Solving Another Great GP Mystery!
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I have always been known to do my own research to help my specialists with my Idiopathic GP care. Recently I was told my kidneys are causing more problems as they filter and flush fluids way too fast! This started a few years ago. We all chalked it up as part of my Idiopathic Gastroparesis. I have done all the urine output tests, blood work, urine cultures, etc. NOW after doing a bit of my own research we have finally found the culprit behind this connected GP problem. There are quite a few of us GP'ers who have problems either with sugar levels too high or too low. Mine tend to run very low even after consuming chocolate or sugar which I am limited to only one brand and two types. I am constantly finding myself craving SUGAR! Not cake or baked goods but sugar. I have also connected the constant urination around the times I am craving sugar. Some say I am a sugar junkie or sugar addict and they are very close to the truth. We have recently found my low blood sugar issues and kidney problems connected to GI problems due to my Idiopathic Gastroparesis. I am unable to gain the weight due to my body is not processing the sugar correctly or breaking it down properly. I also don't spike sugar levels even if I was to consume a handful or entire bag of sugar/candy. My specialists had me using a blood sugar monitor over the past year and sure enough my readings do not elevate. In fact after all that sugar they still run low under 80 and I am back in the bathroom urinating constantly. It takes so much sugar for me to feel better and not have the shakes or dizziness. I still crave it on a daily basis.
NOW WE KNOW WHY.
Is there a cure to this madness? No. Once again doctors must treat symptoms as they arise-if they can be treated. To put it bluntly my body needs the sugar, if not I would either constantly pass out or be in worse trouble. Darn if you do and darn if you don't because my kidneys are doing overtime. Just another organ that is forever damaged and altered due to Gastroparesis.
Here is some info on sugar and connected GI problems. Any of it sound familiar to you?
SUGAR: Without the sweet treat, one may feel tired, light-headed or confused. There may be shaking or weakness that is relieved by eating something sweet. More extreme symptoms include shaking or tremors, severe headaches, nausea or even vomiting.
CAUSES OF PHYSICAL ADDICTION TO SUGAR
Sugar, in the form of a substance called glucose, is the basic fuel of the body. Other sugars such as fruit sugar (fructose), milk sugar (maltose) and others can also be broken down in the body to glucose.
Normally, our bodies do not require sweets, however, for food. We eat starches such as rice or bread, potatoes or carrots. We may also eat fats such as butter, eggs, and meats, and even protein foods. All these should be decomposed or broken down if needed into glucose in the digestive system and the liver. The name of this process is gluc.
When a person must eat simple sugars, or even honey or fruit juices on a regular basis, it implies that one cannot breakdown complex foods into sugars.
In other words, the craving arises due to the body's inability to properly digest and utilize other, more complex carbohydrate foods, or fats in amounts sufficient to fuel the body. Therefore, one wants to eat the end product - sugar.
This is as bit like having a clogged fuel system in a car. The normal way that gasoline reaches the engine from the fuel tank is by passing through as series of steps to "process" the gasoline. However, if the fuel system is clogged, gasoline must be poured directly into the engine without the usual processing, bypassing the usual fuel filter and other steps, or the car will not run.
WHY THE BODY'S FUEL SYSTEM DOES NOT WORK
As in the automobile, sugars in the body must pass through a number of steps in order to be digested, converted, moved into the cells and utilized there for energy production. A blockage anywhere along the fuel conversion process can and does cause sweet cravings. Before discussing the trouble spots or places where blockages occur, here are the basic steps in the body's fuel system.
1) Complex carbohydrates or starches, fats and oils and protein foods are eaten.
2) Proper digestion actually begins in the mouth, with chewing to disintegrate the food and enzymes in the saliva that begin its chemical digestion.
3) Once in the stomach, digestion continues, as does mechanical mixing of the food with hydrochloric acid and other substances such as pepsin, a stomach enzyme that helps digest protein foods.
4) As the food passes into the small intestine, it is soon mixed with bile from the liver and pancreatic juices from the pancreas. These further digest the food.
