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Reactive hypoglycemia


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#1 chocolate-chip chooky

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 04:52 PM

I've discussed this a bit in the social group, but I wanted to ask here too - do any of you experience this with your ALs?

 

 



#2 Black-eyed Suzan

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 07:07 PM

Two of our family do. Two do not.


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#3 chocolate-chip chooky

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 07:27 PM

Two of our family do. Two do not.

 

Can you tell me how it presents in your family? And how you manage it?

 

Thank you  :)



#4 JoJosMom

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 07:34 PM

I have severe reactive hypoglycemia; my daughter seems to have the same tendency, but I have always watched her diet fairly carefully because of my issues so it hasn't been a problem for the most part.

 

For me, limiting the amount of carbs that I consume is the key to managing it.  For my daughter, we limit simple sugars (read:  avoid like the plague) and make sure she has a protein-heavy breakfast (usually eggs).  I tolerate fasting well so long as my carb intake is low, but I know that some people do better with frequent, small meals.


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#5 chocolate-chip chooky

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 07:40 PM

And do you think it has anything to do with busy brains?

 

I've posted here because you folks are my go-to community, but I do wonder if a busy brain just needs more glucose.



#6 JoJosMom

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 08:03 PM

And do you think it has anything to do with busy brains?

 

I've posted here because you folks are my go-to community, but I do wonder if a busy brain just needs more glucose.

 

No to the first part, yes to the second! :laugh:

 

I don't think that my metabolic weirdness is related to my IQ.  I DO think that busy brains require regular fueling.  Reactive hypoglycemia has more to do with how the body reacts to that fuel than with the need for fuel itself.


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#7 Black-eyed Suzan

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 09:18 PM

Can you tell me how it presents in your family? And how you manage it?

Thank you :)


As a toddler, my younger would have a tantrum if he was overly hungry. He would refuse offers of food. But if I could get him to eat 5-6 almonds (I threatened punishment - not my best moments, but we do what we need to do!), he would calm down enough to eat his snack/lunch/whatever. Now he becomes overly emotional and unreasonable if it has been too long since he's eaten. After we saw it clearly in DS2, we recognized it in DH (and his mother). DH says he just can't think straight and it can easily manifest itself in anger.

Hangry is a real thing!

Protein is the key. DS eats a huge amount of protein with some complex carbs and fat (usually oatmeal with coconut milk) for breakfast. Snacks have protein, too (nuts are good for this since they are portable). We limit sugar for general health, but it helps with this issue, too. We make sure he hasn't gone without food for too long. If he's upset, I make sure he eats something in case that is part of the cause of the upset. I imagine intermittent fasting will never be a good idea for someone who struggles with this.

I think it is a metabolic issue and not necessarily an IQ issue. But I may be biased since I don't struggle with it. ;)
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#8 JoJosMom

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 10:21 PM

As a toddler, my younger would have a tantrum if he was overly hungry. He would refuse offers of food. But if I could get him to eat 5-6 almonds (I threatened punishment - not my best moments, but we do what we need to do!), he would calm down enough to eat his snack/lunch/whatever. Now he becomes overly emotional and unreasonable if it has been too long since he's eaten. After we saw it clearly in DS2, we recognized it in DH (and his mother). DH says he just can't think straight and it can easily manifest itself in anger.

Hangry is a real thing!

Protein is the key. DS eats a huge amount of protein with some complex carbs and fat (usually oatmeal with coconut milk) for breakfast. Snacks have protein, too (nuts are good for this since they are portable). We limit sugar for general health, but it helps with this issue, too. We make sure he hasn't gone without food for too long. If he's upset, I make sure he eats something in case that is part of the cause of the upset. I imagine intermittent fasting will never be a good idea for someone who struggles with this.

I think it is a metabolic issue and not necessarily an IQ issue. But I may be biased since I don't struggle with it. ;)

 

This caught my eye.  One thing to look out for, OP, is tolerance or sensitivity to particular foods.  I know lots of people tout the benefits of oatmeal (and I don't doubt it's effectiveness for them).  For me, oatmeal is disastrous.  It spikes my blood sugar and then I crash.  Hard.  I react similarly to peanut butter.  My daughter seems to be somewhat similar, so we stick to high protein/fat for breakfast. So I guess just be alert to individual quirks.

 

And I totally agree about becoming irrational if the blood sugar drops-it's highly unpleasant.
 


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#9 Arcadia

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 11:08 PM

And do you think it has anything to do with busy brains?

I've posted here because you folks are my go-to community, but I do wonder if a busy brain just needs more glucose.

Does she fall asleep easily and sleep well?

Gardenmom5 mentioned cortisol levels in a few threads about exhaustion. My DS12 has trouble falling asleep like me even if we up the physical exercise level very high and he also have "low sugar crashes" (tired,dizziness). A cup of sugared water is all it takes to "recover". My DS11 was anemic like me and while he falls asleep fast he still gets dark eye shadows. I find DS12 and I need a fast released sugar rush like a can of Coca-Cola to kick start and then something like dark chocolate to be the slow released energy boost. There is a home test kit for cortisol but I haven't gotten round to getting it to test DS12.

"Cortisol’s job is to mobilize energy so that you can “fight or flee.” Not only can this cause your brain to rev up, making it difficult to drift off, but it also can burn through your blood sugar. When your blood sugar bottoms out in the middle of the night, you’re wide awake and looking for a snack.

I find the best lab test to evaluate your cortisol is the Adrenal Stress Index, a simple saliva test you can administer at home.
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#10 Paige

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 11:42 PM

I have this and so does at least one DD. She was really bad as a toddler. She's not one who I'd classify as an AL, although I was considered one as a kid. For me it was a combination of a low hunger drive and distraction. If I was involved with something interesting/fun/important to me, taking a break to eat was a PITA. Since I was rarely hungry anyway, stopping for food was not a priority. I had to learn to consciously take breaks and not rely on my body to tell me.

