I am so glad I found this forum! I have been suffering from hypoglycemia for about 9 months now and have found it very difficult to find very much information on the subject.
Although my symptoms are all over the board when I have bad days, the most disconcerting has to be chest pain and or shortness of breath. Does anyone else ever experience these symptoms? How can low blood sugars cause chest pain? I have seen a cardiologist and been through several tests and know that my heart is fine--so what they heck?
Also, how is it that I cheat on my diet one day and pay for it a couple days later? (These are questions I have asked my doctor and he had no answers.....) Thank you!
Hmmm, I had this a long time ago before I knew what was wrong with me. For some reason, at least in my case, my lungs were somewhat inflamed, possibly due to a immune response or lowered immune response and my lungs were actually sticking to the inside of my ribs when I breathed out. For other chest pain cases, it would seem to me a case of problems with the nervous system, which is always directly effected in hypoglycemics. Is it your heart palpitating because this is common as well? Where is the pain located, I may be able to explain properly then. All hypoglycemics find out quick that the body takes about 2-3 days to show a reaction to bad food. The reason seems to be that the food enters the body and the body essentially remembers what it is. It takes food up to five days to leave the body, and since the lower intestines have almost as many nerve endings as the brain, what happens is this area of the body basically 'senses' what's going through it and remembers it. It simply switches back on the insulin response.
Thanks for your reply, Stan. You really seem to know your stuff. I never have palpatations, just chest pain which is usually accompanied by a stiff neck and left arm. Strange, huh? When my hypo is quiet I never get the pains so I know it has to be hypo related.
Will I eventually "grow out" of this? It came on so suddenly. My doctor thinks it is a result of my years of running/working out and it finally caught up to me as I am pretty thin. Does this sound right to you?
Thanks for your reply and Happy Easter!
I still want to hear your answer. Where is the pain when you feel it? It depends on the type of hypoglycemia you have. If your doctor is saying this is from working out it means you have functional hypoglycemia and should have no problems with eating, as long as you make sure you eat regularly. However, if you have reactive it means you can't eat certain things and this may never go away, you can make the symptoms go away and incorporate things into the diet, but you will never be able to eat pizzas and cake in large amounts, if at all. What kind do you have?
Sorry I wasn't more specific about the chest pain.....it is always on my left side just under the breast.
The doctor who diagnosed me w/ hypo is an internal doctor. He sent me to an endocronolgist. The endo dr. sent me home w/ some capillary tubes and basically said he couldn't treat me unless I could prove to him that i had low blood sugars.
Anyway, my internal dr. didn't specify what kind of hypo i have. He thinks that my "glucogen reserves" were/are depleted. Since he diagnosed me 8 months ago I have put on 10 lbs. and do feel better. But, when i start to work out again and shed a lb. or two, I start to feel real crappy again. (Light headed, headaches, fatigue, chest pain, etc.) Could a couple of pounds really make all of the difference?
To be safe, I am having a scan of my stomach to rule out insulonoma next week.
Let me know what you think and thanks again! You have already been a huge help.
Okay, makes sense then. That area of the body, near the solar plexus and the solar plexus itself, is packed with nerves, so that's probably what's causing the pain. So are you generally able to eat whatever you want? What are you eating right now? If you had a pancreal tumor, which you should know are very rare but it's good to rule out, you'd feel pretty awful all day and wake up throughout the night regardless of what you ate.
Makes sense to me, Stan. Never thought of the solar plexus.
My diet now is your typical hypo diet--no white sugar, whole grains, lots of protein, eating every few hours. I also gave up caffeine and alcohol. (Sometimes an occasional glass of wine.)
Like I said earlier, I have improved a great deal. Before this diet I was light headed ALL of the time. I even had a ct scan and mri of my head because I would get so dizzy. So why, after 8 months do I still have crappy days? Would you call it functional hypo or reactive? And do a few pounds really make a difference in the way I feel?
Sorry for all of the questions...but I haven't found anyone who knows much about the subject.
Sounds like reactive if you can't eat whatever you want, albeit an easily treated version. Took me over a year to see any real results, try to imagine that. Eight months and feeling pretty good is great progress, it just takes time. Remember, you have years and years of physical abuse (through food) to make up for, and just eight months is hardly anything within 20 years or however long. You may want to increase your grains slightly, or just stay where you are. Let me know what your diet is in detail and I can tell you if you're slipping up anywhere or need to change anything. Sometimes there are sneaky foods you'd think are okay but aren't.
Here is an example of my typical diet in one day:
Bfst: whole wheat bread w/ reduced sugar p. butter, bowl of All Bran w/ skim milk, whey protein drink make w/ water
Snack: usually one of the following--peanuts, Clif Bar, celery w/ p. butter, pistachios, apple, So. Beach Diet Bar
Lunch: shaved turkey w/ cheese on whole wheat bread or low carb. tortilla
Snack: same as above snack
Dinner: chicken breast, cottage cheese, salad w/ ranch and cheese
Before Bed: usually a 1/2 of p. butter sandwich on wheat bread.
