Pulse of Oriental Medicine: Alternative Medicine That Works for Regular Folks
Alternative Medicine That Works for Regular Folks









Diet & Nutrition
by Dr. Michael F. Garay
The Western Medical View


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 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 rapidly.

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 correspond.

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:

  1. Confusion, inability to think straight
  2. Hunger, craving for sweets
  3. Tremors
  4. Weakness & fainting
  5. Fatigue is the most common in 90% of people
  6. Irritability, rage
  7. Common complaints are: "I am always tired, don't have any energy, always depressed and feel rushed".

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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 and stress.

Check your adrenal function by taking a self-test:

  1. Lie down and rest for at least 2 minutes. Check your blood pressure lying down.
  2. 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.

Nutritional Aspects

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 sugars.

  • 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 veggies.
  • 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 meals.
  • 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

  1. White sugar and everything made with it such as ice cream, pastries, candies, breakfast cereal, soft drinks, commercial breads.
  2. 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.
  3. All soft drinks, juice drinks, and sugar-free drinks.
  4. 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).
  5. All processed, canned, refined, and denatured foods.
  6. Excesses of protein especially meat.

Best Nutrients for Hypoglycemia

  1. Grain: The best grains are buckwheat and especially millet.
  2. Seeds & nuts: The best seeds are flax seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds. The best nuts are almonds, peanuts & hazelnuts.
  3. Sprouting increases the nutritional value of seeds and grains. Eat sprouts such as wheat, mung beans, alfalfa seeds.
  4. 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.
  5. Fruits must be eaten in strict moderation. The best fruits are sour apples, cherries, strawberries, papaya, grapefruit, lemon, lime and pineapple.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. The best milk products: cheeses, sour milk, goat milk or soy milk .
  9. The best teas are licorice and dandelion.
  10. Non-meat protein sources: pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, lentils, pinto beans, adzuki, northern beans, eggs, tempeh, bee pollen, chlorella and spirulina.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.


  1. Hypoglycemia: a better approach by Dr. Paavo Airola
  2. Hypoglycemia and Diabetes by Kurt W. Donsbach
  3. Prescription for Nutritional Healing by James F. Balch
  4. Hypoglycemia, Dr. Joseph Mercola.
  5. Le Diabete. Vie et Action, Hors Serie 46 bis. Marcq-Lille, France
  6. Hypoglycemia. Jeraldine Saunders, M. Ross
  7. Let's get well. Adele Davis
All information herein provided is for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of appropriate local experts and authorities.
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