Wheat Intolerance & Hypoglycemia

If your blood sugar levels drops too low, your body will send you signals. Shaking, sweating, feeling weak, dizzy or light-headed, being irritable, anxious or confused are all signs of a hypoglycemic reaction. Low blood sugar can happen even if you do not have diabetes. Consult your doctor if you regularly suffer from hypoglycemia to have some investigation and testing done to determine the source of your blood sugar lows. One of these tests should check for wheat intolerance, as it is one of the potential cause of your problem.

Hypoglycemia can be a side effect of wheat intolerance. (Image: jeka1984/iStock/Getty Images)

Wheat Intolerance

Wheat intolerance is the result of a sensitivity to gluten. Celiac disease is a condition in which gluten exposure triggers an immune reaction and destroys the intestines, but gluten intolerance is actually more prevalent and can be responsible for symptoms that affect every part of your body. If you are gluten intolerant, you could have digestive issues, weight problems, autoimmune conditions like vitiligo, rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Hypoglycemia can also be a symptom of wheat or gluten intolerance, according to Dr. Stephen Wangen from the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle and author of "Healthier Without Wheat: A New Understanding of Wheat Allergies, Celiac Disease, and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance."

Wheat in Your Diet

If you are intolerant to wheat, you need to eliminate all foods made with this grain from your diet. Wheat is the most commonly used grain to prepare breads, bagels, buns, breakfast cereals, baked goods, crackers, pizza dough, chicken nuggets, tortillas, pasta and other processed foods. Wheat is also found in many foods where you wouldn't suspect it, such as salad dressings, marinades, sauces, flavorings and seasonings. Always read the ingredient list of a food to ensure that it is wheat-free. Eliminating wheat from your diet for a few weeks should quickly help you decrease the frequency of your hypoglycemia if wheat intolerance is the source of your problem.

Gluten Intolerance

If you are not only intolerant to wheat, but are also sensitive to gluten, you will need to go completely gluten-free to resolve your hypoglycemia problems. In addition to being found in wheat, gluten is also present in barley, rye and oats that are not gluten-free certified. You can choose food products that are certified gluten-free or base your diet on foods that are naturally void of gluten, such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, corn, quinoa, millet, rice, fruits and nonstarchy vegetables. Choose plain meat, fish and poultry and stay away from the pre-seasoned, marinated or commercially prepared versions.

Other Nutritional Advice

If wheat or gluten intolerance is responsible for your hypoglycemia, your condition will greatly improve after adjusting your diet accordingly. However, you should still follow the standard nutritional advice that will help you keep your blood sugar levels more stable between meals to prevent experiencing a low and its unpleasant symptoms. Eat a wheat-free or gluten-free meal or snack every two to three hours. Select high-fiber sources of carbohydrates and always combine carbohydrate-rich foods with fat, protein or both to stabilize your blood sugar levels.

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