 seconds she got the answer the doctors had spent 3 years and thousands of dollars in testing trying to find.

Now to my question. I have had it pretty much under control up until this point, but recently I had to start taking a new medication for a new health problem and it really seems to be affecting my sugar. It has been crashing it seems just about every hour. I have been sticking to a strict diet, eating protein bars (the heavy duty ones), drinking OJ for breakfast and even avoiding sugar ( other than that) altogether with no success. Does anyone have any other tips or tricks to help stop the constant crashing? I know the basics...more protein, more fiber, etc., but it doesn't seem to be helping anymore. Thanks!

conradofontanilla from Philippines on August 04, 2012:

There is an alternative method to glycemic index in handling diabetes type 2. I may write a Hub on it. It is interesting to see how it impacts on hypoglycemia.

Shawn on August 04, 2012:

I'm a new member of the hypo club as of a couple weeks now. My story is pretty much the same so I'll skip over it.

I'm eating every 2-3 hours now which is very inconvenient so I've started having 1/2 of a Bear Valley Pemmican Bar which really seems to keep me level and focused.

I've also discovered that I drink to much water (3-4 liters per day) which is flushing out the nutrients I need to maintain a steady glucose level. So I've backed that down to 2 liters and life is improving.

Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter on Whole Wheat also works me and I've switched over to Pepsi Next (60% less sugar) when I'm craving a soft drink.

The South Beach Diet website has a nice list of foods and their glycemic index rating and I've started using MyNetDiary.com for tracking my readings, meals and exercise.

Regarding my food selections... My avg. reading is mid 80s-90s and I monitor constantly (1-2 hours) so I can see the effect different foods have on me.

Also like to mention that Wal-mart sells the ReliOn brand meter and test strips which are significantly cheaper than other leading brands. I find its just as consistant as my OneTouchUltra meter.

healey99903 on July 21, 2012:

thank you!

conradofontanilla from Philippines on July 21, 2012:

Benjimester,

For healey99903. It appears that your case is not hypoglycemia. In my Hub "How to counter hypoglycemia," I have an entry:

"Specially for women

There are other disorders (kidney trouble, diabetes, heart disease, menopause, thyroid disease, those due to antibiotics, insulin, lithium, caffeine, and birth control pills) that mimic hypoglycemia."

healey99903 on July 21, 2012:

... sorry i didn't see a reply for my comment... does this come.from birthcontrol? (hormone changes)

conradofontanilla from Philippines on July 21, 2012:

Getting overweight is a consequence of frequent eating to compensate for lack of energy.

It is more likely to go hypoglycemic from being diabetic. Treatment of diabetes type 2 with drugs may result in excessive reduction of glucose that, in turn, results in hypoglycemia.

The normal sugar level is 80 to 100 mg/liter.

Shellyrx on July 21, 2012:

I have been monitoring my glucose and finding that my levels are low, sometimes in the 60's. I usually am prompted to test bc of feeling sweaty, shaky, anxious, and unable to concentrate. Today it happened and I felt horrible for the whole day. I'm going to start a food journal to look for correlations. I started out having a migrainevandvthingsvqent downhill from there. Could hypoglycemia be a precursor to diabetes? I am over weight and am just wondering. How do I get this under control??

healey99903 on July 14, 2012:

Will this start if i eat normal. but stop taking my birth control pills? (hormone changes) )

i get really dizzy, and start to have like the black out feeling, every time i stand up, and i am really shake... also.does it cause rapid weight loss?

conradofontanilla from Philippines on July 13, 2012:

laurelmunz,

It looks like you have some sort of insulin resistance, meaning a lot of insulin roaming around but glucose is not being stored in the form of glycogen. Now glucose is getting into your cells that is why you have more energy. Your pancreas is not overburdened to produce more insulin.

laurelmunz on July 13, 2012:

I want to give everyone the name of the supplement in case anyone else wants to try it. It's called Enzymatic Fatigued to Fantastic Energy Revitalization System. Even if you don't have Thyroid problems it's also good for anyone who wants/needs more energy. There's also a website enzy.com where you can get more information about it.

