Most of us know that our bodies create insulin to handle the sugary treats we eat. And most of us know we get diabetes if our insulin can’t get the job done.

What few of us know is what happens when insulin does its job too well. It’s hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, and it’s the pits. I’ve been there and done that, and there’s nothing I can say to recommend it.

Here’s what happens: You eat some kind of starch, which your body converts to sugar. Your pancreas says, “You want insulin, do ya? Well, take this!” and dumps out way more insulin than you need.

At first, you feel fine. Maybe even get a little energy boost from what you ate. An hour or so later, though, you feel like a truck hit you. Tired like you can’t believe. Brain asleep for the duration. Feeling as energetic as a wet noodle. To top it all off, you may even pass out. You’ll be wiped out for six to eight hours.

What causes hypoglycemia?

  • A high-carb diet–lots of bread, pasta, bagels, desserts–a pretty standard diet nowadays
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Not giving our bodies the ammunition they need to fight the good fight takes us down a lot of dead ends, including hypoglycemia.
  • Alcohol. Our bodies see alcohol as a poison–and a high-carb poison at that.
  • Prescription drugs such as those given to treat infections.
  • But most of all, endocrine problems. If your thyroid and/or adrenal glands get in a tizzy, you’re kind of a sitting duck. That’s how I ended up in hypoglycemic hell.

Testing for hypoglycemia:

Diagnosis comes via a fasting-blood-sugar test. First thing in the morning, after fasting for at least twelve hours, you give a blood sample, then chug down a big glass of what tasted to me like 7-Up syrup. Then for the next four or six hours, depending on the test ordered, you give regular blood samples so they can track your body’s reaction.

Normal blood fasting blood sugar ranges from 80 to 100, although they’re monkeying around with the numbers of late. My blood sugar, at its lowest, was 46, so it’s no wonder I slept through the whole thing, sprawled on a hard couch in the waiting room. They roused me enough to stick my arm out for another blood taking as needed, but I don’t think World War III could have awakened me.

Fixing hypoglycemia:

  • Give up simple carbohydrates and limit all carbohydrates. No more than 20 grams of carbohydrate a day–about half a peach, as I remember.
  • Start (or continue) treatment for your thyroid and adrenals.
  • Put together a good vitamin/mineral program for yourself. The endocrine system pretty much controls what happens in your body, and it’s a nutrition hog. Most vitamins and minerals have specific functions in the endocrine system, and you need to help all of that happen.
  • Don’t fight yourself. Do what you can and get plenty of rest.

More about a hypoglycemic diet:

I went on a diet of five high-protein “feedings” a day. High protein, high fat and almost no carbs–to give my system a rest. Determined to get out of the pit as quickly as possible, I never exceeded my carb limit.

Of course, I was eating steak and all sorts of great stuff, which made maintaining my motivation relatively easy.

I beat hypoglycemia in three months.

I knew a woman, diagnosed with hypoglycemia the same time as I, who decided she absolutely could simply not start her day without a large glass of orange juice. She spent a couple of years passing out at work on more days than not before I lost track of her.

I don’t understand that attitude. There’s nothing enjoyable about bad health, and I much prefer praise for a job well done than sympathy because I’m too sick to do much of anything. Spending two years feeling like death warmed over because of orange juice baffles me.

Hypoglycemia can be reversed, but we need to know it’s a do-it-yourself job.

God is good,

Author's Bio: 

Bette Dowdell defines determination. In a really deep health ditch, with doctors who didn’t help, she got her Oh-Yeah! attitude in gear and researched her way out. She never intended to be a health expert, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. You can subscribe to Bette’s free e-mails on how to solve health problems at http:/ .