Hey Stan. I'm assuming since you're a grad student in C-Ville that you're at UVA. I've actually been on medical leave from Virginia Tech now for several years.

I, as well as my two older sisters, have had hypoglycemic-like symptoms off and on throughout life. We also all seemed to get worse at the end of high school and during college. Around the time I turned 18 I started feeling jittery with gnawing hunger after eating something like fast food. I got mono and had to leave VT in Jan of 2004. The mono itself wasn't bad at all, but 2 weeks into it, all the minor and periodic hypoglycemic symptoms went into permanent overdrive.

Since then I ALWAYS feel jittery, weak, fatigued, achy, and I have just about constant gnawing hunger. I also have a lot of palpitations. The first thing they checked for was blood sugar regulation. However, the fact that I only feel a little bit better after eating, and the fact that my blood sugar only dropped to 68 mg/dL during a GGT, they didn't think hypoglycemia was the cause. They had me try a hypoglycemic diet and told me that after 2 weeks I should feel better if it were the culprit. I did NOT feel better at all which further convinced them it wasn't my blood sugar.

My sister recently had to do a 2-hour GGT to test for Gestational Diabetes since she is pregnant. Discussing her test results led me to revisit the idea of hypoglycemia causing my symptoms. After talking to her she told me she avoids sugar because large quantities make her feel ill for several days. My oldest sister doesn't do well consuming sugar either. Both, along with my mother, describe high refined carb consumption making them unusually hungry for the rest of the day.

After looking at Hypoglycemia for Dummies and the Jeraldine Saunders book, I found the info definitely conflicted with what my doctors had told me. First off, if you use the 70 mg/dL cut-off for hypoglycemia diagnosis then you could call it the reactive type. If you look at the rate of drop then I would qualify for the relative type (according to the books). Furthermore those books state it could take months before I feel better (a lot more than two weeks!).

My 3 hour GTT results:

Fasting: 84 mg/dL
Hour 1: 190 mg/dL
Hour 2: 100 mg/dL
Hour 3: 68 mg/dL

Unforunately they did not check the 1/2 hour mark, but I did drop 90 mg/dL in an hour. I left the test feeling very shaky and hungry. My sister's GGT pattern was similar.

Since you seem to know a lot about hypoglycemia what are you thoughts? How do those numbers look to you? I've been doing a rather liberal diet for a few weeks eating 6 small meals and allowing fruits (except bananas) and whole grains.

-George
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replied December 14th, 2007
Community Volunteer
First off, read my diet info on this forum. Only a three hour test? Wow, that sucks, because it's critical to know what happened after that 68. Do you have access to a glucometer so you can track this yourself over about a week? That would help. The thing about levels is that hypoglycemia deals with both the level and the SPEED. You went from 100 to 68 rather quickly there, perhaps even within a half hour, which is not enough time for your brain to adjust, so they were wrong. They were also QUITE incorrect in saying that two weeks was enough time. HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHA!!!!!!!!! NO! No no no no no!!! It can take up to four weeks to notice any beneficial change at all, and even then it usually isn't that much. Ha, two weeks, that would be nice. What is your usual diet? And yes, I'm at UVA.
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replied December 15th, 2007
For Stan
Actually i DID have a 5 hour GTT. The problem was my doctor at the time wanted to try an anti-candida diet which was so low in carbs, that i later found it likely invalidated the test. You're supposed to consume at least 150 to 200 grams of carbs for several days prior to fasting for the test. If not, you alter your glucose tolerance and it skews your results. So the 5 hour GTT results follow the same pattern as my 3 hour. However, it was more extreme.

Fasting: 80 mg/dL
1Hr: 211
2Hr: 129
3Hr: 50
4Hr: 61
5: 66

When i hit bottom i was drenched in sweat and felt awful. My 3rd hour was the lowest for both and i slowly rebounded from there. I graphed the curve and it definitely fits the pattern that the books describe as the 'relative' type. I more than meet their criteria by dropping at least 50 mg/dL in a given hour. So yeah, it would seem mine is all about the rate of drop as opposed to how low i drop.

Yes I do actually have a glucometer. I'm having issues with my plunger and lancet system which i gotta sort out.

For my usual diet do you want me to describe a typical day?

Thanks for the help

-G
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replied December 15th, 2007
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Yeah, those scores there are pretty definite. Sure, tell me what you've been eating.
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replied December 16th, 2007
Diet
Well i pretty much do the same routine every day. I'm more concerned with getting it under control and proving whether or not hypoglycemia is causing my symptoms. I'll worry about variety later.

I start off with breakfast which is usually eggs + whole grain toast or oatmeal or Kellogs All-Bran cereal. If i have any juice its a very small amount.

Lunch is usually a sandwich on whole grain bread with lots of meat and cheese to balance the carbs with protein. Mayo or mustard. I drink water or unsweetened decaf tea.

Dinner is usually meat and vegetables. I avoid starches. Sometimes i'll eat pasta and i have the whole wheat protein-enriched pasta. Also, i've kept carrots in the diet so far.

Between these three small meals and after the last, i have either apple slices, tangerine wedges, or whole grain crackers with cheese or peanut butter. During the 4-5 hour breaks between my main meals i slowly eat one of the three choices above. I try to begin eating them about a half hour after my previous meal and try to finish them a half hour prior to my next meal. The point of this to have a slow steady intake to keep my blood sugar as level as possible. I figure something like an apple or a tangerine consumed over such a long period of time shouldn't cause my blood glucose to rise that much.

I guess the only way i'll know if this stabilizes my blood sugar is to test it with the glucometer. Either that or i'll have to crack down and remove grains and fruits or something.

It's hard because i pretty much have constant gnawing hunger. It's been this way since the mono. The only thing that stops it is consuming large amounts of sugar. I'm hungry even after i eat and get my blood sugar back up. I wonder if that's from elevated insulin levels or something?? I dunno. I've also only been doing this for about 2 weeks or so.
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replied December 16th, 2007
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What other sort of symptoms are you getting? Just the jitters, palpitations and hunger or anything else? I need to know this first.
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replied December 17th, 2007
Symptoms
I always have a feeling of internal trembling and palpitations. It seems to pound and echo more throughout my body. It is also erratic and often faster than normal. I also have significant widespread muscle pain. I always seem to have cold hands/feet and my armpits sweat excessively. I'm also frequently fatigued, weak, and drowsy. All these symptoms are listed in the Hypoglycemia For Dummies book as symptoms that can 'persist over time'.

I interpreted this to mean that you can have these symptoms pretty much all the time even when you are not in the middle of a hypoglycemic episode. In other words, it's not the kind of situation where you feel a blood sugar drop and all your symptoms are relieved by eating, which I often experienced throughout my life before mononucleosis.

You have the Hypoglycemia For Dummies book right? On the same page where they talk about symptoms that persist over time (pg 32), they discuss the stages. It's like mononucleosis elevated my hypoglycemia from Stage 1 to Stage 2. My symptoms are pretty constant, but if I have an obvious hypoglycemic episode they become more intense.
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