Friday, September 11, 2015

Hypoglycemia and Pregnancy

So here I am pregnant with baby number 6 and in my third trimester. I have dealt with symptoms of hypoglycemia my whole life. I figured out what it was when I was about 20, and was officially diagnosed when I was about 27. The doctors I have seen had very little advice except eat protein and eat more often. I still struggle with symptoms on a daily basis when I am pregnant especially in my third trimester when your body needs more nutrients for your rapidly growing baby.

Here are warning signs and symptoms I experience:

  • It usually starts with me getting short tempered or irritated
  • fatigue
  • overall unwell feeling
  • light headed
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • extreme hunger
  • ect.
The worst part of it all is that it hits me like a freight train during pregnancy. I am totally fine playing with my kids and then I just feel stressed out and super tired. It really stinks, but luckily (through trial and error) I have figured some things out to hedge against it.

Here are some things that help me:

  • Eat small meals ever two hours, even if your not hungry at that moment. I have actually set alarms for this and it really helps. For my body size (5'8" between 130-135 lb when not pregnant) I try to eat about 400 calories (give or take) of whole food (sugar is the devil). 5-6 meals a day.
  • I made a food journal to figure out which foods set me off at different times of the day (I tracked myself for about a week). Anything processed, A lot of processed carbs, sugar (including natural sweeteners like honey, agave, or maple syrup) or oily foods are not good for me before noon, and definitely no treats (sometimes I do indulge at night and it doesn't bother me as much but I still don't feel great)
  • I avoid anything with sugar in it like the plague (processed white sugar). That stuff seriously makes me feel terrible, and I will even wake up the next morning feeling sick and tired.
  • My loved ones are very aware of my situation so when I feel symptoms come on I warn them that my blood sugar is dropping so they can pretty much steer clear of me till I eat.
  • Having food that is whole and healthy prepared in advanced is a life saver because like I said it hits like a freight train so by time I am feeling hypoglycemic I don't have the energy to cook, and just need something to grab and eat
Here is what I eat on a typical day:

  • 7am: I make a green smoothy with lots spinach, kale (or other greens that are in my fridge some bananas, frozen fruit, I love Garden of life Raw Meals in chocolate flavor with a heaping spoon of peanut butter. Most fruit sugars don't bother me if they are in their whole form with the exception of: pineapples and watermelon. I usually make enough for a couple smoothies. (I do not use juice, it does bad things to me, I will if I have it on hand put in unsweeted almond milk)
  • 9am: left over smoothy or a couple pieces of fruit 
  • 11am: I love having a huge salad for lunch, when I say huge I mean the whole head of romain with some kind of protein like organic chicken or beans.I try to just use some vinegar and olive oil with salt and pepper (avoiding store dressing)
  •  1pm: veggies and hummus, avocado
  • 3pm: Homemade Whole wheat bread and peanut butter, Baked potatoes with veggies or pita pocket with veggies.
  • 5pm: This varies a lot depending on the day but most dinner are homemade with whole grains, organic meats and lots of veggies. Example: whole wheat pizza, Stir fry with whole wheat noodles, beans and cornbread and maple syrup, etc. I cook a lot of stuff from scratch. (which I know is hard but I feel so much better when I do)
  • 7pm: leftovers
  • 9pm: I tend to crave sweets at night if I am in a rush or tired I eat fruit but if I feel a little more energetic I might make some whole wheat peanut butter cookies or pancakes and indulge with a glass of almond milk.
This is my ideal diet, I am definitely not perfect and in the society we live in it is so hard to avoid sugary processed foods, but when I do I can feel an immediate difference in the way my body functions.

Having hypoglycemia can be rough but I actually feel grateful for it. It has really forced me to eat healthy. With 5 almost 6 very active children I have to stay at the top of my game and I feel eating the foods that make me feel good help accomplish this and keep me healthy.

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