If you have Reactive Hypoglycemia, you know the frustrations that can come along with the problem. Especially if you were recently diagnosed.
I remember when I first started having problems, I had no clue what was going on, and neither did the doctors! All I knew was that my life had drastically changed for the worst and I wanted my old life back. I wanted to be working out hard again, doing martial arts, feeling stable and most importantly, knowing what I could eat!
By the way, since I just mentioned doctors, let me just go ahead and say that I am not a doctor. So there is your disclaimer. However, I am someone with Reactive Hypoglycemia, or Idiopathic Postprandial Syndrome in my case. Idiopathic Postprandial Syndrome is basically Reactive Hypoglycemia and all of it’s nasty symptoms without “low glucose levels” as defined by the medical community. The good news is, I have gotten my condition under control; and I did not do it with the help of a doctor or any medication! I did it simply with diet… and I learned this diet after lots of research, keeping food journals, talking with nutritionists, personal trainers, bodybuilders (Yep! Bodybuilders too!) and experimentation… on myself! (Yikes!)
You probably already know by now about what causes Reactive Hypoglycemia, but if not, let me go ahead and tell you what’s going on. Now, brace yourself, my little definition here might not be spelled out as eloquently as your doctor’s! Basically though, when you eat carbohydrates, your body produces way too much insulin at about 1 to say 3 hours after eating (It can vary). So what happens is that your blood sugar (glucose levels) drop and you have the condition known as, “hypoglycemia”, or low glucose levels/low blood sugar. This is what causes you to be dizzy, weak, have “the shakes”, etc.
Now, the root cause of Reactive Hypoglycemia is that your blood sugar gets spiked by sugar that you eat, and then your body is flooded with insulin… too much. So, the key is to eat foods that are low on the glycemic index, or in other words will not spike your blood sugar.
Eating foods that won’t spike your blood sugar, or foods that are low on the glycemic index involves cutting out all simple sugars, simple carbohydrates, some of your fruits, starchy carbohydrates, refined foods and sodas. Also, you may want to limit your alcohol and caffeine as they can lower your blood sugar.
Examples of foods that you need to avoid are candy, white potatoes, pasta, rice, cereal and watermelon. The diet that you need and pretty much must have in order to beat Reactive Hypoglycemia is one high in fat (Yes! Fat!), protein, fiber and low in complex carbohydrates. Also be sure to take yourself a very good multivitamin and omega fish oil complex.
So why fat? Well the order of what your body burns for an energy source goes like this, carbohydrates, fat, then protein. So if you cut out the carbohydrates, you will need to get your energy from the next energy source in line, fat!
As you do eat your small amounts of complex carbohydrates like raw oatmeal and small amounts of sweet potatoes with the skin (fiber), you want to make sure that you eat them with butter and/or coconut oil. This will slow your body’s absorption down so that your sugar does not spike.
So what other foods can you eat? Eggs, bacon, peanut butter, almonds, dry roasted peanuts, small amounts of berries, heavy cream, cheeses, sugar free Jello, coconut oil and spinach to name a few.
Adjusting from a high carbohydrate diet to a very low carbohydrate diet can be quite a change. Making the change initially can and will make you tired, but your body will adjust and your body will start burning fat as an energy source. You will notice that you lean up, don’t feel bloated and feel better overall.
Again, I am not a doctor, so always consult with your physician before starting a new diet. I do believe however that what I have learned through my experience is good information and can help you if you suffer from Reactive Hypoglycemia or Idiopathic Postprandial Syndrome.
You may want to do a little more research on the low carbohydrate diet or visit my website before starting your diet. If you are physically active and/or exercise a lot, these are things to consider before starting a low carbohydrate diet. Stay focused and be patient, you will be feeling better shortly!