What is Hypoglycemia
“In essence, hypoglycemia is low blood sugar, and it is increasingly prevalent in our society. Hypoglycemia can cause an array of symptoms, including dizziness, fatigue, mood changes, PMS, sugar cravings, headaches, difficulty concentrating, tremors, temperamental outbursts, depression, excessive sweating, hot flashes, palpitations, cold extremities, abdominal pain and panic attacks”.
Article by Ronald Hoffman, MD, Author of Natural Therapies for Mitral Valve Prolapse. https://drhoffman.com/article/hypoglycemia/
MVPS and Hypoglycemia
(Low Blood Sugar)
Excerpts from the book,
My Action Plan for Stopping the Symptoms of
Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome/Dysautonomia
Including the Overlapping Symptoms of
POTS, Fibromyalgia and
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME
The causes of hypoglycemia can be from not eating often enough, failing to consume adequate protein, and taking in too many refined carbohydrates.
How It Works
When sugar enters the bloodstream, insulin enters as well, grabbing the sugar and carrying it to the cells for use.
This rapid process can leave insufficient sugar in the bloodstream, resulting in low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. The body then releases adrenaline to raise blood sugar levels, which, in my case, triggers MVPS symptoms and adverse adrenaline symptoms. That is why I avoid sugar. Refined carbohydrates like white rice, pasta and bread rapidly break down into glucose in the body just like a sugary food, so I avoid eating those items except in combination with protein.
Hypoglycemia and Not Enough Protein
Eating a piece of chicken, a hard-boiled egg, or some other form of quick protein can counteract hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Protein helps stabilize and sustain blood glucose (sugar) levels. It also helps slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, reducing spikes in blood sugar after meals. Eating protein at every meal and for snacks can usually keep my blood sugar levels steady all day.
Hypoglycemia and Too Much Sugar
People who feel hypoglycemic fatigue during the day will often say they need a quick pick-me-up, which usually means eating a food high in sugar. That strategy isn’t the best idea with MVPS. As noted earlier, adrenaline causes vasoconstriction which can trigger my MVPS symptoms, including arrhythmias and migraine headaches.
Hypoglycemia and Not Eating Often Enough
Blood sugar comes from the food we eat and is used for energy. When blood sugar levels are too low, the body becomes starved for energy. To help provide the needed energy, the body releases adrenaline to raise blood sugar levels. As I stated, this can also trigger my MVPS symptoms along with the symptoms of hypoglycemia. (See symptoms of hypoglycemia below)
Eating Protein Before Bed Helps Prevent Morning headaches and Other Symptoms
I eat a protein snack before bed to prevent morning hypoglycemia, which is caused by not eating for an extended period overnight. When this happens, I can wake up light-headed or with a headache. If adrenaline kicks in to elevate my blood sugar, I can also start my day with one or more of my MVPS symptoms.
Hypoglycemia and Panic Attacks
One doctor I know maintains that unless proven otherwise hypoglycemia or low blood sugar causes anxiety or panic attacks. When I reviewed this condition, it made perfect sense.
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
In addition to the direct effect of adrenaline, some of the symptoms of low blood sugar can make the adrenaline reaction worse.
• General weakness
• Heart palpitations
If I am dealing with the symptoms of both, I can be left feeling hungry and shaky with a migraine headache and arrhythmias—all at once. Eating some protein every three to four hours throughout the day has turned out to be an easy way to keep my blood sugar levels even and prevent a flare-up of my MVPS symptoms.