Bulletin #185

Hypoglycemia Association, Inc.
Box 165
Ashton, MD 20861-0165
(Founded in 1967)

Our bulletin is not meant to be medical advice. It is written by lay people, dedicated to helping those with hypoglycemia. All cases are individual. If you need medical advice, see your physician.

Hypoglycemia: The Modern Holistic Approach

A Talk by Mark S. Smith, D.C.
reviewed by
Dorothy R. Schultz

One would think, after 28 years of talks on hypoglycemia, we would have learned all there is to know about the subject, but there are still many people from all walks of life who still don't understand it. Dr. Smith gave us some new insights. In preparing for his lecture, he said that he asked himself the following questions:

Why is it necessary to control blood sugar at all? The body wants blood sugar at a relatively constant level at all times because the tissues, and especially the brain, eyes, and reproductive system, use it for energy. Your brain uses about half the sugar. If there are not regulatory mechanisms to keep the concentration up within a certain range, symptoms associated with hypoglycemia such as dizziness or fatigue, or headaches or memory problems occur.

How can hypoglycemia cause so many symptoms? When we talk about hypoglycemia in general we refer to the functional type which means that the organ or organs causing the hypoglycemia are so tired that they can't function normally, yet not tired enough to cause drastic changes in blood tests or to cause a need for surgery or some sort of care just to keep you alive. With functional changes you may not see any changes in the blood but you see all kinds of symptoms. John W. Tintera, M.D. wrote about people with adrenal gland weaknesses. There are no real blood tests for it; the most accurate indicator is how you feel--your symptoms.

What is wrong with always having it high? Eating a high refined carbohydrate diet which always keeps your blood sugar elevated can cause the pancreas to burn out resulting in diabetes. It also interferes with fat and protein metabolism.

What happens when the body regulates blood sugar? Let's say you ate a good meal of complex carbohydrates, protein, and fat without any additives, chemicals, or bug repellent. Your body says, "Oops, my blood sugar level is starting to rise; I am going to secrete insulin to drive glucose into the tissues which will bring the glucose level down in my blood." As it starts to come down it also tells the liver to make enough blood sugar so it doesn't go too far down. Also, if you have adequate amounts in your blood, protein (amino acids) is spared to repair the body. We need the amino acids to make the hormone insulin and to rebuild the enzymes and tissues. Fats don't rebuild you, carbohydrates don't rebuild you, proteins rebuild you. I think that you are familiar with the fact that diabetics have a terrible time healing and one of the reasons is because without insulin they have hardly any protein metabolism. Tiny cuts take forever to heal.

What happens between meals? This to me is the best part because it really tells you what is going on. You are not eating and the blood sugar starts to drop. Bingo! Your hypothalamus, which is like a little thermostat, goes ZIP, causing the sympathetic nervous system to send a signal down to your adrenal glands. They release adrenaline and noradrenaline, which not only gets you going but release glycogen (glucose) from the liver back into the blood. If the liver puts too much glucose in, then insulin comes out and drives it back down again. The whole cycle is constantly going on to some degree. Another backup measure you've got is glucagon secreted by the pancreas when the blood sugar drops too low.

What happens when you are under chronic stress? Any stress, Any Stress, ANY STRESS, heat/cold, mental/emotional, or physical sends out a little red alert. At this time your adrenal glands over-secrete causing your liver to work all the time; your pancreas to work overtime; and your blood sugar to go up and down. When you are young it (usually) stays pretty level.

You could be like some people I see in the stores who can't go a day without cookies, cake, pie, or candy. The beverage stores have no shortage of alcoholic products. Other types of edibles lack minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids, and proteins. Hans Selye, M.D. researched how the adrenal glands swell to meet the needs of prolonged, chronic stress. Then, according to him, the adrenals and the pancreas burn out. You have a "Ring around the Rosy" effect when your body no longer regulates the blood sugar. Your protein metabolism goes bonkers and your liver doesn't make the right type of fats and triglycerides (HDL and LDL).

