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Is my recently developed hypoglycemia related to VLC intake?

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  • Is my recently developed hypoglycemia related to VLC intake?

    Some background info: Female, 26, 5'7 and 160 lbs. Started at 175 lbs. No health issues prior to Primal, just overweight.

    I know I shocked my body by reducing my carbohydrate intake from about 300g daily to approximately 25g six weeks ago, and, looking back, I should have gradually let me body adapt. I maintained that amount until 2 weeks later when I increased to 35g and now 45g. My carb sources are usually green vegetables since I've also eliminated fructose and starches. It's also a transition from a very low fat diet to consuming 150g of fat a day.

    I've experienced very scary episodes of hypoglycemia starting around the end of the first week, including confusion and disorientation after any type of meal. I make sure to spread the carbs throughout the day. My legs go numb and my hands freeze up! Even after drinking half a litre of water I get mild symptoms and no matter what the dietary food eaten it always happens. I'm unsure whether it is my body or digestive system working extra hard to process all the fat or there is some type of stomach infection, or because I'm not in ketosis my body has insufficient glucose (when not experiencing these symptoms I feel completely fine but still not 100%). Never experienced this before and not a diagnosed diabetic, there is something going on. When I IF the symptoms subside until I eat again, sometimes I've experienced it without the food though, randomly.

    Time to add back starches? Fruit? How much? I am planning to up carbs to 60g and I've already reduced fat to 100g. I'm starting to stress that I wouldn't be able to reverse this, sigh. I only have 20 lbs more to lose.
    Last edited by cindy01; 05-30-2013, 08:42 AM.

  • #2
    to me it really sounds like electrolyte issue, not hypoglycemia.

    Try a teaspoon of sea salt in water...drink it slowly...how do you feel? This might fix the whole problem.

    Add some magnesium citrate. Try some potassium, you can buy it in the USA as "Litesalt" or "Nosalt". Make sure you don't have kidney disease or take medication or else talk to your doctor first.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by richard View Post
      to me it really sounds like electrolyte issue, not hypoglycemia.

      Try a teaspoon of sea salt in water...drink it slowly...how do you feel? This might fix the whole problem.

      Add some magnesium citrate. Try some potassium, you can buy it in the USA as "Litesalt" or "Nosalt". Make sure you don't have kidney disease or take medication or else talk to your doctor first.
      I've considered a link to this but I use salt liberally, especially sea salt. When I log my food into Fitnesspal I even slightly exceed the RDA of potassium from all the veggies and I supplement with magnesium daily.

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      • #4
        Why do you think its hypoglycemia? I ask because a numb leg or hands seizing up isn't necessarily a symptom(s). When you say numb do you mean to the touch of your hand or do you have trouble walking/bearing weight? Do your hands feel the sensation of cramping or do they feel stiff or achy? These are extremities issues--how does your heart behave during these episodes?

        I wouldn't say your approach was too aggressive; many have gone cold-turkey when it comes to their source of carbs. But if you want to try some fruit to see if that makes an immediate diff., you should!

        Otherwise, your symptoms sound life inhibiting and you might want to get checked out, don't you think? I would just say, don't focus your Dr on this theory of VLC creating the symptoms because then they may not search hard enough for the actual cause.

        My carb flu was mind numbing and took some weeks to settle. Feel better soon Cindy!

        “you aren't what you eat - you are what you don't poop.” Wavy Gravy

        Today I am Fillyjonk. Tommorow I will be Snufkin.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by spk View Post
          Why do you think its hypoglycemia? I ask because a numb leg or hands seizing up isn't necessarily a symptom(s). When you say numb do you mean to the touch of your hand or do you have trouble walking/bearing weight? Do your hands feel the sensation of cramping or do they feel stiff or achy? These are extremities issues--how does your heart behave during these episodes?

          I wouldn't say your approach was too aggressive; many have gone cold-turkey when it comes to their source of carbs. But if you want to try some fruit to see if that makes an immediate diff., you should!

          Otherwise, your symptoms sound life inhibiting and you might want to get checked out, don't you think? I would just say, don't focus your Dr on this theory of VLC creating the symptoms because then they may not search hard enough for the actual cause.

