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 Post subject: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:30 pm 
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Loves Carrots (in the biblical sense)

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I have a friend who is a practicing Christian and he seems somewhat receptive to opening up to a vegan lifestyle. (The pastor at his church has been talking alot about going green.)

But his first question to me was that he is hypoglycemic (diagnosed by a doctor as such) and he's concerned about what he could eat besides his sardines or other animal protein, that are his favorite because they make him feel the best when he starts to get a reaction. He said he's tried non-animal sources of protein but they just don't cut it for him.

Any advice that I can give him is welcome. Thanks in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:37 pm 
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I am hypoglycemic in theory. I haven't had an episode since going vegan even when I've eaten things I really shouldn't have.

I think in general, follow a lowered GL diet helps a lot. Limiting processed foods helps as well. Whole grains vs processed grains and such. If he cooks, he might look at something like Vegan Dad's cookbook or something that utilizes seitan which heavy meat eaters might find satisfying. I don't eat a lot of seitan myself though.

Nuts are also pretty satisfying and if you want a quick snack between meals to avoid an episode, they are a good way to do that.

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:00 pm 
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Loves Carrots (in the biblical sense)

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linanil wrote:
I am hypoglycemic in theory. I haven't had an episode since going vegan even when I've eaten things I really shouldn't have.

I think in general, follow a lowered GL diet helps a lot. Limiting processed foods helps as well. Whole grains vs processed grains and such. If he cooks, he might look at something like Vegan Dad's cookbook or something that utilizes seitan which heavy meat eaters might find satisfying. I don't eat a lot of seitan myself though.

Nuts are also pretty satisfying and if you want a quick snack between meals to avoid an episode, they are a good way to do that.


Thanks for your reply. At this point seitan will sound very foreign to him ... he only just found out what vegan meant. But I'll mention it to him. Maybe I'll take him to the vegan chinese place near me one day. He does eat nuts ... but says nothing cuts it like a can of sardines for him. I told him well okay, be a pescatarian for now (despite the pain they do suffer, the environmental reasons, and the toxins) ... but at least eliminate the farm animals, and then as time goes on work on the fish issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:11 pm 
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I have an enzyme deficiency and don't use glucose as efficiently as other people. My hypoglycemia improved dramatically when I went vegetarian, and even better when I went vegan. I very rarely get low blood sugar anymore, as opposed to daily before. Tell him to go for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:37 pm 
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Loves Carrots (in the biblical sense)

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creep wrote:
I have an enzyme deficiency and don't use glucose as efficiently as other people. My hypoglycemia improved dramatically when I went vegetarian, and even better when I went vegan. I very rarely get low blood sugar anymore, as opposed to daily before. Tell him to go for it.


Thanks so much ... can you tell me what you eat to boost yourself? He especially needs suggestions for when he's on the outside. As far as I know he eats a lot of pizza, and sometimes gets hamburgers (to which he told me he's been starting to feel guilty about since I've been talking to him).


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:43 pm 
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I have reactive hypoglycemia-- my blood sugar is always fairly low, but when I ingest high GI stuff, I release too much insulin and it drops dramatically. Been this way since I was a little kid... I don't think veganism has made it any worse or better. Though eating balanced meals and cutting out white flour definitely has.

My go to for sugar drops is a glass of unsweetened almond or soy milk... Small amount of carbs and some protein and some fat, and I can get it down even if I'm pretty messed up.

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Loves Carrots (in the biblical sense)

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coldandsleepy wrote:
I have reactive hypoglycemia-- my blood sugar is always fairly low, but when I ingest high GI stuff, I release too much insulin and it drops dramatically. Been this way since I was a little kid... I don't think veganism has made it any worse or better. Though eating balanced meals and cutting out white flour definitely has.

My go to for sugar drops is a glass of unsweetened almond or soy milk... Small amount of carbs and some protein and some fat, and I can get it down even if I'm pretty messed up.


This is solid information to give him, thank you! I think he'll like the unsweetened almond milk. Soymilk, don't know he may be skittish about controversy. How about unsweetened coconut milk (like the So Delicious or Silk brand, in the 1/2 gallon) ... do you drink it and does it help? Personally I love coconut milk.

I wish you continued health.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:08 pm 
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lionandlamb wrote:
creep wrote:
I have an enzyme deficiency and don't use glucose as efficiently as other people. My hypoglycemia improved dramatically when I went vegetarian, and even better when I went vegan. I very rarely get low blood sugar anymore, as opposed to daily before. Tell him to go for it.


Thanks so much ... can you tell me what you eat to boost yourself? He especially needs suggestions for when he's on the outside. As far as I know he eats a lot of pizza, and sometimes gets hamburgers (to which he told me he's been starting to feel guilty about since I've been talking to him).


