fbpx

How Intermittent Fasting Eliminated My Reactive Hypoglycemia Symptoms For Good

intermittent fasting for reactive hypoglycemia / lady testing her blood sugar
363 Shares

Last Updated on October 9, 2021 by Lori Geurin

Wondering how to do intermittent fasting for reactive hypoglycemia symptoms? You’re in the right place!

I wrote this article to share how intermittent fasting got rid of my hypoglycemia symptoms in hopes that it will help you too. A few years ago I started having blood sugar issues nearly every day. I’d eat a meal or snack, then less than two hours later, break out in a cold sweat, feeling weak, dizzy, nauseated, and like I was going to pass out. Maybe you can relate?

Get our FREE Intermittent Fasting eBook

free intermittent fasting ebook

There were many times I was on the verge of fainting with my head between my knees or lying down on the couch while my husband fed me a banana with peanut butter trying to get my sugars back up. (I realize this story could give you the impression that I’m a diva or high-maintenance, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Really.)

These episodes started coming more often and more intensely. And, with all the other health problems I was struggling with as a result of untreated Lyme disease, I knew I should have it checked out.

PLEASE PIN FOR LATER

intermittent fasting for reactive hypoglycemia

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read our Privacy Policy.

Reactive Hypoglycemia And A Wake-Up Call

My doctor ordered me a fasting 3-hour glucose tolerance test. If you’ve ever been through this you know the experience takes half a day. You have to drink a cold, syrupy (and nauseating) liquid, then wait at the doctor’s office, having your blood drawn multiple times, at 1-hour intervals to check your glucose levels. I remember feeling okay after the first blood draw and feeling sleepy and sick after the second.

Then, after the third blood draw, I was so ready to leave and go home because I felt extremely weak and nauseated. The office was only a 10-minute drive from my house so I didn’t think much of it. But as they say, *hindsight is 20/20.

curvy road with trees

So I got in my car and drove about a half-mile from the doctor’s office. When I got to a sharp curve I’ve driven many times before, I could feel myself fading in and out of consciousness. I nearly passed out, driving off the road and almost into a ditch.

It was frightening. If I’d known how out of it I truly was, I never would have ventured to drive myself home. I was thankful to be safe and that I didn’t cause an accident. Although it certainly wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made, it was definitely a wake-up call.

Here’s a quick video on intermittent fasting and hypoglycemia from Dr. Eric Berg.

Signs of Hypoglycemia and Treatment Plan

As expected, my doctor called a few days later and said my test results showed that I had reactive hypoglycemia. She asked me how I’d felt after the last blood draw and I confessed my near-accident. Then she mentioned she didn’t know how I’d driven myself home because my glucose levels were so dangerously low. She referred me to a special diet for people with hypoglycemia and I started following it right away. She also mentioned looking into intermittent fasting.

As past experience had taught me with my complicated health status, I was cautiously optimistic. Little did I know that I’d found something that would cure my hypoglycemia. And that’s when everything started to change for me and my health…

You can check out our Intermittent Fasting shirts and apparel in our Wellness Lori shop.

Simply click on the t-shirt below.

fast feast sleep repeat fasting t shirt

How Intermittent Fasting Eliminated My Hypoglycemia Symptoms

After making a plan with my doctor, I immediately began researching how to reverse hypoglycemia. I found information about intermittent fasting and how it reduces insulin resistance and can prevent Type 2 diabetes. I started the 16:8 fasting plan (very gradually, at first) and within a couple of weeks, I noticed dramatic improvements in my health.

To learn how I did this, you may want to read the intermittent fasting guide.

The cold sweats, weakness, constant hunger, and cravings for sweets and carbs essentially disappeared. I used to have horrible brain fog due to the neurological impact of Lyme, but IF has helped with that too. Also, I tend to be easily distracted, but during my fasting periods, I’m more focused and better able to concentrate than before.

I wish I’d known about IF years ago because it’s impacted my health in countless ways; Plus, it’s simplified my life. So if you’re wondering if there’s a cure for reactive hypoglycemia, I encourage you to talk with your doctor to see if intermittent fasting could work for you too.

Learn all about the intermittent fasting types!

What Is Reactive Hypoglycemia?