          My carb flu was mind numbing and took some weeks to settle. Feel better soon Cindy!
          Well my hands go extremely cold and I get this tingling feeling in both my lower legs. It's like I can't feel them. I don't feel any pain or discomfort, it's a state of confusion/unawareness. I get very anxious and scared, I try and shake myself in panic. I don't feel alert and I even start to slur. These symptoms are pretty extreme and I'm 100% Primal, I shouldn't expect any nutritional defeciencies because I eat a variety of everything except fructose and starches and went VLC hardcore. I even quit my omega 3 supplement because they were linked to hypoglycemia but I haven't noticed much or a difference. I still take iron, magnesium and calcium supplements.

          I'm not very metabolically resistant and I lose weight easily, I think I just was too impatient and got carried away. I know my doc would advice me with the CW with her holy grains and sugar.
          Last edited by cindy01; 05-30-2013, 10:17 AM.

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          • #6
            You are probably right. Our bodies like things to stay the same, more than anything. Get your carbs over 100 for a while and then slowly lower them if you want to see how you feel. VLC is not for everyone.
            Some of you may die, but that is a risk I'm willing to take.

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            • #7
              Get a glucometer, and check your blood sugar during an event. If you are unable to do it yourself, have someone check it for you. You should be able to get a meter at your local Walgreens, CVS pharmacies.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cindy01 View Post
                Well my hands go extremely cold and I get this tingling feeling in both my lower legs. It's like I can't feel them. I don't feel any pain or discomfort, it's a state of confusion/unawareness. I get very anxious and scared, I try and shake myself in panic. I don't feel alert and I even start to slur. These symptoms are pretty extreme and I'm 100% Primal, I shouldn't expect any nutritional defeciencies because I eat a variety of everything except fructose and starches and went VLC hardcore. I even quit my omega 3 supplement because they were linked to hypoglycemia but I haven't noticed much or a difference. I still take iron, magnesium and calcium supplements.

                I'm not very metabolically resistant and I lose weight easily, I think I just was too impatient and got carried away. I know my doc would advice me with the CW with her holy grains and sugar.
                Yeah Cindy, that's scary. I still think the VLC is of itself not the "cause" but maybe brought out something else? Because you seem to have the most dramatic symp. right around eating is quite strange. And yet, you also have some mild version of this btw meals too.

                It sounds like you self-diagnosed the hypogylcemia and have been centering your choices around that. Maybe you need to choose btw still trying to lose weight OR addressing these dramatic symptoms. I strongly vote that you ease off the VLC completely and eat healthy choices of carbs fully, no restriction. See if that has an immediate benefit to your symp. Just walk away from a diet/weight loss approach -- you can always come back to it after the big stuff is addressed.

                I'm no Dr. but your symp demand attention and you really should get on your Dr. calendar to be looked at. Tingling, sensory loss at extremities is no small peanuts and you can handle the CW advice the Dr would give you. The way I handled it was to simply say "So, I'm eating a little differently, actually more like you professionals have been advising for years; more veggies, less processed and it helped me lose weight". She actually asked me no further questions and simply seemed pleased like this was all her doing....it was hilarious.
                Last edited by spk; 05-30-2013, 11:21 AM.

                “you aren't what you eat - you are what you don't poop.” Wavy Gravy

                Today I am Fillyjonk. Tommorow I will be Snufkin.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I doubt its hypoglycaemia not even reactive hypoglycaemia. It doesn't fit the clinical picture at all; that it happens after drinking water is very odd. Personally I think your carb count is too low but I also think a health check might be useful. Check you blood glucose if you can then you can rule that out for definite.
                  I agree it sounds like an electrolyte balance issue or acidosis
                  try dropping the magnesium supplements and eating other veg as well as greens. If your getting 40g of carbs from mainly greens your potassium intake is going be high ie 20g of carbs from spinach is around 3000mg K. You dont need more than 4700 unless you are deficient
                  There is an upper blood value limit to potassium 3.5 and 5.0 and over 5 can cause major problems.
                  Do you have any health problems or take any medication?
                  If it persists or gets worse you need a medical opinion with a blood screen
                  When I'd had enough of the grain and starched based 'diabetic eating for health' diet (eating for health, my ass!) my weight was 242.5 lbs. On starting primal- 18th April 2013 weight : 238.1.
                  27th July 2013. weight after 100 days 136.9 weight lost 101.2lb ; that's 105.6lbs since I stopped the 'diabetic eating for health'
                  new journal http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...ml#post1264082

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                  • #10
                    @spk it gets worse when I drink some water after a meal. I'm getting frustrated because I really am enjoying Primal and the weight loss. I'm adding some sweet potatoes in and some low GI fruits and giving it a week, if the symptoms don't subside I'm definitely going to contact the doctor.

