View Full Version : Hypoglycemia and CellCept

02-20-2008, 05:10 PM
I have been having episodes of what I think is low blood sugar. I will eat something like mashed potatoes with my dinner and then an hour later I am starving, weak and shaky. This has been going on for a while now. I walked a marathon a couple years back and had to eat something every mile because I would feel like I was about to pass out. I'm wondering if anyone else has had similar symptoms? My SLE seems to be under control for now but now I have this to deal with. :(

I know that hypoglycemia is listed under side-effects for CellCept but my doctor doesn't agree that anything could be causing this. Fasting blood sugar was normal and they seem to think it is all in my head...

Any help is appreciated.


sick n tired
02-20-2008, 05:21 PM
Hi STaylor,

So sorry to hear your problems. I sometimes get those problems and I dont take callcept though.
I used to have a friend who was diabetic and he said that potatoes was like taking sugar because the starch turns into sugar in our bodies. I believe with the right amount of protien that it is made better but he had to work around the exchanges when he was going to eat potatoes.

Hope that you get to feeling better,


02-21-2008, 11:39 AM
I have the same issues and I just put it off to low blood sugar. But, like you, my fasting blood sugar was normal. I do not take Cellcept, however. So, for you and me, I am going to do some research on this and I will get back to you. ok?

Peace and Blessings

02-22-2008, 11:07 AM
I have not had this problem before, but did take Cellcept for several years. I wish you the best in finding out the problem or at the very least, how best to deal with it. I think there are so many nuances in side effects that can't all be listed nor understood.

I remember when my kidneys were the worst that I actually felt back pain from it. My nephrologist at the time assured me it was muscular pain, because "most of the time, people have no pain with nephritis." Do I have any doubt it was from the nephritis? No.

02-22-2008, 11:14 AM

Good to hear I am not the only one. It seems like I am always hungry. My doctor took me off of my thyroid medication 2 months ago thinking that was the problem but it doesn't seem to be getting any better. It doesn't really seem to matter what I eat either.

I'm begining to think it is related to hormones.

What are your symptoms like? Let me know what you find out.


02-22-2008, 12:37 PM
Like you, I am hungry almost all of the time. In order to avoid blowing up like a blimb, I munch on fresh fruit, nuts and fresh vegetables all day long! Otherwise, I'd be eating doughnuts, cookies, ice cream, etc. When I run out of fruit and vegetables or nuts, I fly into a panic because then, I am running around the house looking for something that I can stuff in my mouth IMMEDIATELY!! I mean, my hunger is such that I can't even take the time to make a sandwich...like I need something NOW!! It's crazy.
I have not had time to do the research yet, but I will and I will let you know what I find out. In the meantime, keep lots of fresh fruit, nuts and vegetables handy so that your hunger does not cause you to eat too much of the wrong things. Hang In There!!

Peace and Blessings

02-22-2008, 12:47 PM
STaylor, You mentioned you had mashed potatoes for dinner. Did you have any meat or beans with that? Any sort of protein?
Potatoes are a starch that is digested quickly, turned into sugar and rapidly stored or used. Then there is nothing left for the body to "run" on, as the sugar is "used up." Thus, the sugar levels begin to slowly go down, while the body struggles to convert stored sugars into usable "food", and we feel weak. Proteins are digested much more slowly, leaking "food" into the blood stream over a longer period of time. Fats further slow down the digestion process (even of the starches, a little), because they digest VERY slowly. This is why the best diets chant "balance, balance". I may be running off on something that is moot, if you are eating protein and a generally balanced diet, but lots of people really do not know about the digestive processes of different foods. For example, brown rice is coarser and takes more time and energy to digest than white rice - hence, the recommendation to eat brown rice in leiu of white rice. Same with sweet potatoes versus regular. People who suffer with hypoglycemia often have to make modifications in their diet, much like a diabetic, because they have to keep a consistent flow of nutrients digesting. Several small, rather than 3 large meals are also recommended.
Forgive me for rattling, friends. This is a subject dear to my heart. I actually wrote a book about this!! It is used internally for patient teaching with the company where I worked when I wrote it, but it took a lot of research and time to write it, so the subject remains dear to me. I will not rattle further, but these ideas should get you going in the right direction. If you want further suggestions, just let me know.


