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Pre diabetes, hypoglycemia
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Pre diabetes, hypoglycemia

I was diagnosed with hypogyclemia over 1 and 1/2 years ago. I went to my Endo. and he gave me a low carb, high protein diet. Needless to say, it has been hard for me to stick to no starches, no fruits, sugar and now he tells me to leave of all diet soft drinks, Equal and Splenda. I feel like I have no life at all. I still get low blood sugar drops, which range with different symptoms such as. sweatimg, heart palpatations, dizzyness, trembling of hand and legs.  At time my hands shake so much I cannot even write a check.  Diabetes runs in my Mother`s family and she has type 1. I am 47 years old, and need to loose about 25-30 pounds.  I always fell lousy and have a lot of anxiety.  What are my chances of getting diabetes and is a low carb diet my only solution?  
Thanks,
Lilliebelle
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello Lilliebelle,
As you may know, we're volunteers here and not medical professionals so none of us can give you a custom treatment plan.  Perhaps we'll provide some new ideas to consider with your endo.

First a comment on your "sense" of your Endo.  In general, we need to find medical professionals with whom we can discuss and work well.  Whether you have ongoing hypoglycemia or eventually become diabetic, you need a *sustainable* life style.  Often adult-onset "anything" is difficult because, as adults we've developed some habits that may work against us.  If you need to create some new healthier habits, do jump at the opportunity.  If your doctor's "prescribed" ways of eating are not going to be sustainable and if you're not feeling well, then either ask for alternatives, or for a referral for a second opinion.  Not every endo is right for each patient, and as patients, we should seek the help of someone we can work *with* and not feel intimidated by.  If your endo is not aware of how you're feeling then he cannot really give you good advice because he's working on incomplete info.

As you probably know hypoglycemia results when a person releases too much insulin in the presence of carbohydrates.  That excess insulin is results in blood sugar that's too low and the physical symptoms you feel.  DIabetics are taught to treat low blood sugar with some rapid acting carbos -- such as 15gm of carbo in the form glucose tabs/gel, juice, regular soda (NOT chocolate; it's too slow to help).  A person with hypoglycemia may have a harder time to treat a low since the pure carbo may trigger yet more insulin.  There are many good books on ways of eating for hypoglycemia that typically recommend eliminating "simple sugars" and then combining complex carbos with proteins & fats.  I diet that has *NO* carbohydrates is not sustainable and can be dangerous, and yet there are carbos in veges as well as fruits & breads.

I'd encourage you to learn a lot about hypoglycemia from reliable sources such as the hypoglycemia foundation: http://www.hypoglycemia.org/

It is not uncommon for hypoglycemia to preceed diabetes.  I visualize the process as one in which the pancreas spurts & sputters and eventually fatigues into diabetes.  Not everyone who has hypoglycemia develops diabetes.  Managing diabetes or managing hypoglycemia allows folks to live long, healthy and happy lives -- and yet it takes a lot of learning & a lot of work.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello, and thank you for your reply.
What my Doctor put me one was the "South Beach diet" part 1, which does not allow any carbs from bread, cereal, fruit, pasta, rice, potaoes, sugar etc.  I can get carbs from only veggies, salad etc.  He also told me I could have one free day a week, that free days would allow me to eat carbs but not in excess. For instance, if I wanted to enjoy a couple of drinks or have desert or pasta.  I am an American but live in El Salvador. My Doctor is known here to me very good and he graduated from Univ of GA and is the one call Doctor for the American Embassy.  I understand I need serious life changes, with diet and stress factors.  I have been trying to keep up with this awfull diet since Dec 21 2004. But I have to tell you that I do cheat because the diet is so hard to stay on.  I have an appointmnet with this Doctor next week and I am thinking about seeing a Dietician.  My Doctor did tell me after being on this diet for about 1 month that I could start to have a couple of times a week strawberries and melon. Does anyone know if Splenda effects insulin or blood suar levels?  Do I really have to cut out one diet Coke a day and all caffeine?
Thanks for all your help.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi again,
I hope others will chime in too, since this is such an important topic to all of us.

You said something very interesting -- that you've been on "part 1" of the South Beach diet since Dec 2004.  While I'm not an expert in the SBD, I understood that "part 1" is intended to jumpstart weight loss and was not intended for long term?  Do you have access to the books on South Beach diet?  As a whole, that seems to be a rather balanced, healthy way of eating.

