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Mbelle

Erratic Blood Sugar

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Last week, my blood test which indicated wheat AND peanut allergies, confirmed what I had thought for months, that I have gluten intolerance. Frankly, the constant GI upset and diarrhea after any wheat would have clued me in! I am now on a gluten and dairy free (except for good yogurt) diet, but am also wondering when I will feel more energetic and not so weak all the time. I think eating enough high-fiber snacks and veggies is important, and I'm also working on getting good bacteria into my system. After 11 days, I have less GI upset, but my blood sugar is still erratic --- highs and lows, which are most apparent after a heavy meal and before breakfast. If you have had this problem, what did you do? My doctor emphasizes eating 6 small meals a day - it's not something I am used to - imagine having to pack 6 small meals when you go to work each day?! But if that's what it takes, I 'll do it. Any recommendations?

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I've been dealing with this too. I'm hypoglyemic and so far, I've figured out that I have to eat something at least every 2 - 3 hours. And I feel best if I start the day with meat, like steak or tuna.

This got really bad after being on the diet for about 6 months. I was shakey and had to eat every 30 - 90 minutes back then. This went on for about 3 months. Even after 2 years on the diet that I still have to watch very closely. I was hoping this would have gotten better by now.

I have to eat something before any kind of excercise too.

Thanks for posting this ... It will be interesting to see what others are doing too .. Marcia

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My doctor emphasizes eating 6 small meals a day - it's not something I am used to - imagine having to pack 6 small meals when you go to work each day?! But if that's what it takes, I 'll do it. Any recommendations?

balance all your meals. don't have "a small meal" that's an apple and a banana and some crackers. make sure that *every single one* of those small meals is balanced for fat/protein/carbs. yes, it can be a pain until you're well versed in nutritional value of many foods, but it makes all the difference in the world as it moderates the speed with which sugar is released into the bloodstream and insulin is released to store it into cells.

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There has been recent articles on the benifits of adding cinnamon to your diet. Recommend 1/2 teaspoon in the morning. It can be added to applesauce or oatmeal, cereal, or what ever you can think of. My husband has been doing this since I read about it several months ago. He has had no blood sugar problems since but does notice that on the days he forgets to do it he will. It took about a week before he started noticing that he was feeling better.

Yellow Rose

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There has been recent articles on the benifits of adding cinnamon to your diet. Recommend 1/2 teaspoon in the morning. It can be added to applesauce or oatmeal, cereal, or what ever you can think of. My husband has been doing this since I read about it several months ago. He has had no blood sugar problems since but does notice that on the days he forgets to do it he will. It took about a week before he started noticing that he was feeling better.

Yellow Rose

Yellow Rose,

Do you have muscle weakness also? Three months after going gluten free, I was feeling very weak still. I was swimming in a pool, and when I tried to climb the ladder, I almost couldn't pull myself up. I panicked. Now, when I go up and down the stairs(8 1/2months gluten free), my legs get tired still. I guess it takes a long time for muscles to heal? Sometimes I don't know what to think. But also now I noticed that if I need to eat, I get a little shaky, so maybe its my blood sugar also? I am trying to put all the pieces of this crummy puzzle together. Janet

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I've dealt with hypoglycemia for years-- and isn't it even more tricky when you have to come up with a balanced meal that doesn't include wheat? (My dietician originally had me eating wheat crackers and peanut butter for my hypoglycemia :angry: )

It helps to find some slow releasing carbs-- the kind with some fiber to slow down the carb burn. Apples are a lifesaver for me (easy to pack for people who work Mbelle!) I also make a ton of brown rice at the beginning of the week and have it with meat for lunch. Stay away from coffee and tea, the caffeine can cause a hypoglycemic crash when you're delicate. I'm off dairy for now too, so for me nuts are the best way to get some fat.

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I've dealt with hypoglycemia for years-- and isn't it even more tricky when you have to come up with a balanced meal that doesn't include wheat? (My dietician originally had me eating wheat crackers and peanut butter for my hypoglycemia :angry: )

It helps to find some slow releasing carbs-- the kind with some fiber to slow down the carb burn. Apples are a lifesaver for me (easy to pack for people who work Mbelle!) I also make a ton of brown rice at the beginning of the week and have it with meat for lunch. Stay away from coffee and tea, the caffeine can cause a hypoglycemic crash when you're delicate. I'm off dairy for now too, so for me nuts are the best way to get some fat.

Thank you for the advice! I just checked out a book from the library about the glycemic index of different foods! I think it helped this past weekend - cashews, dried apricots, chickpeas and lentils are my favorites for low GI foods. AND, I noticed if I included these in small meals, I feel MUCH better throughout the day as far as blood sugar probs. I still have other digestive problems (a sensitive gut even 2 weeks after be gluten-free), but here's one problem that has a resolution.

