My new life with a chronic condition – reactive hypoglycemia

reactive hypoglycemia

Hello my lovelies,

Well what a mad old few months it has been. One of the big reasons I needed to take a blog break over the summer months was that I had really not been feeling well at all.

I had been struggling with my health for a few months thinking I was just always under the weather but at the beginning of July, things reached a climax and I was barely able to function.

I would spend most of the day lurching from dizzy spells, heart palpitations, not being able to lift my legs up the stairs, extreme weakness, huge waves of anxiety, unexplainable sweats, serious cognitive fog, terrible headaches and extreme loss of physical and mental capability.

I have to admit – I was really scared

I thought this was it – my time is up. I was convinced it was something sinister.

I had been feeling shady as I say since the beginning of the year, but as most school mums would do, had convinced myself it was a series of nasty viruses brought back by the sproglet from school. But how many months can a virus go on for?

Eventually I thought enough was enough, and I dragged my sorry self to the doctor.

reactive hypoglycemia

After a raft of tests, my blood sugar levels were showing up as very low and after a while, I began to notice a pattern – that I would feel all of the above symptoms after around two hours after I had eaten.

What on earth was going on?

After much digging around of the internet and some help from my step mum who used to be a practice nurse (sadly the doctors were not very helpful in giving me an initial diagnose) things started to make sense.

We pinpointed it down to reactive hypoglycemia

I had all of the symptoms after all.

Reactive hypoglycemia (postprandial hypoglycemia) refers to low blood sugar that occurs after a meal — usually within two to four hours after eating. Basically, my pancreas was going into overdrive and releasing too much glucose after eating.

reactive hypoglycemia

But why?

Well about this – we have no idea. I am currently waiting to see an endocrinoligst who I’m very much hoping will be able to help me find out what has tipped my body into this calamity.

For now, it’s all about survival

I spent hours and hours devouring information on the internet and listening to people talk about reactive hypoglycemia on YouTube and how to manage life with it and  soon realised that the name of the game to be functional with reactive hypoglycemia was to eat in a way to keep my blood sugar levels as stable as possible. I went sugar free overnight.

So that meant sticking to a low glycemic index diet and eating something every two hours – but not any old thing – a mix of complex carbohydrates, protein and fat that would sustain my body in the best way possible and help my pancreas to chill out and stop producing so much insulin. For those of you who don’t know, a glycemic index diet is an eating plan based on how foods affect your blood sugar level. The glycemic index is a system of assigning a number to carbohydrate-containing foods according to how much each food increases blood sugar.

reactive hypoglycemia

So what has this meant?

As well as round the clock eating (i.e. little and often( from half an hour after I get up every two hours until half an hour before I go to sleep (yup, that’s a lot of eating I know!), eating before and after exercising; it also has meant giving up a lot of the things I have loved so well – alcohol, caffeine, regular chips, any cakes, biscuits and chocolate made with sugar or quick releasing carbs and so many other things.

People have balked at the above when I have told them, but the truth is…when all of the things you used to love so much start making you feel very sick, it’s easy to leave them behind….

But I’m lucky in so many ways because there are so many cheats available these days – amazing decaff coffee, stevia, agave nectar…they have all become my best friends! That and taking things slower and being kinder to myself.

reactive hypoglycemia

 

Reactive hypoglycemia is me now

I have had to rethink the way I lead my life. It’s made me slow down – which is a good thing for those who know me. I’ve swapped HIIT for pilates, I have to take a nap after lunch most days because I can get really tired, and I’ve changed the way I feed myself and my family. I take a concoction of herbs and supplements to help stabilise my blood sugar levels every day, and am working hard to put the weight I have lost back on (I dropped down below 8 stone which was so scary and I’ve now managed to put 5kg back on but am still underweight). So far, so good…..

I have no idea where the next few months are going to take me, or what might be at the root of this all, but sometimes life throws you curve balls and you just have to go with it – and my goodness, this has been one mother of a curve ball!