laurelmunz on July 13, 2012:

I thought I would let everyone now how things have been going with me. The testosterone hormone replacement has not done much for me. What has come to light is the fact that I have a malfunctioning thyroid. In my efforts to find a Doctor who would prescribe me a natural form of the hormone I stumbled across a vitamin powder specifically tailored for thyroid support. So far, it is working. I feel a little better each day. As for the hypoglycemic episodes, I have stopped eating all higher glycemic foods. I eat lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, kale, collard greens, anything with a leaf and protein and that's about it. I have also very gradually weaned myself down to eating 4 times a day as opposed to the 8 0r 9 meals a day I was eating before. I'm trying to get the insulin down as insulin is a hormone and when one hormone is out of whack then they all are to a greater or lesser degree. I'm also trying to rest my pancreas which has really been cranking out the insulin overtime. It's working out pretty well. My body is finally calming down. I haven't had a hypoglycemic attack in 2 weeks and my energy has improved. I may still need thyroid hormones but I'm going to keep taking this supplement until it doesn't work anymore.

conradofontanilla on June 28, 2012:

Literature says the normal sugar level is 70 to 100 (it can go up to 110). A test on my sugar level with the finger tip pricking gadget showed 110. But I am hypoglycemic. i know the test for hypoglycemia is 6-hour glucose tolerance test. I diagnosed my hypoglycemia with the help of Dr. Betty Kamen's book, "The Chromium Connection." I manage my hypoglycemia with proper interval of meals, colored rice and more. You can read more posts of mine in this Hub of Benjimester or you can read my Hub "How to Counter Hyp0glycemia (High Blood Sugar)".

Brelaw on June 26, 2012:

Hello, I am 13 and my doctors have tested just about every major organ when I came to my pediatric doctor telling him that for about a year I had been getting very dizzy, shaky, and would suddenly break out in a sweat. I went to ears and throat doctors, eyes, heart, brain and no one could figure out was wrong. Later on in the year I went to see another doctor for opinions. She thought it could be hypoglycemia. I had asked her for my blood sugar tests and the first one I had showed 69. This doctor finally had given us answers. Turns out my family has a history of hypoglycemia but no diabetes. I was wondering do you think I could have hypoglycemia? I've been reading some comments here and some of them sound like what happens to me.

connie on June 24, 2012:

I am 46 and have suffered nearly all my life, the thing I have found to help me with the attacks is bread and a lot of butter on it. I have only fainted once, but I have noticed my systoms are getting worse, my legs and hand shake uncontrolable is this normal?

Amber4381 on June 20, 2012:

I am not sure if anyone else has experienced this, but I thought I would share in order to get everyone's view on it. I have been diagnosed as hypoglocemic and when I try to adhere to a more strict exercise routine, I end up gaining weight instead of losing weight, even if I watch what I eat and try to refuel after workouts. I have tried several different things as far as working out and no matter what I try, whether it be working out with a personal trainer, running, doing the Insanity Program, etc., I always end up gaining weight.

Ashtin87 on June 19, 2012:

For starters, I'm a 25 year old female with two toddlers. I was told when I was 15 I had hypoglycemia and was told to eat as much carbohydrates as I can handle and to always carry hard candy with me. He also to drink 1-2 sodas a day, plenty of juice, and drink plenty of water to keep my system balanced. That had worked for years till I was 21 and pregnant with my first. When the doctor had me do a glucose test, they did a four hour one first. I did as they told me and after I drank the stuff, I felt better than I had in years. While I was ready to climb mountains, they wanted me to stay still and were ready to send me to the E.R. After drinking five bottles of water, I felt sick and almost fell asleep standing. They told me that my sugar went from really low to really high and they were worried I would have a seizure. When I told them how I had felt, they had me do a two hour test a week later. That test didn't worry them like the first, but they had me cut my sugar intake by half. Once my eldest was born, I picked up my old diet and my problems went away for awhile. When I got pregnant with my second, the midwife had me do a four hour test and had the same results as the first four hour test. She just took my blood pressure more often and checked my sons heart rate. Once my levels were in a "safer" range, she told me that had I not been hypoglycemic that I would be in some discomfort. But since my levels started in the double digits ( 60-65) that everything balanced out once my body adapted. She said that since I also had a high metabolism that the high levels would not last too long. Now it's one year later and I'm still on my diet ( but my sugar crashes worse when I wake up than when I was younger) with more simple carbohydrates at the start of my day than I used to.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on May 27, 2012:

