Digesting and Metabolizing Fats Problem, Hypoglycaemia
Answered by: Christine Dennis
Question from: Cindy

My son (in his early thirties) has non diabetic hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. He also can not consume any oil/fat in any way as he breaks out the next day with acne or pus filled sores in his nose. Is this a liver problem/deficiency or one involving the stomach, and what can we do about it? I am not familiar with TCM or its herbs, but am familiar with Western herbs. I would greatly appreciate any insight you have to offer since traditional Western Medicine has no answers. Thank you VERY much for your time and thoughtfulness.

Your son’s lack of the ability to digest fats suggests a damp heat in the gallbladder, but the pus filled sores in his nose suggests a "spleen" weakness, according to TCM theory, as the "spleen" is responsible for "transforming fluids" and clearly in your son’s case it is not being done properly. The TCM gallbladder and "spleen" all relate to the digestive system in western medical terms and in your son’s case, a weak digestion.

Hypoglycemia is also known as hyperinsulinism and is caused from the pancreas having to repeatedly repond to high blood sugar levels. Therefore, the recommendations are the same as for high blood sugar - eliminate all refined foods, eat smaller more frequent meals, etc. The other key aspect is stress management. Excess adrenal gland stimulation, the gland that is stimulated when we are stressed, has the power to stimulate the release of stored sugars. When a person is frequently stressed, glycogen to glucose conversion becomes impaired leading to cravings for sugar and stimulant beverages.

Hypoglycaemia can lead to a weak digestion from excess stimulation of the pancreas. As such, dealing with the underlying blood sugar swings is critical. For more information on blood sugar regulation, please see


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