A Health Update

Happy Friday!

Man, did I have a blast reading through your creative chip ideas yesterday!! Popchips should have plenty good ideas for its next new flavor Winking smile haha

So I figured today would be a good time to give ya’ll an update on my health. I alluded to it in this post, but lately I’ve been incredibly frustrated with my progress in dealing with PCOS.

Before this week, this is what I’ve done to remedy it:

  • switched to a grain-free (close to paleo) diet
  • limited caffeine
  • decreased alcohol consumption
  • started seeing a naturopath and taking these supplements and following this regimen
  • eased off about half of that, because it was way too much

Up to 80% of women with PCOS have some sort of insulin resistance. Because I’m thin, not obese, I figured I was in the 20% who doesn’t have insulin resistance. Turns out, I was wrong. For the past year, I’ve had sporadic episodes of not feeling quite right in the middle of cardio. I’d feel shaky, weak, faint, and sweaty about 20 minutes in. I’d usually brush it off as I didn’t eat enough beforehand, or ate too much – like I  here after a run, and here after eating froyo on an empty stomach.

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Yep. I’ve got blood sugar issues. But here’s the thing – I just figured if I had blood sugar issues, than it was high blood sugar I’d have to combat. Turns out I have the exact opposite problem – low blood sugar.

Last week I had a banana with a little almond butter for a snack, and then took Niko on a walk. Well, about 45 minutes into the walk, I started experiencing the shakes, weakness, dizziness, and sweating. I even had to slow down to a really slow stroll. When I got home, I called my dad and told him about my experience, and told him I really think that I have some high blood sugar issues going on. He said it sounds like low blood sugar – hypoglycemia- and to take my blood sugar levels with a glucometer.

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I bought this early last week, and have been doing several tests with it. The first one was about 2 hours after I experienced that episode, and it was in the high 70’s, which is pretty low. Over the next few days, I made the following recordings, 2 days in a row:

  • fasting blood glucose
  • BG 1 hour post-meal
  • BG 2 hours post-meal
  • BG 3 hours post-meal

Then I made a doctor’s appointment – with an MD with a specialty in diabetes and insulin problems – for this week and brought in my readings.

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The doctor said that although my numbers aren’t super low, they were on the low side of what they should be, and the symptoms I described fit the bill for hypoglycemia. I told him the last thing I wanted to do was go on medication, and I also briefly told him about my history being diagnosed with PCOS. He said the two could go hand in hand, and told me to do the following:

  • Eat smaller meals spread throughout the day instead of 3 main meals (bummer – I like 3 main meals better, but have been doing the 5-6 smaller meals this week)
  • Eat lower carb – about 30% carbs
  • Try gaining a few pounds – He said although my BMI was in a healthy range (22) I was pretty lean, and hypoglycemics tend to have lower body fat. He said not to gain too much – but a few pounds could help.

PaleNO

If you haven’t already noticed, I’m not really following a paleo diet anymore. sI’m still eating gluten-free, but I feel like eating paleo – and to no avail – is stressing me out a bit, which is counterproductive to getting results.

Examples:

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toast..

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chips..

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..and pizza, oh my!

So that’s where I’m at now, summed up in one post.

Have a good Friday, all! Today’s actually a very happy Friday for me – starting with a power yoga class, 3 quick clients in the mid day,  hike with Shane at RMNP, and then dinner at my favorite restaurant!

PS – don’t forget to enter my Katy’s Kettle Corn Popchips giveaway!

Have you ever had blood sugar issues? What did/do you do to remedy it?

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Comments

  1. I’m glad to hear you are getting answers and I hope these tweaks are just what you need! I’m not a fan of the Paleo label myself. I’ve definitely dabbled in strict Paleo but just found that it was way too restrictive for my liking! I like bread and don’t want to give it 100% ever :)
    Danielle (@CleanFoodCreativeFitness) recently posted..Very Vanilla Almond ButterMy Profile

  2. Can you explain why the doctor told you to eat LESS carbohydrates? From what I understand you would need more carbohydrates to help combat low blood sugar…

    • He said that’s actually a misconception. When you eat more carbs, your pancreas pumps out a LOT of insulin, only to crash in a couple hours, thus the carbs promoting the blood sugar roller coaster.

      • From my research, its a pairing: Like an apple WITH almond butter….a banana dipped in protein powder mix + coconut oil, etc (as long as the protein/carb/fat is there , then there is no crash…so I think that’s why the whole “zone” thing is touted…like on the website I linked below “Julianne’s Paleo and Zone Nutrition “. I know stuff like rice and sprouted grain bread, etc is promoted (no real sugars in there) over sugary fruits…but I want both :)
        I love bananas and pineapple and oranges and CRAVE them.

