Bulletin #38

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.

Energy-Diet-Case History

From the earliest moments of life, we are fed sugar in some form. It is found not only in candies and desserts, but in baby foods, canned vegetables, soups and meats, and in vitamins and medical preparations. It is known medically that some persons crave sugar and in a real sense are sugar addicts. (Some drugs and narcotics are known to cause addictions but less attention is given to the addiction of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, sugars and starches). How do we know they are addictions? Because they are so difficult to give up. Usually, the more we use, the more we crave.

Disturbed Carbohydrate Metabolism means that a person has too much blood sugar or not enough. A diabetic has too mucha and hypoglycemic not enough; some people have too much immediately after and not enough before the next meal. The problem of disturbed carbohydrate metabolism is not well understood and has frequently been ignored and/or overlooked. Controlling a number of symptoms is possible if a person can give up sugar and limit other carbohydrates.

What are the Symptoms? Fatigue, nervousness, fears, and apprehension, light-headedness, faintness, irritability, uneasiness, cold sweats, fast heast action (palpitation), trembling, restlessness, confusion, headaches, and inability to concentrate, to name a few.

What happens when blood sugar is low? The body, in trying to adapt to low blood sugar, may develop weakness, muscle or joint pains, gastrointestinal provlems, and may be unable to handle stress. When the blood sugar is low, the brain doesn't function properly. The person goes to pieces under stress, emotional and/or physical. Emotional instability with insomnia and depression may suggest mental illness but may be due to the presence of low blood sugar or a low blood sugar reaction. The brain and all other bodily functions must have a steady supply of blood sugar for all functions. Any food raises sthe blood sugar level. When a hypogllycemic eats sugar he experiences a very undesirably, rapid rise in blood sugar level. A rapid rise is followed by a rapid fall and soon the person is tired or haungry again. This indicates that the mechanism for handling refined sugar is not functioning properly.

To maintain energy and avoid swinging from a high blood sugar level to low, one must frequently of the foods that take longer to digest and thus gradually feed sugar (glucose) into the system over a longer period of time. Vegetables and fruits contain mainly beneficial carbohydrates. These foods, in limited amounts, produce necessary sugar in the blood stream. Even meats and fat supply some glucose and, along with controlled carbohydrate intake, constitute an ideal diet for hypoglycemics. Evidence comes from studies of a number of isolated groups of people in various parts of the world who do NOT use sugar and do not seem to contract civilized man's diseases that are associated with refined foods.

At age three , V. had many illnesses, mainly respiratory viruses or tonsilities, each one followed by a relapse. He would perspire at night for several weeks after each illness. By age four, he was perspiring heavily every night, requiring his soaked pajamas to be changed periodically and his pillow to be turned over. The blue pillow case had a large visible whit salt ring each morning. His hair always smelled sour.

V's kindergarten and first grade teachers reported that, although he ws a bright boy, he seemed unable to concentrate and seemed to have a sort of day-dreaming or pre-occupation although he did learn.

When he was six years old , all these difficulties disappeared. We assumed that he was maturing and it had all been only a phase. We would look at other ill-behaved children and say, "They'll grow out of it. Ours did." What we did not realize at the time was the connection between his behaviour and the fact that my husband had me cook a high protein, low carbohydrate diet so he could lose weight. We were on the diet for aboul 6 months. When the desired weight was lost, I went back to our prior diet making noodle dishes, desserts, and breads. V's behavior reverted back.

As V. approached age seven , the problem increased in intensity. We began to disover that we could tell every time someone had given him a piece of candy or sugared drinks or cereals after school because he ould react about an hour and a half later in an irrational or hysterical manner. On days when he had no sugar, our dinner hours were pleasant. Our pediatrician, who acknowledged that some people did react in this manner toward sweets, recommended a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. Three weeks later, V's first grade teacher commented that he no longer seemed tired or distracted in class and that for the first time all year he had played every day on the playground instead of sitting with her. His report card improved. We noted that within a month of going on the diet, the perspiration at night was minimal. Giving him vitamin C stopped the perspiration. We maintained a very strict diet. He became so cooperative that he refused candy shen it was offered to him. He felt so much better without it. Friends commented on his calmer attitude and the sparkle in his eyes. He became noticeably more affectionate. He would sing to himself, which he did not do before, and began to use humor in difficult situations. He concentration and stick-to-itiveness greatly improved.

On two occasions , we allowed the diet to deteriorate by allowing more carbohydrate (no sugar though). Both times, there was a resulting irritability which was completely relieved by returning to eh stricter diet with protein snacks between meals. We note a great improvement when we keep the carbohydrates around 100 gm. V. enjoys counting them and it gives him a more tangible goal when he can see how they add up. Realizing that some bad behavior is a normal part of growing up and not a cause for panic, we can relax and enjoy our lively, playful 8 year old boy. He eats the following diet which doesn't include many eggs because of his dislike of them.


Sardines/Smoked fish
Cottage cheese
Cottage chees/oat pancakes


Chicken, meat, fish salad
Ham between chees slices
Celery with cream cheese or peanut butter
Fruits, vegetables




Cheese or peanut butter on spoon lick off
Strawberry milkshake-egg-nog with frozen strawberries blended.
1 oz meat, raw vegetables, nuts