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Adrenal Fatigue and Hypoglycemia Symptoms

Hypoglycemia Symptoms

A man suffering from Adrenal Fatigue and hypoglycemia symptomsOne of the classic signs of Adrenal Fatigue are hypoglycemia symptoms. Traditionally hypoglycemia is a medical term for a state produced by a lower than normal level of blood sugar.

Unfortunately, no single glucose value alone satisfactorily gauges all people because many variables are involved. While there are no disagreements as to the normal range of blood sugar (90-110 mg/dl), debate continues as to what degree of hypoglycemia warrants medical evaluation and treatment, or can cause harm.

Throughout the 24-hour cycle of a day, blood plasma glucose levels of healthy people are generally maintained between 72 and 144 mg/dL (4-8 mmol/L) while 60 or 70 mg/dL (3.3 or 3.9 mmol/L) is commonly cited as the lower limit of normal glucose.

Many healthy people can occasionally have glucose levels in the hypoglycemic range without hypoglycemia symptoms of disease. This makes hypoglycemia a difficult clinical state to establish in the first place. The problem is further compounded in those with Adrenal Fatigue.

In Adrenal Fatigue, the hypoglycemia symptoms experienced is more often than not sub-clinical. This means that the person has clinical hypoglycemia symptoms even though the blood plasma level is invariably above 60-70 mg/dl. Their fasting serum blood sugar and glucose tolerance tests are usually normal. Conventional doctors not aware of the adrenal influence will miss this.

The diagram below shows how Adrenal Fatigue contributes to hypoglycemia symptoms. Compared to a normal person or even one with compromised insulin control, those with Adrenal Fatigue tend to have hypoglycemia symptoms even though the serum blood sugar may be within the normal range. This is clinically evident. After a meal, those with advanced Adrenal Fatigue tend to have a faster dip in serum blood sugar below the Hypoglycemic Symptoms Threshold (HSL) level compared to normal. This triggers symptoms of hypoglycemia such as irritability and fatigue. The more advanced the Adrenal Fatigue, the more the blood sugar curve is shifted towards the left. As a result, the time between completion of a meal to the onset of hypoglycemia symptoms is shortened.

Sugar and Adrenal Fatigue

For this reason, it is common for those with Stage 3 and beyond Adrenal Fatigue to require sugar replenishment every 2-3 hours. A small snack usually suffices. In fact, as Adrenal Fatigue recovers, this period lengthens. Those with Stage 2 Adrenal Fatigue can go 4-6 hours without food and not have hypoglycemia symptoms and hunger.  Many in Stage 1 can skip a meal and have no symptoms at all.

Graph of blood sugar drops which can trigger hypoglycemia symptoms

Our body needs a continuous supply of energy to maintain homeostasis throughout the day. Cellular energy demand is met by intake of food, which is then converted into sugar. When this demand is not being met, as in Adrenal Fatigue, the body will turn to existing protein and fat as resources of energy. This pathway is not as efficient but, nevertheless is put on overdrive in order to provide the energy required. Without adequate cortisol levels to elevate blood sugar levels by facilitating the conversion of glycogen, fats, and proteins to new glucose supplies, this increased demand is difficult or impossible to meet. Irregular blood sugar patterns with hypoglycemia are common as the body tries to kick start the process whenever it detects a low blood sugar level. This leads to a variety of symptoms.

Hypoglycemia symptoms include hunger, nausea, headache, rage, lethargy, daydreams, confusion, amnesia, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, anxiety, jittery feelings, adrenaline rush, elevated heart rate, memory loss, and in severe cases, fainting, coma, and seizures.

Key hormones regulating blood sugar in the body include insulin, cortisol, and growth hormone. Conditions associated with Adrenal Fatigue that might also play a part in sugar regulation include Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, metabolic syndrome, drug effects, adrenal insufficiency, and diabetes. In the absence of other medical reasons, one must consider Adrenal Fatigue as a cause.

Acute hypoglycemia can easily be temporarily reversed by taking 10-20 grams of carbohydrate (3-4 ounces of orange, apple or grape juice). While this can be overcome with a sugar fix consisting of an instant load of sugary drink or food such as coffee or soda, this is a quick solution emergency remedy only. Usually symptoms go away immediately, but return after 1-2 hours. Reactivation and restoration of normal cell function require extra amounts of energy beyond what is normally required for maintenance of normal energy burn. With each hypoglycemic episode, more cells are damaged. Thus, the body reaches a new low with each insult of hypoglycemia. If this happens at the same time as demand for glucose increases, the stage becomes set for an adrenal crisis. With each plunge, the Adrenal Fatigue increases and hypoglycemia worsens. By the end of the day, the person may feel nearly exhausted without having done anything. Low blood sugar times are most likely to occur at around 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and from 3-4:00 p.m.

Tips in Creating a Personalized Hypoglycemia Meal Plan

Adrenal Fatigue requires a systematic and comprehensive approach to prevent and reverse the adrenal gland symptoms due to its chronic nature. Getting proper nutrition is also essential. Researching and creating a personalized hypoglycemia meal plan does not have to be difficult due to the number of options available. Here are some especially relevant tips from creating a hypoglycemia meal plan.