Between regulating your blood sugar well and the burn out stage you wonder why your memory is short or you are shaky or you have the afternoon hungries or you go to sleep at 4 o'clock in the afternoon or you get headaches if you don't have your coffee. How many hypoglycemic symptoms can you think of that are caused because whatever tissue involved is lacking enough sugar at that point? It can be any place from your head to your toes. This is functional hypoglycemia.

We are not concerned with the burn out stage but the pre burn out stage. Functional disturbances precede pathological disturbances (diseases). We have to learn to listen to ourselves so we can get into risk intervention. We need to find out where you are weak and intervene before you develop a disease. In medicine you are OK or you are burned out and have diabetes. What about the 99% of the time you are in between? That is why the Hypoglycemia Association exits.

How have blood sugar normals changed? Laboratories used to say that normal was between 80 and 120mg%. Then with testing large numbers of people it was found that hardly anybody was between those figures. I get lab reports all the time and I've seen it go down steadily. In our office we use a Glucometer, a device which diabetics use to monitor their blood sugar. We rent it to our patients to take home to give themselves a Glucose Tolerance Test. Instead of glucola, they eat real food to see how their body reacts to it.

To diagnose hypoglycemia you find out what the cause or causes. are. The first, put forth by Roger Williams, PhD, is that each of us is different from anyone else and because of that uniqueness has unique needs. If the environment doesn't meet these needs we get symptoms. Our system breaks down. One of the primary causes of disease is heredity. If your Mom, while you were in the womb, smoked, drank coffee with sugar, at an overabundance of refined foods, your adrenal glands, in fact your whole system could be weakened. If your family has allergies you can bet you are going to have a tendency toward weak adrenals. Your adrenals don't sit there alone, they relate to the other glands. Nothing sits there alone in your entire body.

We have found that eight out of ten people have symptoms of an adrenal fatigue problem. Their blood pressure drops when they stand up or it doesn't rise at least 4 points from lying to standing or sitting to standing which causes dizziness or lightheadedness. If we shine a light in their eyes their pupils constricts then it opens slowly or quivers. It should constrict and stay constricted. This, and tenderness when pressure is exerted on the adrenals (rogogg Sign) show adrenal fatigue. If you have an adrenal fatigue problem you might as well consider yourself hypoglycemic.

The second cause of hypoglycemia is environmental pollution, which could include bad food. You eat candy in the morning instead of food. You can't read the ingredients because they have 10 syllable words. You wonder what the heck you are eating. You don't know but you are eating it and polluting your system. It gives you energy of a kind but it's a stimulant/depressant type of energy--empty energy. Medication might save your life, but it is all toxic. Illness, surgery, emotional stress, too much or too little exercise, bad lighting, noise, TV, pollution, you name it. What does this all do? It depends on what you were given, your heredity, and it causes that to break down even further. Polluting your environment will impact on your heredity and you are not going to feel your best.

How can we do better with our heredity? It's a little late to pick your parents. So you've got what you've got. We have to find out where we are weak an bolster our specific biochemical weaknesses. Do you have too many additives, alcohol, sugar, cigarettes, artificial colorings and caffeine? I can't tell you how many people don't eat breakfast although it's go to be the most important meal of the day. Many patients tell me that their gas goes away when on vacation, that their bowels work fine, or the don't want to eat so much saying, "My sweet tooth is down."

The third cause can be found in the spine. A non chiropractic group came out with this surprising statement. They said that a misaligned vertebrae can irritate the nerves. The nerves control the organs, glands, tissues, muscles, blood flow and everything you do. Misplaced bones can irritate your nerves, then your organs don't work right. This cause is the easiest one to fix.

How would you know when to go to a Chiropractor? You know because you relate a bone being out to place to pain. But pain is one of the smallest symptoms, the last thing that comes. Let's pretend your health is like an iceberg floating just below the surface with all the functional symptoms you can think of but when the iceberg peaks its head up, you get real problems. Then you go to a doctor.

When you have a vertebrae out of place it causes kinesiopathology which means that the bone moves abnormally--too much, too little, wrong direction, has loss of play, change of motion or positional dyskinesia. The second thing that happens when a gone goes out of place is that you have nerve changes which change the nerve signal to your tissues. You can have irritation of the nerve or pressure on the nerve. 10%have pressure symptoms which are pretty easy to note--numbness, tingling, heavy pain. Irritation symptoms are not so easy to note. Autopsy studies showed that 138 people out of 139 had pinched nerves. The nerve leading to the organ that caused death was atrophied over 50% whereas the nerves above and below the atrophied nerve were normal. In other words, pinched or irritated nerves were a significant part of health problems.