About once a week I will "reward" myself w/ 1/2 cup of coffee or a glass of white wine at night.
1. I'm pretty sure you're aware of this, but the bread has to say 100% whole grain on it, otherwise it's garbage. Be sure to check the label because there may be honey or molasses in there, which is just sugar. Even the healthiest of organic companies will add stuff like this or the sneaky things named evaporated cane juice, evaporated potato juice and the like. It's all just sugar.
2. Reduced sugar = still sugar. You should only be eating plain, organic (preferably, but not required), natural peanut butter. Every supermarket carries this now, usually in bargain brand too. So here's a problem for you here. Doesn't matter how much it's reduced, it's in there. Also, you may want to try tahini butter instead, it is essentially all protein. Peanuts are actually legumes, which can cause symptoms in more severe cases.
3. Milk is a tough one. It's essentially just sugar. If you look at the label, it will have around 14g of carbohydrates and then if you look at the sugar content all 14 of those grams will be listed there as well. Goat or sheep milk is best, but expensive and not easy to find. Ideally, you should only be eating milk products in soured form with no added ingredients (ie: yogurt, kefir, cheese, etc.). Milk is only really an option if you drink it raw, which is also not easy to find. If you live near or on a farm there you go.
4. Whey protein mixes all have sugar in them or dangerous sugar substitutes. I've looked everywhere, trust me they all have too many additives to bother. A really sneaky one is stevia, which is actually an herb. Unfortunately, it also lowers blood sugar siginificantly. I found that out the hard way.
5. I know a Clif bar has something bad in it, don't even need to look. Same with the diet bar, I'll bet my life there is some nasty crap in there. If you're curious, list the ingredients and I'll tell you what they are.
6. Tortillas should be avoided at first because all corn products cause a very strong blood sugar reaction regardless of carb content.
7. Dressing has sugar in it or deadly substitute sugar.
8. A reward shouldn't be a cup of coffee, that will usually keep you sick, ditto with the alcohol. Coffee doesn't really make you feel up because of the caffeine, the main reaso is because when you drink it, the caffeine causes your liver to release glycogen stores, which in turn raises your blood sugar. This is why people feel high after drinking it. Alcohol should absolutely be avoided until you're stable enough.
You're not really limited, in fact this is generally how limited everyone should be eating in the world. We don't eat right, plain and simple, and this is the major cause of all diseases in my opinion. Sugar is in everything unfortunately, and our bodies were simply not meant to take it. The average person eats like 135 pounds per year. Way too much. One of the problems is that people simply don't get it, and advertising firms don't do any better for us. We expect to be informed by them, but they're very, very sneaky with how they do it. Take those new General Mills commercials, touting about how there is whole grain in cereals like Lucky Charms. Well yeah, there is whole grain in the sense that what they used to make it was whole grain, but it's not anymore. See how deceptive that is? I'm sure you've seen the commercial. You have plenty of choices, it sounds like your diet is actually just fine, you just need to learn to essentially make things you are eating right now and trust me it's quite rewarding. You'd be surprised how easy it is to make salad dressing without the crap they put in there. Unfortunately, there isn't really a book out there to explain it well. Paavo Airola's book is okay, but he expects too much out of whole grain and bases the entire diet off of it, which isn't a good idea. That's really the best book there is. You can ask me questions and I can tell you, but I first need to know something, how often do you get symptoms and what are they?
Stan, before I was diagnosed w/ hypo my symptoms were constant light headedness, sometimes severe dizzy spells with the shakes and chest pains. After ruling out everything else and getting a diagnosis of hypoglycemia from my doctor, I changed my diet around. Since that time I still get headaches, have chest pain, get fatigued easily and am light headed sometimes. But keep in mind, I get these symptoms much less often than I did 8 months ago. My symptoms usually occur late morning, but on bad days can last for a few hours. I can go a few weeks without any symptoms at all and then - wham! - I will have a few couple of bad weeks in a row.
The protein shake I drink says it only contains 3gms. of sugar. Is that still too much?
Also, shouldn't exercise help? It seems whenever I get into a good exercise routine I start to feel crappy again. Like I said earlier, my Dr. thinks this is because my glucogen stores are too low and I have no fat reserves. Does this sound right to you?
Thanks so much!
Yeah, definitely sounds like reactive then, that explains why it seems to occur in the morning. Based on what you said your body is simply adjusting, but you may want to take some of the things I said in consideration. I need to know the ingredients of the shake. If it has plain sugar in it, it doesn't matter how many grams it says. Exercise should help yes, but it depends on your position along the healing process. If you're trying to do what you did before it may be too much. Cut back to 1/4 of what you do and see what happens. If it seems fine go up to 1/2 and get yourself to a good position, increasing slowly with time. That's what I did and now I work out more than I did before I got sick in the first place. I'm not sure about what your doctor said, I think the simple fact is that your sugar is still not stable enough. It's stable enough that you may not notice it as much, but the insulin is still shooting out, though in smaller amounts. When you work out a lot you use up the sugar first, which then goes lower because it's already running close to empty, and you feel like crap. So what they said sort of makes sense, but the only reason they'd be low is because your sugar is low in the first place. If you're concerned about fat reserves, just increase your fat intake a bit, it's good for you as long as you choose the right fat. Olive oil, for example, eggs, nuts (especially walnuts) and organic butter are all very good for this.