Tips to Creating A Hypoglycemia Meal Plan

There are many types of protein to add to a hypoglycemia meal plan

  • Consume protein (such as nuts, meat, beans, cottage cheese, whole milk yogurt) and fat (nut, extra virgin olive oil, coconut, whole milk yogurt, avocado) with each meal or snack. This will lead to slower release of sugar in the body and thus extend the time you become hypoglycemic between meals.
  • Take frequent meals in addition to snacks. Avoid taking only 3 set meals a day as well as snacks. Take breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but equally important is to have a mid-morning snack, mid-afternoon snack, and bedtime snack. Do not skip meals or snacks to prevent the low dip of blood sugar.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages, especially on an empty stomach.
  • Also avoid foods made with sugar and flour-pies, cakes, cookies, candies, sweets, and desserts.
  • Make sure you consume at least 1200 calories per day, even if you are planning to lose weight.
  • Also take recommended supplements that have direct adrenal and metabolic support. This will help cortisol and insulin balance as well.
  • Snacks: nuts and fruits; cottage cheese and fruits; whole milk yogurt and berries; apple with almond butter; celery stick with cream cheese; celery stick with nut butter; refried beans; cream cheese and salmon/tuna on rye crisp.
  • Breakfast samples: muesli with whole milk yogurt, nuts and green apples; poached egg on Ezekiel bread; smoothie-add avocado, coconut, whole milk yogurt, nuts and raw egg; vegetable omelet; cream cheese and salmon on whole grain bagel; cooked oatmeal with nuts and fruits.
  • Therefore, listen to your body. Sometimes you may need to eat something every two hours, especially if you are doing mental activity or heavy physical work.
  • Make sure you carry a water bottle around and keep well hydrated throughout the day because by the time you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated.
  • Always carry a snack such as nuts with you wherever you go.
  • Finally the hypoglycemia meal plan should avoid all food with a glycemic index of 60 or higher. Refined sugar and simple carbohydrates such as candies, dessert, white bread or soda only make you feel good for a short period. It is usually followed by a rebound and a low that is stressful on the body. In conclusion, please check out the Glycemic Index chart below for tips on a hypoglycemia meal plan.


Glycemic Index Table
Here is a list of common food products and their actual GI values. These numbers use Glucose as a baseline, which is given a GI of 100. Therefore, all other values are relative to glucose.
Recommended for adrenal: GI <60 (Thus, avoid food with GI >60)
All Green Vegetables0 - 30Apple39
Bread Products
All Bran43Bean SproutsOKApple Juice41
Baked Beans, canned68Barley, pearled25Angel Hair45Bagel72Bran Chex59Beets64Apricots, dried35
Black Beans30Buckwheat (kasha)54Bean Threads26French Bread96Cheerios75Carrots71 - 92Bananas, ripe60
Black Eyed Peas42Bulgar47Gnocchi67Kaiser Roll73Corn Bran75CauliflowerOKCantaloupe65
Butter Beans31Couscous65Pastas, brown rice92Melba Toast71Corn Chex83Corn58Cherries23
Chick Peas33Cornmeal68Pastas, refined65Pita Bread58Cornflakes84EggplantOKGrapefruit25
Chick Peas, canned42Millet71Pastas, whole grain45Pumpernickel Bread49Cream of Wheat71All onionsOKGrapefruit Juice49
Fava Beans80Rice, brown56Star Pastina38Rye Bread64Grapenuts68Parsnips97Grapes46
Kidney Beans30Rice, instant85 - 91Vermicelli35Rye Bread, whole50Life66PeppersOKKiwi52
Kidney Beans, canned52Rice, white70
Snacks, Misc
Stuffing75Muesli60Potato, russet (baked)90Mango56
Lentils, green30
Corn Chips70Tortilla, corn70Nutri Grain66Potato, instant mashed83Orange42
Lentils, red25Graham Crackers74Fried Pork RindsOKWaffles76Oat Bran55Potato, fresh mashed73Orange Juice51
Lima, baby, frozen32Rice Cakes77OlivesOKWhite Bread95Oatmeal, regular53Potato, new, boiled57Papaya58
Pinto Beans39Rye Crispbread67Peanuts10Whole Wheat Bread75Oatmeal, quick66Potato, french fried75Peach35
Soy Beans18Stoned Wheat Thins68Peanut M&M's32
Dairy Products
Puffed Wheat74RadishesOKPear35
Split Peas32Water Crackers72Popcorn56Ice Cream, regular61Puffed Rice90SauerkrautOKPineapple66
Potato Chips55Ice Cream, low-fat50Rice Chex89Sweet Potato54Pineapple Juice43
Pretzels82Milk, regular27Rice Krispies82Tomato38Plum29
Rice Cakes77Milk, skim32Shredded Wheat69Water ChestnutsOKRaisins64
Rich Tea Cookies56Yogurt, sugar33Special K54Yams51Strawberries32
Vanilla Wafers77Yogurt, aspartame14Total76Yellow SquashOKWatermelon74

A man suffering from Adrenal Fatigue and hypoglycemia symptoms

Hypoglycemia meal plan

Dr. Lam's Key Question

To battle hypoglycemia – both the use or natural foods or protein shakes may help.


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