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    PrimalStudent's Avatar
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    Why is my blood sugar plummeting?

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    I'm not hungry, but I am finding that my blood sugar seems to get really low a few hours after eating (even though my carbs are below 50g and my fat is quite high). Right now, having eaten 3 hours ago, I feel pretty satiated, but my arms are feeling week, my heart rate is quick, and my whole body feels anxious.

    I've noticed this goes right away when I eat sugar. What's going on? Have I simply not been primal long enough, or should I get checked by a doctor?

    My stats: 20 years old, female, 5'9, 133 lbs. My main source of exercise is walking at least 45 mins/day (and going out dancing on weekends!)

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    Also, in case this helps, a sample of a day's food:

    I eat twice a day usually, plus one snack
    Brunch (around 1:00pm): 8oz chicken cooked in ghee
    Snack (around 3:00pm): 1 or 2 oz of baking chocolate (no sugar, just straight up cacao)
    Dinner (around 6:00pm): an Applegate grassfed burger, a whole avocado, and 2 eggs

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    Zach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalStudent View Post
    Also, in case this helps, a sample of a day's food:

    I eat twice a day usually, plus one snack
    Brunch (around 1:00pm): 8oz chicken cooked in ghee
    Snack (around 3:00pm): 1 or 2 oz of baking chocolate (no sugar, just straight up cacao)
    Dinner (around 6:00pm): an Applegate grassfed burger, a whole avocado, and 2 eggs
    Protein will drop blood sugar. You need to either lower protein and up fat or the much safer and healthier choice, eat carbs. Fruit would be a great idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach View Post
    Protein will drop blood sugar. You need to either lower protein and up fat or the much safer and healthier choice, eat carbs. Fruit would be a great idea.
    Could you explain? Carbs, just as much (if not more than) protein, lead to a blood sugar drop as well, so why would that be a solution? Unless I have my facts wrong.

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    You need to put on weight
    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalStudent View Post
    I'm not hungry, but I am finding that my blood sugar seems to get really low a few hours after eating (even though my carbs are below 50g and my fat is quite high). Right now, having eaten 3 hours ago, I feel pretty satiated, but my arms are feeling week, my heart rate is quick, and my whole body feels anxious.

    I've noticed this goes right away when I eat sugar. What's going on? Have I simply not been primal long enough, or should I get checked by a doctor?

    My stats: 20 years old, female, 5'9, 133 lbs. My main source of exercise is walking at least 45 mins/day (and going out dancing on weekends!)
    Jesus. Whyyyyy are you eating <50g of carbohydrate a day? Hardly anyone should be doing that, yet alone a skinny 20 year old girl.

    Protein creates a massive glucagon reaction. Glucagon is insulin's anti-hormone. When you eat large portions of protein in absence of carbohydrate, your blood sugar bottoms out because your insulin drops very low. You also are a stress-driven wreck because your cortisol and adrenaline is constantly elevated because VLC dieting, especially at a caloric deficit, mimics starvation. We are made to eat lots of fruit and starch - historically we've eaten a lot more of it than we've eaten meat. Chances are, you descended from people who ate a carb heavy diet since most of our ancestors lived in equatorial regions where lean game meat, fruit and starch ruled and fatty game was pretty rare.

    Up your carbohydrate intake significantly (from Primal sources of course), drop your fat significantly, keep protein around 1g per pound of body weight. I'd recommend 30% calories from fat, 30% calories from protein, 40% calories from carbohydrate (fruit, starch, maybe honey post workout if you like that sort of thing).

    You'll feel LOADS better. You're consuming the diet of a 65 year old diabetic. Eat real food and get some glucose!
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalStudent View Post
    Also, in case this helps, a sample of a day's food:

    I eat twice a day usually, plus one snack
    Brunch (around 1:00pm): 8oz chicken cooked in ghee
    Snack (around 3:00pm): 1 or 2 oz of baking chocolate (no sugar, just straight up cacao)
    Dinner (around 6:00pm): an Applegate grassfed burger, a whole avocado, and 2 eggs
    And you're fasting, too? 5 hour eating windows? Fasting, especially on a calorie restricted very low carbohydrate diet is a major stressor and shouldn't be sustained regularly. Occasional fasting is healthy. Regular fasting isn't. Regular fasting paired with carbohydrate restriction is a disaster waiting to happen, especially for someone young and active.

