Which diet is right for hypoglycemia?


Thank you so much for answering my question about which diet is right for hypoglycemia! I worried a lot about it and was pretty confused by the different advice from my internist and dietitian, as well as from several sources on the Net. Thanks to you. I feel more weaponed in the confusing world of hypoglycemia diet theories now.

High protein again:

My dietitian told me that in the Netherlands the Carbohydrate Addict (CAD), Dr. Atkins and other low carbohydrate, high protein ways of life are not considered serious any more. Therefore, I was mixed up reading the bulletins of the Hypoglycemia Association, Inc., which I con consider ‘professional’, looking at the amount of their published material, wide coverage and use of sources. Their diet focuses on eating sufficient vitamins, minerals and essential fats and proposes proteins and almost no carbohydrates. This diet is not forever (though the term “the DIET” suggests otherwise), the HAI suggest you follow it for 6 months, after that period you may start to increase the carbohydrate fraction, up to the amount you can take. Is this what you meant in your answer when you talked about hypoglycemic symptoms subsiding? Though you did not mention the amount of months I got the impression that the diet would be ‘adjusted’ within say 2 to 3 months and not over a year’s period of time, as with HAI’s DIET.

My diet:

As for my own diet: eating regular meals and avoiding all sugars brought so much improvement I hardly couldn’t believe I had gained back a lot of the energy I’ve always had in me. The first week was 110% full of energy (maybe a relative feeling), the second week was a total disaster (feeling worse than ever), but after then, I was and still am, building up energy day by day. I do have drawbacks, in most weeks 2 days have a part ‘lost’. A lot of times this has to do with an overload of activities the day before (especially computer work is high energy consuming) or a skipped meal. Especially eating out and social activities cause a lot of problems, good food seems hard to get outside of your own kitchen!

In your answer you asked me if I did eat sugar and what my current diet consisted of. Well, the answer is yes, I did use sugar before I consulted my dietitian, with occasional cravings (chocolate, cookies) to compensate hypoglycemia. It works, only, the reaction comes hours later.

Candida and hypoglycemia:

Recently I have become involved in founding a hypoglycemia association in the Netherlands. We had no such thing yet and because of my diet I experience a lot of energy now. The association is in a very early state yet, defining goals and statutes, collecting information and raising funds. A lot of people suffering from hypoglycemia we contacted have (had) problems with Candida. The relationship between the two, hypoglycemia and Candida Albicans, is still very unclear to our group, on first sight is seems that two types of patients exist: hypoglycemia with Candida problems possible due to their hypoglycemia and Candida sufferers with induced hypoglycemic problems. Do you know anything about this subject? Are these two different types of problems or is it a mere matter of sensitivity? I know that both hypoglycemia and Candida have to do with the immune system. The immune system is, among others, greatly influenced by bacteria and viruses (yeast?), chemicals and other allergens, mental and physiological stress, type of diet. So some Candida patients suffering from hypoglycemia may experience that their hypoglycemia disappears at the moment they get their Candida under control. Other people, however, may get rid of their Candida, but keep their hypoglycemia because other immune factors are still present. This is only a simple model and we would appreciate any information about hypoglycemia and this topic in special. Can you help us?

PS Are you the one behind all the Ask the Dietitian topics? It must be a full time job, as you took so much effort (ta!) to answer my question!

Most persons with hypoglycemia feel better within a week of following a lower carbohydrate diet. The amount of time before the carbohydrates can be increased is very individual, but 1 to 3 months seems reasonable before increasing carbohydrate. The amount of carbohydrate is dependent on the absence of hypoglycemic symptoms.

Your description of eating sweets for hypoglycemic reactions only to have it reoccur within hours is expected. Persons with hypoglycemia should eat foods with a higher protein component like cheese or unsweetened dairy products, nuts, etc. High sugar foods will continue to stimulate the problem, which is the over production of insulin. I would suggest you ask your dietitian for help in meal planning as you need more evenly balanced meals throughout the day.

Your comment about computer work “high energy consumption” is not surprising as the brain uses more blood glucose than any other organ in the body. Also, Dr. Paul Gold, at the American Dietetic Association meeting, presented research suggesting that a moderate intake of glucose (50 grams = approximately 12 ounces of soda) improves memory in rats. Higher or lower intakes of glucose do not improve memory. It seems that computer work would involve lots of memory work.

At this time, there is no research evidence regarding Candida in the gut as you describe and no relationship to hypoglycemia. As such, there is no diet for Candida either. Candida Albicans causes a fungal infection in the vagina or mouth. Also, hypoglycemia has nothing to do with the immune system, but the endocrine (hormones) system. I would suggest your association pass along information that is supported by research as there are a lot of quacks with only testimonials (It worked for me and I got better type mentality.) for support. You can also ask your dietitian for nutritional information as it becomes available through new research.

Yes I am the one and only that writes Ask the Dietitian (TM). Thanks for your comments.

PS Your diet is what you eat and as long as you are alive, you will continue to eat. Unfortunately diet has gathered a negative connotation.