does anybody have any experience with this? my niece was diagnosed recently, and I would like to learn as much as I can to help her out…i know there are a few types of hypoglycemia…and the diagnosis she got was just from a dietitian…i don't know if any blood was drawn or anything. just from browsing on the net so far..i've seen recommendations to keep fat intake low…but if you are trying to slow down digestion of glucose…why would fat not be recommended as long as it's healthy fats? thanks for any info…and happy thanksgiving :)
Hypoglycemia means that blood sugar levels have fallen too low. The body needs fuel to work (especially the brain). One of its major fuel sources is sugars, which the body gets from what is consumed as either simple sugar or complex carbohydrates. For emergency situations (like prolonged fasting), the body stores a stash of sugar in the liver as glycogen. When blood sugar levels drop, the body can convert the glycogen stored in the liver to sugar that can be used by the body. There are many systems in the body that are designed to maintain this balance (liver, pancreas, adrenal glands, and others). Sometimes these systems are not working properly (or optimally). A good diet would be very helpful.
There are many possible causes of hypoglycemia so it is difficult to know exactly the case that you are referring to. If your niece was being treated for diabetes, it is possible that the medications were not properly balanced against the food intake. Without a proper diet, it is very difficult to balance the sugar intake with medications such as insulin.
I will assume that your niece is not diabetic. All carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits and grains, as well as simple table sugar), are broken down into simple sugars by the process of digestion. This sugar enters the blood stream as glucose and our level of blood sugar rises. The pancreas then secretes a hormone known as insulin into the blood in order to bring the glucose down to normal levels. In hypoglycemia, the pancreas sends out too much insulin and the blood sugar plummets below the level necessary to maintain well-being. Since all the cells of the body, especially the brain cells, use glucose for fuel, a blood glucose level that is too low starves the cells of needed fuel, causing both physical and emotional symptoms.
I have a friend who was afraid of fats so he typically had a breakfast that consisted of skim milk, a processed cereal, a banana, and orange juice. The huge amount of sugar contained in these foods caused the reaction described above. Excessive insulin was produced and this caused his blood sugar to drop very quickly causing hypoglycemia. When he added flaxseed to his breakfast, the symptoms where greatly reduced. Yes, I agree with you that the addition of fats can be very helpful. They will slow the release of sugars to the body. In a future post, I will describe why I feel that 65% of calories consumed should come from fats (more carbs are needed for the person who does lots of intense exercises). This is based on a book with the title "Perfect Health Diet". This is a very thought provoking book.
Pity, I just want to add that dieticians cannot "diagnose" hypoglycemia. That would take a test like a glucose tolerance test from a doctor, specifically an endocrinologist,and that test literally involves drinking a big glucose solution, basically a syrup and waiting for the reaction, or lack thereof. At least to test for reactive hypoglycemia.
And it's done usually in the morning after an overnight fast. Lots and lots of things can have the same symptoms so just assuming someone is hypoglycemic because of certain complaints is not good enough. She needs to see a doctor. A dietician's job would be to help with diet AFTER a proper diagnosis was made not to make a diagnosis. Maybe she did see a doctor, I don't know but if she hasn't that would be my first advice.
I don't know about other tests and procedures.
On the causes, hyperinsulinemia ("too much insulin") may cause hypoglycemia but they are not synonymous, and hyperinsulinemia doesn't even always cause a hypoglycemic state in all people. Hypoglycemia as a term is more meant to describe the state that is produced by low blood sugar. The underlying cause is another thing.
My wife was hypoglycemic for a long time. Staying off high GI carbs controlled the symptoms very well. Interestingly it seemed to resolve itself after her pregnancy. The hypoglycemia I mean.
talked to my sister tonight at the big family shindig tonight…full bloodwork was done after a fast…and the dietician they went to was…actually pretty smart…all she needs to do is make a diet change…and get rid of all the damn sugar she eats…which i have been preaching for awhile…but…i'm just an uncle :) dietician recommended all kinds of fats….lean meats…fruit…veggies…..i think the hardest thing my niece will have to do is take her lunch to school….which might not be "popular" :)
thanks for the info…both of you :)