Reactive hypoglycemia (or postprandial hypoglycemia) is simply when you get low blood sugar after eating a meal. It typically occurs within a few hours after eating.

Is Reactive Hypoglycemia A Sign Of Diabetes?

Yes, it may indicate that you’re at risk for developing diabetes. For the good news, keep reading…

Is Reactive Hypoglycemia Reversible?

Yes, it’s absolutely possible to reverse the symptoms of hypoglycemia with some lifestyle changes.

Does Intermittent Fasting Help Lower Blood Sugar?

Yes! One study showed how intermittent fasting reduces blood sugar and fasting insulin levels.

Another study shows how IF can improve insulin resistance. These fasting benefits are beneficial for anyone, but particularly people dealing with blood sugar issues and type 2 diabetes.

What Triggers Reactive Hypoglycemia?

The science is not really clear but it seems to occur when your body makes too much insulin after eating a meal that’s full of carbs. For some reason, the body keeps releasing insulin even after you’re meal has digested.

And this extra boost of insulin causes your body to fall below normal levels.

What’s interesting is that many health professionals recommend eating more often to help manage the symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia. But for me (and a lot of people) this only makes the problem worse.

What changed things for me was eating less often, intermittent fasting!

Here are 50 things to do instead of eating when you’re intermittent fasting.

Can I Fast If If Am Hypoglycemic?

Yes, but I always suggest talking to your doctor first to make sure IF is a good fit for you and your unique health needs. This study looks at a group of young adults who have reported hypoglycemia and how they responded to a 24-hour fast.

How Long Does It Take For Intermittent Fasting To Lower Blood Sugar?

One nurse explains how he brought his type 2 diabetes into remission with a combination of intermittent fasting and walking after meals. He said that intermittent fasting (OMAD fasting) for a week lowered his blood sugars. He was also following a keto diet plan.

INTERMITTENT FASTING PDF
Curious if intermittent fasting could boost your health and results? Get the FREE fasting PDF and find out exactly what fasting can do for you. Just click the link below.

LATEST POSTS

Need some inspiration for your fasting lifestyle? Get 42 powerful intermittent fasting quotes to motivate you.

What Is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?

Fasting isn’t a new concept. It’s been around for ages. The cavemen and cavewomen did it back in the paleolithic era. In fact, our bodies were designed to live through periods of feast and famine. It was a necessity.

Intermittent fasting, or IF, is a timing concept. It is not about what you eat. But it is about when you eat or when you don’t eat.

Most of you have probably been told you should never skip breakfast – that it is the most important meal of the day – or so they say.

Likewise, you have no doubt heard that you should eat frequent meals and snacks to avoid hunger and boost weight loss. Yet, it doesn’t matter how many ‘experts’ repeat this information because the research does not support it.

Author of The Belly Fat Book, Dr. Dennis Clark, remarks:

“The recommendation of eating six small meals per day, to keep the furnace burning hot, has become dogma in some circles. However, the common advice for frequent meals to keep the body’s furnace burning hot makes no sense physiologically or biochemically.” 

Of course, this is probably why when I followed their advice I was constantly hungry, gained weight, had non-stop cravings, and developed hypoglycemia in the first place.

IF has impressive benefits that extend way beyond reduced cravings and weight loss. Let’s take a look at some of the big ones.

(You may want to learn about clean fasting to improve your fasting results.)

Get our intermittent fasting how to guide to learn all about IF!

Proven Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

  • Increased longevity (1)
  • Reduced oxidative stress and inflammation (2)
  • Lowered risk of cancer (3)
  • Lowered risk of type 2 diabetes (4)
  • Regulated hormones (5)
  • Cell repair – autophagy (6)
  • Weight loss and loss of belly fat (7)


Summary – How Intermittent Fasting Eliminated My Hypoglycemia Symptoms

As you can see above, IF has some powerful benefits for health and longevity, including weight loss, a sharper memory, increased energy, and disease prevention. If you’re dealing with hypoglycemia like I was, I encourage you to talk to your doctor about whether IF may be a good option for you too.

For the basics on how to get started with IF-ing please check out The Quick Guide To Intermittent Fasting. Also, if you’d like to see how I transitioned gradually to intermittent fasting (including my eating/fasting schedule) be sure to read the follow-up to this article, Intermittent Fasting And Hypoglycemia.