 

It manifested in extreme dizziness, shakiness, passing out, and inability to focus. Why do I have it and others don't? I think it's more genetics than intelligence. I was also very thin and had little fat reserves. My dad is very much like me with low hunger and impatience with stopping to eat. He's also probably gifted intellectually, but he doesn't have any hypoglycemia. Even when he was younger and thin he had more fat on him than I did as a teen. I rarely have a problem now because I pay attention to the warning signs.

 

For DD, it was related to extreme food refusal as a young child. She was beyond a picky eater and would sometimes refuse all food until she was unable to stand. It was especially bad in the mornings and after naps. She'd be unable to get out of bed, sit up, stand, talk, and then if we gave her regular food at that point, it would provoke a lot of vomiting. She'd vomit for hours. We learned to feed her very small amounts slowly and the pediatrician advised us to smear cake gel on her lips and gum before she went to sleep. It helped a bit because some of the sugars are absorbed through the skin. She was also a very small child, as you'd imagine, since she wouldn't eat. She's 13 now and hasn't had a problem in years, but she eats now and has a normal hunger drive. 


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#11 TerriM

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 12:50 AM

Given the vast number of low-carb diets, I think that these issues are not limited to AL or PG kids.     Blood sugar swings are normal on a high-carb diet.   Moodiness and tiredness can certainly ensue.  

 

I did Atkins for a while--the first week was crappy, but after I added some fruit back, it was fantastic.  I felt really good, and my body temperature improved--no more cold fingers/toes/nose and and I was able to turn the heat down by 3-4 degrees.

 

 


Edited by TerriM, 01 August 2017 - 12:52 AM.

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#12 chocolate-chip chooky

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 05:31 PM

Thanks, folks. I appreciate your replies.

 

It's all food for thought  ;)



#13 SKL

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 11:11 AM

Interesting timing - I'm just getting ready to call the doctor about my kid - I think she has hypoglycemia and am wondering if there is any underlying cause e.g. hormonal deficiency.

 

I don't think it's related to busy brains, though this kid's brain is certainly busy.  :)  It is such a difficult problem because of the behavioral side effects.  Haven't had a really good day here in a while ....


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#14 SKL

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 11:13 AM

Oh, and I've played with diet a bit over the years ... did not notice any benefits ... but my kid is difficult to put on a "diet" as she is a super picky eater (unless it's sugar).  :/



#15 chocolate-chip chooky

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 04:43 PM

Interesting timing - I'm just getting ready to call the doctor about my kid - I think she has hypoglycemia and am wondering if there is any underlying cause e.g. hormonal deficiency.

 

I don't think it's related to busy brains, though this kid's brain is certainly busy.  :)  It is such a difficult problem because of the behavioral side effects.  Haven't had a really good day here in a while ....

 

I 'liked' this to acknowledge it. I'm sorry to hear you're having these issues too.

All the best with the doctor. I hope you find some answers and strategies.



#16 SanDiegoMom in VA

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 12:35 PM

My son was very sensitive to food swings from three to like 10 years old -- I would have to send a second protein snack to school for him to make it through the day because he just seemed to run out of energy reserves so quickly.  He was also the kid that loved fruit and lemonade -- it seemed like he craved it. For a couple of years my solution was quick -- get him some juice or fruit before he completely melts down! Until I realized that he was just swinging from super high to super low and back up again.  So we switched to protein snacks and I cut out the juice.

 

It was always very funny -- the poor kid would come out right before dinner about to fall on the floor -- mad at everyone, someone not treating him fairly, didn't want to do anything we said, etc etc.  I would almost literally have to force a spoonful of peanut butter in his mouth and the change was drastic -- he suddenly loved everyone and was perfectly amenable to anything we asked.  

 

This is my more intense AL.  His siblings never reacted to food the same way. 


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#17 Paige

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 12:47 PM

Oh, and I've played with diet a bit over the years ... did not notice any benefits ... but my kid is difficult to put on a "diet" as she is a super picky eater (unless it's sugar).  :/

 

When I was in middle school the dietitian recommended that I eat a protein rich snack every 3 hours. At school, they made me drink a Yoohoo halfway through the day to keep my blood sugar stable. The dietitian suggested it because I guess she liked the protein/carb/fat balance and the sugars weren't too high. Or maybe she didn't care about the sugar b/c it was balanced by the protein and stuff. You could try that. I had to go to the nurse to get them and grew to hate them, but it's not terrible. I think they have more flavors now. It worked to end my dizzy spells at school. 


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#18 HoppyTheToad

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 01:53 PM

My older AL becomes very angry when he gets too hungry. The more he needs to eat, the angier he gets and the more he refuses to eat until we just about have to force feed him enough for him to calm down and realize he is, in fact, hungry.
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#19 ThoughtfulMama

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 02:46 PM

I have it, and my parents said I always did as a child too.  As an adult I'm much more in tune, and I try to eat as soon as the "hangry" starts and before the shakes set in.  My DD (5) also has it.  The first symptom is irrational crying, which can be hard to determine except in retrospect.  Then her lips turn white and she gets blue circles under eyes.  We lay her out flat on the floor and have her sip juice until she has color again.  Her pedi said it's much more common in girls in his experience (DH and DS have never experienced it).

 

*Note - oatmeal is also a terrible trigger for me, which is too bad because I like it.  Our whole family eats mainly paleo now (kids are more relaxed about it) mostly because it keep me and DD more stable.


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