If you’re reading this and looking for information on reactive hypoglycemia, although only I’m only just starting out on my journey, I already have so many tips and tricks to share on managing reactive hypoglycemia. Feel free to connect with me on any of my social media channels and reach out by email and I will happily share with you what has helped in getting my condition stable – email me at motherhoodtherealdeal AT gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

34 comments

  1. Oh gosh this is so scary! Well done for doing the research yourself but I’m sorry the doctors didn’t give you more help. I hope everything continues to improve for you x

  2. Reading this has really struck a cord with me. I’ve been feeling very similar symptoms and have been to the doctors several times. I’ve only been given one blood test and that was for anemia. I’m going to book an appointment now. Thank you x

  3. Oh my gosh Talya. You’ve been through the mill. I’d never heard of this condition before reading your post. And what alot of changes you’ve had to make. I hope your appointment with the specialist comes soon so you can get some answers. But I’m glad the changes you’ve made are helping a little. Take care of yourself xx

  4. Sorry to hear that you’ve not been well. I’m hoping that you manage to get the right support that you need. I have a different condition and am also advised to follow a low GI diet, I found the “I quit sugar for life” book really useful for ideas.

  5. Oh you poor thing. Have you looked in to the KETO diet? That is a low carb diet which can be used to control diabetes, not sure if it would help in your circumstance though. Hope you get better soon and it becomes more manageable.

  6. Crikey Talya! I hope you get your cillness under control – sounds like you are going about it the right way. Why are some doctors so useless? It pays to do the research and at least you know there is good reason why you have felt so unwell. Thinking of you x

  7. This is so scary but I’m glad you finally know what’s wrong now. It’s so frustrating going to the doctors and being fobbed off. I suffer from chronic hives, worsened by antihistamines but no doctor will take me seriously. I’ve only been able to slightly manage it by trial and error, eliminating food and items that cause me to react. The worst culprits are latex and citrus foods! Very annoying!

    I hope your condition gets easier for you to manage!

    Katie xoxo

  8. Thank you so much for all your lovely supportive comments it has been a really difficult time but I’m feeling more stable now….just need to find out why on earth all of this is happening! x

  9. Really glad to hear you’ve managed to get to the bottom of this and are able to do something about it to manage it. As you say if giving up things means you can lead a more healthy life style then although difficult initially it is a no brainer. Thanks for hosting. 🙂

  10. Thats really bad that the doctors didn’t initially take you seriously and left you to do the diagnosing on your own.
    I hope now they are on board you will get some more answers soon.

    #coolmumsclub

  11. Glad you’re on the right road now. I gave up lots of foods after my coeliac diagnosis and lots of people felt sorry for me. But it’s the best I felt in years. My health is so much more important than a chocolate biscuit. #coolmumclub

  12. So sorry to hear this, but I’m glad it has been diagnosed & it sounds like you’re doing well at managing it. I know what you mean – if something makes you ill, it is so much easier to give it up! #coolmumclub

  13. Oh hun, this sounds horrible!! What a worrying time you must have been to, I hope that you are managing ok. Fingers crossed for your upcoming appointment with the specialist xx #coolmumclub

  14. I’m so glad you’ve been able to find out what was making you feel so terrible. It sounds like you’ve already gotten a good hold of what you need to do in order to strive. I’m sure eating often and so carefully is hard in the market for food which has chemicals and sugar strewn through it all. But it sounds like you are strong in your ways and you’re going to make some great lifestyle changes. You’re family is lucky to have such a string lady in charge!
    #CoolMumClub

  15. Gosh T, you really have been through it. Thank god you have found the cause and are able to learn how to manage it – maybe we have hit a stage in life our bodies are telling us we need to slow down and take care of ourselves…and you definitely need to channel all the self care right now. Sending huge #CoolMumClub love – it’s good to be back x x x

  16. Never heard of this condition so as well as being great for finally getting yourself some help and making changes, well done on raising awareness too as you will almost inevitably help others by doing so and sharing your experiences. Keep looking after yourself and seeking support too. #CoolMumClub

  17. Oh Talya! You poor thing, I had no idea you were going through this. It must have been so frustrating and frightening not to have a clue what was going on, but I’m so glad that you’re finding some help and hints with your diet to get on with your life and help you live better. I hope you get some more help from the specialist. Go easy and keep being kind to yourself! Lots of love. #CoolMumClub xxxx

  18. Misery Guts has type 1 diabetes so I can totally relate to this post & understand how you’ve been feeling as this is what happens when his blood sugar level goes too low. Glad you’ve managed to pin point the problem & can hopefully start feeling better! #coolmumclub

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