On the topic "treating" yourself now & then... This topic is near & dear to my heart since I'm convinced that the emotional baggage attached to the more-common phrase "cheating" is self-defeating and the term itself is rather ill-informed.  It seems to me instead that we owe it to ourselves to take a "marathon" view of managing our foods & lifestyle ... Marathoners know that winning requires steady, sustainable work for a very long time.  In managing how we eat & exercise, we need to provide small treats & incentives that help prevent cravings due to feeling of being "deprived" Those feelings often result in -- again -- self-defeating binges.  If there are foods you enjoy as a treat, talk to your doc/dietician about how to safely include them regularly in your choices.  If you know, you can safely incorporate fruits on a regular basis, I'm guessing you'll really ENJOY them when you have them instead of mixing food with guilt.  I have had Type 1 for over 35 years and have found this technique to be quite powerful.  

To me, the key has been a personal commitment to taking care of me physically & emotionally.  For me, that process includes an awareness that I can eat foods I want in small quantities and I adjust my meds/activities accordingly.  Learning how to incorporate what you like in safe quantities & intervals makes things much more manageable.

If you are tending toward high blood pressure that might explain the doc's urging for you to stay away from caffeine.  In normal quantities, Splenda has no blood sugar impact that I'm aware of.  Some folks encourage us to wean our tastes from sweets and staying away from anything other than whole fruits is one way to do that.

It would be GREAT for you to see a dietician.  Those folks can be very skilled in helping us add interesting choices to any routine.
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Avatar_n_tn
Caffeine is known to be a problem for people who suffer from hypoglycemia, for it causes the body to speed up production of insulin, which can make hypoglycemia worse. There are some decaffeinated sugar-free soft drinks that are available, and you might do well to look at those as options.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so everyone who have tried to help me.
Yes, My Doctor put me on the South Beach Diet, but part I, more or less for the rest of my life or until I do not have low blood sugar.  For those that don `t know, the only carab are from veggies and salads. He gave me one "free day" a week, to enjoy carbs or a drink or two.  Once when I was better he told me I could start to have a small amount of strawberries or melon a few times a week.  But that`s only when I am not having low blood sugar for a few weeks.  See, it get`s really boring seeing everyone enjoy food and I have to eat the same ole thing all the time.  I did lose 22 pounds in about 7 months, but as soon as I start to break the diet I gain some back. I understand diabetes, it runs like wildfire in my family and they are not over weight. My mother has Type I, but she gets a more interesting diet than I do! Yes, the Doctor told me stay off all Nutrasweet and Splenda products.  This just made me feel I could not even enjoy a Diet Dr Pepper.
Thanks again
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Avatar_n_tn
To the person who asked if I had high blood pressure and if that is why the Doctor told me to not have much caffiene.  No, I do not have that, as a matter of fact it runs more toward low. My average blood pressure is about 118/63-68.  Chol. and Trigs. are great too. I just have a problem with carbs and anything with sugar.  If I go off the South Beach Phase I and really splurge a few times, I can count on getting Hypolglycemia big time. It can be very hard a first to get bsvk on track, once I have a bad low. It seems it can take at time more than a week of strcit dieting to get back to just about normal. It really disturbs my life. I would never dream of leaving the house without a box of juice, just in case. Sometimes the juice is not enough, but a Coke will get me back every time.  The first time I had hypoglycemia, I thought I was having a heart attack and I almost passed out, my whole body was shaking uncontralablly.  It was very scarry indeed and my dsughter called my Mother`s Endo. and told her to run and get a Coke for me, which brought me to.  This was Dec. 21 2004 and sicne then I have been really trying to stay on my diet. I fail sometimes though. Too many years of loving sugary things is very hard to break.  Right now, I am really, really trying to stay with this.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been diagnosed with Hypoglycemia for a number of years, i keep it pretty much under control and eat 4 hourly approx. The last month or two i have increased thirst and blurry vision and have been suffering heart palpitations and shakes, i have also been going very hot on occasions. Could this be diabetes? it is in the family but late onset diabetes.It is making me quite anxious.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was put on the SBD a few years ago by a really awesome GI dr.  I'm hypoglycemic...and I've been that way since I was 12 or 13.  I have alot of other digestive and liver probs.  Most of my mom's family are diabetic....including my grandmother (RIP).  Have you bought the book?  If not, I HIGHLY recommend it.  Phase one is NEVER supposed to last more than 2wks.  After 2wks, you filter in certain carbs and see how they affect you.  If they make you gain/feel bad, etc, you know those aren't the ones for you.  The 1st phase basically takes away the cravings.  You are allowed 1 to 2 servings of caff drinks per day (sugar free).  Splenda IS allowed.  Also, sugar free candy and popsicles are allowed if you only have 75 calories worth of them per day.  I lost 69 lbs on the diet.  My GI probs have straightened out alot....no more gastroparesis or sepsis.  I have since had another baby, so I have started from the beginning again.  I spent 9mos on bedrest (not following the diet).  I have 15-20 lbs left to lose, but I've already lost 15 in the first month.  Hope that helps.
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