From Tennessee, USA:
My daughter has just been diagnosed with hypoglycemia this week. What I am reading and what the dietitian has told us are totally opposite. My daughter been told not to eat any sugar for the next three months. Her blood level was 53 mg/dl (2.9 mmol/L) when she was checked. She is 17 years old, is six feet tall and weighs 124 pounds. She has been struggling with keeping her weight before this and now being told to only eat one piece of bread, one fruit, and one starch per day is making keeping her weight more of a challenge. We are totally confused! She is to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks per day. What are her options to eat? From what I have read about hypoglycemia, when sugar gets low, you are to eat something with sugar. At what point is she to do that?
I am not familiar with the diet for hypoglycemia being so restricted. Yes, sugar should be avoided and consumption of complex, more slowly absorbed, sugars is recommended. You probably need to visit with the dietitian again to see if a more palatable meal plan can be devised which will prevent the severe symptoms of hypoglycemia. When your daughter feels shaky or nauseated or sweaty or perhaps starts getting a headache, treatment with a simple sugar such as juice to raise the blood sugar should be given, followed by complex carbohydrate and perhaps some protein to provide continued glucose to the system. With hypoglycemia, the problem is too much insulin being called out when there is an increase in the blood sugar -- the opposite of diabetes, but requiring careful attention to the sources of sugar in the diet -- even more restricted in sugar than someone with diabetes must follow.
You might also find the glycemic index helpful in controlling the symptoms. This list of foods is categorize according to how they affect the blood sugar when eaten by themselves. Some foods such as potatoes and pasta can raise the blood sugar as much as sugar if eaten alone. Fiber helps to slow the absorption of foods, therefore increasing fiber in the diet and eating foods that contain more simple sugars in combination with protein and fat will help to slow absorption and the outpouring of insulin. Weight gain can be supported by increasing the protein and fat in the diet (look for healthy fats such as olive oil, peanut oil). Nuts are a good source of fiber and more healthy fat and will add calories to the meal plan. Be sure you and your daughter check with her doctor and dietitian before trying these suggestions.
Original posting 4 Aug 2000
Posted to Hypoglycemia
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:12
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