Thursday, June 05, 2008

'Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show' Episode 144: Dr. Keith Berkowitz And His Low-Carb Hypoglycemia Theory

Dr. Keith Berkowitz reveals his low-carb hypoglycemia theory

Last week I shared with you about a bewildering blood sugar issue happening with me right now. My blood sugars actually DROPPED after a meal rather than the typical rise and then gradual drop that happens in most people. This jogged my memory about a guest blog post I shared about a year ago about this very issue.

In Episode 144 of "The Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore," we hear from the man behind the hypoglycemia theory associated with long-term low-carb weight loss success stories named Dr. Keith Berkowitz from the Manhattan-based Center For Balanced Health. Dr. Berkowitz worked with the late great Dr. Robert C. Atkins and inherited many of his patients who lost significant amounts of weight. Now he's seeing those patients dealing with hypoglycemia and is implementing strategies for dealing with this.

Click on the "LISTEN NOW" link below or download it to your iPod to hear Episode 144:

icon for podpress "The Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore" Episode 144 [21:18m]: LISTEN NOW | Download

Ever since I blogged about my crazy blood sugar issues, people have been wanting to know more about this perplexing phenomenon. Dr. Berkowitz has been mulling this observational theory about reactive hypoglycemia around in his mind for a while now and is actively seeking a researcher to look into this for the sake of those low-carb dieters who have lost a lot of weight and then it just stops. This is something so many of us can relate to in our low-carb lifestyle.

Dr. Berkowitz identifies what this condition is, why reactive hypoglycemia happens even when you eat low-carb, and what you can do to overcome this. This isn't just some quack theory because I'm living it right now. Practical, easy-to-implement strategies in response to hypoglycemia are shared by Dr. Berkowitz in today's podcast and I can personally attest that they WORK! Since I've added many of the suggestions he recommends people with this do, I have lost over 10 pounds in the first week. I don't expect this torrid pace to continue, but it is very encouraging so far. See my menus blog to see EXACTLY what I'm eating, how often, and the composition of the foods.

Never miss anything for your low-carb lifestyle anytime by:

1. Listening at the official web site
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4. Going to iTunes--Click here to subscribe!

What's your reaction to what Dr. Keith Berkowitz shared in today's podcast? Have you experienced a hypoglycemic reaction to eating low-carb and feel "stuck" in your weight loss? Share your experiences with this in the show notes section of Episode 144. I appreciate Dr. Berkowitz sharing his time and expertise with us in today's podcast about this critical issue. If you are concerned about possibly having this condition, then you need to get a glucose tolerance test as soon as possible. This could be the answer you've been looking for.

Tune in again next week as I share an eye-opening two-part interview with Dr. James E. Carlson, the author of a fabulous new book called Genocide!: How Your Doctor's Dietary Ignorance Will Kill You. If you support the high-fat, low-carb nutritional approach to weight loss and health, then you are gonna fall head over heels for Dr. Carlson! Let's just say he's not very fond of the current dietary recommendations of a high-carb, low-fat diet. DON'T MISS the next edition of "The Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore."

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Blogger Jen C. said...

Thanks for bringing us this great interview. Recently I have plateaued and even begun to gain a little weight, despite consistency in what I'm eating and how much I'm exercising. The only thing that's changed is the frequency of my meals! I've long suffered from mild reactive hypoglycemia and now wonder if cutting back to three meals a day from the six smaller meals and snacks is playing a role in my experiences. I guess I'll go back to what I was doing before and monitor for any changes. Again, thanks for bringing this enlightening interview to us all!


6/05/2008 2:34 PM  
Blogger Tom Bunnell said...

Jimmy, The single most important issue we face right now is this reactive hypoglycemia debate.

Connie Bennett has been touting this exact theory since day one of her 'recovery' from her refined sugar addiction. -- About ten years now. Exactly the same hypothesis and theory! -- Eat small amounts of food six to eight times a day including when you get up and before you go to bed. Fat and protein and a small amount of carbohydrate. -- Blueberries, apple or a low carb vegetable etc etc. Always with fat, meat and carbohydrate, mostly fat and meat and a little carbohydrate. The same as the Doctor is saying.

It works.

You are talking to the one guy on the planet earth that understands this 'phantom' or 'phenomena' we call hypoglycemia or reactive hypoglycemia. -- The first thing we will think is this guy is really big on himself thinking he has something that nobody else on this earth understands. I would think the same thing if I hadn't stumbled on to this myself.

I will try to explain: Carbohydrates are stimulants like speed or speeds proper name amphetamines. -- Like speed, carbohydrates are extremely addictive. Were seeing this a lot right now with methamphetamine addiction and crack cocaine addiction.

What most people don't know is that for every person addicted the these stimulants that is in treatment with sores all over them and there teeth falling out and looking eighty years old when they are thirty and all that, for every one of these stimulant addicts described there are one hundred stimulant addicts that look and are living what appears to be normal healthy lives. -- What I'm saying is that meth addicts and cocaine addicts that learn to 'pace' there drug addiction and eat and sleep and exersise properly while using small amounts of there drug often, live healthy productive lives and outnumber the sickly ones by a hundred to one. -- Just like alcohol. -- The percentage of alcoholics on skid row is about one percent or less.

