I’m a recovering hypoglycemic – I haven’t had the extended GTT or anything like that, but both my parents were diagnosed with this in the late 80s and I know I have it based on my experiences.
I had a great breakthrough a few weeks ago by cutting carbs way back and eating more fat (by reading posts on this site - YAY). I’d always eaten plenty of animal protein, but fat was the key to more stable energy levels. Previously, I would be so ravenous and often be at the point of collapse and/or panic attack when my blood sugar dipped suddenly. That is still happening occasionally, though I’ve learnt a new slow-breathing technique which seems to knock the panic out.
So here are my queries:
I’d like some more guidance because I’m still wrapping my head around ketosis and fat-adaption and feel like I need a good 101 to fully understand it. Can anyone point me to a well written article about these issues? Specifically ketosis and fat adaptation for hypoglycemics. Also I don't understand carb re-feeding, so info pointing me to that would be useful too.
I know my body feels better using fat for fuel but it seems like I still need a little fruit sugar at some points if my blood sugar dips. Why do I still need that fruit sugar? Is this because I’m still in a transition period? I'm literally down to very minimal amount of fruit (most days I have none whatsoever) and the only other sugar I have is a tiny amount of rice or maple syrup in baking.
I’m wondering how long it generally takes to fix a broken metabolic system so that I can tolerate some more carbs in the future? Obviously, I’m not going to go out on carb binges, but my choices out of the house seem to be pretty limited which makes me wary of social dinners.
Eventually, I’d like to be able to IF, is this something that former hypoglycemics have been able to do even if a minor type of IF? Eg. fast overnight from 8pm to 11am? I feel so chained to food right now, and though I do feel much better, I would love the freedom of being able to IF now and again. I am constantly worried about making sure I have enough food when I go out of the house, it is driving me mad.
I’m not really keen to use Fit Day as I don’t want to be doing too much counting. However, if hypoglycemics have had success in particular with Fit Day, I’d consider it. I don’t even know how to start counting and how to deal with unknowns (occasional restaurant meal).
I've been diagnosed with hypoglycemia and tried my doc's dietary advice for awhile. I gained weight and was a slave to food. The blood sugar crashes on the "eat 6 times a day" program were awful. Since I discovered Paleo, I'm amazed at how much better I feel.
I don't know of any specific resources for you, just what my experience has been. I have never tried a re-feed, but I think it would be a very slippery slope for me. I feel fantastic now and don't see a need to load up on carbs. I've always heard discussions of re-feed from people who work out pretty intensely,which I don't!
I would try to completely eliminate the sweeteners and fruit until you are healed. Then slowly and carefully add 1 thing back at a time and see how you feel. I look at this the same as how it's recommended to introduce foods to babies...try 1 new thing and then wait a few days to observe reactions. My cravings for sweet and fruit are more mental than physical, but it's easy to trick myself into believing my body "needs" it. When that happens, eat a snack with good amounts of protein and fat, drink a bunch of water and see if the craving subsides.
That's a very individual thing. I'd give it at least a month of completely clean eating (Whole30 is a great program to follow) and see how your symptoms/cravings are.
YES YES YES!!! Being able to IF is one of my biggest victories! You'll need to enter into it slowly; waiting until 11 am to eat might be too long at first, so you could start by waiting just an extra hour at first and extend it as you feel you can. Getting your body used to not eating for a period of time helps a lot in the social situations you mentioned...you can eat little to nothing for a few hours and be fine, NOT driven mad by food anymore! Just make sure your meals contain plenty of fat and protein to keep you satisfied and do eat when you are hungry; it can take awhile for your body to heal so take it slow and don't feel like a failure if it doesn't work as quickly as you want. You'll get there!
I love using FitDay occasionally to make sure I'm on track. I aim for 70% fat, 20% protein and 10% carbs each day. It doesn't take too much time and it's a great visual for determining what's working and what needs tweaked. For the unknowns, you can estimate what you ate; if it's just an occasional meal, it won't completely derail anything if you eat as closely to how you eat at home as you can.
Good luck with your journey! It sounds like you are on the right track!
Fit day is good for a few days or so. Just to see if you are in the ballpark.
Don't feel you need to fast. I like a solid breakfast every day. One with Protein and fat. You may find that, after awhile, you can really stick a meal (Prevent hunger for hours). For me it is protein (Eggs or meat) with fat. One tablespoon of butter is enough for me for breakfast. When you do this you will eventually notice, perhaps that you are not hungry for lunch one day (unscheduled fast for a meal when you are not hungry). I would rather experiment fasting for Lunch than breakfast. I would not do it more than once or twice a month when you are starting out. Then to break my fast I eat high protein and more fat than normal (This makes it so I am not hungry for hours). I think that is an easy way to try a fast.