Just as we have zero tolerance for hypoglycemia in the Wheat Belly lifestyle, we also have zero tolerance for hypotension, or low blood pressure (BP).
Follow the Wheat Belly lifestyle free of ciabattas, penne pasta, and tortellini, and blood sugars plummet. If you are injecting insulin or taking other diabetes drugs, hypoglycemia is a risk and can be dangerous, resulting in loss of consciousness and injury. We therefore urge everyone to talk to their doctor about discontinuing or reducing insulin and diabetes drugs immediately upon starting the Wheat Belly lifestyle. Unfortunately, the majority of doctors don’t understand this and are skeptical that a type 2 diabetic can become less or non-diabetic. After all, they are the ones who put you on these awful drugs in the first place. (And note that injectable insulin is a marvelous weight GAIN drug.) People often end up managing their own insulin and drugs. Thankfully, the majority of people do fine and end up on NO insulin or diabetes drugs over time, confidently no longer diabetic with none of the long-term implications of high blood sugar (provided they stay on the program). But I cannot stress enough how crucial it is to absolutely avoid hypoglycemia (especially below 90 mg/dl) as you transition.
Likewise, we have zero tolerance for low BP in the Wheat Belly lifestyle. As with insulin, it is important to have your doctor reduce or eliminate one or more of your BP meds immediately upon starting the Wheat Belly lifestyle. Some drugs such as ACE inhibitors (e.g., enalapril, captopril), ARBs (e.g., olmesartan, telmesartan), calcium blockers (e.g., amlodipine, nicardipine), and diuretics (e.g., HCTZ, hydrodiuril) can simply be stopped. Others such as beta blockers (e.g.,atenolol, metoprolol) and clonidine should be weaned or reduced gradually over days to weeks to avoid withdrawal effects (e.g., “rebound” hypertension and heart attack). Once again, unfortunately, most doctors are incapable or skeptical that blood pressure drops after elimination of wheat, grains, and sugars. You may have to find a doctor adept at getting people off their BP meds, though I fear many people are left doing this on their own.
Regardless, I can’t stress enough that we should never allow blood pressure to drop below 90 mmHg in someone who was previously hypertensive. Susan recently commented on our Wheat Belly 10-Day Grain Detox Facebook page “I have been feeling exhausted for the past two months on Wheat Belly. I checked my BP today: 98 over 52 … no wonder I feel like passing out all day and tired all the time.” Susan’s comments illustrate how people who were previously hypertensive can even develop symptoms at BPs that most of us would not notice. Thankfully, she only experienced exhaustion and lightheadedness but did not tumble down the stairs or pass out behind the steering wheel.
Buried in all this hand-wringing, of course, is terrific news: It is possible—actually highly probable—that the majority of type 2 diabetics and people with hypertension can say goodbye to their drugs and to their conditions simply by eating no wheat/grains or sugars and by incorporating all the Wheat Belly Total Health or Undoctored strategies, a synergistic combination of health strategies that remove the factors that allowed high blood sugars or high BPs to develop in the first place.