02-22-2008, 05:24 PM
Yes, I make sure to eat well and balanced. I had chicken and asparagus with the potatoes. I do try to stay away from the sugar now and anything "white" that will go through my system quickly. I don't touch alcohol or caffine anymore because I also have a heart condition called Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia that is made worse by stimulants like caffine.

SaySusie - that is exactly how I feel! I get frantic if I don't have food around me all the time! I do try to have some healthy things around me but I am bad about the fruit - I'll try that. Thanks.

I've started eating every couple hours, that helps a little. I just hate that I am always thinking about food or sleep!

02-22-2008, 05:29 PM
SuzieQ - any other advice about what I can eat to keep the digestion slower? Is fruit okay? Seems like that would go through you pretty quickly too, although it has fiber in it so maybe not. Any good snacks that I can carry around with me?


02-22-2008, 08:41 PM
Hey STaylor,

Happy you posted this I'm beginning to wonder about my eating issues and Cellcept as well but I'm kind of different. I don't get hungry but I get really moody and grumpy which I usually associate with when my blood sugar is too low. So then I'll eat something and feel a lot better but then soon after I dip again.
I'll be honest that I have a sugar problem. I ate half a container of icing because it was there. But I had the same problem occur when I ate a whole bag of walnuts.
None of this is like me since I usually eat like a bird.
And I'm not on Prednisone anymore which is what I used to chalk weird eating up to.
Does Plaqueneil (well hydroxychloroquine) have any weird food related side effects because I just started that last week?

sick n tired
02-22-2008, 09:31 PM
Actually, Plaquenil makes me nauseated and/or not want to eat. But everybody is different.

02-23-2008, 02:51 AM
papillonm I started plaquenil the first of December...my family doctor had to calm me down after the specialist put me on it. The rhuemy didn't tell me anything about the drug, not even why she wanted me to take it. I assumed it had something to do with the arthritis...but turns out she is suspecting lupus.

I went to my family doctor and vented all over her office. She sat there and listened. When I stoped she asked me to sit down and she explained everything. She recommended that I take both pills at night just before bed with a little tub of yogart. That way I sleep through the worst of the side effects. Then she told me that works really well for here....She's on it too. I felt much better after that.

If you are having symptoms please go back to your doctor and let them know. Ask if you can take your plaquenil the same way I am. I dont know what strength you are on so I would NOT recommend that you do this with out checking with your doctor.

I have not had any nausia or dizziness since I started doing this.

02-23-2008, 07:26 PM
Hmmm... things that "fill you up" but are slow to digest. Nuts are an excellent snack to carry. Watch which ones, though. Some are much higher in fat. I think walnuts are good ones, as are almonds. Also, look for nuts that are baked for prep. Many nuts are essentialls "fried" in oil to prepare them, which adds to the calories. Most people think peanut butter is a great snack, and it is, IF you careful which ones you choose. Most of the "regular" ones are full of sugar. There are a number of "natural" peanut butters - basically processed peanuts and nothing else, but they require refrigeration and stirring (worth it, though).
Another great snack is dried fruit. It is an awesome counter-attack for those hypoglycemic moments. One reason people have super low dips is that they quickly grab something to releive the "low", but it is usually something quickly absorbed, quickly gone. Then the sugar goes lower than before. So, a combination of nuts and dried fruit is perfect. Lots of trail mixes use this logic, but where they go wrong is in what they choose to put in the trail mix. I make my own. A little more expensive, but I get to choose which nuts, which fruits, etc.
Also, when you eat regular fruit, it is good to combine it with a good protein: yogurt, cottage cheese, string cheese, or just chunks of a favorite cheese. I particularly enjoy a snack of lean ham or chicken slices (very thin) smeared with low fat cream cheese wrapped around a pickle spear. Boiled eggs and a side of something you like is a super snack, because you get the oral pleasure of your "treat", but you give your body the egg to "slow" down the absorption of all your food.
There are lots of things you can do through out the day with your meals to make them healthier and make you feel better. All but eliminating white potatoes and regular bread is good, but most people would rather die. I suggest people just cut back. Like, when you HAVE to eat out, get a regular hamburger and take away one side of the bun. Eat it with only one bun (fold it over, maybe). Order a salad or some fruit to help fill you up (be careful of dips and salad dressings - they can really add up). There are also many types of high protein breads, made with lots of fiber (fiber slows down digestion and aids in "regularity"). I have gotten so used to them, I literally gag on regular bread now.
Also, what about the size of your portions? Meat portions should be the size of your fist for adequate nutrition. These fancy smancy diet things that give you the teeny pieces of meat are doing you no favors. Also, your side dishes (potatoes and vegetables) should never be any larger (ie: little meat piece, big plop of potatoes).
For all of you suffering to lose weight: PLEASE avoid the super-weight loss low-calorie diets. Many of them cause you to lose water weight, making you think you have really made an impact - you'll gain it right back. Also, the really low calorie intake is difficult to maintain, and your body will ADJUST to that amount of calories and cease losing. Isn't that just great? So when you get frustrated and eat regularly, you start gaining. Any nutritionist worth their salt will tell you: the only diets that really work are changes to your eating habits that you can sustain. Also, it is very difficult (some say impossible) to lose weight effectively without burning calories - some kind of exercise. Walk with a friend 3 times a week, dance to your 70's and 80's music while the kids are at school (no one will see you - haha), take a class that has excercise, etc. If you can't exercise, it may be really hard. But, eating well is good for you, whether you are svelte or volumptous (Reubanisk).
I hope this helps at least ONE person. I love to talk nutrition. :)

