About

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by!

My name is Nicole and this is my blog about non-diabetic reactive hypoglycemia. I’ve had hypoglycemia my whole life but went undiagnosed until my early 20’s. This blog is a place for me to share my experiences and thoughts on being a hypo in hopes it will help someone else.

About Me:

I’m a young professional in my 30’s living in Texas. I work out six days a week and try to eat as healthy as I can to try to stay healthy and keep to my ideal weight/size (I sit at a 0-4 in US sizes). My blood sugar is usually around 65, but can drop to 40 after only 3-4 hours. Other than that, you’ll find some out more about me through my posts. But, honestly, I’m going to try to keep my identity quiet because I want the freedom to be totally honest on here without having to worry about potential employers, etc. finding this. Know who I am? Congratulations! Keep it to yourself. 🙂

Disclaimer

I am in no way a medical professional and anything you read on here should be checked with the appropriate medical professional before implementing.

Up-to-date information on hypoglycemia

This blog reflects my journey of learning and understanding hypoglycemia. This means that some of my older posts may have information that is out-of-date as I’ve learned more or research has changed. For the most updated macro-level information on living with hypoglycemia, please visit Up-to-date info on hypoglycemia (start here) page.

If you’re curious if the information in a particular post is still accurate, please feel free to leave a comment on the post asking and I’ll respond letting you know if there is any updated information.

Thanks for reading!

Cover Image

“Buffalo Chicken BLAT Wraps” by Marco Verchvia Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 4.0

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16 Comments Add yours

  1. Dorothyann says:

    Hi! I am in my 30’s and am struggling with hypoglycemia. Normally, I could control it or catch it before it drops too low, but recently it is just dropping constantly. My whole day is revolving around food and eating to try to not feel the symptoms that I can’t avoid. I have gone to my Dr and to a nutritionist. I really need to be in contact with people who understand and need to find more information and hopefully, something can help me. I am very interested in this blog. And your story sounds close to mine. The only thing is I am not even able to go more than an hour and a half without eating. And it is frustrating and scary going through this on a daily basis. Morning are most difficult and trying to plan my foods, eat and balance my blood sugar to start my day, and simply just get ready for my day is getting to be overwhelming to say the least. Any help would be so much appreciated. Thanks!

    1. hyporesource says:

      Hi Dorthyann,

      I’m really glad you find this blog helpful, but I’m also really sorry to hear what you are going through!

      The first thing that comes to mind is that you are not eating enough protein and/or eating too many carbs. This usually causes the blood sugar rollercoaster.

      Try this:
      Eat a TON of protein. I would opt for more than 20 grams each time you eat. I’d try a giant (unbreaded, unsauced…both add carbs/sugar) piece of chicken, 4 eggs, at least 1/2 a pack of tofu, or something else, but do your homework and make sure you are eating the 20 g of protein. I often ballpark less and that’s when I have issues. Nuts are great filler (and will provide good fat), but you’d have to eat a lot of them. Here is a post on a variety of protein sources: https://hypoglycemiaresource.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/reader-question-protein-sources-other-than-nuts/

      With your protein, eat no more than 30 g of carbohydrates and make them a COMPLEX carb. My top recommendation here would be beans (black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, black beans). Beans are a great source of fiber, which studies have shown helps regular your blood sugar. They also add even more protein (although I wouldn’t include this in your total 20 g count, the idea is to get your protein very high!). Make sure and measure out your portion so you don’t go over 30 grams. For variety, you can do some other complex carbs such as whole wheat pasta or brown rice, but again, measure your portion carefully and beans should be your primary.

      With your protein and beans, eat a ton of other non-starch vegetables. My top choices here are spinach, kale, green beans, broccoli, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, cabbage. Again, if you are eating them in a salad, NO DRESSING other than olive oil or pure vinegar; dressings add a ton of sugar. I recommend eating them raw or steamed. This will also drive-up your fiber intake which should help. I eat 5-8 servings of vegetables a day.