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My trick is to include protein EVERY time I eat something. I have found that if I get that shaky feeling, something with sugar (like OJ) will help, but I need to follow it with protein or I crash again. I keep strips of grilled chicken breasts in my lunch box, as well as a variety of cheeses and fruit. Then, when I get hungry, I'll have a small piece of fruit, a small chunk of chicken (about 1/3 of a "normal" serving), and a piece of cheese. I can make each of my mini-meals different by mixing different fruits and cheeses. Also, I have a couple of squeeze bottles of gluten-free sauces that I keep in the office frig, so I can have something to dip as well.

I generally eat 3-4 of these mini-meals over a 9hr work day, and end up eating fewer calories than most people get in their one "lunch".

Yes, it sometimes seems like I am eating all day long... but, I get my work done and I'm staying healthy :)

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There has been recent articles on the benifits of adding cinnamon to your diet. Recommend 1/2 teaspoon in the morning. It can be added to applesauce or oatmeal, cereal, or what ever you can think of. My husband has been doing this since I read about it several months ago. He has had no blood sugar problems since but does notice that on the days he forgets to do it he will. It took about a week before he started noticing that he was feeling better.

Yellow Rose

Keep in mind that cinnamon can't really be taken as a supplement though, it will burn your stomach if not eaten with food. Just in case anyone out there has those capsules and makes their own supplements. You can also use cinnamon oil topically, I've been rubbing it on the tough parts of my feet, because the oil is somewhat caustic and can feel like it's burning skin if you put it on sensitive skin. It is very good for balancing blood sugar though. I've been eating it in everything I can, even if you can't really taste it.

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Yellow Rose,

Do you have muscle weakness also? Three months after going gluten free, I was feeling very weak still. I was swimming in a pool, and when I tried to climb the ladder, I almost couldn't pull myself up. I panicked. Now, when I go up and down the stairs(8 1/2months gluten free), my legs get tired still. I guess it takes a long time for muscles to heal? Sometimes I don't know what to think. But also now I noticed that if I need to eat, I get a little shaky, so maybe its my blood sugar also? I am trying to put all the pieces of this crummy puzzle together. Janet

Yes I do and muscle and joint pain. I don't get the gut reaction mine is all in the muscles and joints. I have swelling and my muscles get very tense. I was just glutened Sunday and had the most painful reaction. Just now starting to feel better. I have been waiting to start a exercise program until most of this settles down. It is better since I started in April. I couldn't do anything and now have a full time job and more stamina. I have also been eleminating other foods from my diet like corn and rice and MSG. That seems to be helping as well.

Yellow Rose

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Dear Mbelle,

I have hypoglycemia as well. It is exhaustive. There are certain foods that really do help. Protein needs mixed with carbohydrates. I discovered, as did Tarnalberry, that a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat in each meal and snack are most helpful. I also did not crave sugar so badly.

Eating 5 to 6 small meals or snacks a day is what I do as well. It really makes a difference. If I go more than 4 hours without food, I start shaking and feeling strange and sick. I also get hungry after drinking coffee, likely due to its accelorated effect on metabolism with the caffeine. That is why it is not always encouraged for hypoglycemics.

Dear Tarnalberry,

I was thinking the same thing! Have you ever done The Zone? It seems to be the smartest idea out there. That plan is really just the more scientific version of all things in moderation. Atkins is just not doable for many people. I do not see how eliminating fruits and vegetables is healthy.

Dear Yellow Rose,

I have heard about cinnamon as well being good for balancing blood sugar! I have to be careful, though. Right now, I really am not doing good with cinnamon. It is a bark, so it is difficult to digest. I seem to have Leaky-Gut.

Dear Janet,

You probably are getting the muscle weakness and low blood sugar from Candida. I get that all the time. I have Fibromyalgia. I was feeling strange all over, too. I found out my blood pressure also was low. My doctor told me to add a small amount of extra salt to food daily. It has helped. There is a condition called Neurally Mediated Hypotension. People who have it usually have normal to low blood pressure. Fatigue is really bad from it, as well as sensitivity to heat.

Dear Miriam3,

Coffee does increase your metabolic rate, as does most caffeinated foods. That explains why I get hungry after drinking it! Still, I am not sure if I could give it up. I am trying to cut down on my intake. The Zone does not recommend caffeine, due to the fact it can mess up the way you metabolize carbohydrates.

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl

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Last week, my blood test which indicated wheat AND peanut allergies, confirmed what I had thought for months, that I have gluten intolerance. Frankly, the constant GI upset and diarrhea after any wheat would have clued me in! I am now on a gluten and dairy free (except for good yogurt) diet, but am also wondering when I will feel more energetic and not so weak all the time. I think eating enough high-fiber snacks and veggies is important, and I'm also working on getting good bacteria into my system. After 11 days, I have less GI upset, but my blood sugar is still erratic --- highs and lows, which are most apparent after a heavy meal and before breakfast. If you have had this problem, what did you do? My doctor emphasizes eating 6 small meals a day - it's not something I am used to - imagine having to pack 6 small meals when you go to work each day?! But if that's what it takes, I 'll do it. Any recommendations?