Stan, thanks for all of your information. You truly have been a God-send. Do you mind me asking how long you have been living with hypo. and did you learn all of this stuff as you went along?
Also, in an earlier post someone mentioned your list of forbidden foods. Could you please post those again for those new to this forum?
And one more, what do you eat for breakfast? It seems that I need a good breakfast to set the tone for the day.
Thank you, I love helping people here! One of the main reasons is because when I sick I had no one to help me. The doctor I saw was worthless and treated me terribly. Thankfully my family doctor back home worked with me and tried his best to help out. So yeah, I pretty much learned everything all on my own. That's why I post here, because I know how awful it was not knowing what to do or why things weren't working at times. I technically have had it all my life. Looking back I can see times when I had symptoms and didn't know it. I would bet you do too (weird fainting spells or flu-like symptoms with no temperature perhaps). But as far as having it bad, it started about 3-4 years ago and I only found out what it was about 1 1/2 years ago. My breakfast is this:
1. 1 tablespoon of brewer's yeast (I suggest you look into this)
2. large handful of walnuts (raw is preferable, organic is not necessary)
3. 2 organic, free range extra large eggs fried up in organic, cultured butter
4. 1 apple slice
5. 1 whole avocado (this is key, the avocado contains a kabillion times more potassium than a banana, and it actually suppresses insulin production, so it will help you throughout the entire day, tastes like crap though)
6. 4 large spoonfuls of organic, free range sheep's milk yogurt with tons of bugs in it
7. cup of rose hips tea
8. glass of water with a super, organic, vegetarian awesome multivitamin (only half, you don't need to take what the label says)
Thank you both for participating in the forum. I have reactive hypoglycemia. My doctor diagnosed it only using symptoms. I hate the way I feel when it acts up, and I have a couple of questions.
1. One of the symptoms seems to be sort of a constant yawning. I feel like I can't quite fill up the top of my lungs without yawning. Do you know if that is normally a symptom?
2. How do you ingest brewer's yeast? Do you just sprinkle it on food?
3. Are there any other foods that are especially good?
4. Do you take any specific supplements?
5. Is it best to exercise before or after eating?
Hi, I also have shortness of breath. Uptil now I got my O2 level checked, Lung xray, Epcardiogram and also seen Lung specialist . Nobody can find anything wrong. last I had similar problem was 20 years ago. I dont have any pain and my primary care keeps giving me anti anxiety medicines as he thinks I have anxiety. I took creatine for almost 2 months and few forums did mentioned that creatine can cause this.What else do you guys reccomend? Thx
I read the original post about symptoms of chest pain, dizziness and stuff. I too, had gone down the path of checking physical problems; heart disease,etc and low blood sugar problems.
I can tell you this. They can rule out physical problems very easily.
Low blood sugar is also easily ruled out thru a glocose tolerance test even though results from this are often overstate the potential for being a problem (this forum)
I thought this was my problem but turns out it wasn't.
Most of the time, if they can not find a physical problem, the problem is with a chemical imbalance in your brain from noeprinephoren/epinephoren. This causes the same symptoms as you describe. This is often called "anxiety or panic attacks". But the cause of this is often complicated; some have a genetic predispossion to triggering this imbalance, life events, lack of sleep, stress,..all can manifest these symptoms. Medication can help and long-term adjustments to lifestyle will help mitigate stress to fuels the imbalance.
Thanks, all who have posted to this forum. I'm a 32-y-o female with a fairly mild/manageable form of hypoglycemia, and after every sugar low I also have chest pains and palpitations, shortness of breath, headaches and dizziness, for a few days following the episode. I've had an EKG, a heart monitor, an echocardiogram, and a stress test -- and everything shows that my heart is fine. These chest pains seem directly related to both food and exercise: I get them if I haven't eaten for a few hours, and they go away about 30 mins to an hour after a meal. And if I exercise at that time or even exert myself a little (go up a flight of stairs, lift something heavy), my heart begins to race and I get dizzy. At those times it really feels like the life is draining out of me.
I *had* managed to restore my sugar and heart balance over the past few weeks, but a couple of nights ago I had to stay up late to finish a project, forgot to have a snack, and ended up with a sugar low in the middle of the night. Even after I took care of it and had a meal, I lay there in bed with chest pains and a racing heartbeat. The next morning -- after maybe 4 or 5 hours of sleep -- I had them again; they abated after breakfast and lunch but came back before dinner, which was a bit delayed. Today, same story. But since I still haven't caught up on sleep, could sleep-deprivation be the real cause? Should I be napping more, not eating more?
I should mention that, after each of these episodes, it seems I can't recover until I overeat. So, since my hypoglycemia began in around January, I've put on about 7 lbs. I REALLY don't want to put on any more weight -- and, in fact, would really like to return to my ideal weight and lose those 7 lbs.