Think of a disease that starts overnight...You can't think of one. Viruses and bacteria are opportunists. They are living in each of us almost all the time yet we don't all crumple and turn into a big infection. Think of cancer, heart disease, asthma, bronchitis, they don't hit you overnight. They take years to generate. We want to do risk intervention while you are still in the functioning state.

When you get into a car and turn on the ignition, the warning lights on the dashboard say, "Your lights are on, your door is ajar, your battery fluid is low, your brake pads are not right." You say, "I'd better run down to the Nisson garage and have them check out all this electronic jazz. Wow! Am I glad this car did all that for me." Your body does that all the time but we pay pathetic attention to it. It is not always our fault because we are deceived by what we are taught and that is, unfortunately, to ignore functional problems until they become severe. Everybody's got them so if everybody's got them it must be OK. You need to go to the doctor when you are felling great and ask him to keep you well.


1. Tintera, John W., M.D. Hypoadrenocorticism Adrenal Metabolic Research Society of the Hypoglycemia Foundation, Inc. 153 Pawling Avenue, Troy, N.Y. 12180.
2. Selye, Hans, M.D. Stress and the General Adaptation Syndrome , Brit. Med. Journal June 17, 1950. HAI Bulletin #103
3. Williams, Roger J., PhD, You Are Extraordinary , Random House, New York, 1967.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Says "So Long, Sugar" in Weekly Column

Q: I am 56, a secretary and housewife. I exercise, walk, bike--everything- -but cannot kick the habit of eating too much sugar. Do you have any special tips? I will be indebted to you forever. Sally Posovich, Oscaloosa, Iowa (Jan 15-17, '93)

A: The secret is simple: Never be too far from a quality snack. You can take 200-300 calories between meals--but they must be good calories. What drives your sugar craving is eating those empty calories all the time. Eating sugar makes you want more, so the cycle continues. You must think about this before you get hungry. Be very methodical about feeding yourself: Plan snacks in advance--the timing and the food.

To wean yourself from sweets, slowly replace the sugary snacks with non- sugary ones. For example, say, "My goal this week is to cut my sugar intake in half." Look at it as a process over four to six weeks. You literally might want to have your weekly goals written on 3x5 cards.

Q: At our elementary school, the kids sell candy to raise funds for library books. Doesn't this send the wrong message? (Oct. 16-18, '92)

A: Absolutely, It makes no sense to raise money for healthier minds by selling food for unhealthy bodies. Schools must learn to use different methods to raise funds. Every school has the responsibility to teach children the value of a healthful, balanced diet. Other wise, they'll become adults who are overweight and have cholesterol problems and other risk factors that can affect their hearts. All of that would raise the cost of health care for everyone.

Serving nutritious food in school cafeterias and vending machines is one way to combat this. If we don't begin somewhere, we can tell our kid's health: "Hasta La Vista, Baby!"

What Boys Think: Part II

Q: What makes a guy turn toward you--or away from you?

A: Many things can turn a guy away, like calling him or wanting to be with him every chance you get. Another turnoff is the ditsyness a lot of teenage girls have when they're with friends or are on a "sugar high". Some guys need a calm, cool, collected girl.

There is a general alarm among faculty that students today just can't do the same kind of work that students could do 10 or 15 years ago" said Richard Rossner, Ex. Dir. of the Nat'l Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. "They are not as rigorously trained, particularly in the communicative skills." (writing & speaking)


1. Ask Arnold USA Weekend, 1000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22229-0012 Q: age, ph#'s
2. What do you think? , Parade Magazine, 12/13/92, Write Lynn Minton, Box 4166, Grand Central Station, New York, N.Y. 10163-4166. Questions-include day phone #.
3. Best and brightest U.S. students are increasingly ill-prepared, college report. (Boston Globe) Baltimore Sun, December 27, 1992.