02-24-2008, 11:43 AM
Thank you for the excellent advice. I'm glad to know that I've been doing a little something right with my snack foods :-) Even though I knew nothing at all about the digestive process. I eat sweet potatoes 'cuz I love them!! I eat brown rice 'cuz it tastes good too me. And, oh, dried fruit is almost my staple, along with nuts (unsalted of course). I also love to eat raw broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and asparagus (I hate celery...ughhh).
I printed your post so that I could refer to it when I shop for my goodies. My doctor also suggested, as you mentioned, that I eat 4-5 small meals every day (as opposed the three large meals). So, you were right on point there also.

Peace and Blessings

02-24-2008, 01:09 PM
Slip some wal nuts (unsalted) into your salad, and try to have some often through the week..and here's why. Walnuts make the walls of your veins and arteries more flexible. Help you to pass clots and other stuff easier.

They recommend a small hand full a day, but that's just nuts ha ha ....no I wont appologies for bad puns...I love them :)

02-25-2008, 11:30 AM
Thanks for all the great advice! I'm going to give these a try. Wouldn't hurt for me to start eating better regardless of the low blood sugar. The snack ideas are perfect. Thanks again!

02-25-2008, 12:02 PM
Hypoglycemia & Cellcept;
Well, I've read about 15 articles and they all make a correlation between Cellcept and hypogycemia. The metabolic and nutritional adverse affects included: acidosis, alkaline phosphatase increased, creatinine increased, dehydration, gamma glutamyl transpeptidase increased, hypercalcemia, hyperlipemia, hyperuricemia, hypervolemia, hypocalcemia, hypoglycemia, hypoproteinemia, lactic dehydrogenase increased, AST increased, ALT increased, weight gain.

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you on this!

Peace and Blessings

02-25-2008, 02:58 PM
Oh, wow...thanks Saysusie. That may be an answer for me. My creatinine levels go up from time to time. No protein in my urine, so it's not the dreaded kidney problems. But I am on cellcept and I didn't realize that could make my creatinine levels increase. Good to know! Thanks for the research.


02-26-2008, 10:27 AM
You are most welcome :lol:


03-01-2008, 09:33 PM
Hi Suzique, thanks for the snack suggestions. I am trying to get my eating right (the icing thing was just the proverbial straw).
And sits in the corner, I have switched to taking the plaqueneil at night after dinner which works great. My rheumy was like take it whenever however makes you feel good which was great since everything else i take has so many restrictions.

03-02-2008, 01:54 AM
:B-fly: papillon

I'm so glad that is working out for you. I'll keep my fingers crossed that plaquenil will work for you. I've got another 2 1/2 months to go before I know for sure if this it working for me.

So far I'm not seeing any benifit...but I'll be patient. One thing that worries me...it will be May when the 2 1/2 months are up. How do I tell if it's the plaquenil making me feel better or the fact that winter is finally over? :onfire: lol

03-02-2008, 07:09 PM
I completely agree SITC,

It was 45 today and I was bouncing off the walls happy. Thankfully, I think the Plaq is supposed to kick in just in time for MOVING TIME. Which I am bout hexcited about while dreading the increased stress level of packing and moving.
I'll keep you posted.