The very well functioning people addicted to the stimulants speed and cocaine are sprinkled throughout our lives and we never know it. Tens of Millions of them. -- Lots of business people and stars and even quite a few politicians. -- John F Kennedy for one. -- I could name many others.

So what were doing if we go the hypoglycemia route is staying addicted and high on carbohydrates for the rest of our lives. -- It will work and it will work well.

We won't get sick and dizzy or any of that because we will have our 'fix' every few hours.

If we were instead to break our addiction fully we would have non of these symptoms in the first place and live our lives not being addicted and 'high' on these stimulants.

It's simply our carbohydrate addictions tricking us into staying addicted.

6/05/2008 2:50 PM  
Blogger deedum said...

OMG, this is what is happening to me! I've long suspected that I have hypoglycemia since childhood but have never been tested.

I have been low to zero carb since January and my weight hasn't budged (just trying to lose 10 lbs I gained last year). I can go up to 4 hours between meals but if I wait to long to eat when I'm hungry I'll feel the classic hypoglycemic symptoms.

This morning I ate 4 oz. steak and some saurkraut thinking I would eat again after 2 1/2 hrs. I got hung up and at 3 hours was very hypoglycemic. Even after eating 8 oz. of steak I still feel like I am coming down from a panic attack. I guess the best course of action is to absolutely prevent the low blood sugar from happening.

I am now convinced that I have to give up the 1 to 2 cups of coffee a day. I've used coffee as an antidepressant and brain booster since college. Maybe getting my blood sugar under control will do that for me.

Wish me luck on the giving-up-coffee thing.


6/05/2008 3:03 PM  
Blogger Me said...

Yes, thanks, this was fascinating and gave me several new ideas which I'll report on after I've tried them.

Meanwhile, I'm not sure I understand the mechanism by which reactive hypoglycemia would cause you to either gain or to fail to lose weight. I'm specifically referring to a situation like yours where calorie and carb intake and energy expenditure seem not to have changed significantly. (I do understand that someone would gain weight if their reactive hypoglycemia made them so hungry they started overeating carbs. But low-carbers aren't doing that by definition.)

Is it because whatever the body is doing to raise that low blood sugar is having some sort of negative impact?

6/05/2008 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arrrgh, the doc completely glossed over the excess-insulin problem, and went right to the low blood sugar symptom.

I wish he had talked about insulin. Are people with this problem, the same ones who genetically squirt out more insulin per carb. Or is it something about how they do low-carb, that does nothing to heal insulin resistance.

The doc said he thought low blood sugar was "abnormal." What if it was a completely normal response to an excess insulin surge. Which we can get when meals are too big, or too much caffeine, or too much sweet taste from lc fake products.

When insulin is too high fat loss stops.

Small frequent meals can be one way to get smaller insulin rises. But it's not the only way.

6/05/2008 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jimmy -
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Before I started LC eating, I ALWAYS had hypoglycemic symptoms - the shakes, headaches, the works. I lost 35 pounds last year on a LC diet. I stopped losing weight in September 2007. My blood work showed better and better numbers (e.g., HDL = Triglycerides) but no weight loss.
I started doing strength training with a personal trainer in March and have lost 4 pounds in the last three months. I'd like to lose another 35 pounds (my doctor thinks 70 - but I'd be ecstatic with another 35) and I've been very frustrated about the lack of weight loss.
I'm going to try eating smaller, more frequent meals and see if that helps the weight loss.

6/05/2008 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous at 6:04 PM.

Frequent feeding looks like a good strategy to keep your blood insulin at a constant level throughout the day, thereby counteracting the symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia. But if you are already insulin resistant, wouldn't the continuous presence of insulin just make you progressively more insulin resistant in the long run? Eventually the constant level of insulin needed would be so high that your pancreas couldn't keep up without drug-induced assistance. Granted, it would happen in years and not weeks, but it is something to be considered.

If I were you, I'd get a second opinion. What do Michael Eades, or Gil Wilshire, or Mary Vernon think about the long-term advisability of using frequent feedings to counteract the symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia?

6/05/2008 7:28 PM  
Blogger Taraneh said...

This was SO helpful - I have had this problem my whole life, and low-carbing has helped immensely, but my blood sugar still acts weird sometimes.

It's hard to find good information about reactive hypoglycemia, especially from a low-carb perspective.

Does it happen to low-carbers just for the same reasons it happens to everyone else?
Where else can we find more info about reactive hypogycemia, especially for low-carbers?


6/05/2008 9:49 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jimmy, this was in my view the most important podcast you have done thus far. I have every single symptom the doctor described and had then even before I gained weight or went low carb. I am losing but I eat all day long and feel like h*ll if I have 3 meals. If I eat too late I can eat an entire fridge of food and still be hungry even as my stomach hurts. I wonder how many bulimics have this going on... I have told bosses in the past that I had to eat at my desk because of blood sugar issues but I thought I was making up an excuse cause the truth is if I don't eat at work I will literally fall asleep at the keyboard! Thank you so much, I will have to do more research to make sure it doesn't cause me to plateau and how to avoid triggering mass hunger binges.

6/05/2008 9:50 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I spoke with Dr. Berkowitz tonight and he's interested in doing a follow-up podcast because of all the interest in this. Send me your questions for him at :D

6/05/2008 9:51 PM  

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