Friday, June 12, 2009

About Hypoglycemia...

I've been suffering from hypoglycemia since my childhood (with fainting episodes - remaining unconscious for several minutes). Everybody I know made it look like it was nothing serious and that I just needed to have some sugar or a sweet treat and it'll pass. So that's what I did for many years.
Several years ago, a friend of my grandmother died after falling into a coma because she couldn't reach for some sugar before passing out. And since she lived alone, nobody noticed what happened right away (reason why she fell into a coma). When I learned that, I suddenly acknowledged that hypoglycemia wasn't just a benign condition after all.
I've been gluten free for 3 years (for health reasons), and I've noticed that my hypoglycemia has improved tremendously. Before that I had the episodes were happening more often and I was starting to get more anxious, even aggressive...I knew this wasn't right.
My journey through food & health has brought me being simply gluten free to SCD, GAPS, the Paleo Diet and Nourishing Traditions. I also recently stumbled on books saying that sugar is bad for hypoglycemics.
So I figured that I'd try giving up sugars or at least have minimal amounts. I was worried that it's make things worse...In fact, it's quite the contrary, I feel much better! My body uses the sugars stored instead of having sugar overload. I'm even aware nor that my liver and digestive system feel cranky & irritated when I have a little too much sugars, and this happen with GF grains too.
The only sugars I have now are from eating fruits and maybe a few root vegetables. I manage to drink my tea without sweetener, except for mornings and evenings when I add 1 tsp of coconut palm sugar (a natural & sustainable sweetener with very low glycemic index).
I stay away from anything refined and artificial sweeteners which are true poisons for your body and your brain.
Hypoglycemia is often called the other sugar disease. I read that about 60% of hypoglycemics become diabetics. I have decided that it won't happen to me because I take responsibility for my own health.

So what works for me?
-Lots a vegetables (including leafy greens) , raw or cooked.
-Some protein at every meal (with good fats) whether grass-fed meat, wild caught fish, pasture poultry & eggs, raw cheese or nuts.
-Raw dairy products (I make my own yogurt).
-Grain-free breads made of coconut flour, almond flour or other nut/seed flours (it's best to grind your own).
-Fruits: raw, stewed or cooked in dessert (in this case I use minimal amounts of natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, agave syrup or coconut sugar).
-I'm cutting off the GF grains since they seem to irritate me. So I eat them in small amounts and plan to eat them rarely and properly prepare: soaked, fermented or sprouted. I usually only enjoy them in simple foods like porridge, soaked pancakes and crepes.
-Nuts & seeds in various forms: milks, butters, paleo cookies, "granolas", breads...
-Surprisingly I don't crave chocolate anymore (only on rare occasions)!
-Nourishing herbal infusions.
-Homemade fermented fruits and drinks.

So I'm now gluten free, yeast free, nearly grain free, starch free and sugar free ;)!

Things you need to know:
-Carbs & starches once ingested, transform into sugars which are stored in your body as fats!
Grains are fillers but they only "fill" you temporarily; you'll get hungry for more soon enough...
-Good fats (not vegetable oils but animal fats, grass-fed/raw butter, coconut oil, nut/seed oils, olive oil) once ingested transform into glucose which is use by your body and not stored as fats!
-Sugars block the absorption of necessary minerals for your teeth!
-Eat nourishing foods and your body will get all the nutrients it needs for good health and healing! If you get too little nutrients, these will go to the most important/vital organs in your body to the detriment of your teeth and bones!
-Eating non-pasteurized foods won't make you sick...On the contrary! Your body will benefit from good bacteria that will strengthen your immune system and make you less prone to sickness.
-By eating nourishing & properly prepared foods, you'll get more energy!

From my own experience:
-When I stay grain, starch & sugar free, my body fat percentage goes down (as I'm using the sugars and fats already stored in my body). When I reintroduce these, my body fat percentage goes back up.
-When I eat a variety of vegetables with some protein, it gets me going for hours without hunger or low blood sugar. Sometimes my belly needs to remind me that I should have a snack, but my energy level remains about the same.
-When I eat grains & veggies but no protein...I get hungry a few hours later to the point that I need to eat something before I sleep otherwise I won't be able to sleep and will need to get up in the middle of the night to eat something.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. It was very interesting to read!

I'm eating less carbohydrates these days. At least the more processed ones such as bread and pasta. My stomach just can't take them. Sugar also makes me feel bad. I wonder if this has affected my weight. I've lost a lot of weight lately, totally without meaning to, and I don't know why. I'm a little more active than I used to be, but I also eat more protein and vegetables and healthy fats....

Alchemille said...

It's a good thing that you are in tune with your body.
It's a pretty common thing, when you cut the carbs and increase proteins to loose weight almost effortlessly.
As time goes by I find myself to become more sensitive to some foods.

Jim, the Guacamole Diet guy said...

"artificial sweeteners which are true poisons for your body and your brain."

I agree.

And, from my own experiences, I know that hypoglycemia can be very, very dangerous.

Naomi Devlin said...

Great article, full of truths. I'm glad you found the way to eat that actually heals your hypoglycaemia rather than just masking the symptoms with sugar.

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