I just make sure I eat regularly, and it's rare that I'll need something immediately. If that does happen between normal meals, I usually eat something carby (bread, tortilla chips, crackers), but not sugary. High-sugar foods like soda do tend to make my blood sugar a little wacky, but I don't really eat/drink stuff like that anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:29 pm 
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Loves Carrots (in the biblical sense)

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:29 pm
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Location: NYC
creep wrote:
lionandlamb wrote:
creep wrote:
I have an enzyme deficiency and don't use glucose as efficiently as other people. My hypoglycemia improved dramatically when I went vegetarian, and even better when I went vegan. I very rarely get low blood sugar anymore, as opposed to daily before. Tell him to go for it.


Thanks so much ... can you tell me what you eat to boost yourself? He especially needs suggestions for when he's on the outside. As far as I know he eats a lot of pizza, and sometimes gets hamburgers (to which he told me he's been starting to feel guilty about since I've been talking to him).


I just make sure I eat regularly, and it's rare that I'll need something immediately. If that does happen between normal meals, I usually eat something carby (bread, tortilla chips, crackers), but not sugary. High-sugar foods like soda do tend to make my blood sugar a little wacky, but I don't really eat/drink stuff like that anyway.



Thanks I'll mention that to him ... those Good Food chips with the flaxseeds (Costco sells a big bag) he might like, and multi-grain bread.

BTW -- I took at peek at your blog and congrats if you are new mother! That latchkey lime pie looks good ... are they all recipes from Isa's books?


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:12 pm 
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I just joined the forum today, so hi! This thread caught my eye as I have reactive hypoglycemia. I've been a vegetarian since long before I started actually properly controlling my hypoglycemia so I can't speak as to comparisons before and after cutting out meat. I just recently cut out dairy though, and while it eliminated one of my go-to blood sugar snacks (cheese and crackers) it's not been too difficult.

The key is eating regularly (if he doesn't already he needs to make sure he eats every single time he starts feeling hungry, asap, then he won't have to rely on emergency foods to bring low blood sugar back up rapidly). And definitely avoiding refined sugar as much as possible. No sugar, no corn syrup, be careful with things like agave nectar, maple syrup, and even fruit juice. Whole (unjuiced/unsqueezed) fruit is okay in moderation, especially if it's a fruit with a lot of fiber, but he may need to assess his own tolerance level for it. I can't do smoothies in any substantial portion sizes because they crash my blood sugar but I'm okay with a handful of whole berries or something like that.

He should try make sure every meal contains some protein, some fat, and some complex carbohydrate. The combination of the three help keep blood sugar levels stable. Fiber is very helpful too. He's probably associating meat-based foods with feeling good because they contain fat and protein, so he just needs to make sure he replaces both of those together in each meal. I.e. have beans with a decent helping of olive oil or avocado, or a nut/nut butter (fat and protein in one!) and some kind of whole grain. If his regular meals are balanced he'll probably find he rarely needs those "emergency fix" foods. I only need them when I've been bad and waited too long to eat, or eaten something sugary.

As far as quick stuff to eat when he's out, I'm still pretty new to not relying on cheese so I'm still learning myself, but a frequent go-to meal for me is tacos. Any place that serves Mexican food and is veg-friendly will provide and easy way to get everything you need quickly in one meal. For example I'll eat tacos with brown rice, black beans, guacomole, and lettuce and feel great for a while. Sandwiches are good too, on whole grain bread with avocado and/or hummus (I try to get both when I can) and some greens/sprouts. Greek food is also an excellent option since they'll have so many veg choices that are rich in protein (chickpeas galore).

For emergencies, I also keep Larabars on hand. Larabars are the only energy bar I can deal with because they actually make flavors that don't have added refined sugars. He should still check the labels though, as some do. He'll want one that has nuts in it for the protein/fat and no added sugars. I don't recommend eating these as a snack regularly though as dates still naturally contain a lot of sugar so it could crash his blood sugar even though it's not refined, but they're good for emergency situations where blood sugar is already low and you need to eat something immediately to tide you over until you get real food.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:43 pm 
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Loves Carrots (in the biblical sense)

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Super-helpful seashells! I'll wait awhile to convey all these answers to him ... I don't want to come off as being pushy. He even said to me that he knows I want to convert him. But he also said that he now feel guilty when he goes for a hamburger, because of my talks with him.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:20 pm 
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Happy to help! And yeah I can sympathize. My fiance is an omnivore and while I've never bothered trying to get him to go veg, I always wanted him to go more plant-strong...it's so hard to walk that fine line between being annoyingly pushy and being helpfully persuasive.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:41 pm 
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I've said it before, but: hummus is a magical food. It's tasty, portable, and has a nice ratio of protein, fats, and carbs.

I'm hypoglycemic, but I'm a million times better as a vegan than I was as an omnivore. I try to limit my consumption of bread (always a problem for me because I'll eat so much at once) and avoid fruit juices or fruit on an empty stomach, but I'm otherwise good to go.