        I wonder if we both gaiin some weight if it’ll all just …work out. I dunno. I’m still trying to figure out if my bowel, gut and extreme fatigue issues are due to thyroid, blood sugar, hormones!!, adrenal burnout (biggie) or what….doctors are so….frustrating. If I could afford a functional medicine doctor , that’d be neat, but then again, they all have 20 differrent opinions depending who you go too.
        I also think lower weight or body percentage and STRESS are huge in these things. Mental stress is perhaps the most significant factor of all.
        Other interesting sites I’ve discovered that have some interesting thoughts are on Matt Stone’s 180 degree freedom site : http://180degreehealth.com/2013/01/diet-recovery-2013 . Gives good links and food for thought re metabolism and more…a lot to think about!

    • I was going to mention the same thing Paige did, when I got diagnosed I was told to eat a small amount of complex carbs with protein, since it would help regulate blood sugar levels better, so I was told to increase my protein more.
      Lisa recently posted..Coffee TalkMy Profile

  3. thanks for the update friend, and glad you are slowly figuring this out! i know you are a rarity with this condition, so it can be frustrating, but God will use you. Keep up the positive outlook, and PIZZA! hehe
    cottercrunch recently posted..Flavors, Finds, and GOVeggie! RecipeMy Profile

  4. I’m not exactly sure I’ve had blood sugar issues, though I have had fainting episodes where no one could tell me WHY it happened. It’s frustrating and annoying, and I’m sorry that you’re having to deal with this. I hope you get answers and feel better soon!
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..Fitness Friday & An Awful Race PhotoMy Profile

  5. I’m sorry to hear you have yet another health issue to deal with. I’m doing a post on my diet next week too, and I’m not strict paleo either. I’m still avoiding dairy but welcoming in bread and rice :)

    I’ve never been tested for insulin resistance either. I did have a random period where I started feeling light-headed during my workouts, but I think that was related to something else as it only happened for a month or two. I notice that I have to go about fat loss very differently to most of my clients, however. My body is super sensitive to any kind of carb so I typically have to go quite low carb to see results. That doesn’t make me happy because I love my carbs!
    Tara @ Sweat like a Pig recently posted..Building a fine bootyMy Profile

    • Thanks, friend. Fortunately (?) the two probably go hand in hand, so perhaps if I tackle one, I’ll tackle the other.

  6. This is very interesting. I actually have the same issues with shakiness midway during cardio and always blame it on not eating enough before. Last year I went to my doctor about it, they ran blood tests, and my blood sugar came back near the diabetic side. However, they repeated the blood work for 3 months after and it always came back normal. Yet the episodes still happen to me when I workout certain times of the day. I never thought to track my sugar levels myself.
    Ashley @ Life and Fitness recently posted..Bulu Box SurpriseMy Profile

  7. I’m really sorry to hear that Paige. I hope now that you have more of an understanding of what you’re dealing with you can find some relief soon!
    Kacy recently posted..A future, unplannedMy Profile

  8. Such good times, right? I think I have a similar issue because I get that same feeling…I will definitely be looking into that- glad you posted about it!
    Erica recently posted..Hi Franky!My Profile

  9. Great news that you’re figuring things out! I’ve never felt dizzy or faint like that during a workout before, but I definitely get hit with exhaustion when I don’t eat often enough. I’m a big fan of the smaller meals throughout the day, you’ll get used to it I’m sure!
    Meghan @ After the Ivy League recently posted..Thursday Thoughts on FridayMy Profile

  10. So happy to hear you are getting answers and moving forward. It sounds like you have a great plan! Go girlie go!
    Krysten recently posted..Finding Ultra – Rich RollMy Profile

  11. Girl…these hormone issues/imbalances are so frustrating! I’m right there with you and think your plan to reduce stress (in terms of eating) sounds really smart. Stress can do crazy things to our bodies, in and of itself! Keep up your patience and persistence, I know it will pay off.
    Natalie recently posted..Co-Working OutMy Profile

  12. girl this is so frustrating for you! i think the best way to solve everything is just to stress less you know?! i find the same kind of thing for myself that when i over think things it just gets awfully awful – important thing is just to have fun right?! it still doesn’t change the annoyance though! xoxo

  13. Oh man, I’m so sorry you are going through this! Hopefully the doctor’s suggestions will help get things under control. It’s so frustrating to feel unwell and not be able to pinpoint the reason (I’ve dealt with some GI issues in the last couple of years… it must be a food intolerance, but taking blind guesses and eliminating certain foods with no results drives me crazy!) Thanks for sharing… hope you can figure all this out!
    Catherine @ A Two Storey Home recently posted..Elliptical Climb WorkoutMy Profile