      If you do the above EVERY MEAL, you should see a dramatic improvement. The minute you vary, you’ll have issues. Here’s how it changed my life: https://hypoglycemiaresource.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/new-higher-protein-less-carb-diet-works/

      There are other things that I’ve heard can cause erratic blood sugar and so these are also things to consider, but I’m not recommending treating them and ignoring the diet advice above:
      – Lack of sleep
      – Significant stress
      – Caffeine, nicotine, or any other stimulant.
      – Illness

      Finally, I recommend finding a diabetes specialist. It doesn’t sound like you are getting the right advice. And, just a reminder: I am in no way a medical professional and anything you read on here should be checked with the appropriate medical professional before implementing.

  2. C says:

    Hi there. I know you’re not a medical professional, as you say in your bio, but I’d really like your opinion on what I’m going through. So for a few years now I’ve had a few close-calls with fainting and few times that I’ve actually fainted. I also sometimes just feel “off” kind of like I’m shaking but it’s not really cold or anything. I’ve been to the doctor’s a few times with this and have been cleared for heart and thyroid problems, which then leads to a diagnosis of “eh…probably random low blood pressure.” But then it got worse. At the start of fall I nearly passed out five times in two months. Before going back to the doctor I did a little research and that’s when I discovered hypoglycemia, which I think matches me better. I hinted to my doctor that I thought it might be a blood sugar problem instead of pressure but she again pretty much dismissed it. She did, however, give me an order form to get a glucose meter mostly as a way to write it off completely. So I measured it for a while at times when I wasn’t feeling great and also before and after meals to get a general idea of my blood sugar. I’ve also been trying to eat more regularly and haven’t had any other dramatic lows but there have been a couple in the 3’s (or low 60’s). But since I haven’t had any dramatic ones she says it’s normal. My concern is that I rarely go above a 5 (about a 90) and mostly hover around 4.4 (80) even soon after meals. In your opinion is this normal? Thanks in advance for any help.

    1. hyporesource says:

      Hi C,

      Thanks for writing! I can definitely understand your frustration. Even after being diagnosed with hypoglycemia, my doctor sent me to an endocrinologist for treatment and even he was like “eh, eat more often” which was not helpful.

      Your doctor is accurate that people without blood sugar issues can and do experience hypoglycemic symptoms if they don’t eat often or eat very badly. So, yes, people without blood sugar issues can easily drop to 60 if they go too long without eating or eat poorly. With that said, if you’ve started eating better and more often and haven’t had any issues, it could definitely be hypoglycemia.

      There’s only one way to tell for sure if you have it or not, and that’s to have a Glucose Tolerance Test done. I’ll warn you, it’s definitely not on my list of “fun” but it’s very effective in telling if what you’re experiencing is blood-sugar related. I recommend you get this test done to be sure. Then, if it is hypoglycemia, hired a dietician to help you with a new diet.

      Also, it seems like you’re pretty dissatisfied with your doctor and don’t feel like she’s listening and working with you to solve this. I recommend getting a new doctor if that’s the case.

      I’m so sorry you are going through all of this. I hope this information helps.

  3. emacarey13 says:

    Sounds like we eat the same. I eat protein dense foods and I feel great. Most people think I’m hypoglycemic because I eat sugary foods. I eat super healthy and I work out 6 times a week but I am still hypoglycemic. I don’t know how it happened but it isn’t what everyone thinks it is. I totally get why you go anonymous.

    1. hyporesource says:

      Thanks for commenting and reading! I think it’s genetic. There’s a lot of similar disorders in my family, and most doctors didn’t start diagnosing hypoglycemia until the 80’s and 90’s, so it’s possible that we both had relatives who had it and didn’t know it.

      1. emacarey13 says:

        I think you’re right. I have a cousin who is also hypoglycemic. How did you find out about yours?

