Many people who experience uncomfortable, even dangerous, episodes of low blood sugar–hypoglycemia–are told to drink juice or eat something sweet to bring blood sugar back up. This is VERY BAD ADVICE that takes you closer and closer to diabetes, especially since people who experience this effect are at high-risk for type 2 diabetes and are often already pre-diabetic.
Virtually all hypoglycemia is preceded by HYPERglycemia, i.e., high blood sugar. The solution is therefore to not chase low blood sugars, but to not allow high blood sugars to occur in the first place.
This is why the Wheat Belly grain-free, limited carb lifestyle so effectively eliminates hypoglycemic episodes.
[some content lost due to a technical issue] in the Wheat Belly conversations and of course now in the Undoctored conversations, but hypoglycemia is low blood sugar.
Many people have been told they have a low blood sugar. Maybe they had it documented by someone drawing a blood sugar, or doing a finger stick, and showing a blood sugar say of 60 or 50, or something in that range. It’s associated with feeling shaky, and foggy, and crabby, or we can’t even think straight. Bad things can happen. People can lose control of their car. It’s a very unpleasant feeling.
Unfortunately, people are typically told that they should eat something sweet — drink a glass of orange juice, eat some candy, eat something that’s sugary or carbohydrate-rich. This is very very bad advice. What happens, first of all, people who are prone to hypoglycemia are typically very diabetes-prone. The hypoglycemic reaction is typically the first start; one of the signs of pre-diabetes; and that diabetes is coming. It’s on its way. So feeding or chasing these blood sugars with sugar and carbohydrates makes the situation worse.
Now rarely is this caused by genuine medical problems, outside of the pre-diabetic or diabetic pattern. There are rare causes of hypoglycemia, like severe, near-fatal malnutrition; so probably not an issue for most of us, right? There’s also an insulin producing tumor that can produce an insulinoma, which is very rare. 99.9% the time a hypoglycemia has nothing to do with any of those diagnoses except for pre-diabetes and diabetes.
A rule to bear in mind: hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) almost always follows high blood sugar. So you eat something that raised blood sugar real high. Insulin is released to bring blood sugar down, and you shoot too low — blood sugar drops. The key is not to chase your low blood sugars with sugars or carbs. It’s to not allow a high blood sugar in the first place
So, what foods allow or cause high blood sugar? Carbohydrates, right; grains and sugars are the worst culprits of all, because they raise blood sugar to an extravagant level. Just as we do in the Wheat Belly lifestyle, we get rid of all grains, and we try to avoid sugars, and we limit our carbohydrate intake to no more than 15 grams net carbs.
In the Wheat Belly Total Health conversation, and now in the more advanced Undoctored program, we go even farther. We replace vitamin D and magnesium, and cultivate bowel flora, and take other health steps that address hypoglycemia even further. But the first, crucial step, is to never allow high blood sugars. So if you have a finger stick [meter, see this article].