    And c'mon baking chocolate? No one enjoys that. Get some with some sugar in it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with small quantities of sugar assuming it's decent quality sugar. I'll eat sucrose in a pinch, I won't mess with HFCS. I keep coconut sugar, raw honey, organic Grade B maple syrup and blackstrap molasses at home. They're all great stuff in moderation.

    Danny Roddy wrote a great post the other day that's worth a read.

    http://180degreehealth.com/2013/02/h...y-you-shouldnt

    I don't support spooning refined sugar on things, but lowering fat to 25-30% of daily calories and consuming ~1.5g of carbohydrate from whole foods for each gram of protein consumed - I love that idea. High levels of fat intake paired with low levels of carbohydrate cause too many stress hormones to elevate and force you to take in too much polyunsaturated fat as a percentage of daily calories. Starch and fruit sugar stores as saturated fat in your tissues instead. IMO that is a big positive since it is less inflammatory.
    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalStudent View Post
    Could you explain? Carbs, just as much (if not more than) protein, lead to a blood sugar drop as well, so why would that be a solution? Unless I have my facts wrong.
    Carbohydrate leads to a rise in blood sugar, followed by a fall in blood sugar. That is totally normal and a natural human reaction. Spiking your blood sugar is healthy and mandatory to remain insulin sensitive. Not elevating your blood sugar leads to physiological insulin resistance over time. What makes you go hypoglycemic - where your blood sugar drops too low - is eating too much protein in the absence of carbohydrate in a sitting, or simply overconsuming far too much carbohydrate in a sitting than your body can handle. This is simply because you overconsumed, and overconsuming food in general will make you feel lousy. Eating calories appropriate for your body will not cause problematic blood sugar even if they are entirely carb-based assuming they're from healthy sources. Judging from your stats, your metabolism is working fine. Don't ruin it by going low carb.
    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 02-22-2013 at 08:08 PM.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
    Jesus. Whyyyyy are you eating <50g of carbohydrate a day? Hardly anyone should be doing that, yet alone a skinny 20 year old girl.

    Protein creates a massive glucagon reaction. Glucagon is insulin's anti-hormone. When you eat large portions of protein in absence of carbohydrate, your blood sugar bottoms out because your insulin drops very low. You also are a stress-driven wreck because your cortisol and adrenaline is constantly elevated because VLC dieting, especially at a caloric deficit, mimics starvation. We are made to eat lots of fruit and starch - historically we've eaten a lot more of it than we've eaten meat. Chances are, you descended from people who ate a carb heavy diet since most of our ancestors lived in equatorial regions where lean game meat, fruit and starch ruled and fatty game was pretty rare.

    Up your carbohydrate intake significantly (from Primal sources of course), drop your fat significantly, keep protein around 1g per pound of body weight. I'd recommend 30% calories from fat, 30% calories from protein, 40% calories from carbohydrate (fruit, starch, maybe honey post workout if you like that sort of thing).

    You'll feel LOADS better. You're consuming the diet of a 65 year old diabetic. Eat real food and get some glucose!
    Thanks Choco. I see your posts around all the time and everything inside me says "he's probably got a point... WHY am I eating spoonfuls of fat when it's not filling me up, when all I want is a few bites of potato?" but it's so easy to get scared by everyone on MDA who eschews carbs and says that carbs=weight gain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalStudent View Post
    Could you explain? Carbs, just as much (if not more than) protein, lead to a blood sugar drop as well, so why would that be a solution? Unless I have my facts wrong.
    Yep, facts wrong. You are experiencing hypoglycemia. That is why sugar clears the symptoms up immediately. Just start by adding some carbs to your meals, most likely that is all it will take to fix the problem. I really recommend fruit but and potatoes or other starch would do the job as well.

    Also i disagree with Peril and think you look great, why are you on such a low carb diet?

    EDIT: Choco beat me to it by a long shot, haha.

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    Insulin lowers blood sugar as it frees amino acids. Eating a lot of protein without carbs causes a sharp decrease in blood sugar.
    Time is passing so quickly. Right now, I feel like complaining to Einstein. Whether time is slow or fast depends on perception. Relativity theory is so romantic. And so sad.

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