      2. hyporesource says:

        I found out while working at a big corporation as an intern. I’d always had issues, but no one could figure it out! One day,t hey had an employee health fair and they were checking everyone’s blood sugar. That was back when the monitors took a few minutes, so they’d do the test and you’d continue to wander around. All of a sudden, one of the health coaches came up and started to hold me. He said “You’re about to pass out, I need to know what you’ve eaten today.” It took me by total surprise, but I told him and he had someone bring me orange juice. My blood sugar was at 40. After that was over, he said “well, you just earned yourself a lot of literature about hypoglycemia.” After that, it took a couple of doctors before I found one that took me seriously.

        How did you find out about yours?

      3. emacarey13 says:

        Pregnancy. I always knew something was wrong, but after being checked for diabetes a few times I just gave up. My blood pressure was always so low and so I thought it was that. My doctor told me to exercise to get my blood pressure up and to add more salt to my diet. I was always super thin due to a super high metabolism so no one suspected anything. My Dad always said I must be hypoglycemic when I was a kid, but that never meant anything to me. I was an active kid so no one suspected that I needed anything. I took a remedial reading class in middle school because I couldn’t comprehend what I was reading. The reading teacher in that class asked to place me in a regular class because he thought I must have been assigned there by mistake. I understood everything I read, but I was “inconsistent.” Some teachers thought I was ” selectively” listening while I read. Now I know that I just needed a snack. I have never passed out, but I definitely a zombie when I am low. I felt like this during pregnancy so I just thought it was my blood pressure. When I hit 25 weeks I had to take the diabetes test. I have never been so tired in my life. I got a call a week later that I tested positive for diabetes. I was in shock, the whole world was as well. Everyone knew me as a health and running nut! I even ran during my pregnancy. I was also a little angry because I didn’t think it was fair. I brought a food log notebook to my first appointment with the diabetes counselor. She told me to slow down and that I wasn’t in this alone. I was trying to prove that diabetes couldn’t be possible. She said diabetes isn’t anyone’s fault. She asked me if I avoided high sugary foods. I said yes, because I get so tired after I eat them. From that she figured out I was hypoglycemic.

      4. hyporesource says:

        Ah, that makes total sense! I also got criticized a lot in school for not hearing things and having major mood swings. Now I know it was the hypoglycemia.

      5. emacarey13 says:

        People misunderstand what’s going on the minute you’re low. I set a timer on my phone so I could eat my snack before I start sounding “drunk.” Lol
        I went to a department store this weekend. The sales associate explained the sale to me “five for $35.” I read the tag and it said “3 for $33” I picked my three without thinking about what the associate said. I get to the checkout and she says “you can get two more since it’s 5 for 35. I felt dumb and said ” yes, of course.” I picked up a couple I want to try on. Once I finished, I took away two again! !!!!?? The associate was very kind and asked if I just wanted three.
        This is the kind of thing I do when I am low!

      6. emacarey13 says:

        I also was trying to have a natural childbirth so I wasn’t going to a traditionally trained doctor. I delivered my baby in a birthing center here in Austin. I had to go to a perinatal and perinatal is married to a midwife so I was in good hands. I mean no disrespect to traditional doctors, but they just are not trained to treat something like hypoglycemia. Some are changing and are looking to holistic medicine at this point in time, but I know what you mean.

