I was recently asked to recommend supplements for someone who deals with hypoglycemia. Since I didn’t know much about hypoglycemia, I turned to the official website of the University of Maryland Medical Center where I found suggestions for nutrition and supplements.
Following these nutritional tips may help reduce symptoms:
- Eliminate suspected food allergens, such as dairy (milk, cheese, and ice cream), wheat (gluten), soy, corn, preservatives, and chemical food additives. Your health care provider may want to test you for food allergies.
- Eat foods high in B-vitamins and iron, such as whole grains (if no allergy), fresh vegetables, and sea vegetables.
- Eat antioxidant foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes) and vegetables (such as squash and bell pepper).
- Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar (unless you need them for an immediate blood sugar increase).
- Soluble fiber, such as flaxseed and pure oat bran, can slow the rate at which dietary sugars enter the blood and help regulate blood sugars throughout the day. Consume 1-3 tsp. of either of these fiber sources before meals. Talk to your doctor first if you have a history of digestive disorders.
- Some doctors may suggest a high protein diet, although evidence is mixed on the benefits. A “Zone”-style diet combines proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in a 30/30/40 ratio and can be very helpful in maintaining stable blood sugar throughout the day. Eat lean meats, preferably those that do not contain hormones or antibiotics. Cold water fish or beans can also be used for protein. Limit the intake of processed meats, such as fast foods and lunch meats.
- Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil.
- Reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids, found in commercially baked goods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Lower caffeine intake, as caffeine impacts several conditions and medications.
- Exercise, if possible, 30 minutes daily, 5 days a week. Light exercise may be advisable at first until you learn how to control your blood sugar and how to manage your diet to tolerate higher intensity exercise.
You may address nutritional deficiencies with the following supplements:
- A daily multivitamin, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B-complex vitamins, and trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium. SFR recommendation: SuperDad, SuperMom, or SuperLady.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, to help decrease inflammation and help with immunity. Omega-3 fatty acids can have a blood thinning effect. People taking blood thinning medications should speak to their doctor before taking omega-3 fatty acids. SFR recommendation: Omega-3.
- Vitamin C, as an antioxidant and for immune support. SFR recommendation: Rosehip C.
- Magnesium, for nutrient support. If you are taking blood pressure medication or other heart medication, speak to your doctor before taking magnesium. Magnesium can interfere with certain medications, including some antibiotics and biphosphate medication. SFR recommendation: Magnesium Citrate.
- Chromium, for blood sugar regulation. People with liver or kidney issues or history of psychiatric issues should talk to their doctor before starting chromium supplements. SFR recommendation: SuperDad (50 mcg of Chromium per serving); SuperMom (100 mcg of Chromium per serving); or SuperLady (150 mcg of Chromium per serving).
- Probiotic supplement (containing Lactobacillus acidophilus), 5-10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) a day, when needed for maintenance of gastrointestinal and immune health. SFR recommendation: Tummy Tuneup (provides eight strains of bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, with 4 billion cultures in each capsule) OR Acidophilus Blast (provides one strain of bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and has 8 billion cultures per capsule).
If you have hypoglycemia, please talk with your health care provider BEFORE adding any of these supplements to your daily regimen. If you’re given the go-ahead to try these supplements, consider adding just one at a time. Try it for a month or so before adding another, so that you can determine which supplements work best for you. If you are helped by these suggestions and supplements, we would love to hear from you!