Is this pre-diabetes?

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I don't know what came first; if I became addicted to sugar then started expereincing blood sugar problems because of the long term usage, or if I always had blood sugar problems which lead me to the adddiction through usage. Recently though it's been getting worse.

It basically went like this: I would eat high GI foods (namely chocolate) any time I felt my blood sugar dropping, this lead to a vicious, almost decade long (currently 19) cycle of eating chocolate to curb the blood sugar drop. I would be kidding myself if I thought this had no effect on my body. 

Main symptom: If I don't eat, my blood sugar will fall rapidly. Always thought it was normal but apparently it isn't? Maybe this is more a issue of storing glycogen rather than diabetes?

Thanks.

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  • Posted

    Have you tried changing your diet to eliminate high GI foods and include more low GI foods? You can still eat! – but you need foods (low GI) that are slowly digested and don't cause your blood sugar levels to peak suddenly and then drop. 
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  • Posted

    Dear CD552,

    No, my friend, it is NOT pre-diabetes, not if you KNOW that your blood sugar (glucose) level is dropping.  In pre-diabetes, blood sugar levels tend to be higher than the 'normal' range.

    Do you actually test to be sure that your blood sugar level is dropping?

    From reading what you've written, my first thoughts are that this MAY well be hypoglycaemia [hypoglycemia, if you are, in fact, one of my American cousins].  You would, though, need to have your doctor arrange for you to undergo a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT), which is where you would fast (not eat or drink overnight), have blood drawn to give a 'baseline' for further readings, drink a sickly sweet substance called glucola, then have blood drawn at hourly intervals thereafter.

    A comparison of your blood sugar readings would indicate how efficiently your pancreas is producing insulin in response to the sudden influx of glucose ... the glucola drink.  This would enable your doctor to see if a 'problem' does exist.  S/he could then make a diagnosis.

    If it does turn out that you do suffer with hypoglycaemia your doctor MAY require you to undergo further testing as there are two main types of hypoglycaemia.  The more common type is called Reactive Hypoglycaemia, which occurs when the pancreas overproduces insulin in response to foods and/or drinks that you imbibe.  The treatment for this type of hypoglycaemia is control your food and drinks intake, by eating smaller, but more frequent meals throughout the day ... taking foods and drinks that contain lower GI (Glycemic Index) and GL (Glycemic Load). i.e. with fewer carbohydrates, but also containing more fats and/or proteins.  (Fats and proteins slow down the absorption of glucose, which we get from the breakdown of carbohydrates during the digestive process.)  Sorry, but there's no magic pill that will help here.

    A much rarer type of hypoglycaemia is called Fasting Hypoglycaemia.  This type of hypoglycaemia occurs primarily due to an insulin-producing tumour being present.  This MAY require surgery to put right.  I think you can understand why there's a need for further investigation based on this.

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  • Posted

    I found that my hypothyroidism caused the sugar/ chocolate/ caffeine Merry-go-round. This is a form of self--medication, as the body's endocrine system organs, pancrease, thyroid and adrenals work together to maintain energy levels. So your question as to why you feel the need to self-medicate with sugar and chocolate is a good one. Unfortunately, if you look at symptoms of hypothyroidism and diabetes, they are very similar and interrelated. I'm finding, it is likely that thyroid and diabetes should be addressed together, as in addition to my own experience, my mother was just diagnosed with severe diabetes, having had no prior indications. Doctors think this could have been triggered by medication or other factor, but if you look up causes of diabetes, the list is endless.

    Then you you talk about glycogen storage... Another question.

    To troubleshoot this you can:

    1. Get your a1c, fasting blood sugar and FULL thyroid panel done. I say full thyroid panel because it is old school dogma to test only TSH as a screening for thyroid disease. Unfortunately, depending on how advanced and the type of thyroid condition, TSH levels may show no abnormalities, since TSH levels only tell you what the pituitary thinks is happening in the body, assuming the pituitary is working correctly.  You can get these tests at your annual physical, if you feel comfortable waiting.

    2. My experience is that I get on this Merry-go-round when my body has become toxic. Remember I have low thyroid disease, which slows metabolism and all body functions including the liver and kidney functions, so the body become jammed up with extra waste. I cleanse frequently and eat a paleo style / strict gluten free diet to try and make it easier for the body to function properly. This is a more holistic way to help get yourself off the harmful sugar binging.  Green, leafy vegetables, and particularly dandelion greens help stabilize blood sugar, due to their high mineral/ nutrient content.

    Frankly, for the cravings, I find they indicate a toxic liver, as for me, they go away with liver cleansing.  (I've always felt this is related to thyroid disease)  Lastly, the issues around thyroid disease and the treatment are thought to cause/ increase risk of diabetes. 

    Hope  that helps.

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