Hello! My wife has been diagnosed with severe hypoglycemia and I think she is in denial about her diet. Her doctor told her something to the effect of if she has sugar she'll be fine if she eats again soon (even if it is sugar again). She is therefore taking this as license to eat sugar whenever she wants really... and she is so sick all the time, sleeping and nearly passing out while sitting up. Am I incorrect thinking that her having suger food is detrimental to her health?
No, that's not how it works. She needs protein and fiber foods on a regular basis. Small amounts of sugar WITH nutritious meals are OK, but the less refined sugar and simple carbohydrates she has, the better. Even fruit is something she has to be a little careful about.
Now, if her sugar is very low, a small amount of sugar right away will bring it back up, but she needs to quickly follow that with nutritious food.
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It is sugar that triggers a release of insulin. In people with hypoglycemia, the insulin may be released late or too much of it, which drops the blood sugar 2-5 hours after eating. She should avoid refined sugars (natural sugars are better, like those found in complex carbohydrates) and eat small amounts more frequently, like 6 times a day, every 2-3 hrs.
Protein foods keep the blood sugar more stable, and should be a part of each meal or snack. The idea is to prevent the sugar from dipping down. She should carry some glucose tablets with her always, and if she gets a bad episode, take 2-3 tabs at once, just to get her sugar up, then have some protein. It is important to distinguish between reactive hypoglycemia (like just described) and fasting hypoglycemia, which is more serious and needs an endocrinologist to check out.
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Thank you for the replies... I really can't figure out why she is denying the truth about this and other health problems she has, but I am committed to patiently walking with her. It is like she doesn't want to take any real personal responsibility for herself... is that common among chronically ill persons?
Most people are in denial for awhile when they get a new ndiagnosis. Her Dr gave her totally inappropriate advice, as she will be on a roller coaster with her sugars spiking and diving the more sugar she consumes. It would be great if she could get counselling from a registered dietician or diabetes nurse educator. Even though she doesn't have diabetes, they work with hypoglycemia too. Beware also of drinks, like sodas, sweetened teas, fruit juice and alcohol, as they contain a lot of sugar. Caffeine can also make hypoglycemia worse. Your Dr's office may be able to refer her to a dietician. If she understands how the problem works, she may be more willing to adhere to the diet that will benefit her.