  4. Amanda says:

    So glad I found your site! Also, your tips I have read so far, seem right on the money! I’m 41, 5’5″, 130 lbs. I eat a balanced diet. My favorite go to breakfast WAS rolled oats oatmeal with a sprinkle of cinnamon and raisins, an egg, and a side of cantaloupe. Then I started having sugar drops. I did not know that’s what it was at first. All I knew was that I was fine one minute, then on the floor the next, sweating profusely unable to put a sentence together. And it kept happening. Two hours after a dinner of tiliapia with broccoli and long grain brown rice, BOOM, on the floor. It was becoming a daily thing, so I went to my doc. My A1C was normal, so my doc said, “Oh, you are having hypoglycemic episodes. Just eat smaller, more frequent meals and really up your complex carbs.” OMG, I did this and things got a million times worse!! People were picking me up off the floor 3-4 times a day. Finally my doc sent me to the Endocrinologist. They were confused as to why I was there since I did not have diabetes. They ended up sending me to their dietitian who also wanted me to eat MORE COMPLEX CARBS. Honestly, when I eat carbs, they are always complex. I don’t like sugary foods, processed foods, or greasy fried foods. They’re just not my thing, AND all those additional complex carbs I was eating from THEIR lists, were making me sicker and sicker. I finally had enough and got a new doctor. This one started by doing the Glucose Tolerance Test. When all was said and done, I had a diagnosis. Reactive Hypoglycemia (UNAWARE). My final blood sugar draw at the end of the GTT, showed my glucose levels to be at 47….47!!!!! Which blew my mind, because I walked out of the lab feeling great, drove myself home, and did not fall to the floor until I got to my living room. That was when I felt the drop. I have NO idea where my levels were at that time, but obviously they were beyond dangerously low. Luckily my hubby was there and was smart enough to get me some OJ. That’s also about the time the phone rang with the doc on the other line wanting to know if we made it home ok because she just got the results showing the 47, The “UNAWARE” part of the diagnosis is from the fact that my body does not show signs or symptoms of a drop until it is dangerously low. I am “unaware” that I am dropping and in danger. For this reason I get to carry my trusty emergency glucogen injector and wear my fancy alert bracelet. Yay for me!! LOL…I also carry my sugar tabs, protein snacks, etc. The diet that has worked the best for me so far has been a low protein diet, with healthy fats and low glycemic vegies and fruits. I don’t even mess with grains or complex carbs any more. Since changing up my diet, I have had huge improvements. I experience drops about once every other month now. It’s really frustrating, though, that more doctors do not know about this. Also, I have been finding so many sites for hypoglycemia pushing the eating of complex carbs to fix the issue. Sure it might work for some people, but it’s not a one size fits all solution. Protein was my life saver!!

    1. hyporesource says:

      Hi Amanda,

      Thank you so much for writing and I’m so happy that this blog is helping you! That’s what I was hoping for when I started it!

      And I’m really glad to hear your new diet is working out much better for you. I agree with you, it’s very individual, the diets, to see what works and what doesn’t work for you.

      If there are any topics you’d like me to write about, please let me know! I want to make sure I’m writing about what will be most helpful!

      Nicole

  5. Riverwomen says:

    Your one of first people I’ve read about with a situation like mine. If I have sugar with out protein or don’t eat for 2-4 hours I get irritatable, angry, confused and forgetful. I simply can’t function. I then have to get sugar, like orange juice and protein. After eat I get really cold and just sit shake for the next 10 minutes. I’ve always been very healthy and active but I had to learn to control my diet. When I was young ( 8 or 9) I used to have this reaction twice a day sometimes. These days I eat a lot of protein and my reaction on mush less frequent. Everthing I read about non dieabitic hypoglycemia say that it’s caused by medication or an unhealthy diet. I don’t fit that criteria. I don’t take daily meditation. I eat a heathy balanced diet and I work out 3 hour six days a week. I feel as though my life revolves around food, I always have to be plan my next meal. Like you, my condition is hereditary. My father, older sister, and 2 of my aunts all have the condition. I simply want to know why this happens. I’ve never been able to truly explain it to others.

    1. hyporesource says:

      Hi Riverwomen,

      Thank you so much for reading and posting! Readers like you are what keep me going in posting information. If there are particular topics you’d like me to research/blog about, I’m open to suggestions!

      Yeah, I wish there was a lot more research on what causes hypoglycemia. Sadly, most medical research these days is on treating (funded by drug companies) than prevention and understanding why it occurs.

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