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Waking With Nausea And Have To Eat In The Middle Of The Night


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When i first wake the nausea isn't too bad but just gets worse until I eat - the last thing I want to do in the middle of the night.

But it clearly solves the problem - and I can't go to sleep until I have had at least toast and a banana - a biscuit won't do.

Spoke to both GP and POTs Prof about it and they just looked baffled.

It's waking me a few times a week and I am sure it's to do with low blood sugar but this is a new area for me. It happens a bit in the day too and the pots feelings come on if I don't eat every few hours. I don't actually feel hungry but know i feel better as soon as I start eating. I am normal weight.

Anyone throw any light on this.

Thanks

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Hi, Emma. Is there any way you can get your hands on a glucose monitor, so you can check your blood sugars when these episodes are happening? I have one that my endo gave me, since I can run a very low sugar at times, and it's really helpful to me when I'm experiencing symptoms and can't figure them out.

You know, I'm thinking, I used to wake in the night with episodes like yours (I still do, actually), when my Addison's was undiagnosed and I wasn't being treated yet. I would eat, thinking it was low sugar, and while I felt better, I still didn't feel quite right. I wonder if maybe you don't have a bit of an adrenal issue, as well.

Here's something to help in the meantime. My doctor always told me, when I was having sugar problems acting up, to eat a balanced way, meaning a fat, protein and carb six times a day. And, he used to say, "Graze, not gorge, since you're eating so much and don't want to gain a bunch of weight." So, for three meals a day, eat a protein, fat and carb, like a hamburger with bun. There's your fat and protein in the hamburger, and your carb in the bun. Since carbs are your sugar, your quick energy, when you have sugar problems, this quick sugar can't be metabolized like in a healthy person, and your sugars tend to rise quite quickly, then, if you still have insulin (aren't diabetic), you'll get a huge surge of insulin to combat the high glucose level, and you'll bottom out, leaving you hypoglycemic and sympotomatic. Toast is a carb, so quickly turns to fast energy--sugar. Bananas are sugar. So, before going to bed, maybe try some peanut butter on your toast (fat, protein and carb). You can still have your banana, but just make sure you have enough peanut butter to balance all that sugar you're taking in. Milk is good, too. It has protein, fat and carbs. See if that doesn't help until you can find what is exactly going on.

I'd ask your doctor if he or she can supply you with a glucose monitor. A lot of docs get them into their office as samples and can give them out then to patients. I've never had to pay for one since 1995. I do have to pay for the testing strips, though, but with a prescription through your doctor, your insurance should pay a good portion of the strips.

Please keep us posted on what you find out and how you are.

Lindajoy

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Oh, I forgot to tell you how I get to feeling when my sugar crashes. I get terrible anxiety in my chest, enough that I find myself holding it and feeling like I can't breathe. I get nauseous to the point I don't want to eat and have to force myself to. I feel no energy at all. I get shaky and severely angry. You ever watch Fried Green Tomatoes, I think that's it, with Julia Roberts who is a diabetic? When she's getting her hair done and her sugar crashes and she needs to eat, how she acts? Out of it, angry, etc.? That's me, to a bit of a lesser degree.

Is this how you feel?

Lindajoy

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No answers! But I have definitely had this! I've suspected both adrenal involvement and blood sugar issues for myself. What wakes us up naturally in the morning is a drop in blood sugar levels, so I've wondered if my blood sugar was dropping a lot earlier in my sleep cycle and waking me up many hours early. When my gastroparesis symptoms and GERD are at their worst and I am hardly eating during the day, I find the night time waking happens much more often.

Don't you "love" it when you present with symptoms that sound like a textbook case of something like low blood sugar/a hypoglycemic attack and your GP stares at you like you're crazy. Ack. That's why I just stopped going to doctors for a long time.

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That's what I thought, too, Humbled Pie, that this sounds like textbook low sugar issues. I think sometimes doctors get so used to not being able to figure us POTSies out, that even if we present with something that can actually be pretty textbook, they think it HAS to be something odd / off the wall, because we can't possibly have something "normal," so they shake their heads and say, "I just don't know." I've had doctors say, "With you, it can be anything."

Not saying your symptoms are indeed from low sugar, Emma, but it seems a pretty reasonable place to start.

Linda

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Yeah, would say sugar issues too - I've figured out that if I take a GTF Chromium, probiotic and enzyme before bed - it keeps me from doing that. The GTF Chromium will help to balance the sugar out and I don't wake needing to eat. My doc tuned me into it and it has worked well. Sometimes I have to take it 2 times a day if I'm not watching my diet close enough. I've always had issues with hypoglycemia and now that I'm older it will sometimes go both ways - not bad in either direction now thanks to the Chromium. (GTF stands for glucose tolerance factor). I've also recently added magnesium citrate and it helps with sleep.

Issie

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Thanks -everyone -well it seemed fairly obvious to me too that my sugar was too low. And that this is probably to do with POTs.

I bought a sugar test monitor at the chemists and will use that next time.

GP actually said if i can go without eating and turn up at the surgery at 9.00am he will do a blood test anyday - which is good - but then said he would be testing me for something really rare?

It does just seem that my blood sugar drops too quickly.

