Well, the only way you are going to find out for sure is if you make an appointment to see your doctor and get a glucose test done, or an HbA1C blood test.
By what you have wrote with you eating a lot of carbs and sugary foods - you are eating the wrong type of foods. This is why you felt much better when you at the peanut butter.
The types of food you need to eat are the slow release energy foods. These are peanut butter, eggs, porridge, meat, fish, fruit with skin on, vegetables, non processed foods - brown seeded bread instead of white bread. You need to cut out or cut down on cakes, biscuits, sweets, chocolates, fizzy drinks, fruit juices off all types.
What you have to remember is that if you eat what is called a simple carb - your blood sugar will rise quickly, but will also drop quickly.
If you eat a healthy and well balanced diet, you will find that you won't be getting so many hypos. If you are active and work out, do have a slow release food before your workout.
As you mentioned that you are overweight, sticking to a healthy and well balanced diet, taking into account your portion sizes, will help you to lose weight. You also need to do some form of exercise, even if it is just going for walk twice a day.
Make an appointment and see your doctor so that you can get the correct diagnosis. If our sugar levels are always low, medications for diabetes will not help. You could ask your doctor to refer you to a dietician who specialises diabetes.
Thank you very much for your response.
I will most definitely be making the dietary changes that you suggested above. Which I had read from my research on Reactive Hypoglycemia and Pre Diabetes that both can be controlled with low glycemic and low carb diet so what you said makes perfect sense to me.
So I will try the dietary changes and see how my sugar levels do. Which I am sure they will stabilized when I take in complex carbs and sugars instead of simple carbs and sugars.
And of course I will be adding in daily exercise too.
Thanks again for your response,
Great. Keep off the sugary cereals. Wheetabix and Shredded Wheat are fine and you can add some soft fruit and even yogurt with milk. Porridge is great with some soft fresh or dried fruit and some cinnamon.
High fibre bread with peanut butter is fine.
Have a healthy snack (fresh fruit or veg, low sugar natural yogurt with fresh fruit) in between meals so that your sugar levels do not drop too low.
If you eat ready made meals or anything else that says low fat, check the labels. Low fat does not mean low sugar. There are lots of processed foods that contain some type of sugar. You will probably know what they are.
What you want to do is to keep your blood sugar levels stable and not spike up and spike down too low. This is what happens when you eat refined carbohydrates, fruit juices, fizzy drinks.
I would still suggest that you make an appointment to see your doctor and ask if he arrange for you to have a glucose test. This will show whether you do have diabetes.
The point to remember also is that although checking your blood on your mum's monitor is a good idea to see what is happening, this only gives the blood glucose levels at the time of doing the finger prick test.
An HbA1C blood test will show the average levels of glucose in your blood over a 9-12 week period. This is when the red corpuscles renew and the glucose sticks to the corpuscles.
When you have a drink of glucose (if you have this test), if you start to drink like a fish and can't quench your thirst, you will know that you have pre diabetes or diabetes. Do you ever feel very thirsty when you have had sweets or cakes? Another sign is skin infections like thrush and itchy skin and also cuts that take longer to heal. No doubt you mum will know.
Once you eat properly like I suggested and the information that you have read, I am sure your sugar levels won't be dropping so low.
Let me know how you get on.
Hi, Jemma. :)
Thanks again for another kind and informative response. I really appreciated your help.
I am going to try some overnight oats (oatmeal mixed with unsweetened almond milk, various nuts and seeds, and maybe some almond butter and berries,) and I will try high fiber bread toasted with either peanut butter or almond butter and maybe some fruit on another morning.
And I definitely will be eating more healthy snacks in between meals so I can keep my blood sugars stabilized.
I will make an appointment hopefully soon to see if my doctor thinks I will need an A1C test and/or GTT done. Which probably wouldn't be a bad idea given my family history.
I haven't really noticed the usual sings of diabetes: extreme thirst, increased urination, slow wound healing and so on but my sugar levels have not tested at least very high. But it is a good idea for me to get tested no doubt.
I am trying to look at my symptoms in a positive way that my body is telling me that is something isn't right. Whether that is Pre Diabetes, Insulin Resistance or Reactive Hypoglycemia I know that something is going on. And I am taking this as inspiration to get myself healthier and to hopefully to be able to heal myself through diet and exercise.
Thank again so much for all the information, tips and advice that you have provided me with. I really do appreciate it.
And I will let you know how I am doing along with the dietary changes.
Thanks so much,
Jemmas advice is very good. Although it may seem counter intuitive, the best way to treat reactive hypoglycaemia is through a low carb diet. This should be very low carb, moderate protein, and with enough healthy fats that you meet your energy needs.
Considering you are overweight, I would even go as far to recommend that you get most of your carbs from non-starchy veges and do your best to avoid grains and sugars:-
I gave this plan to some friends. It is a low carb, moderate protein, higher fat approach.
It still needs to be portion controlled to some extent; after eating you should no longer be hungry, but you should not feel stuffed.
