Q: Have you noticed any relationship between food sensitivity and raised blood sugar? And is there a reduction in blood sugars once the food sensitivities have been investigated and managed? Does blood sugar improve for those who manage their fructose and lactose and intolerance well?
A: These are interesting questions. I will try and help your thinking by letting you know where blood glucose levels (BGLs) fitted into care in food sensitive people. Because I first worked with hyperactive children I wondered if there was an increased likelihood of seeing diabetics, but very few patients were diabetic.
However many food sensitive parents reported that they could not let their children go without food or their attention, activity and mood symptoms would get worse, and adults reported that they could not go without all the usual meals and morning and afternoon tea. But they do not report hypoglycaemic symptoms.
Those who had a positive response to diet further reported that once on the diet they could last longer without food. I was very interested to read in Goodman and Gilman’s text on pharmacology that salicylate interferes with glucose tolerance. So I presume this is the reason for the improvement in food chemical sensitivity. This aspect would not apply to allergies.
I have now seen thousands of food sensitive families many with other symptoms besides ADHD. They tend to be lean or normal weight, occasionally a bit overweight.
Sometimes those who are also a bit concerned about weight report that one of the benefits of being on the diet is that they no longer have cravings. They report they can leave chocolate in the fridge and not eat it!
I have wondered about food sensitive people being generally normal weight. I think this is because diet responders tend to be supertasters and so are fussy. But I have also wondered if managing an elimination diet at the same time as managing diabetes or overweight may mean I do not see any people from these groups.
Since my patients are rarely diabetics I have not had any who are measuring their BGLs. Perhaps dietitians working in this area may let us know about food sensitive patients and BGLs. I suspect fructose or lactose intolerance management would be no different, except that care of anyone by an Accredited Practicing Dietitian may mean they better manage glucose intake after instruction about good nutritional food intake.
Gillian harris says
I’m underweight with gluten intolerance and salicylate sensitivity.I get the odd low blood sugar symptom.is this normal
If you are underweight you have no reserve energy when your blood sugar drops so assume you need to eat at least every three hours while you are awake, and even more if working physically. Do use the Best Guess list of foods in my book Tolerating to learn foods containing salicylate in ascending order of risk, with other info on understanding how food sensitivity reactions can vary. As well you should ask your doctor if you have another problem – maintaining your blood sugars. On a personal note I am very lean so when I am working hard on warm days I often fill a glass of water, stir in a teaspoon of sugar and drink it. I know it is not easy to keep finding things to eat but remember to eat whatever you feel like, as much as you can, that is allowed. All the best! Joan
my family ( father, self, son, daughter)- have sensitivities- myself and daughter being amines- but low blood sugar seems to be the presenting big problem.. means we are wary of being anywhere without something to eat… My father.. who does not appear to be amine sensitive, but has had varied food sensitivities that change over the years, can now have low enough blood sugar to pass out or get close to… Have read at different times that hypoglycaemia was not related to too much sugar, but allergies… I know that sugary foods do set it off but not sure about sensitivities… This does not appear to be related to diabetes however..
Dear Barbara, Your comment is a very good example of what I have found in food sensitive people. If you are being low amine and still needing to carry food then you are showing that lowering just amines is not helping as much as you need. The interesting thought is that I mentioned that it is salicylate that is quoted as affecting blood sugar, and because additives are a similar chemical shape to salicylates they are also worth watching in this regard. So all of your family could run a trial of the low chemical diet in Are You Food Sensitive? – lots of helpful detail from Chap 1 to Chapter 6 – and see if that helps. Then do the challenges in Chap 7 and 11. An example would be if you tested low calorie soft drinks, as that would be a test of additive colour, flavour and preservative, and over days of that trial you could note any affect on feeling in desperate need of food.
As well since your symptoms are really severe, especially your Dad’s, you may wish to have a review appointment with a medical physician to make sure there is no medical problem. I am sure you have developed a lifestyle of eating often, [with meal size depending on your weight]. I wish you well in learning more about how this symptom affects your family. It would be great to hear from you in the future. Joan
Susan Linke says
Hi Joan, I am a dietitian/nutritionist and specialize in food sensitivities and use food sensitivity testing in my practice (Mediator Release Testing and the LEAP protocol). I have noticed significant improvement in blood glucose levels within 10 days of putting a patient on a customized elimination diet eating their non-inflammatory foods. In some cases, blood glucose values improve by 30% during that time. It has also helped with weight management for several reasons, one being the fact that water retention is associated with inflammation and food sensitivities so by removing the inflammatory foods, my clients lose their retained water and a few pounds within 10-14 days. There are many benefits to personalizing an anti-inflammatory diet and thankfully we now have the tools to do so.
Hi Susan, It is always great to hear from dietitians who appreciate how it feels to be food sensitive.I am very interested in your findings. That shift in blood sugars must mean the patients feel so much better in their energy level, separate from the symptoms they came to you with. I am sure I would not be alone in wanting to hear the interaction with use of elimination diet and weight control as over the 40 years I have worked in this area I have rarely seen someone where weight is an important concern. Keep in touch. Joan