                    @carbdodger I don't and never have taken medication or have any health issues. I'm still concerned it may be something internal related to my digestive system or stomach but it is just too sudden and coincidental to start happening immediately after VLC. I have the feeling my blood work is gonna be positive and normal and there is an underlying issue that my doc might refuse to address and blame the diet.

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                    • #11
                      I'd add carbs back in with fruit and starches and aim for 100-150g a day, more if you need them. If your symptoms improve, low carb probably wasn't right for you. If symptoms persist after increasing carbs, go to the doc.

                      Start with a boiled or baked white potato with lots of salt and a bit of butter, plus some fruit. Increase from there. Displace fat calories in favor of carbs.
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                      • #12
                        Definitely a bit too fast for your system, methinks! Not hypoglycemia, though. More like intense carb "flu".

                        Up your starchy carbs to 70 or so. Don't drop your fat, as long as you are digesting it OK. You need it for satiety and I suspect you dropped your calories more than you realized. Eat more often, if needed during this transition.

                        Try not to drink water 1/2 hour before or after mealtimes. You will need all your stomach acid/enzymes to adequately digest your food. If you need liquid with meals try 3-4 oz kombucha.

                        It can take folks from 6 weeks to 6 months to completely adapt to vlc. I just went vlc after 2 years of 70-100 gm Primal carbs & I am still experiencing carb "flu".

                        Magnesium deficiency is widespread and if you dropped all your grains when you dropped all your carbs, then you may need to supplement 400-600 mg of Magnesium Citrate (if you have constipation) or Glycinate (if not). If you are doing dairy, you don't need the calcium.
                        Last edited by Dragonfly; 05-30-2013, 12:11 PM.
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                        • #13
                          Cold turkey into Low Carbs and Cold Turkey into ketosis are two different things. LC is 100-150g, VLC is 50-100g, Ketosis is < 50g.

                          I'd suggest upping carbs (not starches) to around 100g and staying there until your body is fully adjusted, about 3 months. You'll still loose weight if you keep your fats high (around 60-65%).
                          "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cindy01 View Post
                            I'm adding some sweet potatoes in and some low GI fruits and giving it a week, if the symptoms don't subside I'm definitely going to contact the doctor.

                            I have the feeling my blood work is gonna be positive and normal and there is an underlying issue that my doc might refuse to address and blame the diet.
                            You are on the right track, as most have said, reintroduce good carbs and see what if any positive benefits you get. Don't be worried about the weight! The numbers I think you mentioned showed that you can and will healthfully lose -- just cut yourself some slack and get this scary stuff out of the way. =) It will make the next attempt all the easier because you'll know your bod even better.

                            You can't give the Dr the "out" of blaming VLC and not looking more thoroughly. Yes, you should tell him/her that you were eating different from say 6 months ago. But if/when you choose to go to the Dr, it's because you are still having these symp. even after eating fully, no restriction. So that would assume that it's not diet based and you'll need full blood panel and maybe other tests.

                            You can do it. Stand up for your health and tell them you want a plan to identify the issue.

                            “you aren't what you eat - you are what you don't poop.” Wavy Gravy

                            Today I am Fillyjonk. Tommorow I will be Snufkin.

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                            • #15
                              p.s. And here's the thing. Even if you find out you have some big medical issue, eating Primal or Paleo or whatever you like to call it is going to HELP. I personally know people with multiple sclerosis, cancer, obesity, you name it who are flourishing eating in this way. Just finding your particular version of it can be a trick for some of us... I for one went a little too long on VLC and messed myself up a bit. So I understand the frustration.

                              “you aren't what you eat - you are what you don't poop.” Wavy Gravy

                              Today I am Fillyjonk. Tommorow I will be Snufkin.

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