I eat a really good diet -all fish, chicken, veg all organic / wild. have been on dairy free and gluten free but not sure if it made much difference. Still i am careful with these.

Thanks for all the advise - I find sanity on this site.

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Yes I have seen an endocrinologist twice but both times during the journey before the pots diagnosis. I am awaiting seeing a sleep doc but apparently i haven't been booked for a test despite the pots doc requesting it.

There's a lot of cuts going on with the nhs and everyone seems to be doing minimal testing.

What are you thinking Rich?

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When you say low blood sugar, and the doctor says something rare, I'm thinking insulinoma. I can see where he wants to test your glucose first thing. I've had the 72-hour fast for that before. For some reason, alot of us seem to have low blood sugar issues.

Yea, I was also thinking of an ulcer being your middle-of-the-night nausea issue. I've had gastritis and ulcers, and it seems like forever that I've had a gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach like clockwork around 4 a.m. Now I'm not sure if it is the gastritis/ulcers or the low blood sugar!!

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  • 2 months later...

I have been hypoglycemic for over 30 years and can predict it because it always followed a stupid sugar binge. To prevent it I would always eat a meal before the sugar craze... Suddenly this past 2 months I am "Crashing" suddenly without my chocolate binge...The first time it happened I was at work and it was 71--I had had orange juice that morning...THen I got a glucometer to keep tabs and I am dropping as low as 47-to 51 range after eating any complex carb (like cereal) without adding a protein....Its so odd and it hits me really fast and by the time I realize whats happening the symptoms start-tremors, anxiety,cold and clammy and feeling faine my sugar is already in the 50's. Have not yet been diagnsed but sure its at least POTS....

Just some info on the "Dawn Pheonomen with diabetics-33% experience this- If they do not eat enough carbs before bed and their sugars drop to a dangerous level the liver will start to release glucogan-a form of glucose stored in the liver-to raise the blood sugar until the person wakes in Am and eats....Just FYI

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I get these symptoms also and check my sugar and it is fine, very frustrating.

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According to Chinese medicine, if it's around 3:00am - that is the cycle with your liver. I started using milk thistle and don't have problems with waking and needing to eat any more. I also take a GTF chromium (glucose tolerance factor) and a magnesium, probiotic and enzyme before bed and that helps to balance out my blood sugar and help with anything going on in my intestines. Seems to work for me, and like the rest of you - I used to wake up and feel like I had to eat or else I'd just feel awful. I sometimes still wake up ----but, I don't need to eat.

Issie

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I get this...both at bedtime, I will all of a sudden become hungry/nauseated and can't sleep until I eat something, and then I will sometimes wake up at night like this. I have checked my sugar at these times and it isn't low. I asked the docs and they looked at me like I'm crazy. BUT, when I looked it up, GUESS what???...Our autonomic system does dictate whether we feel satieted (sp?) or not. SO, it could be sugar, or endocrine, or it could just be another symptom of our dysautonomia.

I have found that eating peanut butter on a whole grain bread with some cinnamon sprinkled on it seems to shut it off. I figured I'd hit the fat, whole grain, cinnamon options all in one in case I was having variations in sugar that don't easily show up on a basic home test. Otherwise, the fat in the PB and the fiber in the whole grain does seem to help turn off that extreme hunger feeling.

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Guest headhunter030

I get these symptoms also and check my sugar and it is fine, very frustrating.

Yep Hippychic; same here. I would swear my sugar would be in the 20's I feel so incredibly horrible. Like I am going to pass out and freak out. So weak, I can't hold a fork. So, I got a monitor and checked a few times and my sugar was fine. As soon as I eat I feel better. Huge mystery.

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Well, I saw mystery diagnosis show about this girl who needed to eat in the middle of the night to. Her parents would have to give her certain types of food that would last longer in her system. I wish I remembered what it was called. You don't sound like you have it to her degree, just mildly... If she didn't eat it was dangerous... I wish I remembered at it was called :-(

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Katybug, I HAVE to eat something before I go to bed and found 2 slices of cinnamon raisen bread-toasted with butter works for me--odd isn't it??

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They have proven the cinnamon stablizes blood sugar. That's what makes me wonder if it is a sugar thing even though the monitor says I have normal levels. I like cinnamon, so I figure a little sprinkle can't hurt. I have wondered about taking the cinnamon tablets to see if it cuts down on these weird night time cravings. I'm undecided because I already pop so many pills.

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Too much cinnamon can be toxic and also could lower your blood sugar too much especially if you tend to have low blood sugars. It is used mostly in diabetics and it is recommended to take the pill form that has the part that could cause issues removed. It can also upset your stomach. So, everything in moderation. I mean a piece of rice bread with real butter and cinnamon sounds really good. :) It's been awhile since I studied up on this one - maybe Zap will chime in here.

Issie

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Oh! I didn't know too much could be toxic. I think I'll stick with sprinkling on my food when it will be tasty. Interestingly, I find it soothes my nausea instead of irritating my stomach. But, I crave weird things when my stomach is acting up...garlic, chai tea, brussel sprouts, apples. I think my body tells me which vits/minerals it needs to get through some things, cause those are not typical "stomachache foods". :P

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