Hi all, been reading through these threads and finally decided to write about some concerns I have. I'm a 52 year old female, about 10 lbs. weight but otherwise healthy. Well of course there is stress. Lately my blood sugar has dropped to anywhere between 49 and 58, I get sweaty, and very shaky. I need to sit down or I'll fall. I know that is a sign of low blood sugar beacuse I'll take it and it's always very low. After I eat, (usually when it's that low I will eat chocolate or juice for a quick pick me up,) then the rest of the day it's fine. It seems like if I don't have sugar in my body, I drop really low. I am a junk food eater, lots of muffins, crackers, etc. At some point, doesn't hypogleciamia turn into diabetes? Thanks for any advice.
Yes, Linda...hypoglycemia often does turn into type 2 diabetes.
Hypoglycemia is caused by the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas over-reacting to the stimulus of glucose in the blood. In normal people, the pancreas senses when a bit more insulin is needed and produces just enough. In diabetics, that mechanism is either totally destroyed (T1), or it is impaired and the tissues are resistant to using the insulin that is produced. In hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) the pancreas actually produces too much insulin. Eventually, this can cause the islet cells to wear out and produce less, and for some unknown reason this is usually accompanied by insulin resistance in the tissues.
There is a diet for hypoglycemia, and I'm sure you can do an internet search and find recommendations for food plans. From the little I know of it, I believe it's recommended to eat 5-6 small meals rather than 3 large meals. Eat fewer carbs and more protein, and absolutely never, ever eat carbs without also eating some protein too....the protein takes much longer to digest and will be around later when the extra insulin is looking for something to work on.
I wouldn't say you can NEVER have junk food, but the more often you eat junk, the sooner you're likely to become diabetic and the harder it'll be to manage it with diet alone. Start by looking up hypoglycemic diets, and then try to follow one for at least several weeks. If you feel better (and you most likely will) that will be incentive enough to stick with it! And remember...it's sometimes better to make small changes, wait and then make some more small changes, then to try to do it all at once. If you feel terribly deprived, you may not stick with it.