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May 12, 2002

Alternative Therapies and Explanations

Question from Toronto, Ontario, Canada:

I am 37 years old, and have had hypoglycemia for two years, currently controlled by diet alone, and recently I have been experiencing symptoms (sweating, becoming extremely cold, having joint pains and swelling in my hands and feet). I feel my blood sugar levels are getting unpredictable and what normally would bring me back to feeling normal isn't working. My doctor has suggested taking chromium. At what point does hypoglycemia become type 1 diabetes? Do you have any information on chromium as helping blood sugar levels in hypoglycemia?

Answer:

I have no good information that chromium prevents diabetes. First, I would suggest reviewing your diet and activity with your physician and see if any problems can be uncovered. Are you sure the symptoms are all from hypoglycemia? Is there another rheumatologic problem to explain the association with the joint symptoms? This is not straightforward. I would suggest seeing your physician.

JTL