PIN ME, PLEASE!

fasting for reactive hypoglycemia
Intermittent Fasting For Reactive Hypoglycemia

How To Use Intermittent Fasting For Reactive Hypoglycemia

I wrote an eBook all about my experience with intermittent fasting. This method allowed me to burn fat, lose weight (the effortless way) and be healthy….without feeling hungry. If you’d like to learn more about how I accomplished these great results and how intermittent fasting eliminated my hypoglycemia symptoms, check out my book HERE!

And best of all, David doesn’t have to feed me bananas with peanut butter while I lie down on the couch to help keep me from passing out anymore.

Have you tried intermittent fasting for reactive hypoglycemia and what are the benefits you’ve noticed? Share below!

Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive fun health and wellness tips straight to your inbox.

The information provided in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose, or cure any disease or health problem. Please talk to your doctor about IF to learn if it might be a good option for you.

For more on intermittent fasting be sure to check out:

If you liked this, could you please share this post to Pinterest or Facebook? Thank you!

363 Shares

16 thoughts on “How Intermittent Fasting Eliminated My Reactive Hypoglycemia Symptoms For Good”

  1. OMG I’m so glad I came across your article and I’m definitely checking out your book. I just started this – like yesterday – and I’ve been hypoglycemic most of my life. My grandmother was and then at my age, around 38, turned into diabetes – I am not looking forward to that. I was also told to eat constantly and have for years and struggled so much with my weight. I know I’m only on day 2, but really hoping to see a change soon. I’ve been scared because that shaky feeling you get when you don’t eat scares the crap out of me. I’ve had a car accident passing out from low blood sugar when I was young. I keep food all around me just so in case I crash I have something available to spike me back up. I’m really hoping this works. I wanted to do Keto for many of the same reasons, but I’m more of a plant-eater so going primarily meat was not really a palatable option for me. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Liz! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with hypoglycemia because I think so many people can relate to it. I understand what you mean about the shaky feeling you get when you don’t eat. That used to happen to me many times a day also but not anymore…thanks to the improved health I’ve gained from fasting.

      It has helped me get back in touch with my body and learn when I am truly hungry. I’m excited to see how it helps you to! My best advice is to not push yourself too hard at first. Take things slow. Listen to your body and approach it from a lifestyle perspective. I’d love to hear how you’re doing in a few weeks. Thanks again reading and sharing!

    1. They’re both okay for hypoglycemia if you’re not fasting. If you’re in your fasting window black coffee is fine, but bulletproof coffee is considered dirty fasting and won’t get you the best results. Please check out What Is Clean Fasting And How Does It Work? for more on clean and dirty fasting. Thank you, Elena!

  2. Agreed! I started IF a month ago. I am 38 but was diagnosed with Hypoglycemia right when I turned 18. I was always very healthy and weighed only 105 lbs. After being diagnosed, I was told I needed to eat small meals every 2-3 hrs to keep my blood sugar stable. I would definitely feel it if I went too long. Weak, Shaky, dizzy, feeling like I was going to pass out. I am doing an 18/6 (although some days its up to 16/8). I am starting to feel better, have more energy, the weight is steadily going back down. In hindsight, I look at how I was before my diagnosis. I naturally didn’t want to eat until around 10:30-11 every day and the bulk of my food was right after school around 3:30 then I barely ate much at dinner around 6-7. Why I started passing out and was diagnosed was b/c I started my first normal 9-5 job, and not being able to wait till 12 to eat, I started forcing myself to eat breakfast to make it through. My weight issues started after that diagnosis and I gained the “Freshman” 30 my first semester in college and the weight continued from there. I really wish I would have known all of this sooner. I could have felt so much better these last 20 years. I’m sticking with it and considering one full fasting day a week being added to see how that helps. I am actually even finding the energy to clean 1 hr every night, and I have been getting up to exercise every morning before work. Loving It.

    1. Hi Crystal, Thanks so much for sharing about your experience with IF! I think it will resonate with so many readers.

      I’m happy and excited that you’re having great success with IF. Gaining the energy to do everyday activities and exercise is everything when you’ve been dealing with the symptoms of hypoglycemia. I truly understand that. 🙂

      Hopefully one day traditional medical doctors will get on board with recommending IF to their patients (many already are). But until then we’ll keep doing our IF thing, sharing and reaping all the health benefits.