Coffee triggers a sudden fall in blood sugar that may be a hypoglycemic episode. Too much glucose brings on sudden fluctuation of blood sugar level that promotes either diabetes of hypoglycemia. The long term aim in hypoglycemia is to stabilize sugar level. Fructose as sweetener, honey, brown sugar, coconut sugar are better than glucose because they do not get to the blood stream so fast. They must be converted to glucose first.

Beth on May 25, 2012:

So glad I found this page. I've dealt with the shaky nervous spells from not eating since I was in 7th grade (I'm now 26). In 7th grade, lunch wasn't until about 1 pm and after eating breakfast around 7 am every morning I just couldn't make it that long without a snack. My mom took me to the doctor and he diagnosed it as a "big growth spurt" and gave me a special note allowing me to have a snack in class when I felt hungry. 14 years later I still deal with these spells on a regular basis. I haven't noticed any specific foods that seem to bring it on, but whenever I have coffee I am much more likely to have a shaky spell. My own theory is that the caffeine speeds up my metabolism and I use up all the sugar from breakfast much faster. I've learned to carry around granola bars in my purse so that I won't pass out. I now work in a pharmacy and have discovered the glucose tablets, so I hope to try those as well. For me the best way to regulate is just to eat often and carry snacks. Thanks for all the advice everyone - it's good to know I'm not alone and not crazy!

Carmela on May 24, 2012:

At 26, I remember the last day I ate an ice cream sundae for lunch.. by 4:00pm I was shaking and crawling to the vending machine for reese cups. So I learned. But now at 34 something awful has changed - has to be hormone imbalance as since I quit birth control pills, that I had taken for 17 years.. 6 months later still having these new epic type of reactive hypoglycemic attacks. I miss desserts, but the nightmares and shaking attacks jumping awake cold sweating in my sleep are not worth it. I had chinese last night with no rice and I slept great thru the night. Part of the problem is that I took the YAZ pill for the final few months before quitting.. and I had panic and anxiety from that medication. I read somewhere that anxiety can release too much adrenaline using up the sugar in my body more rapidly.

Dorislynn on May 16, 2012:

Just a comment after reading some of the post . With hypoglycemia it does not ever feel good to drink anything without having food with protien in it , even water . A stomach full of liquid with no protien will cause a very sick feeling . We just have to realize the food and drinks need to be spread out in small amounts all through out the day to stay even . Once you begin to feel normal again I think it's easier to stay on track and not cause the spiking and dropping feelings. I don't really eat because I'm hungry , I eat to not feel sick . Preventative measures are better than trying to recover from the sugar drop after it happens. Your information is very helpful .

Benji Mester (author) from San Diego, California on May 10, 2012:

Hey Lora, it's good that you're experimenting with different foods and eating habits to see what works and what doesn't. With a lot of people, hypoglycemia is like an event, where it either happens or it doesn't. It sounds like this is the case with you. Basically, what happens a lot of the time is that when a mild episode begins to come on, a chain reaction follows because a person gets scared and stress chemicals can get released into the blood stream that cause the situation to get bad fast. It can take awhile to fully recover from a hypoglycemic episode like that, even a few days.

