Hypoglycemia after IL: Hi all, I so... - Oesophageal Patie...

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Hypoglycemia after IL

Hi all, I so appreciate this site for all the feedback, encouragement and good information from those who have "been there". My husband is 14 months post IL and recently been suffering with symptoms we now recognize as hypoglycemia. He gets clammy, shakes all over, light headed and weak if he goes too long without eating anything or eats too quickly... or possibly eats the "wrong thing". He doesn't care for sweets, so that isn't a problem to avoid. But I wonder how many others suffer with these spells, and if you have any advice how to avoid them. He has begun to take glucose tablets when they come on, but would rather prevent them if he can figure out how.

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I am 2 years post op and still get these 'hypos', although less frequently, in fact i had one last night, waking up after it at 2am. Usually 2 dextrose tablets fends it off but that didnt work last night. There doesnt seem to be much consistency as to what causes it and things that may cause it on one occasion may not on another. All i can say is they will decrease over time.

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Thank you Eileenq. I’ll let him know that. Best wishes for better days ahead!

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I spend a lot of time seeing how much sugar is in the foods we buy. Early on, as he is, anything above about 5g in one item can cause these symptoms. Best avoid potatoes and whole fruits. Try brown rice and berries instead. You want low GI foods, these are ones that release their sugars slowly. Also try lactose free milk. Three years on and I can still get caught out occasionally and can't always figure out what it was that set me off. But it can be once every few months that happens. I always carry energy tablets just in case. Also having a hot drink after eg a slice of cake will speed up the onset, but not the other way around. Good luck. It gets better and he'll get more tolerant.

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Thank you for that advice. It does seem trial and error but we will pay attention to the sugar level. Grateful to you for the encouragement!

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I am 12 years post surgery and still get hypos occasionally, though they are less frequent and milder than previously. They usually occur 1-2 hours after eating and don't appear to be triggered by anything in particular, but rather a combination of what I've eaten and how tired I'm feeling generally. It's good advice to avoid high sugar content (though I can sometimes eat a chocolate brownie with no ill effects) and I would also void hot drinks immediately before or after eating, as these can cause food to pass through the stomach too quickly.

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I'm happy to hear you are 12 years survived this ordeal! Your suggestions are appreciated greatly! The avoidance of hot drinks was a new one for me to hear. Best wishes for continued improvement! I have seen the fatigue factor make the nausea hypos worse. One day at a time, and I'm optimistic we can all carry on with less trouble as we learn to adjust.

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Hi Nancy,

It’s all about control his blood sugar levels. If they get to high, he’ll get a surge of insulin, which then brings his sugar too low. One option is to have a piece of banana, or suck on a sweet 20 mins after eating. The slow sugar release will then compensate for the insulin spike. It’s quite hard to figure out the timings, so it’ll be a bit of trial and error. If he’s having a hypo, then try eating an apple, which is slower release sugar and gets over the immediate craving to eat anything on site and cause a subsequent hypo.

If you want to prevent the hypo all together, then smaller more frequent meals seem to work for me. I’ve switched to lower GI potatoes (waxy) so I can still enjoy my chips with apple cider vinegar, which also lowers GI.

Keep us posted on progress :)

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Thanks so much for your advice and explanation. I will make sure he has apples around! He is starting to figure out that smaller, more frequent meals work better. I will be researching lists of lower GI foods, thank you! It is so helpful to get these suggestions since post op medical isn't always interested or knowledgeable about the symptoms experienced after IL. Best wishes to you!

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Glad I could help. Drop us a message anytime you have any questions. Note that you can have high GI foods, but in smaller quantities. For example, I can eat a whole mars bar in one sitting and feel very sick afterwards. If instead I ate half a mars bar, then waited 30 mins and ate the other half, I would be fine. So in summary, you don’t need to rule out all high GI food, but just moderate the amount in any one sitting.

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Good to know! I'm hearing that moderation is the key to this new eating pattern. I will pass along this information. Thanks again!!

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Hi, my husband is nearly 5 months post op and is having the same problems, it seems to be a process of trial and error - one day something works, the next day it doesn't! Very frustrating to say the least. The only thing to do is hang in there and keep trying! He has a small glass of Coca Cola, which helps sometimes. Keep going, your husband and mine are still with us!!

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I agree that it is quite frustrating and am trying to keep my husband from getting discouraged by this lifestyle change. The help and encouragement on this site has been the best I've found anywhere. Our medical team was excellent before the surgery and immediately after....but once discharged, we felt we were on our own to figure out many things. My poor husband suspected his cancer had returned every time a new health issue would arise---at least knowing all the others suffered similar post op symptoms made him less worried that he had abnormal results, and that the new normal was not a recurrence. We are lucky they survived and I remind him of that every day! Thank you and Bless you and your husband as you keep going!

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Take care with high fat too like some cheeses, meats, ice cream . Which gives me same symptoms too as well as sugar.

Best wishes

Debbie

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Thank you Debbie. That is interesting about cheeses and meats.... I would have thought the protein in those would have made them all okay to eat. It is really trial and error isn't it? For now, he will try small and frequent meals that do not contain a lot of sugar or carbs. Thank goodness he doesn't like ice cream... that would be a real sacrifice for me;)

Best of luck to you !

Nancy

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