Diet & Nutrition
by Dr. Michael F. Garay
The Western Medical View
Hypoglycemia means low blood sugar and blood sugar is blood glucose.
It is the main source of energy, the fuel that makes the body run.
For instance, the brain needs glucose to make decisions & solve
problems. In hypoglycemia, the body fails to regulate blood sugar
levels, and this results in levels too low or levels that fall too
For fifteen years, I had hypoglycemia and for the first
two years no one had a clue. One day I fainted at work.
Several times while I was driving on the highway, my eyes
closed and after a second or so I opened them to find myself
driving off the road. I tried coffee, music, rolling down
the windows, washing my face but to no avail. I must have
avoided an accident only by the will of God.
Hypoglycemia is a classic
outcome of unhealthy nutritional habits, constant mental stress
and negative lifestyles.
It's not a disease - it's a warning.
High Blood Sugar or Diabetes
When glucose levels are too high, the pancreas secrets insulin
to lower it. Insulin pulls glucose out of the blood stream and
carries it into the cells for energy or staorage. If the pancreas
fails, it can no longer produce insulin. The resulting condition
is called Diabetes.
Low Blood Sugar or Hypoglycemia
When sugar levels drop too low, the adrenal glands work overtime
to raise them. The adrenal glands produce cortisone to neutralize
insulin and release the extra glucose stored in the liver. If
the adrenal glands become exhausted, the result is hypoglycemia.
To do to help the adrenal
glands and pancreas,
avoid dramatically fluctuating blood sugar levels.
Natural carbohydrates and low protein produce normal blood sugar
levels. The glucose from these foods is released into the blood
stream over a long period of time.
Problems arise from the ingestion of white sugar, molasses, syrup,
and white flour, because they are digested and released into the
bloodstream too quickly. Such excess of sugars cause a huge strain
on the pancreas, liver and adrenal glands. If this continues,
these organs will not endure. This is especially true of the pancreas,
because it produces large amounts of insulin, even if you consume
a small amount of sugar. An overactive pancreas produces too much
insulin, and sugar levels drop below normal. This deprives the
brain and nervous system of oxygen.
Symptoms and Testing
The symptoms and causes of hypoglycemia vary widely from person
to person. Blood sugar levels and symptoms do not necessarily
Hypoglycemia may mimic neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia,
manic depression and psychotic personalities. The greatest problem
is that practically every symptom of hypoglycemia can be due to
other pathological conditions... this makes it harder to diagnose.
Here are some of the symptoms:
- Confusion, inability to think straight
- Hunger, craving for sweets
- Weakness & fainting
- Fatigue is the most common in 90% of people
- Irritability, rage
- Common complaints are: "I am always tired, don't have
any energy, always depressed and feel rushed".
Simple diagnostic test: If you don't feel well when you
eat sugars, fruits, and diary, try to eat more protein such as
fish, chicken, red meat, seeds, veggies and similar snacks for
1 week. If you feel better, you may have hypoglycemia.
Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT): If the doctor looks for
a drop below 50 mg, he will miss it. GTT of 3 hours may miss types
of hypoglycemia that show up only in the 4th or 5th hours. Normal
GTT is 80 to 120 mg, glucose will rise slightly. In Hypoglycemia
blood sugar the level rises and drops rapidly below normal fasting
level. The lower and the faster it drops, the more severe the
condition. The most important factor in reading GTT is not how
low the level drops, but how rapid the drops are. Drop below 200
to 100 in 1 hour or less may cause more of a problem than a slow
drop in 2 or 3 hours of 100 to 50. Also extremely important is
the speed at which glucose levels return to normal and how long
it remains at a low point. If it drops to only 50 but it recovers
quickly and returns to pre fasting level, it may indicate a mild
case. If glucose is 65, but remains there for several hours, it
may indicate a severe case. In reality, every patient shows a
different individual curve. GTT is not conclusive and it must
always be combined with a clinical examination, complete medical
history and symptoms taking.
The adrenal glands are also called the "stress glands."
They are associated with mental, chemical, physical and thermal
stress. They become exhausted by constant faulty eating habits
Check your adrenal function by taking a self-test:
- Lie down and rest for at least 2 minutes. Check your blood
pressure lying down.
- Immediately stand up and take your blood pressure again.
Normal systolic pressure (the first or top number in the measurement)
will rise 4 to 10 mm Hg in the standing position. If the blood
pressure reading drops in the standing position, you may have
an impaired adrenal gland function. The amount of the blood pressure
drop is proportionate to the degree of hypoadrenia.
A low-protein and high
natural carbohydrate diet
has proven superior to the old high-protein program.
There are many books on this subject and as many versions of
what is the correct diet. This can be very confusing. Authors
have the best intentions but what has worked for someone cannot
always be generalized, especially for hypoglycemia. For instance,
the vegetarian, grain, macrobiotic, vegan, etc. diets are healthy
but do not work for everyone. Some individuals may need meat as
protein. What is extremely important is how you feel after a meal,
and throughout the day. How you feel after 30 min, 1 hour and
2 hours is your best gauge for controlling this condition and
recovering according to your particular body needs. You should
not be sleepy after a meal, unless you overeat. Start with about
40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fats as a guideline only.
Keep a journal of what you eat every day and how you react to
it. This record keeping is very important.