      I’m encouraged by every success story like yours. There are so many. Thanks again for sharing and hope to hear from you soon! X, Lori

  3. Hey, this resonated with me. I was diagnosed as hypoglycemia when I was 13 ( I passed out a few times and would wake up minutes later feeling like crap). I learned to eat every 2-3 hours and bring snacks when working out. I am now 32. Although my symptoms have decreased (mostly because I manage them and always have peanut butter crackers or something jic) I still have episodes about once a year if I skip too many meals. How did you make it until 1pm without eating or getting shaky?

    1. Hey Brenna! Thanks for sharing your experience – that’s such a great question! My doctor recommended IF for me to see if it would help with several chronic health issues I was having, one of which was the hypoglycemia. IF is proven to improve insulin resistance but people with diabetes are cautioned against doing it. That said, there are many health experts online who will tell you not to do IF if you have hypoglycemia. I shared my story here to show there are always exceptions but not to encourage anyone to go outside their physician’s recommendations. Just want to make that clear. 😉

      In the beginning (the first few days to a week) of my IF journey, I was shaky at times, but I learned to ease into it and let my body adjust. For instance, instead of jumping in with both feet from the start, forcing myself to follow a strict schedule, if I was feeling symptoms I’d go ahead and eat. Then the next day I would stretch my eating time out 10 or 15 minutes later, giving my body time to adjust to the new feeding schedule.

      After the first few days, I could tell a big improvement in how I felt overall and was feeling hungry less and less. In comparison, before IF I was eating frequent small meals and snacks a couple hours apart throughout the day just to prevent passing out. And before IF I felt hungry ALL the time. By the end of the second week, I was in a rhythm and felt better than I had in a long time.

      Over the course of the following months, my body continued to improve in many ways I hadn’t seen since contracting Lyme disease. Now I look forward to my fasting time because it’s when I get my most focused.

      This summer our family took several trips and over those weeks I got a bit off track at times with IF due to scheduling and time zone differences. I noticed a big difference in the way I felt and started having some minor hypoglycemia issues again due to being OFF the intermittent fasting. That was further confirmation to me that IF works!

      Now that I’m back on track I’m not having any of those issues again. There’s no doubt in my mind that IF has done wonders for my blood sugar, memory and focus and even chronic pain levels.

      I can’t speak to the 5:3 method because I found that I prefer the 16:8 (or 18:6 or other variation). I like the daily fasting schedule best but many people like the 5:3 also. If your doctor’s on board with IF for you, you might get good relief from your symptoms and rarely feel hungry again (after your body adapts). Please let me know if you have any other questions and feel free to email me at healthylife@lorigeurin.com

      Also, you might want to check out https://www.marksdailyapple.com/who-should-and-shouldnt-try-fasting/ and search “hypoglycemia” on the page. There are several people in the comments who share similar success stories of having their hypoglycemia cured by IF.

      Hope this doesn’t overwhelm you but I wanted to explain it well. I’m here if you want to chat!
      X, Lori

  4. Lori, my DH has hypoglycemia that he’s having trouble controlling and he also had gastric bypass surgery 14 years ago. I’ve been LCHF (for the most part) for about 4 years. I’d love for both of us to try IF. Is there a recommended water intake during the fasting period?

    1. Hi Lisa, That’s a great question! The recommended water intake during fasting is usually the same as when you’re not fasting, but I sometimes drink a bit more, depending on my activity level. Also, keep in mind that if you’re drinking caffeinated coffee or tea during the fasting period they will have a diuretic effect so you may want to drink more to make up for this loss of fluids.

      According to MayoClinic.org, drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is a “reasonable goal” for daily water intake. If you work out hard, are pregnant or nursing, have health problems or live in a warmer climate you may need a little more. And other days you may need a little less depending on the circumstances.

      I don’t foresee changes with your husband’s water intake needs, but I’d definitely check with your husband’s doctor before intermittent fasting to see if there are any special considerations due to the gastric bypass. I’ve read about how important it is for gastric bypass patients to have excellent nutrition so they get adequate calorie and nutrient intake but I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. 😉

      Also, don’t you love LCHF?!