If I were you, I'd just keep experimenting with different high density foods and different eating habits. I'd think about starting with a nice balanced breakfast instead of coffee with cream and sugar. That can make a huge difference. Since you're trying to stop your hypoglycemia before it gets too terrible, hopefully you'll be able to completely overcome it through good dieting.

hiren on May 10, 2012:

hey bensimester i just want to know how can we stpo sugar

Lora5900 on May 09, 2012:

I also have this condition, although I have not been diagnosed .. All my lab tests are normal. I'm confused that it comes and goes. It lasts for two weeks then gone for two months and I can eat anything I want. Now it's been everyday for a month.. The worst episode was having coffee with sugar free sweetener and flavor in it on empty stomach . I only drank half and thought I was dying.. Sweaty , shaky, headache , anxiety , hot , cold you name it. The rest of the day was ruined . I could never feel balanced. What I have figured out over the last two days is a mix of fat and protien and whole grain works the best. Oh and fiber. After reading this site, I took advice to have snack before bed. I hate celery with low glycemic peanut butter. With small milk. I woke up 5 hrs later cold ,scared with headache. What did I do wrong? I got up drank water almost threw up , got whole grain toast with double fiber cheese and butter, drank whole water bottle and took my multi vit about 40 mins later I felt great.. I hate this so much.. I need to lose weight , but need to eat every two hours, will it ever balance out?

Benji Mester (author) from San Diego, California on May 07, 2012:

Thanks! It's always really nice to have doctors and medical professionals stop by. Thanks for taking the time to read the article and the comments.

dr stephen chan from U.S.A on May 05, 2012:

Very informative article, and excellent comments from readers as well. I think my favorite part of the article was when you got quite technical, saying:"hypoglycemia just makes you feel nasty!" Well put!

All you with diabetes might want to look at a product called: Melabic

Cheers and good day.

Benji Mester (author) from San Diego, California on May 03, 2012:

Mr John, I hope so too. Eating a healthier diet is definitely the best thing you can do for type 2 diabetes. Most of the people that I've researched believe that a major contributing factor to type 2 diabetes is an unhealthy ratio between Omega 3 fats and Omega 6 fats. Unhealthy diets have way more Omega 6s in them than Omega 3s, and as a result, the cell membranes of our bodies don't get formed with the proper fats, and become brittle, unable to accept certain compounds like insulin as easily. Changing your diet and eating healthier can slowly help to reverse the cellular malnutrition. I definitely encourage you to look into that further. It's really interesting research.

Benji Mester (author) from San Diego, California on May 03, 2012:

Hey Shawn, I suppose it's possible. I've not heard of that before, but a lot of changes happen during puberty, so I can definitely see how it could contribute to hypoglycemia. I wouldn't think that it's the whole cause of your hypoglycemia, but probably more of a contributing factor. If you're like most teenagers I know, you've probably been feeding your body a steady diet of fast food and energy drinks, which definitely can be a huge contributing factor in the development of hypoglycemia. If I were you, I'd try and make sure I was eating a healthy diet. Hopefully, that will curb the hypoglycemia before it ever flares up.

Benji Mester (author) from San Diego, California on May 03, 2012:

Hey guys.

Sorry Anne, I didn't mean to take so long to reply to your comment. Yeah, I definitely think it's better to stay with denser foods like protein. They keep your blood sugar stable for longer. Even in controlled portions, carbs can cause chain reactions that bring about hypoglycemic episodes. Every person's body is different. It's really cool that you stay in tune with your body and know how foods are affecting you so you can keep the attacks at bay.

MrJohn83$3 on May 03, 2012:

December 2011, I was told I was diabetic, weighed 306 I believe. as of now, I've dropped down to a little over 270 under 275. Now I have issues with sugar levels dropping suddenly more often. Its not a great feeling. I am going for a check up/physical to do blood work and other tests. Hope to find out what's leading to this. I do think its the major change in my diet that helped andd that can help reverse type 2 diabetes.

Shawn on May 01, 2012:

Hey im 14 and ive been diagnosed with hypoglycemia, is it possible that my hypoglycemia could be because of puberty, and if so does it go away after puberty

Anne on April 27, 2012:

I've been getting hypoglycemic episodes more frequently for the past 4 years (i'm 20 now). At first I was concerned about diabetes but no other symptoms are present and my blood sugar is always fine when I get tested. What I've noticed recently is that if I have a carb-heavy meal, the next time I get hungry I have an episode. However, the last week or so I've had next to no carbs (not on purpose, it just turned out that way) and I haven't had an episode at all. I'm just a bit confused because people seem to be recommended eating regular controlled portions of carbs but I've been eating none and feeling better than ever... is that just the way it is for me or am I experiencing something different to reactive hypoglycemia?

