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Hypoglycemic and feel like I need to eat VERY frequently...

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I'm hypoglycemic, and definitely feel the effects of low blood sugar - shaking and just generally feel like I'm going to freak out. I went strict Paleo a few years ago, but still ate about 6 (smaller) meals a day. The last several months, I've ate way too much "gluten-free" crap, so I started the Whole30 to reset and get back to that strict Paleo I was doing well with. 


Anyhow, I'm on day 3 and trying to eat larger meals, but it seems that no matter what I eat, I am still ravenously hungry about two hours later. I'm not talking cravings - I'm talking beginning to shake, full on hungry. I've just been eating leftovers from a previous meal, not "snacky" food, to help get me through to the next meal.


Has anyone had experience with this? Do you think that as my blood sugar stabilizes, I'll be able to go longer between meals? 


As a reference, here's an idea of what I had for breakfast today...


Pot roast (approx a palm size of meat, maybe a little more) with a few hunks of turnips and onions that it was cooked with. Also, I sauteed together broccoli, carrots, zucchini, and onions using some coconut oil. I figured that the pot roast probably had enough fat in it that I didn't need to add more. It was about two cups of veggies. At the time, I wouldn't have been able to eat any more food without feeling over-stuffed. However, I'm hungry barely even two hours later. 

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Hey Mary!


Well, as the Whole30 timeline will tell you (http://whole30.com/2013/08/revised-timeline/) days 2-3 typically feel like...


"...the amount of suck you experience in this phase is directly proportional to the amount of crap you consumed before you began the program."


In reality, your body has just about run out of its glycogen stores, and is confused as to why you are not giving it the sources you've accustomed it to run on ('gluten-free crap' - which I'm assuming translates to 'higher-carb, chemical fare').


Are you hypoglycemic or do you have idiopathic postprandial syndrome? The two are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. With the way you described the symptoms, it sounds like you may have the latter.


This study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23404961) shows how eating 6x per day only serves to INCREASE hunger and the desire to eat.


This study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15220950) shows how regular meal consumption will increase insulin sensitivity.


Hopefully this helps! Hang in there! Day 16 is 'tiger blood'! :)

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If you really need to eat than you should eat and doing a mini meal of leftovers (as apposed to fruit or nuts) is the right thing to do. Tom often shares that he started with 6 meals a day and is now down to 3 but it took time. 


Is your hypoglycemia medically diagnosed? If so checking in with a doctor wouldn't hurt just to make sure there isn't anything larger going on. 


I agree with Casey that it isn't super unusual at this stage in your W30 either. You may want to try increasing the fat in your meals a little bit and see if that helps. I rarely rely on the cooking fat/meat fat alone when I eat and usually add at least a little something extra.

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Hmm, thanks for the replies! Casey, I'm not familiar with the syndrome you mentioned. My doc did a fasting blood test to determine the hypoglycemia, but I've been this way as long as I can remember. I'm the person who has almonds or a Lara bar or jerky or something stashed in my glove compartment, my purse, pretty much anywhere I might get stuck out!

I am going to try upping the fat, though, and see if that helps. This afternoon, I was feeling hungry and just decided to experiment a little. I had a cup of coffee with coconut oil in it, which I had never done before. It did seem to help for a while (and it was delicious!).

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Mary -


Good to hear that you did better today! MCTs are a hidden source of awesome energy. I definitely noticed the difference from running off of almond butter/macadamia nuts/etc. compared to coconut oil. It all comes down to chain length (biochemistry).


Idiopathic postprandial syndrome is similar to medical hypoglycemia, but without the accompanying low blood glucose levels. Since you had a fasting glucose test, you are correct in your diagnosis.


A fairly interesting study showing that epinephrine (a hormone) may be the only difference in the two disorders can be read here: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=391267


Interestingly, this study below links low-carb diets (specifically beta-hydroxbutyrate and gamma-hydroxybutyrate, both ketone bodies, but also isolated drugs of abuse, and chemical dependency recovery tools) to feelings of euphoria and pleasure.




Obviously this is different than hypoglycemia, but it is interesting to see how the body responds to low levels of circulating glucose in different ways.


Keep us updated! :)

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I am a type 1 diabetic, so I am the opposite of what you are experiencing, but let me tell you from long term personal experience, this way of eating has totally brought my blood sugars into line and nearly perfectly normal. I have been able to drop the amount of fast acting insulin before meals and it has been wonderful. Diabetes runs in my family--my mom and grandfather were both diabetics, with my one cousin (same blood line) being diagnosed when he was 2. My mom's brother has the same condition you do.


Have you experimented with having more carbs with your meals? Such as roasted root veggies, sweet potatoes, winter squashes and the like? Perhaps that, combined with plenty of good fats might help. I know pre paleo, if I ate pizza, I would make sure I took enough insulin with dinner to cover the carbs, but still wake up with a 400+ blood sugar--from the fats in the dough,cheese and toppings slowing down the absorption of the carbs.  While really bad for me, maybe working along the same principle for you might work? Carb heavy meals with fats might equal a time release action? 

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SpinSpin I am about to start the whole30 program and reading your reply gets me excited as a type1 diabetic as I hope it will also help with my control.

I also am concerned about going low especially with exercise and finding alternatives to the sugars and carbs I have consumed in the past to counter those effects.

I'm also interested to see how I feel come day 2/3 after reading that lol

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Hi Nzzooboy! I have really enjoyed being on whole30 and paleo--it has helped sooo much being off grains and the roller coaster ride that they cause. I have discovered, for me, that having grapes like red globes or seedless black grapes has been the ticket for my lows. Having a few of those (10 or so) and then following up with some protein really helps, and my lows are so much less frequent. My mom ended up loosing both of her legs from the knees down and going blind and those complications scare me to death! I am doing all I can to keep healthy and I have found that this is the best for me.


My ultimate goal, I have no idea if I could truly attain it or not, would be just to have to take my daily long acting shots and not need the pre meal ones, or if I do, just barely any at all. I look at some of my meals where i only had to take 4 or 5 units of Novolog to be right on my personal target. 


I look forward to hearing about your successes! :-) 

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Hi SpinSpin,

Thanks for this I really appreciate it. Sorry to hear about your mum :( yes likewise long term health complications also weigh on my mind.

We will be starting whole30 on a few days and I'm really looking forward to it. It will be a massive dietary change as I eat a lot of bread (breakfast/lunch especially). Grapes are excellent option for countering lows and I think with excerise I will need a few handy :)

The insulin I use is humalog/lantus so will need to play around with what's appropriate levels to give with the change in food.

I'm sure you and others will get lots of questions from me once I start whole30.

Thank you


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