Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Hypoglycemia Forum

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia ?

Hi everyone, i am a 22 year old male currently in university.

About two weeks ago, i seem to have progressively become unable to intake my typical dinner, which was about 5-6 servings of rice and meats/vegetables. At its most serious, after 1 hour of taking in the food, i immediately became disorientated and had to lie down, at which point i will fall asleep.

One of the stranger days, which i thought i was completely cured (before learning of hypoglycemia) i devoured a serving of french fries with gravy without any visible effects for 5 hours. During dinner, i had yet another large plate of rice and assorted foods and had no problems until i slept, which was 4 hours later. However, after sleeping 30 minutes, i woke up with very bad palpitations and even numbness throughout the hands.

I am thinking that this is very strange, since i had no symptoms with the starchy french fries and the problem with the rice did not appear until much later.

Anyways, the family doctor suggested that i may have low blood sugar in my prior visit so i began to visit websites and removing refined sugars from my diet.
Yet another strange thing happened that seem to contradict what i read to seem to be prevalent in most hypoglycemics.

After a few days of adjusting, i was able to eat whole wheat grains as well as mashed potatoes and pasta (not alone) with only minor anxiety an hour or two afterwards. This was markedly different from the dirorientation and fatigue a few days prior. After two days on this diet, i had no mind fogs or fatigue throughout the day and slept well. The only issue was the slight bouts of anxiety.

I typically had 2 slices of whole wheat bread, whole grain cereal with milk and ham/lettuce in the bread for the morning.
For lunch i had some salad sometimes with protein, and a side of either mashed potatoes or vegetable pasta (white wheat probably).
I did not typically have a mid-morning snack, but rather ate a fruit between lunch and dinner.
For dinner i had half a chicken breast with about 1 serving of carrots and 100g buckwheat noodles in a soup.

Most websites i visit state that it takes weeks for hypoglycemic symptoms to die down, and i was reduced to only slight anxiety after i eat within half a week. Is this normal for hypoglycemics or does it suggest something else?

I've visited the doctor again for blood works, and as many people mentioned, they do not seem to understand hypoglycemia. It is such a pain. However, he did a blood test on me and here are my results:

Fasting: 82.8
1:20 after ham sandwich (2 slice wheat bread) + milk: 75.6

Although 75.6 is within normal range, i am thinking that i did not take a sugary enough meal after the fasting to truly test for the effects. As well, would the mere dropping below fasting mean hypoglycemia? Or might this be a milder case of it. I understand these results are very poor compared to OGTT, so it is ok if a result cannot be found from it. I will be attempting to request a OGTT on wednesday, and i hope that goes well.

This seems to also contradict reactive hypoglycemia, which is what i may have. Waking up to symptoms and the symptoms not dying down even if i ate? Could the vitamin be the problem, or maybe the brown rice staying in the system too long?

I am greatly confused about my symptoms, and it has really taken a toll on my mental and physical health. I live alone, far away from my family for school so it is a bit more difficult to cope than usual as well. I feel very painful sometimes.

I acknowledge that i may have written too much and nobody here is probably a trained doctor and i should probably not be expecting too much in terms of replies. However, any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated from people who have a great deal of wisdom on hypoglycemia.

Thank you very much for listening as well, and perhaps taking the time to reply to this post. I greatly appreciate it.
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replied April 2nd, 2008
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You're wrong! Let me explain a bit why, it always seems strange with the symptoms because stuff can happen up to FIVE DAYS after you eat it, it depends on the food, type of carbohydrate, level of carbohydrate, speed at which its absorbed and so forth. If you took a few days 'off' and were eating better, than it makes sense you would feel at least a little better. The main problem people have with this is that they don't seem to get that you won't correct it immediately. Just switching to whole grain bread or whatever won't do it, it takes WEEKS and sometimes months to get anywhere, and you can expect a variety of fluctuations, feeling great one minute and then like death the next, with apparently no connection to what you just ate, but there is. It always appears that way until you're stable and see what the bad food does to your body when you slip up. Any level dropping is a sign of sensitive insulin response, though typically it's not considered 'bad' until it goes below 70, but that's a pretty general statement, doesn't necessarily apply to everyone because not just the level, but the speed of the drop matters, as well as how long it takes it to occur (might be a really slow, progressive drop where your level seems normal at the 1.5 hour mark, but 5 hours later is quite low). When you're getting on track, expect to wake up a lot and feel like you've come out of the grave in the morning with little change after eating. I suggest you read my diet (stickied at the top of this forum) to get an idea of what you need to do, but it's ultimately your choice what you want to eat, I can only recommend what to do based on the experiements I've done. Those vitamins seem to be okay, but that's quite an overload at one sitting, if you can cut them into pieces, that's the best idea, take three parts throughout the day, all of that at once is pointless, most will be flushed out or COULD cause slight, temporary imbalances that could set you off. Anyway, I can explain anything you want, so ask away.
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replied April 3rd, 2008
Hi Stan, thank you very much for your reply.