Benji Mester (author) from San Diego, California on April 27, 2012:

Sheryl, thanks so much for your comments. That's really cool to hear that your chiropractor was helpful in diagnosing your hypoglycemia. That's another great resource for people. I can see how a chiropractor might be a little bit more in tune with that sort of thing. Thanks for sharing that tip!

It's really cool that you've learned to control your hypoglycemia with the right foods and eating habits. That's really the key. That's why I encourage everyone to keep a food journal, to learn how to interpret what their body is telling them and to try and create a system of eating that keeps the symptoms at bay. You definitely can't control it 100% of the time, but most people can live pretty symptom free with the right foods and eating habits.

sheryldl on April 26, 2012:

I too have had hypoglycemia since 1st grade. I am now 49.Back then I thought it was normal. Then I realized in 5th or 6th grade that if instead of eating a PB and J sandwich for lunch, I ate a sandwich containing meat, my symptoms of shaking did not occur. It wasn't until later in High School that I first heard the term "hypoglycemia". It was then that I realized what had been going on in my body for years.

I also recently have noticed that it is also exercise induced. My best foods to eat are proteins and the foods to avoid are sugars and starches.

I try to eat right before exercising and if I feel shaky, I eat something after. The harder I exercise, the worse the shaking is.

You would think with this much experience with this, I would learn to eat right everyday, but then I get busy and ignore what my body is telling me it needs.By that time, I'm shaking so hard I will eat anything I can get my hands on just to stop the miserable feeling of low blood sugar. If I wait too long, I will have a severe headache that will last about 24 hours, and nothing will relieve the pain. This is a very real problem and those who have never had their blood sugar plummit cannot understand what it feels like. My family thinks I am nuts stuffing something into my mouth to relieve my symptoms, but those of you who have this illness know how desparate one feels at that point.

I do try to keep myself on a regular diet to avoid these attacks. I know that if I don't eat when I need to, I will be cold and can't warm up until I eat. I also have terrible nights sweats, but have always blamed them on hot flashes. I will be watching this more closely after reading the posts from others on this site.

I finally feel like I'm not alone with this condition. I never realized there were so many others out there who are coping with this.

I have also been advised that I am much more likely to develop diabetes than the average person because of this.

Also as alot of you have listed, Doctors are not very sensitive about this condition, however, I got the most help from my chiropractor who ran a series of blood tests and spit tests that revealed the imbalances in my blood sugar levels. (He feels I am pre-diabetic and has put me on a regimen to lose weight and control my blood sugar levels.) When I follow this diet, I feel much better. The diet is produced by a company called Mona Vie, and can be accessed as such on the web.

There is help out there but you have to be diligent, and not let the Drs. convince you that this is all in your head. Just remember to pay attention to what your body is telling you when your symptoms start. They will not go away if you try to ignore them, they will just get worse. If your medical doctors won't help you, find a good chiropractor who is more interested in healing you than pushing medications on you. The tests my chiro did on me revealed alot more about me than any of the tests that I had in a hospital. He also told me that by the time those tests revealed a problem, it is too late because your body has already suffered damage.(i.e. diabetes) Chiros are trained todo alot more now than just adjust your back.

Hope this helps my fellow hypoglycemics.

Benji Mester (author) from San Diego, California on April 26, 2012:

Hey guys. Thanks very much Conrad for all you do on this thread.

Kristen, I agree and share your frustration with foods. Almost everything we eat has unnatural additives and fillers. It's so difficult to find anything that's not heavily processed and full of unnatural elements. That's good that all of your tests came back 100% normal, but difficult in that the problem must lie elsewhere.