I have been hypoglycemic for as long as I can remember - and it has not gotten better since gluten free. What I find helps is not having carbs for breakfast - I have only protein, and save my carbs for later in the day. That way I eliminate the spike which leads to the drop.

As far as work, I used to bring nuts (but tested positive for that allergy, too) as a high protein snack, so now I bring an apple - but not too much fruit, as I am very sensitive to sugar. I like to snack on pepperoni and rice chips. For breakfast, sausage, hard-boiled eggs or egg salad. For lunch, veggies and turkey or ham, or a salad, or chicken with veggies (leftovers).

The biggest thing for me has been to cut way way back on the amount of sugar in my diet. I can handle carbs to some degree - but still not as my first meal, then I end up with a reaction within a couple of hours.

I hope that helps.

Sheryll

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Dear Yellow Rose,

I have heard about cinnamon as well being good for balancing blood sugar! I have to be careful, though. Right now, I really am not doing good with cinnamon. It is a bark, so it is difficult to digest. I seem to have Leaky-Gut.

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl

Hey, you might try that topical thing with cinnamon oil I've been doing. I don't think it works QUITE as well as ingesting it would, but it can't hurt, it makes your feet feel awake, and it smells nice! It's actually very nice to do right out of the shower in the morning, or first thing in the morning if you shower at night. Just make sure you only get it on the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands, other skin is too sensitive and may feel like it's burning.

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Dear JNBunnie1,

It is worth a try! I am sure the healthfood store would have it! If not, I know another place I can get it. They have all kinds of essential oils at the one place! Thank you for the tip!

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl

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Dear Tarnalberry,

I was thinking the same thing! Have you ever done The Zone? It seems to be the smartest idea out there. That plan is really just the more scientific version of all things in moderation. Atkins is just not doable for many people. I do not see how eliminating fruits and vegetables is healthy.

The zone specifically? No. The idea of something around 30/30/40? Yes. That's what I use, percentage wise, as a goal if I'm having a lot of trouble maintaining my blood sugar levels. I do better, maintenance wise, on 25/25/50, however. But, personally, I don't like following specific, pre-planned diets. It's too restrictive and annoying to me, and implies taking what generally ends up being a bit of bad science along with the good science. :/

I'm such a picky person about these things. :P:D

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The zone specifically? No. The idea of something around 30/30/40? Yes. That's what I use, percentage wise, as a goal if I'm having a lot of trouble maintaining my blood sugar levels. I do better, maintenance wise, on 25/25/50, however. But, personally, I don't like following specific, pre-planned diets. It's too restrictive and annoying to me, and implies taking what generally ends up being a bit of bad science along with the good science. :/

I'm such a picky person about these things. :P:D

This thread has been good timing for me.

A few weeks back, I took on some advice that Stef was giving in the diet thread about eating smaller meals, and more of them. I think she quoted 300 calories every three hours. I have followed this quite closely, and I have noticed a big improvment. I'm finding it easier to stick to my diet and I can last the day without getting panicky, grumpy and jittery around tea time. So thank you Stef the kicking cutie.

I went to the doctor last week and he was thinking I could be hypoglycaemic, and suggested those smaller meals, but I had already beaten him to it.

It has been difficult working it in with my day at work. For a week or so I rushed my extra meal at work at my desk, but today I spoke to the boss and he is quite happy if I change my meal breaks, because as it is I was working from 1.30pm till 5pm without a break. Hypoglycaemic or not, I am hooked on this new way of eating, I feel better. I as a rule try to have the protein carbohydrates and a piece of fruit.

thanks

Cathy

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Dear tarnalberry,

The Zone is very specific with the amounts. Measuring can be a nuisance to people. My doctor felt it is to difficult in that respect. I do not mind doing it. My overall feeling was better. Balance is important.

I agree that diets are not one size fits all. Many people here are overweight in our country. I believe it is due to the fact no one knows anything for sure. One minute, you read coffee accelorates your metabolism, and the next they say it makes you fat. Americans have given up because medical information on weightloss and health matters is much too confusing.

The thing with any meal plan definitely has to do with planning ahead. The gluten-free diet is difficult to follow at times, but having food readily available is key to making wise choices. I have to say being gluten-free gives you a good reason to eat candy bars and other junk foods. However, I know that those are adding to my blood sugar issue instead of helping. That is why I feel The Zone is right for me.