In the last few days i have sort of come to the conclusion that i am indeed a reactive hypoglycemic. However, it does not seem to be too severe.

As mentioned, i used to eat around 5-6 servings of carbohydrates (white rice) a sitting with 2 servings of meat/vegetables for 2 meals each day. I suspect that this must have overloaded my pancreas and now it is much more sensitive and secrete more insulin.

Anyways, today i got my OGTT, a horrible 2 hours which they did not draw blood in between, only in the beginning and in the end. I felt fine throughout but around 1.5 hrs after drinking the solution, i got more nervous and anxious.

Thank you for youre recommendation of diet also. I have been adhering to my diet these past few days and it seem these bouts of anxiety are my biggest problem. I usually take 3 servings of meat, 1 serving of vegetables, and 2 servings of brown rice. Almost always after 1.5 hours, i get a chill in my heart accompanied my anxiety and nervousness. I may decide to lower my carbs per day by half. (im guessing right now im about a little under 200g a day?)

I am able to fast without great problems up to 4-5 hours without any symptoms as well, it is just always 1.5 hours after eating. ALWAYS. I do not seem to get a response from eating carrots, vegetables, or meats, just only when i eat some grain/starches with the meal.
However, recently it has also been really troubling me that i am unable to sleep soundly. I seem to crave carbs before bed and frequently wake in the night. My dreams have also become quite explicit and i can remember them clearly. Might this be what you mean by expecting to wake up a lot? Is there any way to perhaps soothe this problem?

My doctor doesn't think that anxiety is tied to hypoglycemia (sigh) so he recommended me some anxiolytics (lorazepam) to stop the anxiety. I am somewhat tempted to take it since that seem to be my only problem. It also helps with sleeping, but the downside is that it is supposed to be relatively addictive...

During the day i seem to not be able to think optimally as well, as if there is a knot in my head. Sigh.

Anyways, I am also wondering about the Atkin's diet. Is anyone familiar with it? How is it? It seems to be a way of removing the symptoms but i am concerned about the potential hazards to the body, the great shift to ketosis and possibly future problems with eating whole wheat again.
I am also a bit underweight though, 120 pounds and non-diabetic, which is quite sad for this condition. So if i ever decide to go for atkins, i am just thinking of going for induction for 2 days then quickly shifting to maintenance. Confused

Thanks again anyone who is reading. Also thank you Stan for your response. I greatly appreciate it.
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replied April 3rd, 2008
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Don't bet on how severe it is, there were days when I thought, 'this isn't that bad', promptly destroyed the next day with ridiculous obsessions and various weird symptoms. Nice test, they totally didn't do it right, supposedly to check your sugar every hour at least. What a waste. How many times are you eating per day? Fasting makes sense because, well, it's simple, there isn't any food in your body to cause any insulin reaction at all, so good news for you, you don't have an insuloma (insulin producing tumor, often during treatment hypoglycemics will obsess they have this, but you don't if you can go without eating and experience nothing). You're craving carbs because your body is adjusting, quite natural. Yep, that's what I mean by waking, and vivid, often strange dreams are another typical symptom early on in treatment. Your doctor's might be wrong, don't listen to them until you've gone through at least 4 months of treatment and find no difference in your anxieyt, only THEN can you consider the possibility, but as the DSM-IV states, it takes a few months of continuous symptoms for this to be a reality, which is not happening to you. Stick to the diet. The medicine CAN help in that it will mask the symptoms, but that's the bad part, you don't know how sick you are and could possibly eat things you shouldn't, get off the medicine, and then find yourself in hell because you weren't able to pay attention to your body because it was hiding behind medicine. Hmmm, to soote the sleeping problem you can try making sure you eat around one hour before laying down and make sure it's more protein than carbs, and no sugar. That should have a little effect at least, but it may not. As for Atkin's, I don't recommend it, my diet is essentially higher protein, lower carb, but not the way he thinks of it. He does not stress quality of meat and asks for large amounts of fat in the diet, which is not good. Try my diet, it's a modified version of it. There is no harm to the body. Read this. http://www.healingcrow.com/dietsmain/paleo /paleo.html It's not the article I was looking for, but it seems good enough to give you an idea. If you look around you'll find many respectable medical articles about it.
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replied April 3rd, 2008
Hi again Stan, thanks for the reply.

I am wondering if you can give an example of what you would eat on a normal day aside from breakfast? I am now noticing that i am perhaps eating too much protein. I have about 1.5 chicken breasts with 4 eggs a day on this diet i thought up, which is perhaps too much. Almost 100g alone i think.

Would anyone also have vegetable dish recipes they would like to share too? Perhaps something simple and cheap to make.

