Hypoglycaemic attack morning after fast day

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Hypoglycaemic attack morning after fast day

This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  LargeLady59 6 years, 5 months ago.

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  • Hello,

    Many years ago I was diagnosed with reactive hypoglycaemia and had to completely cut out sugar and follow a special eating plan to get it all under control. I’ve been fine for years, but that was one of the reasons I hesitated before doing the 5:2 diet and got the OK from my GP before going ahead.

    I started the 5:2 diet beginning of Feb 2014 and just switch to 6:1 during period week as I find my sugar levels are all over the place then.

    Last Thursday I had my easiest fast day to date: I wasn’t even hungry and ate very little, with my first bite to eat at 4 pm (since 8 pm previous evening).
    Yesterday was a whole other story, though! I struggled. Still kept at it and did everything as normal, but this morning when I woke up I was having a hypoglycaemic attack!

    I woke up fuzzy-headed, weak and feeling very hot, but drenched in cold and clammy perspiration. Tried to get up but had to lay back down. Finally made it to the kitchen and had two teaspoonfuls of almond paste and some water. Eventually felt well enough to make myself some breakfast, but was so knocked out by the attack that I had to go back to bed for an hour and a half, this time cold with a fleece on.
    I was fine when I woke up again, but this episode brought back very bad memories and now I’m trying to work out why it happened and how i can avoid it happening again.

    I wondered if anyone here has had a similar experience?

    You mentioned that you had to struggle to fast yesterday — was it more of a struggle than usual?

    Maybe your body was trying to warn you that, for whatever reason (fighting off a virus, or something), it needed more than 500 cal? I haven’t been formally diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia, but have had experiences that sound like it, and find that I can’t drink water when I’m fasting or exercising or I will get dizzy and lightheaded and extremely hungry, it seems like *anything* hitting my stomach stimulates insulin release. As long as I drink plenty of water while I’m eating, I’m fine, but it certainly has never quieted my hunger as it seems to for other people. Same thing with chewing sugarless gum. Something in my body seems to think that chewing and sweetness means food has to be stored. So I just ride hunger out, knowing it will eventually go away on its own, rather than feeding it with liquids or gum. (Oddly enough, sometimes physical activity will switch it off for a while — I guess my body gets the message that food is not immediately available, or thinks it can shut up because I’m hunting for or gathering it.)

    Anyway, back to your difficulty. Do you think it would work out if you listened to your body on fast day and added more calories if it seemed necessary, since this has never happened before? Would it be a good idea to keep emergency nut butter and water at your bedside? Maybe if you didn’t have to expend the energy to get out of bed to the kitchen you could mitigate the attack if it does occur. But maybe you have thought of these things already, and maybe someone else here has been in the same exact situation and has better ideas.

    Hi Franfit,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply and help me work through it 🙂

    Yes, it was much more of a struggle than usual. I don’t usually have a problem with fasting.
    I wondered two things: 1) perhaps what I have for dinner the night BEFORE a fast day plays an important role and I should avoid sugar and refined carbs then; or 2) like you said, my body could just be weakened by fighting off a virus or something this week and I should just be patient with it. I still feel a bit ‘weak’ today, so maybe I’ll just skip tomorrow’s fast for this week and get back on the 5:2 track next week.

    Have you tried spreading your calorie across three little meals? I know it is not what the book says to do, but skipping lunch never worked for me. I got headaches so needed to try a different approach. I have a small bowl of porridge for breakfast with a few berries, the a Niçoise salad (no dressing for lunch) and a Pret Salmon protein pot for dinner. All adds up to about 520 calories.

    I lost 2.5 stone that way and have maintained it doing 6:1 for more than 6 months. Regular calories throughout the day may help you too?


    Thanks for your reply, minstrel
    I had a fast day yesterday (first since hypo attack) and it went a-OK. Phew!!
    Had my first small meal at 3.30.
    I prefer to do it this way because if i eat too early in the day i just keep getting hungry.
    I just eat something when I feel my brain is losing its ability to focus and that seems to work ok.

    Hopefully I won’t have another hypo attack, but just in case, when I go to bed on a fast night I will follow your advice, franfit, and keep a jar of honey and a spoon next to me 🙂

    I keep a long life orange carton next to my bed just in case of a hypo. They are very cheap, so even if you have to open a litre to drink a few ounces it’s only 45p.

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