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:51 pm 
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Dr. Apricot wrote:
I've said it before, but: hummus is a magical food. It's tasty, portable, and has a nice ratio of protein, fats, and carbs.

I'm hypoglycemic, but I'm a million times better as a vegan than I was as an omnivore. I try to limit my consumption of bread (always a problem for me because I'll eat so much at once) and avoid fruit juices or fruit on an empty stomach, but I'm otherwise good to go.



Thanks, good tips too.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:29 pm 
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Dr. Apricot wrote:
I've said it before, but: hummus is a magical food. It's tasty, portable, and has a nice ratio of protein, fats, and carbs.

I'm hypoglycemic, but I'm a million times better as a vegan than I was as an omnivore. I try to limit my consumption of bread (always a problem for me because I'll eat so much at once) and avoid fruit juices or fruit on an empty stomach, but I'm otherwise good to go.


Dr. A, I was just popping in to suggest hummus, and it occurs to me that you are the one that suggested it to me years ago when I made a thread about hypoglycemia...

lionandlamb, love that you're looking out for your friend. I totally get where he's coming from, cuz hypoglycemia is no fun and it's important to be prepared for when low blood sugar strikes. So yeah, hummus with some whole wheat pita is a good call. I find that my blood sugar is pretty good as a vegan unless I'm doing things like drinking 2-3 cups of coffee a day or eating cupcakes like it's my job (which I've been known to do on occasion). So what I meant to say is that preventative steps are important- eating good, balanced, high protein, low carb meals is a great way to be a successful hypo vegan.

If there's anything else we can do to help your friend out, let us know! Get him on the forums. : )

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:16 pm 
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thanks dakini. i'll make a list for him from these posts. Yeah hummus ... mexican food ... I'll bet they'd be new ones for him that he would enjoy.

How about unsweetened coconut milk? DOes that have any positive affect for a hypoglycemic? I bet he's enjoy that.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:45 pm 
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What does it feel like to have hypoglycemia? I'm wondering if I have it. I have to eat every few hours, and if I don't eat immediately when I get hungry, I feel like I'm going to pass out. (I've never actually passed out; I usually am able to stuff myself with food by then.)


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:01 pm 
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It has been a long time for me but I remember shakiness/dizziness most of all.

Here are some symptoms:
* hunger
* shakiness
* nervousness
* sweating
* dizziness or light-headedness
* sleepiness
* confusion
* difficulty speaking
* anxiety
* weakness
http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/h ... /#symptoms

I remember the last time it happened to me, I had the hunger, shakiness then I just wanted to lay down and actually became incredibly irritable and didn't want to eat at all. I luckily recognized what was happening and forced myself into the kitchen to get a snack and immediately felt better.

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:30 am 
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I think it varies by person, but my symptoms are light-headedness with a little headache, and I get extremely irritable. It has to be pretty extreme for me to get any of that other stuff too.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:54 am 
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Yo, going to the doctor about hypoglycemia this morning. I'll report back!


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:20 pm 
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Doc just said to eat 5-6 small meals per day. Not everyone feels faint and shaky if they are having a late lunch, so what's the deal?


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:45 pm 
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Small frequent meals didn't work for me. I have reactive hypoglycemia and have gotten to the point of fainting or not being able to stand and seeing spots from a sugar crash. What has worked is a very low carb, moderate protein, high fiber diet, eating at about the same time each day three not too big meals, and not being afraid of adding fat. Being at a healthy weight and exercising are also helpful because this can be a symptom of an excess insulin surge (which can eventually lead to diabetes as cells become resistant to the surges of insulin). I keep glucose tabs in my office in case of a crash, but it always takes time to get out of.


My hypo has gotten worse as a vegan, but I think I can attribute that both to aging and weight gain. It can be hard to manage the "eat all the time" message and not gain weight. Low carb eating has been really helpful on that front - I just don't have insulin surges and then don't need the handful of nuts or whatever in between meals.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:47 am 
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kimba wrote:
Doc just said to eat 5-6 small meals per day. Not everyone feels faint and shaky if they are having a late lunch, so what's the deal?


You may want to ask for a second opinion. Hypoglycemia is usually diagnosed with bloodwork, the kind where you don't eat and hang out for three or four hours and they test your blood every hour. I declined to do all of this because I am 100% positive I am hypoglycemic, and because I pass out every time my blood is drawn.

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:30 am 
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Well I think my symptoms were pretty clear. Delayed meal, shakiness, feeling weak, sweaty, like I might pass out, cured with sugar. It's not reactive hypoglycemia because of the timing. I just wish I knew the why. My mom just told me that happens to my dad sometime too, so maybe it's just genetic?


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone hypoglycemic here?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:31 am 
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I will get a second opinion though actually because I am moving and will have to find a new doctor anyway!


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