  14. I have hypoglycemia as well! And it sucks haha. Especially that I have panic disorder too, since if my blood sugar gets too low, I’ll just break out into a panic attack. I just always make sure to carry snacks everywhere with me, that’s something why I also don’t like working out at the gym in case an attack happens, which has happened to me many times before…not fun to experience, it almost feels like you’re dying. The hormone imbalances are definitely frustrating, but with time and a little patience you’ll figure it all out! You’re doing amazing already!
    I’m sorry that the hypoglycemia is yet another thing to deal with, just keep up that positive attitude!
    Lisa recently posted..Coffee TalkMy Profile

  15. While it must be frustrating to deal with, it’s great that you’re starting to get answers as to what’s been going on. I hope the latest tweaks help!
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted..Five Things Friday: 03/29/13.My Profile

  16. Thanks for the update! When I went through my ED five years ago I had extremely low blood sugar, but was able to put weight on and then the symptoms went away.

    Always here for you <3

  17. Oh man, I hope you are closer to figuring out what exactly it is that makes you feel GOOD. It’s great that you’re trying everything though and keeping an open mind! Hooray to eating pizza!
    I would probably jump for joy if my doc said to gain a few lbs. I can’t even imagine….
    Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning recently posted..5×5 For Friday: Throughout The WeekMy Profile

  18. I have hypoglycemia and I have a really tough time controlling it. I try to eat every few hours if I can though!
    Allison recently posted..Shakeology & A Nice Change of PaceMy Profile

  19. It sounds like you’re on the right path. I know all of this is frustrating, but I’m glad you’re figuring it out! I’ve been thinking about you. I hope you have an incredible weekend Paige!
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) recently posted..Rain, Go AWAY and Strange, But Good WafflesMy Profile

  20. Oh, and I’ve noticed other bloggers with similar blood sugar issues but they def. dont’ neglect the carbs….hmmm
    there’s a new book out by Dr. Mark Hyman (well respected researcher) The Blood Sugar Solution…might be interesting. Who knows.

    • Oh and also “The Zone Diet”….there is a site by a NZ researcher Julianne Taylor called the Paleo and Zone Nutrition Zone and she outlines ideas there….yes, grains are not off limits, etc…

      I’m in my 30′s and am SO messed up with all my systems and am tired….and lost…I’m tired of trying to “fix” this and be “healthy and good” (hello: orthorexia) and kind of want to “lose it” , yet also kind of can’t and need to be straight and narrow in order to fix this right. This PLAIN sucks. Wish I had an awesome ND like you. If I could afford and actually find one that would be specialized in these topics, it woud be great….in meantime, Its like I’m gonna have to adopt a stronger faith or something :) Cause things often seem..hopeless.

  21. Sorry to hear about your blood sugar issues. Hopefully now you know what you are dealing with it will be easier to try and remedy.

    I could never do Paleo as it seems way too restrictive for me and I’ve done restrictive diets before but always find I will go crazy with my eating once I go off them.
    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats recently posted..The Liebster Blog AwardMy Profile

  22. Thanks for keeping us posted, Paige! It’s really interesting to follow along with your journey towards a healthier life– and thank goodness you seem to finally be getting some answers. Keep up the great work. I know it must be frustrating but you’ll gain total understanding soon :)
    Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance recently posted..My First Crossfit ExperienceMy Profile

  23. Thanks so much for the update girl! I have low blood sugar too, and my ND told me to always pair protein/fat and fruit together. If I eat an apple, have some almond butter or almonds with it. Things like that! I’m so glad that they found it now before any damage was done!

  24. Marie-Sophie says:

    I do have low blood sugar as well. About half a year ago I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue (I think I mentioned that in a comment) which means hormonal mess. So similarly to you I have been trying to get my hormones back into balance and low blood sugar is part of that. So you might try and talk with your holistic doctor as low blood sugar is part of the hormonal imbalance!

    • Marie-Sophie, Would LOVE to chat…I struggle with adrenal burnout, blood sugar issues, hormonal issues too. Any litte “food for thought” from others is super appreciated! (Not sure if you’ll automactically get this.

  25. I actually just saw this randomly on FB the other day…I can’t vouch for it (I watched the video but don’t know anything about this program) but thought I’d share. http://www.goodlifeproject.com/alisa-vitti-what-if-drugs-werent-the-answer/
    and: http://floliving.com/about.html
    West Coast miles recently posted..Pain in the Toes Part Two- A SolutionMy Profile

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