Thanks again
Sincerely, Shawn
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replied April 4th, 2008
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Did you read the diet? I pretty much explain everything you want to know there. Really, you can make anything you want, just take out the ingredients you need to avoid and that's it. Eggplant is good, you can fry it up in olive oil with some spices, tomatoes and onions and it makes for a good dish. Butternut squash is another good one, a little butter and xylitol and it's awesome.
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replied April 4th, 2008
I looked at the calories in some of those and these foods and they all seem rather low. A person is supposed to have 2000 calories a day i hear. Wouldn't i need a lot of vegetables then? Since i am about 55kg, 1.5 chicken breast will already bring me up to my protein maximum and i can't have too much carbohydrates.
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replied April 4th, 2008
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Are you eating fruit? Drinking milk? Eating yogurt? A slightly increased fat intake will fix that. On THAT diet I'm able to run miles, weight lift and perform a ton of activities. Butternut squash is high in calories.
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replied April 4th, 2008
Hmmmm i must be mistaken then.

I am looking at this website: http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001- 01c20dP.html
and it lists eggplant as 20 calories? per 82g and 5g carbs.

anyways,
What would you suggest for a dish that is good for this diet and a bit higher in fat as you mentioned?

Sorry again, i was a very bad cook previously, and I have about no kitchen skills. Part of my problem with transitioning into a hypo diet is that i have no idea what to make haha. I have been eating chicken with eggs and spinach for the last few days..

Thanks again, Stan.
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replied April 4th, 2008
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Using more cooking oil will fix that real quick. Eggplant, for example, can be made in the following manner. Cut up about three cups of it. Then cut up some garlic, onion and tomatoes (about two cups of that stuff altogether total, not including the eggplant). In a frying pan or wok, heat up some oil (olive is best) and fry up the onions and garlic until tender (should look a little yellow). Add the tomatoes and eggplant, a bit of salt and a bit of black pepper. Add three tablespoons of wine after stirring it and cover the dish, letting it cook for about 10 minutes. Take off the top and mix it up, add some fresh basil, stir again and cook until the eggplant looks nice and tender (it's easier if you peel the outer skin off, but I like it). Try it. You use about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and that's quite a bit of fat. That feast is way more calories than that site, I use it, but since we don't use grams in this country I don't know how much that is. Look for an online converter and convert it to cups.
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replied April 5th, 2008
Ah yes, olive oil. i tried your recipe today, and it is pretty good! I checked the calories from everything, and the dish you describe, most of the calories are from the olive oil and not from the vegetables themselves, which is not a bad thing. Olive oil can't really do you harm unless you drown yourself in it.
110ml of olive oil is 900 calories already!

By the way, has anyone known anyone who recovered from Hypoglycemia? It is probably extremely unlikely i guess, haha. I currently only have mild anxiety after eating carbs and the sleep disturbances, but everything else is fine. Oh yeah, these past two days i seem to be getting some anxiety when i wake up too...
What are the chances of being able to eat normally again afterwards? Pretty low probably? Im sort of hoping that taking multivitamins, fish oil and vitamin C will heal my organs, since they dont seem to be too bad right now.

Also, does anyone feel mild discomfort in the pancreas/kidney/adrenal/liver line of the abdomen when walking too long? Ive been feeling a bit of it these last two weeks and am wondering whats up with that. It doesn't seem to be just once place though so i imagine its not like cancer or anything.

Oh yeah, what about V-8, the vegetable juice? Raw veggies in a blender is probably better but what are your thoughts on it?

Also what about milk? I understand under stan's diet it is to be avoided, but if someone wish to take it what would be the best kind? 1%? Homogenized? 2%?

Thanks again everyone.
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replied April 5th, 2008
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Ha, yes, MYSELF. I recovered after a lot of hard work and experimentation, which is why I post on here for others. I didn't have the knowledge that I do now, so I had to figure all this stuff out on my own, so I post here to save others months and years of hardship. I'm actually set to receive a really good government job and am in the process of finishing my PhD currently, so yes, you WILL get better. As for eating 'normal' food, that may not happen. I'm still unable to eat certain foods, and it may be related to something they haven't figured out yet, but I could care less at this point I'm so healthy. Feeling mild discomfort in the pancreas area is the only true sign of hypoglycemia that has been discovered. If you feel that, you definitely have it. Don't know about walking though, I'm sure you're just reading into stuff a bit too much like most of us do, and I did, when still sick and in the process of healing. I suppose V-8 is okay if it doesn't have anything added (never looked honestly). I've been on a cranberry (100% squeezed, watch out because they add grape juice to most of it) kick for a few weeks, mix about a cup with about two cups of water. Yum. Getting a juicer may be a good idea, and you'd probably like it. I avoid milk, but it's up to you, try it if you want, but it's essentially a simple sugar because it's a disaccharide, broken down quite quickly. I would recommend goat's or sheep milk if you can find it, but if you must have cow's, organic is best, but WHOLE. Need all that fat to keep it slower.
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replied April 6th, 2008
Ah, i am glad that you are doing well! I am also about to pursue my master's degree soon.

Oh one thing, I am wondering why you listed all beans as a thing to avoid. Do they break into simple sugars quickly as well?
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replied April 6th, 2008
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They can be a trouble food for many people because of the reaction they cause in the body (insulin response I mean). They seem to be pretty strong in this regard.
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