Since you know that your problem is food related, it's smart that you try and eat a diet of completely natural foods. Some bodies are more sensitive to unnatural additives than others, and usually react by boosting the body's inflammatory response, which can cause huge problems like autoimmune disorders and the like. Even the water we drink is often loaded with artificial compounds. Some bottled waters have hundreds of trace compounds in them that aren't supposed to be there. The body can react against such a huge amount of foreign substances in its environment. All that to say, I encourage you to go as natural as possible.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on April 25, 2012:

Amylodextrin is seldom found in literature, unlike amylopectin. Labels may include amylopectin but not amylodextrin. Dr. Bienvenido Juliano, a Filipino National Scientist for Biochemistry has done research on this to find substitute for mayonnaise that contains fatty acids. I am glad if I could be of help. "Most starches contain both amylose and amylopectin within the granule" (Paul, P. C. and H.H. Palmer. editors. "Starch and Other Polysacchararides." Food Theory and Applications. 1972:162)." [This book is already thick but its index does not have an entry of amylodextrin, only amylopectin.] That's for amylopectin; I am afraid that is also true for amylodextrin. I read, to extract amylodextrin soak the rice for about 24 hours and boil then...(my memory fails me now).

conradofontanilla from Philippines on April 25, 2012:

Amylodextrin is seldom found in literature, unlike amylopectin. Labels may include amylopectin but not amylodextrin. Dr. Bienvenido Juliano, a Filipino National Scientist for Biochemistry has done research on this to find substitute for mayonnaise that contains fatty acids. I am glad if I could be of help.

"Most starches contain both amylose and amylopectin within the granule" (Paul, P. C. and H.H. Palmer. editors. "Starch and Other Polysacchararides." Food Theory and Applications. 1972:162)." [This book is already thick but its index does not have an entry of amylodextrin, only amylopectin.] That's for amylopectin; I am afraid that is also true for amylodextrin. I read, to extract amylodextrin soak the rice for about 24 hours and boil then...(my memory fails me now).

KristinBarlow on April 25, 2012:

Conrad, it is very interesting that you bring this up today about the rice. I recently did a Fructose Intolerance Test and for 24 hours before the test, I was told to eat only white bread, white rice, and eggs or boiled chicken. By lunchtime during that day, I had an excrcuating headache and was extremely fatigued. My headache got worse throughout the day and I became extremely nauseas. I got home from work around 7:30pm and went straight to bed. Other than the extreme fatigue, my symptoms were all new as I don't generally get headaches or nausea. I initially thought it was a caffiene headache, however, just today, I went on a full juice cleanse to try to help me feel better. I expected to get a headache again from no caffiene but, other than being a bit tired, I feel fine. It made me think that the bread and/or rice was probably what affected me so terribly. With your comments above, that makes total sense. It is so great to finally be getting some clarity as to what is making me feel so terrible all the time. I am going to add amylodextrin to my list of dangerous ingredients! Thank you.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on April 25, 2012:

Amylodextrin is the name of the component of rice, I remember it now. However, I haven't located the publication that tells how to separate it from rice. Amylodextrin can be a substitute for mayonnaise as sandwich spread so that you can avoid the fats from eggs.

conradofontanilla from Philippines on April 24, 2012:

You my find in literature that rice has dextrin. There is a process that removes it from rice that all that is left is starch. Just you wait I will try to locate the publication where I read it.

KristinBarlow on April 24, 2012:

I have not been diagnosed with anything concrete but my research has brought me to the possibility that I may have hypoglycemia. I have definitely had my share of hypoglycemic episodes, the first one being 12 years ago when I was pregnant. These very infrequent episodes consisted of shakiness, profuse sweating, and extreme fatigue that would come on rapidly. I realized quickly that if I ate a sugary cereal in the morning and nothing else for a few hours, I could count on having an episode. While these episodes would come on quickly, it was very easy for me to recognize the symptoms and grab a juice or something to eat to bring my blood sugar up. Recently, I have been getting these symptoms every day that I do not eat something every 1-2 hours. Although the increased frequency has brought me to believe I may be hypoglycemic, these symptoms are not the ones I am worried about. If only my other symptoms were as easily corrected as the hypoglycemic symptoms!

