Carb sensitivity, hypoglycemia, diabetes, or other?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Xtina, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Xtina

    Xtina Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    I was once told on this forum that my husband might be carb sensitive. At the time, I shrugged off that possibility, but after an episode over Thanksgiving, I think I need to re-examine it.

    First of all, since this is a health-related question, I'll say that I do intend to send my husband to the doctor, but it's going to wait until he has a job and insurance. So I'm just feeling out whether anyone has experience with these issues here.

    So here's the story. Over Thanksgiving, we were visiting my sister's house. My husband is a fan of making big, scrumptious breakfasts, and he wanted to thank my sister for hosting us. So the day after Thanksgiving, he got up to make one of his signature breakfasts. In true hubby fashion, he went way overboard. This is totally common with him. No matter how forcefully or gently I try to approach the subject, he has to have a grand, outrageous breakfast at least once a week. And a few other days, he'll probably make pancakes or something else gluttonous. This day, he made a hash with potatoes, ham, green pepper, and egg. It was deeelicious, as always.

    We proceeded to take the kids to a train museum and about halfway into the visit, my husband got the shakes. He said he needed to find some food fast because his blood sugar was low. Keep in mind that this is a man who has no personal history of diabetes, although many in his family have had it. I was stunned. Apparently, this happens to him if he eats a high carb breakfast, but he has NEVER once told me about it! I had no idea. None. I knew he's obese and that he loves his simple carbs, but I had no idea that he ever had blood sugar issues. For a healthy-weight person like myself, this is terrifying. I feel like he's probably diabetic and he probably knows it but he's been just living with it because he doesn't want to have to change his lifestyle.

    What I really want to know is whether I'm overreacting about this blood sugar crash he had. Is this something that normal, healthy people have? Or is this a warning sign of something bad that we need to get under control right now? I've never had a blood sugar spike or crash, so it seems like the latter to me, but I value the advice of people with more experience with this than I have.

  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    How long after he ate, did he have this episode?

  3. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Unless he has had his blood sugar levels actually checked by a DR. He does not really know what is causing him to "shake"...
    Thats the first thing i would be telling him... it really could be several different things going on with him...
    I dont think it costs that much to get a blood sugar check at the docs...
    Hope all is okay with him! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    His blood sugar could be outrageously high and unless he's on insulin, fast food would be the very LAST thing he would need, it would only make things worse.

    Time to go to the pharmacy and buy a tester and some testing strips.

    If his blood sugar goes over 550, he could go into a diabetic coma.

    Cut the carbs out of his diet NOW.

    He needs a change in lifestyle. AND it will be VERY HARD on everyone.

    Exercise is a must.

    How old is he?

    Is he often thirsty? Does he have to go #1 frequently?

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  5. chickened

    chickened Crowing

    Oct 2, 2010
    western Oregon
    If he is diabetic he will have HIGH blood sugar and the shakes will not be a symptom. It sounds more like hypoglycemia. Does he take insulin? an insulin reaction can cause hypoglycemia.

  6. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    I am allergic to potatoes.
    He may have an allergic episode.
    The blood pressure drops and you feel like mush in a mesh bag.
    You can have him keep a food diary. Write down what he eats and when he feels bad.
    If carbs alone do it to him, then orange juice or some other food will give him the shakes.
    You can divide out all of the foods that went into his hash, eat them one at a time over a week and see when he feels badly.
    It might also be wheat not just gluten, so in order to know, you have to write everything down and eat simply, no mixed meals like his hash or tossed salads.
    Good luck.
    I hope it is just an allergy. They are bad enough. but avoidable.
  7. SallyF

    SallyF Songster

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    People can have a reactive hypoglycemia: if one eats too many carbs, the pancreas overreacts and produces too much insulin, causing the blood sugar to drop, particularly if he says this happens when he eats a high carb meal. When it happens, he needs to eat a small snack, something like fruit and cheese, or peanut butter crackers. The carbs will solve the immediate problem and the protein will be digested to provide a steady sugar supply to the pancreas, evening out the blood sugar spikes.

    Certainly worth getting checked out by a doctor, even if you have to bite the bullet and do it before he has a job and insurance. Maybe a public health department clinic? I also second Mahonri's suggestions re:
    Time to go to the pharmacy and buy a tester and some testing strips.

    If his blood sugar goes over 550, he could go into a diabetic coma.

    Cut the carbs out of his diet NOW.

    He needs a change in lifestyle. AND it will be VERY HARD on everyone.

    Exercise is a must.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  8. Xtina

    Xtina Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks for all your helpful replies. In response to this question:

    Quote:It's been a couple of weeks so I can't remember for sure, but it was definitely a couple of hours. This was a late breakfast and around the time we should have been having lunch was when the episode happened.

    I don't know if this is related at all, but I think I should mention just in case that he often has vomiting issues as well. It happens for example when he eats a bit too fast or just sometimes for no reason that I can understand at all. He just gets sick in the middle of a meal and has to run to the sink! It's revolting and he says it's no big deal, he's been that way his whole life.
  9. Xtina

    Xtina Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Also, even though I care very much about his health, it's also crucial that we wait until he's insured, because if we don't, the insurance company will call it a pre-existing condition and refuse to insure him or refuse to cover most of the costs. We need this covered if it is something major.

  10. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

    Sep 1, 2010

    I would do the self test before going to the Dr. though, b/c once he has the diagnosis the insurnace companies can withhold coverage on any diabetes treatments for 2 years, or deny coverage all together.

    My husband has had carb reactionary hypoglycemia his entire life, even when he was at a healthy weight, now he is overweight, but we are working on that. He has never aquired full blown diabetes, but have no doubt he will eventually. He is also a simple carb lover, he has just agreed to a low carb eating plan for both weight loss and better sugar control, and as of today he has lost 5 lbs and not had any hypoglycemic events.

    A book that really helped me to understand how sugar problems work and how food interacts w/ it is "The Glucose Revolution" I have both editions but really like the first edition for ease of understanding. You can get it anywhere online for $15 or less.

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