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15298662 tn?1439720697

Does this seem like Reactive Hypoglycemia or Pre Diabetes?

Hi, my name is Kayla. I am 22. I am new on here and hoping to get some advice on my blood sugar situation. Both of my parents are type 2 diabetics. My mom was diagnosed when she was 27. And also there has been at least 5 generations in a row of women that we know of on my mom's side who have had type 2 diabetes. We know for sure my mom, my mom's mom, my mom's grandma, my mom's great grandma and my mom's great great grandma all have it or did have it. I would be the first one it has skipped. Also my dad's dad and his grandpa had it as well. So I am worried that I may be pre diabetic but I am not exactly sure. So of course given my family's history it worries me.

So for the past few weeks every hour and a half to two hours after I eat I get shaky, nauseous, really hungry, my hands get cold, and a lot of time I start sweating, my heart starts racing, I get really tired and groggy, sometimes have a headache, my brain feels foggy, my skin feels cold and clammy, my mouth and feet tingle sometimes, feel the need to eat something sugary and I get dizzy sometimes. For me after breakfast and lunch seem to be the worst episodes.

For example last Saturday I had an episode with the above symptoms after eating a turkey sandwich on white bread and I checked my sugar an hour after I ate it and it was 69. I know it isn't terribly low but my body was letting me know that I was dropping. My hands were cold and I had been outside in 80 degree weather.

And then all that next week at work I felt really tired and groggy, shaky, nauseous, really hungry and my brain was foggy about every two hours after eating just like clockwork. I didn't have a way to test because I use my mom's glucose meter when I am having symptoms at home . But even without testing I could tell I was dropping. But the good thing about my work schedule is that every two hours we have breaks so I can go get something to eat and then I am okay again but the rollercoaster only continues.

But then Thursday came and I couldn't shake the feeling of low blood sugar at all that day no matter what I ate. It was like I was in a constant brain fog and it was really hard to concentrate at work. I did have the normal symptoms listed above that I had throughout the rest of the week and they would diminish with food but the brain fog and lack of concentration stayed with me all day and I was really tired. So later that evening after dinner I had an ice cream cone and two hours later I had another episode with all the symptoms listed above. And I checked my sugar and it was 69. Again I know that this is not terribly low but I knew I was dropping. So I had some peanut butter and checked my sugar half an hour later and it was 80. I actually felt better then than I had all week. I was symptom free. Then the next morning I checked my fasting level and it was 82. So I was good.

Also sometimes during the night I wake up nauseous, sweaty and my heart is racing I haven't checked my blood sugars during the night but it feels like I am low so I will get something to drink. Will check when I do this again though.

I remember when I was in middle school every morning during my first class I would get shaky, nauseous, sweaty and really hungry. I would eat breakfast around 6 before I left for school and then that would happen around 8. As long as I had candy with me I was okay. But something to note I guess. And then one day I got home from school I felt really weak and like I was going to pass out. And my mom knowing the signs of low blood sugar from herself thought that was what was wrong with me. So she checked my sugar and it was 41. The lowest I know I have ever been. And I have had feelings of low blood sugars at other points too it just seems like lately its been more like clockwork than before.

And my usual one hour blood sugar levels are 90-120 maybe sometimes in the 130s if I eat something sugary. And then my fasting glucose is 70-95. Again I don't check these as often as I do as when I am having symptoms of low blood sugar.

I am overweight and am going to work toward weight loss and changing my diet form a lot of the simple carbohydrates and sugars I am eating. Because it will benefit me in many ways to become healthier in every aspect of my life.

So from what I read and I am experiencing it seems to me like I have Reactive Hypoglycemia. But of course I am not for sure. And I have also read that sometimes Reactive Hypoglycemia can turn into Type 2 Diabetes but I guess that depends on whether not the RH is caused by insulin resistance or not.

I am sorry for such a long post I just want to share as much information as possible that way I can hopefully get the advice I need.

So thank you for reading my story. And I greatly appreciate any and all advice, tips and/or information that can be given to me.


11 Responses
4851940 tn?1515698193
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.
15298662 tn?1439720697
Hi, Jemma.

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,
4851940 tn?1515698193
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.
15298662 tn?1439720697
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,
231441 tn?1333896366
Hi Kayla,

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.

4851940 tn?1515698193
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.

231441 tn?1333896366
Hi Jemma,

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.
4851940 tn?1515698193
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.
231441 tn?1333896366
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.
4851940 tn?1515698193
Fat the Facts is a good article that is on the web page below.

Avatar universal
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 )
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231441 tn?1333896366
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