During times of constant stress, periods of physical inactivity,
or even long standing negative thoughts, your blood sugar may
come down even with proper diet. Physical exercise and deep breathing
techniques are extremely important components in the management
of this condition. Many doctors believe that the most common cause
of hypoglycemia is poor adrenal function.
To reverse the condition, the adrenal glands must be allowed to
recover. One must stop all foods and drinks that quickyl deliver
- Eat natural carbohydrates such as vegetables and beans.
- Must avoid sugars, simple carbohydrates like breads, pastas
and white flour products that convert sugars rapidly.
- Do not eat fruits with high sugar such as banana, apples,
grapes, mangos and all dried fruits.
- The body can not handled large concentrations of sugar. Honey
is too concentrated for hypoglycemia, don't use it.
- Vegetable foods contain all 8 amino acids and are complete
proteins such as soybean, peanuts, almonds, buckwheat, sunflower
seeds, pumpkin seeds, potatoes, avocados and all green leafy
- Do not overeat. Eat every 2 hours or between meals. This is
one key factor to controlling hypoglycemia. Normal people who
eat a breakfast high in sugars have problems controlling their
glucose through the day.
- Take B complex 50 mg, Vit C 1000 mg, and Vit E 400 units after
- Eggs are almost the perfect food.
- Alcohol, coffee, soft drinks, tobacco, salt, overeating, sweets
and especially faulty eating habits are stimulants that drain
the adrenal glands and contribute to hypoglycemia.
- Coffee raises glucose levels in diabetics but drastically
lowers blood sugar levels in hypoglycemia. The combination of
coffee and sugar is extremely harmful.
- Food allergies may be initiated or aggravated by hypoglycemia
and low blood sugar may cause food allergies.
- Severe emotional stress can raise and decrease blood sugar
levels and exhaust the adrenal glands.
Foods to Avoid
- White sugar and everything made with it such as ice cream,
pastries, candies, breakfast cereal, soft drinks, commercial
- Other forms of sugar such as brown, raw, turbinado and fruit
sugars. Honey can be used in strict moderation - not more than
1/2 tsp at a time, max. of 1 tsp/day.
- All soft drinks, juice drinks, and sugar-free drinks.
- Excessive amounts of sweet fruit or vegetable juice even if
they are natural or without sugar added such as carrot, corn,
grape, apple, orange juices (because they all contain large
amounts of sugar).
- All processed, canned, refined, and denatured foods.
- Excesses of protein especially meat.
Best Nutrients for Hypoglycemia
- Grain: The best grains are buckwheat and especially millet.
- Seeds & nuts: The best seeds are flax seeds, sesame seeds,
chia seeds and pumpkin seeds. The best nuts are almonds, peanuts
- Sprouting increases the nutritional value of seeds and grains.
Eat sprouts such as wheat, mung beans, alfalfa seeds.
- Vegetables are important and potent health-building foods.
They should be eaten at every meal and some raw veggies if possible.
Fresh garlic, onions and avocados are excellent for hypoglycemia
because they suppress insulin production. If you are overweight,
eat 1/2 avocado per day. Other veggies are string-beans, Jerusalem
artichokes, tomatoes, green pepper, cucumber, celery, radish.
Use sea salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, lemon, and lime.
- Fruits must be eaten in strict moderation. The best fruits
are sour apples, cherries, strawberries, papaya, grapefruit,
lemon, lime and pineapple.
- The best herbs are goldenseal, lobelia, wild yam, juniper,
cedar berries, garlic, dandelion, chicory, horsetail, cornsilk.
Make an infusion. The best time to drink it is first thing in
the morning or 2 hours before or after a meal.
- Lemon is especially important because is an excellent re-builder
of the liver. A three day liver detoxifying treatment: 1 glass
of fresh lemon water every 2 hours is a great way to rejuvenate
a congested and toxic liver. Take it on an empty stomach to
assure trouble and gas free digestion. Every morning drink 1
glass of fresh lemon or lime water. Your daily water intake
should be 1 quart (946ml) per 50 lbs.
- The best milk products: cheeses, sour milk, goat milk or soy
- The best teas are licorice and dandelion.
- Non-meat protein sources: pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds,
lentils, pinto beans, adzuki, northern beans, eggs, tempeh,
bee pollen, chlorella and spirulina.
- Hypoglycemia drink: 1 cup almond or soy milk, 1 cup yogurt
or 1/2 cup low sugar fruit juice, 1 Tbsp brewer's yeast, 1 Tbsp
sesame, flax or chia seeds, 1 Tbsp licorice powder, 1 Tbsp Spirulina.
- Chromium, a trace element is very important for blood sugar
problems. Brewer's yeast, one of the best supplements for this
condition, contains many nutrients. Zinc is usually lacking
in people with low blood sugar and it is essential for healing;
the best zinc sources are whole grains, seeds and nuts. Vit
B and brewer's yeast are an excellent source of B complex vitamin.
Pantothenic acid is another recommended nutrient.
- Hypoglycemia: a better approach by Dr. Paavo Airola
- Hypoglycemia and Diabetes by Kurt W. Donsbach
- Prescription for Nutritional Healing by James F. Balch
- Hypoglycemia, Dr. Joseph Mercola.
- Le Diabete. Vie et Action, Hors Serie 46 bis. Marcq-Lille,
- Hypoglycemia. Jeraldine Saunders, M. Ross
- Let's get well. Adele Davis