I need to back up a bit and give a brief history of my situation. During my 30's, I became a health and fitness nut. I learned nutrition and lost 30 lbs and began doing triathlons. The year I turned 40, I trained for and completed a marathon, along with an Olympic Distance as well as a Sprint Distance Triathlon. I felt amazing. Shortly after I turned 41, 8 months ago, I think my warranty ran out. I woke up one morning with an extremely sharp pain in my upper stomach that would come in waves. After the pain in my stomach went away, I began to have a myriad of serious problems. Sharp pain in chest, sharp pain in left shoulder blade, pain radiating down the back of my left arm, numbness, tingling, weakness, and shakiness on the entire left side of my body, frequent urination, bloated after eating, fibromyalgia across my upper back, extreme fatigue and weakness, constant pain in my back just beneath my right ribcage that would sometimes radiate around my right side and down into my lower abdomen, mental confusion so bad that I could not recall words so speaking would become almost impossible, shortness of breath so bad even speaking a full sentence without taking a breath was impossible, as well as heart palpitations so bad it would push my breath out. Many of my symptoms would be worse when I would fall asleep. I would get night sweats, extreme racing heart if woken up or even if I would simply roll over, and night jumps (entire body jerking). I have had EKG's, ECG's, 21-Day Holter Monitor, stress tests, multiple blood tests, full abdominal ultrasounds, peri-menopause tests, thyroid and pituitary tests, a brain MRI, food allergy tests, Celiac tests, and the most recent was a fructose intolerance test. Every test has come back as 100% normal. The cardiologist was actually very impressed on how strong my heart is. So while I was given a clean bill of health from the cardiologist who assured me I was not going to die of a heart attack, I became angry, frustrated, and depressed because I could not live this way.

Through a lot of research and trial and error, I realized that my symptoms were definitely food related. I have determined that if I eat anything that contains maltodextrin, dextrose, modified food starch, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, and gums (xantham, guar, etc.), my symptoms come on strong within 1-2 hours of eating. If I stay away from food containing these additives, I am 100% myself again (unless I go hours without eating - then I will get the hypoglycemic shakes and sweats). The strange thing is that real cane sugar, processed or crystals, does not affect me adversely. With this new revelation, I decided to try to see a GI doctor as I figured there may be an issue with how I am metabolizing these ingredients. The GI doc actually diagnosed me with IBS and gave me a drug for spastic colon. After taking this new drug 4 times a day for 3 weeks, my symptoms started coming back and were getting steadily worse every day. In researching the drug, I realized that many drugs, including the particular one I was on, are compounded using maltodextrin! The very thing that makes me sick.

Needless to say, I have given up on Dr.'s and I have turned to posts like these to see if there is anyone else out there who may be experiencing the same symptoms as me. Also, could these extreme symptoms be related to hypoglycemia as well?

This is very frustrating because almost every food item sold in the store or at a restaurant contains these food ingredients. I do my best to eat homemade, non-process, non-pre-packaged, freshly grown foods, but sometimes it is impossible. I am interested in trying the magnesium as well as other vitamin supplements mentioned on this site to see if this will help. I really need some answers because these debilitating symptoms are making it almost impossible to function daily. I may be alive but I am definitely not living.

Benji Mester (author) from San Diego, California on April 23, 2012:

Hey Kelley, that's odd that your hypoglycemia only seems to flare up every couple of months. I wonder what's triggering it. That's good that you had your thyroid checked as well, as hypoglycemia and hypothyroidism often go hand in hand. It does sound like there might be something else going on as well, beyond just simple hypoglycemia, since it only strikes every few months, and I've not heard of hypoglycemia affecting libido before.

One thing I have learned about hypoglycemia is that it's really important to start the day off well with a nutrient dense breakfast. If you start the day off poorly, it's almost impossible to recover. The only reason I say that is because the breakfast you described might not be the best. White toast, cereal, and orange juice might cause a hypoglycemic episode because they're high in carbs. Eggs are really good in the morning, if you l