The science behind it is very fascinating. It is also quite complex. Whether or not there is bad science involved is difficult to say. Since I am not a biochemist, determining this is not something I could do. I always felt Atkins had the riskiest approach, and could never understand how it could be a healthy diet. I had an aunt who was following it, and she looked great doing it. I am amazed by how different every single person's body is. We are all unique, and I think that is why your blood sugar is better controlled in the amounts you described.

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl

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Dear tarnalberry,

The Zone is very specific with the amounts. Measuring can be a nuisance to people. My doctor felt it is to difficult in that respect. I do not mind doing it. My overall feeling was better. Balance is important.

I agree that diets are not one size fits all. Many people here are overweight in our country. I believe it is due to the fact no one knows anything for sure. One minute, you read coffee accelorates your metabolism, and the next they say it makes you fat. Americans have given up because medical information on weightloss and health matters is much too confusing.

The thing with any meal plan definitely has to do with planning ahead. The gluten-free diet is difficult to follow at times, but having food readily available is key to making wise choices. I have to say being gluten-free gives you a good reason to eat candy bars and other junk foods. However, I know that those are adding to my blood sugar issue instead of helping. That is why I feel The Zone is right for me.

The science behind it is very fascinating. It is also quite complex. Whether or not there is bad science involved is difficult to say. Since I am not a biochemist, determining this is not something I could do. I always felt Atkins had the riskiest approach, and could never understand how it could be a healthy diet. I had an aunt who was following it, and she looked great doing it. I am amazed by how different every single person's body is. We are all unique, and I think that is why your blood sugar is better controlled in the amounts you described.

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl

I agree about the Atkins not being a well balanced diet in the long term. But I think that most people think it's okay to eat like that long term, and when you read the book, you realize that you aren't supposed to. The initial phase is very low carb; eventually you work carbs back in.

The other thing that a lot of other people don't realize is that the diet was initially developed for Dr Atkins' heart patients; those who were extremely overweight, and needed to lose a lot of weight for their health. Now people who have 20 lbs to drop use it, then use it again when they gain the weight back. I'm not sure that's a healthy thing; I think the Zone is more geared toward permanently changing your diet, right?

I did use the Atkins after both pregnancies, when my babies were a year old, and I couldn't get rid of the last of my baby weight. But I went back to eating a balanced diet eventually. One thing it taught me was how many more carbs we eat than we need. So in the long term I became more aware of watching carbs and sugar, and I guess that's a positive thing, right?

Sheryll

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Yellow Rose,

Do you have muscle weakness also? Three months after going gluten free, I was feeling very weak still. I was swimming in a pool, and when I tried to climb the ladder, I almost couldn't pull myself up. I panicked. Now, when I go up and down the stairs(8 1/2months gluten free), my legs get tired still. I guess it takes a long time for muscles to heal? Sometimes I don't know what to think. But also now I noticed that if I need to eat, I get a little shaky, so maybe its my blood sugar also? I am trying to put all the pieces of this crummy puzzle together. Janet

Have you been tested for vitamin/mineral deficiencies? You could get those symptoms from anemia (due to ferretin levels too low, or B12 deficiency), or low vitamin D, magnesium and/or other things.

You could also have adrenal and/or thyroid problems. If your adrenal glands aren't making enough cortisol and/or aldosterone (my problems), you could get that awful weakness as well. Whenever I get that way now, I know I forgot to take my medications!

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thank you! This helps. Here's to thriving without gluten! (TWG) that is the goal.

I have been hypoglycemic for as long as I can remember - and it has not gotten better since gluten free. What I find helps is not having carbs for breakfast - I have only protein, and save my carbs for later in the day. That way I eliminate the spike which leads to the drop.

As far as work, I used to bring nuts (but tested positive for that allergy, too) as a high protein snack, so now I bring an apple - but not too much fruit, as I am very sensitive to sugar. I like to snack on pepperoni and rice chips. For breakfast, sausage, hard-boiled eggs or egg salad. For lunch, veggies and turkey or ham, or a salad, or chicken with veggies (leftovers).

The biggest thing for me has been to cut way way back on the amount of sugar in my diet. I can handle carbs to some degree - but still not as my first meal, then I end up with a reaction within a couple of hours.

I hope that helps.

Sheryll

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Dear Sheryll,

Atkins was onto something. I know that there are some dangers to the diet, though. People with liver or kidney problems should not do it. I just cannot be satisfied without carbs. The Zone really did help curb that. My energy level was better, too. Many people have had good results with Atkins. I know there is a risk of becoming easily dehydrated on it, due to the need for more water to digest proteins.

The Zone is more geared for life-long changes. Atkins is a good temporary fix, but many people lost muscle instead of fat, or fluid. I agree that people who crash diet and then go off of a plan and keep yo-yo dieting are hurting themselves. We do not need a million carbohydrates in a day, though. As you said, sometimes it takes us a bit to become aware of how much in excess we consume. The Zone typically limits carbohydrates to about 100 grams daily.

Sincerely,

NoGluGirl

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