Delilah’s Mirror Episode 11: Hypoglycemia

Delilah's Mirror Episode 11: Hypoglycemia

It wasn’t until I read The Diabetes Solution by Dr. Bernstein that I realized I had had hypoglycemia for years. Only my problem was I only got mean (and I mean a killing rage) when my blood sugar tanked. I never made the connection then, but I do now.

The other thing that hypoglycemia did for me was give me a terror of going hungry. The Cult of Weight Watchers harmed me more than anything else, I think, in this regard. So I would binge. (Mind, my binges weren’t what you’d call gut-busters like those 16-pizzas-and-3-dozen-eggs-and-4-Big-Mac thingies you see on Jerry Springer – mine was more like a supersize extra-value Big Mac meal with the fries dipped in mayonnaise, dump the drink, and go for a quart of milk.)

And I would binge like a camel so that I wouldn’t go hungry. And then I wouldn’t eat for 24 hours or so. This was my preferred way of eating, and while I could maintain a certain weight doing that (as long as I didn’t eat anything else), my metabolism suffered.

The main purpose of doing this was to keep that gnawing hunger that would turn into a killing rage at bay. I was in deathly fear of going hungry (AKA a blood sugar crash, which I did not know what that was at the time). If you remember my 1st-grade brownie story, that was a very good example of it. Because once I hit that deathly hunger, and didn’t get something to eat, I would turn into Mr. Hyde. But it came on so suddenly I never had warning of it.

Now, reading Dr. Bernstein’s book, I see where there are a couple of anecdotes about this happening to men who, unlike me, did not get something to eat, and ended up passed out and taken to the hospital for a glucose IV. Those men nearly died. Sometimes, I think about this, and I wonder how close I was to that.

I never made those connections until I read that book. Almost all my life I’ve been hypoglycemic, and no doctor ever thought to test for it. No dietitian my mother took me to ever alluded to anything wrong chemically. Even the doctor who experimentally put me on Synthroid didn’t test for hypoglycemia.

The low carb way of eating has alleviated much of that deathly fear. Unfortunately, I have let my blood glucose levels crash a couple of times lately, but it hasn’t been the ordeal it used to be. I went to bed the first time it happened. But the second time it happened, I was a long way away from food, and once I got to a restaurant, I was nearly in tears and about to pass out.

I just have to take more care to eat enough when it’s important to, and not be unprepared in case it tanks suddenly. Hypoglycemia is, I would estimate, about 75% responsible for my “hot temper” in the past. This low carb way of eating has leveled me out.

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