5) Now the food is broken down into its basic components. Carbohydrates are broken into sugars, fats and oils into fatty acids and proteins into amino acids. These must be properly absorbed in the lower intestine, mainly, where they flow into the liver and kidneys.
6) In the liver, in particular, these may be converted into other fatty acids, cholesterol, amino acids and other necessary nutrients. Sugars may remain in storage in the form of glycogen, or may pass out into the bloodstream. The kidneys filter the material, making sure that harmful chemicals are properly removed.
7) Once the nutrients leave the liver and kidneys, they move to the body cells. Here they must pass through the cell membranes and enter the cells. This requires the vital hormone, insulin. Any problem in the insulin mechanism impairs movement of sugars into the cells.
8) Once inside the cells, sugars, fatty acids and amino acids enter two energy cycles, called the glycolysis and the Krebs or carboxylic acid cycles. In these, they are finally converted to the form the body actually uses for energy, mainly a substance called adenosine triphosphate or ATP. This completes the process of sugar utilization. As one can see, it involves quite a complex number of steps. Now let us see what happens in people who have a sugar addiction.
TROUBLES IN THE FUEL SYSTEM
There are many possible trouble spots in the body's fuel system. Among the most common are:Impaired Digestion. Another cause of sweet cravings is poor digestion. Many, if not most people, do not get all the nutrients out of their food. Various causes for this include eating too quickly without chewing, eating when one is anxious which impairs digestion greatly, or enzyme deficiencies in the stomach.
Intestinal Difficulties. Intestinal problems are many and may infections such as candida albicans. This is universal in sugar-eating people because sugar feeds the yeast organisms and keeps them healthy and strong. Many other types of infections with bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses are possible and common, especially if one travels to unclean places or eats unwashed or improperly cooked food.
Another intestinal difficulty is diarrhea due to any number of reasons. Still another cause is a damaged intestinal wall, which can be due to parasites, nutrient deficiencies and other reasons. This may be called a `leaky gut' or other types of damage occur such as inflammation due to toxic food additives or heavy metals in food or drink. Another difficulty is intestinal atrophy, a more advanced problem that may be diagnosed as malab syndromes such as ce disease.
Most people actually have a combination of digestive problems, which impairs their utilization of food. As a result, they overeat to get what they need, or they simply crave what they need in the form of sugar because they do not absorb their food and other nutrients adequately.
FYI: For those who have been wondering if some U Tube videos or books from an individual who says if you stick with their diet plan, etc you will be cured from Gastroparesis is true or not. Its totally false. If anyone buys into that mumbo-jumbo then truly your doctors are not being honest with you. There is no cure. There is no specific diet for Gastroparesis. If there was we would all be eating healthy and feeling more like ourselves. Sadly just another person with their hands out to make a quick buck. I personallly will and won't ever advertise false information nor false hopes. Each GP patient is unique in what they can or can not tolerate as far as foods or liquids. That can and usual does change. Like I said each patient is truly unique. Don't buy into false claims because it only causes more unnecessary stress that GP'ers surely don't need.
*Info worth keeping in mind as a Gastroparesis patient. Remember your kidneys are responsible for filtering sugar, etc and if you have a damaged GI tract they will either work too fast or too slow. In my case too fast because the sugar is just dropping not absorbing.
They don't call me the M&M queen for nothing but sadly I can't tolerate M&M's anymore. GP has a wicked way of changing what we can or can not consume on a constant basis. I had to move onto just plain Hershey miniatures and do OK for 'now.' My specialists said because they don't contain hardly any additives thus the candy just dissolves. The problem is the constant need for sugar and rapid flushing with my kidneys that started a few years ago which was never resolved. Until now.
At least we finally figured out that great mystery and here's to hoping maybe this information might also help you!
Posted by GastroparesisAwarenessCampaignOrg.
at 11:40 PM EST
Updated: December 13, 2011 4:14 AM EST