Eliminated hypoglycemia by switching to high-GI diet

cigana

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Dear all,

Yes you read the title right, I seem to have got rid of my "hypoglycemia" symptoms by switching to a high Glycemic-Index diet. Just for reference, my "symptoms" were feeling a kind of hot-sweat increased fatigue/dizziness/sickness/shakes which come on when I haven't eaten for some time (>4hours say) which is promptly remedied by eating again.

For the past 13months I've followed a low-GI diet (lots of vegetables, beans, pulses, whole-grains [mostly oats] and some fruit - no added oils or fried foods or refined carbohydrates). I thought this was very healthy - we're always told fibre is good for us, particularly when we have gut problems, and I still believe it is healthy for someone without my condition. I suffer stomach bloating, gas and some degree of constipation. My diet was also high in protein as we're often told this is important for blood-sugar problems. I also thought this was healthy but it has occured to me that the cure for type-II diabetes is to eat less not more protein, since the GI of food isn't the only issue causing blood-sugar problems.

I recently read "A New IBS Solution" by Mark Pimentel MD. He suggests that Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is responsible for much of IBS. He also suggests something which seems at odds with all of the usual advice on bacterial overgrowth - which is to say that fibre is bad and glucose is good(!). I knew from experience that fibre gave me more bloating but continued to eat it because of all the advice that I should. To be specific, Pimentel suggests that virtually all sugars are in fact bad but that sucrose and glucose are good (for this condition). The reason being that most sugars (fructose, lactose etc.) are difficult for the the body to digest so they last a long way into the digestive tract. Glucose (and sucrose) on the other hand are very quickly absorbed, in fact in the first 3 feet of the small intestine. Now although glucose feeds bacteria very quickly - the point is that the type of problem I believe I have (SIBO) means that I have overgrowth of bacteria that should normally be in the colon but which has spread into the (predominantly) the lower part of the small-intestine, where they can be easily fed by (a) fibre and (b) carbohydrates (including sugars) which are able to get that far. So the theory is that by eating sugars that are rapidly absorbed in the first small section of the intestine, although you may be fueling bacteria there, you are actually completely depriving bacteria in the vast majority of the rest of your intestine - hence overall less food for the bacteria.

I decided to do a 2 week trial of switching to a high-GI, low-fibre low-protein diet. It consisted of white-rice with two pints a day of a low-fructose high-nutrient-density vegetable juice (made from spinach, lettuce, fennel, parsely, celery). I've checked with the Cron-o-meter software that this provides all of my essential nutrients, and of course these juices are high in phytonutrients which I don't like being without for too long.

The results: 50% reduction in bloating, no more blood-sugar problems, reduced anxiety, 90% reduction in gas.

So I suppose the morals are (1) that in trying to treat the symptoms (with a high fibre high protein diet) rather than the cause (SIBO) we are actually feeding the cause - reminds me of pharmaceuticals! and (2) a little bit of experimentation is a good idea.

My next experiment is to try an elemental diet. These are expensive but I think I can construct my own from ingredients available at Holland & Barrett. Elemental diets have a high success rate (80%) in eliminating SIBO (at least from a breath-test point of view). I also think this could help with my leaky-gut symptoms as there will be no protein and this is the most likely nutrient causing an immune response.

Cheers,

Cig
 
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My aunt had terrible stomach problems with CFS, and after years of dutifully eating brown rice, switched over to white rice had a much easier time.

I find I need high Glycemic Index carbs like potatoes and white rice, or I feel worse. I tend to have vegetable juice instead of vegetables to get sodium. Seems to be easier than eating vegetables.

Thanks for the info.
 

cigana

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Hi Caledonia,

Strangley enough I feel fine - I thought I would get hungrier for sure by switching from my oats to white rice, but in fact the opposite has occured - I have gone for 6hours or so and feel fine. In fact I seem to have a more "normal" appetite now - previously I was always hungry...

Cig
 

cigana

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Yeah good point maybe they weren't getting digested. Or maybe the fiberbound carbs feed the bacteria and it is the bacteria that cause the blood-sugar problems...
 

heapsreal

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interesting how we all differ high gi carbs set me off on a hypo/low sugar response which i have measured when this has occurred and blonked on the weight. Low gi carbs werent much better, after about 3 days my appetitte go's up and im eating all the time and put alot of weight on. The only thing that has helped me is a very low carb diet, this reduces my appetitte and weight. Of late though even low carbs wasnt helping as my weight was slowly climbing as well as appetitte. I have since added merformin to my low carb diet and everything is back to normal, so i think i have a genetic thing for insulin resistence and low carb diet helped keep it at bay for awhile. I do have a significant family history of type 2 diabetes with my mother and both grand fathers.

cheers!!!
 

cigana

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Hi heapsreal,

Just thought I'd mention in case you've never known that some of the things that are important in curing type-II diabetes is very low fat and no animal products because of the insulin resistance caused (but sure you've tried that)...

Cig
 

heapsreal

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hi cigana, i have tried low fat diets and my blood sugar would rise then fall below normal, so no other choice but animal products which have helped me. For what its worth i know the blood type diet recommends low carb animal based diet for O type blood people for which i am. I think we are all different and i dont think 1 diet suits all. Also studies that show people that eat high amounts protein and fat causing obesity and insulin resistance are usually also high in refined carbs/sugars, the mac donalds diet. all we can do is try these different diets and see how we react and feel as well as its affects on blood lipids.

cheers!!!
 

xchocoholic

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If I were you, I'd look at this further .. info on the Paleo / low carb diet will help you understand how blood glucose works .. tc ... X