hypoglycemia

HYPOGLYCEMIA

LOW BLOOD SUGAR AND HIGH BLOOD SUGAR TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN

High Blood Sugar Diabetes

By definition, Hypoglycemia means low blood sugar.  In this age of UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR, CARDIOMETABOLIC SYNDROME (aka prediabetes) and outright DIABETES, wouldn’t it seem logical that we would all want lower blood sugar?  This is why it’s important to realize that Hypoglycemia is ONE OF THE EARLY STEPS on the road to Diabetes.  The reality is that the two problems are different sides of the same coin.  Both are dangerous and potentially (eventually) deadly. But it’s not like this is ‘new’ information. 
Severe hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetes appears to be associated with an increased risk of vascular complications and death, researchers have found.   Type 2 diabetes patients who experienced these serious drops in blood glucose had nearly three times the risk of death and twice the risk of a major macrovascular event compared with those who didn’t experience hypoglycemia, Sophia Zoungas, MD, PhD, of the University of Sydney in Australia, and colleagues reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.   From a 2010 article on MedPage Today called Hypoglycemia a Marker of Poor Diabetes Outcomes
If you are a person who has dealt with the symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), do not blow it off.  Get your blood sugar under control.  What are the symptoms I’m talking about?  According to the website of the American Diabetes Association, they include things like…..

  • Shakiness
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Hunger
  • Headache (Particularly MIGRAINES)
  • Tired after eating
  • Pale skin color
  • Sudden moodiness or behavior changes, such as crying for no apparent reason
  • Clumsy or jerky movements
  • Seizure
  • Difficulty paying attention, or confusion
  • Tingling sensations around the mouth

The question on everyone’s mind is surely why; why in the world is Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) associated with Diabetes and Hyperglycemia (high or uncontrolled blood sugar)?  The question, in fact, is greatly on the mind of the medical community as well.  A study from the February 2017 issue of Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism (Hypoglycemia Manifestations and Recurrent Events) reiterates how common this is in diabetics (all quotes are cherry-picked due to restraints on time and space).

Hypoglycemia is a well-known risk associated with the use of sulfonylureas [HERE is a list] and insulin, often limiting achievement of glycemic goals. A cardiovascular outcome study of 16,492 patients allocated to [diabetes drugs] vs. placebo added to conventional care for a median of 2.1 years. Analyzing the features of the first hypoglycemic event for each patient revealed that a precipitant for the event was recognized by less than half of the patients… In 40% of patients reporting major hypoglycemic events [these require third party assistance], no precipitating factor was recognized and in over 60%, no previous hypoglycemic event was reported during the timespan of the study – underscoring the lack of predictability of such an event.

OK, it’s common, but why is it common?  According to the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website, “Hypoglycemia can be a side effect of insulin or other types of diabetes medicines that help your body make more insulin.  If you take insulin or diabetes medicines that increase the amount of insulin your body makes—but don’t match your medications with your food or physical activity—you could develop hypoglycemia.”  When you take more medication than is needed, too much blood sugar is moved out of the blood and into the cells.  Just realize that the same thing happens in people who aren’t on insulin.  This is why LOW CARB DIETS are so important for Type II Diabetics (or for anyone hoping to avoid going down that path).

By AVOIDING SUGAR AND JUNK CARBS, blood sugar levels are maintained in a more linear fashion.  When people choose to eat junk, their blood sugar goes sky high before insulin (whether your own or in the form of a medication) can “grab it” and pull it back down to baseline.  The problem is, as we’ve been discussing, it is common for insulin to bring blood sugar down, down, down to the point that it overshoots baseline, continuing to drop and create a deep valley.  When this happens, people get the symptoms listed earlier. The solution?  According to the NIH again, consuming fruit juices (OJ is the most common), SODA, raisins, SUGAR, honey, or CORN SYRUP.  And as you might imagine, the yo-yo continues.

According to a group of thirty experts (MD’s and Ph.D’s) who got together and actually created the guidelines that the mainstream medical community largely continues to ignore (HERE), the thing that will prevent this yo-yoing is low carb.  Interestingly enough, the American Diabetes Association still recommends a diet high in potatoes, corn, GRAINS (they actually refer to it as a “superfood”, DIET SODA (research shows you’ll gain double the weight as with sugared soda), and others that are equally as questionable, not to mention they continue to beat that old and worn out “LOW FAT” drum.  And this doesn’t even start to touch on the issue of inflammation.

It’s also important to remember that first and foremost, the inability to control blood sugar (Diabetes / Hypoglycemia) is first and foremost an issue of INFLAMMATION.  This is why it is not uncommon to see people who have lost huge amounts of weight, gotten downright skinny, yet can no longer maintain a normal blood sugar without meds.  If this is you, at least need to take a look at THIS POST and see what it might take to figure out what could be driving said inflammation.  Honestly, the most common causes are also the easiest to deal with (the low-hanging fruit if you will).  It’s just a matter of making the effort.

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