      Please feel free to email me at healthylife@LoriGeurin.com if you have other questions. X, Lori

  5. This was spot on for me. Now at 28, I’ve felt symptoms of low blood sugar basically everyday in my 20s. Alcohol and Coffee seemed to exacerbate the issue. I can definitely cut caffeine, but do you still drink alcohol?

    1. Hey Adam, I’m glad this resonated with you! So sorry you’ve been dealing with the annoying symptoms of low blood sugar. Great observation about the alcohol and coffee.

      It’s important to consider that drinking alcohol on an empty stomach can cause a healthy person to have a hypoglycemic crash. That said, it would only exacerbate preexisting low blood sugar issues. If you want to have a drink, consider choosing one that’s low carb. Also, have it with a meal (during your “feasting”) or when you have some food in your stomach.

      I hope this helps answer your question and hope to see you back here soon – Thanks!

  6. I have reactive hypoglycemia as well. How did you make it through the first (or perhaps most) of the 16 hours without having to eat some carbs? I have to eat anywhere from 4g-14fg of carbs every couple hours usually. I’d love to try IF but am worried about that 16 hour off period especially if sleeping or the first 2-3 hours after my last meal in the 8th hour

    1. Hey, Chad, That’s a great question and I understand your concerns. Before I started fasting I couldn’t imagine going more than 2 or 3 hours without eating anything because of the hypoglycemia symptoms (faintness, dizziness, ears ringing, weakness, etc).

      It took a couple of days for my body to adjust to the new eating pattern, but after that I started seeing a lot of improvements in my symptoms. At first, the symptoms became less and less severe. After doing IF for more than a year now I rarely ever feel shaky or faint. And that’s saying a lot because it was a daily occurrence before. Maybe you can relate?

      Also, when I started IF I simultaneously began eating a hypoglycemic diet plan that was high in protein, soluble fiber, healthy fats and veggies and cutting way back on sugar and simple carbs. I believe the combination really set everything in motion for me.

      It is an adjustment for your body to make so it takes a bit of time to feel the full benefits, but let me tell you….it has been so incredibly worth it for me. I would have been doing IF years ago if I’d known how it would help. I used to be hungry all the time, even an hour after I ate. Plus, the cravings were non-stop too. It’s so nice to not have to deal with these issues any more.

      I’m not a physician so I recommend talking to your doctor about IF and see if he or she thinks it’s a good option for you. I really hope you’re able to try it and see if you notice improvements with the hypoglycemia. Would love an update on how it’s going.

      Thanks so much for reading and hope to see you back soon!

  7. Hi Anna, Thanks so much for your comment and question! As you know, IF is a timing concept so many people say you can eat whatever you want during the 8-hour window, which is technically true. But for people wanting to lose weight, gain muscle or those with special health concerns I would be more intentional about choosing plenty of healthy, whole foods and trying to stay away from sugar, white flour and processed foods as much as you can.

    Here’s a post I wrote about what to eat while IM-ing for maximum results: https://lorigeurin.com/intermittent-fasting-nutrition/

    Personally, I eat gluten-free about 80% of the time to reduce inflammation. I love the Paleo way of eating – plenty of veggies, protein, healthy fats and fruit, but I do eat beans and peanut butter, so not strictly Paleo.

    The ketogenic eating plan has many health benefits too, and I’m currently into that for health purposes – high in healthy fats, plenty of veggies and moderate amounts of protein.

    During my “feasting” 8 hours I generally eat as much as I’m hungry for. Most days this means eating 2 meals and maybe a snack before bed, but I don’t obsess about it. IM has helped my body find balance and it’s so nice not having to deal with all the cravings I used to have! I don’t count calories, but I do watch my sugar and carb intake. Everyone is different and finds what works best for them.

    I hope this helps answer your questions. Please let me know if you have more. I’m happy to help in any way I can!

  8. Hi Lori, thank you for this article, I’m interested in IF and I would like to know what you eat during your 8 hours window. I digest slowly and for example if I eat at noon difficult for me to eat again 8 hours later, that’s why I’d like to see how you manage your 8 hours time. Thank you again

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

363 Shares
Pin
Share
Tweet