At the initial phase where you are still wanting to lose weight it will be a bit more strict. But even long term we need to strictly limit carb foods, and where we do eat carbs we will choose those that are most nutritious (ie from vegetables, and some fruits in moderation).
You should eat 3 moderate sized meals a day. No snacking (unless you feel 'low', in which case you should eat a small snack with protein and fat). If hungry between meals drink black coffee (with stevia or other natural sweetener) or tea. No artificial sweeteners, please, or diet drinks. Lemon water is a good and refreshing option, or mint water (crush fresh mint into water).
Do not add sugar in cooking. Instead use rock salt and herbs to make flavour. Ginger and garlic are good for flavouring.
Foods to select from: FATS: butter, lard, animal fats, coconut oil, olive oil, nut oils', cream, avocado, cheese. Do not eat vegetable oils, palm oil, canola oil etc if you can help it - they are highly processed and not 'healthy. Fats should be eaten in enough amount that you feel satisfied from what you have eaten. I do not give a portion size for fats.
Protein: all meats are ok. However, please avoid processed meats such as spam, processed sausages (Australian style all meat are still ok - the ones that you need to cook for yourself). Go for quality meats as far as possible. Portion size shall be 1 medium portion / meal. Go for fatty rather than lean cuts of meat. If meat or fish this is about the size and thickness of your palm (without your fingers). if eating eggs, this shall be 2 eggs.
Carbohydrates; shall be limited to those from vegetables (grains are not included at this time, and will still be limited in the future). Free vegetables are: all green leafy vegetables, includes celery, cucumber. You may eat as much of these as you want. Suggest you eat these with every meal).
Controlled veges: for the following limit the total portion / meal to not more than 1 - 1.5 cup combined: onion, capsicum, beans, carrot, egg plant, okra, radish, pumpkin, tomato, green papaya, banana heart.
Allowed Fruits: small portion only, equivalent to 1/2 cup. Apple, strawberry, berries.
Limit milk to 1/4 cup / day or replace with cream, in moderation.
Alcohol: limit to not more than 1 standard drink a day (1 shot of spirits), 1 small glass of wine. Avoid beer if possible but maximum 1 bottle not more than 1 /> week.
Vegetables to avoid: potato, sweet potato, beet root, corn.
Fruits to avoid: all tropical fruits; including mango, banana, pineapple, lychee, watermelon etc).
Other to Avoid: All grains, all added sugars.
Lots of good advice, but a very complicated plan. I will stick with the plan my dietician gave me.
I do not agree with not having a healthy snack in between meals and just drinking a black coffee. If hunger is felt in between meals there is nothing wrong in having a healthy snack.
When sugar levels start to drop, there are lots of hypo signs that must not be ignored and drinking a black coffee is not the answer. Having meals with healthy snacks in between (something to eat every 3 hours) will keep the sugar levels stable.
It is not just about eating, any form of exercise that burns energy will also bring down sugar levels.
There is a lot of information with regard to the different fats on the web.
I do not agree with Super_sally888 comments
"Foods to select from: FATS: butter, lard, animal fats, coconut oil, olive oil, nut oils', cream, avocado, cheese". Most of these are not "healthy fats"
Butter, lard, animal fats, cheese and coconut oil are saturated fats. These are the bad fats. Although coconut oil is a saturated fat, it does have health properties.
Unhealthy fats are the Saturated and Trans fats.
Monounsaturated Fats (Monounsaturates) and Polyunsaturated Fat (Polyunsaturates) are the good fats.
You can find more detailed information with regard to the different fats on the web.
My dietician says a portion of soft fruit and nuts is what fits in the cupped hand (one hand and not the 2 together).
The link below shows a picture of a "Healthy Plate".
Make the appointment and checked out. Ask the doctor to refer you to a dietician.
the latest research has actually determined that saturated fats are healthy and are not at all implicated in heart disease.
The unhealthy fats are the man made fats, and highly processed vegetable oils - particularly those that contain transfats.
Safe fats are those that are minimally or unprocessed and include; lard (animal fats), butter, cream, coconut oil, nut oils, fatty fish / fish oils, etc. Cooking of fats is preferentially at lower temperatures (not deep fried).
Hope this helps.
You could go to the Weston price website (google it), which is a great source of information about fats.
Perhaps you could be more specific about this "latest research".
I attended a nutritional course run by the UK's National Healthy Service, which included a whole day on fats and was provided with lots of written information on the different fats (which are also available on the web) - and the transfats that you mentioned as being healthy were definitely not on their list of healthy fats.
I have looked at the web site that you mentioned, but have also found controversial sites too.
Personally, I prefer butter to margarine and I like to eat the skin off the chicken and the sizzling crispy fat on a chop - but evidence shows that trans fats fur up our veins.
A little in moderation of everything is fine and we do needs some good fats in our diet to get the fat soluble vitamins.
Transfats are the bad ones - these are manmade and found in many processed and baked foods.
Saturated fats are those found in meat, chicken skin, butter, etc.
Fat the Facts is a good article that is on the web page below.
Recently I did three months sugar test HbA1C that is 5.6, please let me know I am free from Dabetic, and let me know the range for the same ( HbA1C )