Last night I didn't eat a lot for dinner - a small piece of low-fat shepherd's pie (290cal) and half a cup of bean salad (130 cal). No snack before bedtime and I was a bit hungry when it was time to turn in. Total caloric intake for the day was 2100 calories.
When I got up this morning I was fiercely hungry and feeling a bit weak. I was running a little late so I headed off to McDonald's for breakfast.
I could tell my blood sugar was getting low because I was feeling a little bit irritable, with the sense that the counter staff couldn't serve up my food quickly enough.
I ordered a Bacon 'n Egg McMuffin with cheese, one hash brown and a 250ml (8 oz.) carton of 1% skim milk. As I was eating, I was starting to feel lightheaded and a bit woozy, shaky and just generally uncomfortable and anxious. It's a sense of not being able to feed myself fast enough to ward off the sense of impending doom, if that makes sense to anyone.
The feeling wasn't going away and I was starting to have difficulty concentrating.
The general discomfort was getting worse, too. I was beginning to feel afraid, very afraid and downright panicky because I felt like I was going to pass out and die. I was beginning to ask myself if I should drive myself to the ER or try and ride things out. By the same token I didn't want to drive that far for fear things might get worse.
I drove home, which wasn't far away and still didn't feel any better. Still felt mentally out of it, very restless and by now beside myself with panic.
It got so bad at one point that I started feeling like I was outside myself.
So I called my boss and told her I couldn't make it in because I was feeling scared, anxious and confused and just generally out of it. (I can just imagine what she must have been thinking, even though she knows I get anxiety attacks from time to time).
In desperation I started eating part of a muffin (which has lots of sugar in it). I didn't eat the whole thing. About half an hour later I started feeling better. But it took me the better part of two hours just to really settle down. My morning, to put it simply, was shot.
The funny thing about all of this is this only happens sometimes. Quite often it happens when I eat too little or go too long between meals. And sometimes it hits with no rhyme or reason. But it almost never hits after I've had a fairly big meal with a good balance of protein and carbs. Sometimes if I feel bad, I'll eat and feel better in about 20 minutes.
However, I have experienced this state of being often enough to wonder what's going on. It sucks. They've been happening with slightly more frequency lately too.
To complicate matters, I suffer from panic disorder (PD), so anytime I have one of these spells I will get quite edgy and sometimes that will spill over into a full-blown panic attack. And of course, with a panic attack you feel dizzy, a little confused, restless, experience feelings of doom (if not the conviction death is imminent), and feel very scared. You want to run but feel trapped at the same time.
I know that both hypoglycemia and PD have an association with elevated levels of adrenalin.
I've never been formally diagnosed with hypoglycemia. Routine blood tests (even after fasting) never show anything other than normal blood sugar levels. Indeed, the last time I had my blood tested and I hadn't fasted, my results suggested borderline hyperglycemia. So my doctor doesn't think I have a problem.
I'm overweight and don't exercise like I should. By the same token I have difficulty losing weight unless I literally starve myself. Even then, the weight loss is very modest. To the best of my knowledge, no one in my family has ever been diagnosed with diabetes.
It does sound like you may have hypoglycaemia. If your crashes are becoming more frequent you will need to think hard about taking action. In your honest opinion, is your diet high in sugar and fast acting carbs such as sugar, sweets, soda, chocolate, tea, coffee, alcohol, white bread, white and instant rice, takeaways, branded soups and pasta sauces (loaded with hidden sugar), pastries â sweet or savoury, chips etc?
I, like yourself, had a normal fasting glucose result which meant my doctor didnât offer me anymore help as to what the problem could be. Having browsed the web it unfortunately seems a common reality that reactive hypoglycaemia is either not diagnosed, mis-diagnosed or diagnosed with little or no accurate follow up advice.
There is a test available called the GTT (Glucose tolerance test), which will determine if you have hypoglycaemia and also the severity. If you go back to your doctor and detail how your blood sugar is now regularly dropping in response to food 2-4 hours after a meal, he/she should put you forward for a GTT.
Regardless of whether you take the test or not, the treatment is the same. A significant adjustment to your diet and eating habits needs to take place. You would be best off starting by reading the thread below to get some information on the diet and what else you might expect tackling this problem early on.
You will need to display some courage. You CAN get to a point where your brain and body will feel sharp and stable consistently ONLY if a strict diet is followed. For more information have a look at other threads and replyâs authored by âStanâ for tips and advice from a former sufferer.