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Jerry

Dysautonomia And Hypoglycemia, Linked?

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I've been trying to figure out what all this new, terrible experience means. Many of my symptoms are consistent with dys, some kind of vagus problem, excess vagal tone, leading to bradycardia, but I've also got other symptoms, tremors, weakness, trembling which are consistent with hypoglycemia. Are the two things ever linked. Can dys lead to hypoglycema. I am not diabetic (at least not that I know of).

Thanks,

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Don't know about this, but i found a while back a connection with my blood sugar and my migraines. My neuro suggested I start checking my sugar one time when we were just pulling straws trying to find a reason for them, and I noticed if I didn't keep my sugar in the 90's and up, I was more likely to start having issues.

I don't check as often now, but I do still prick my fingers and such when I get more symptomatic to make sure. Now that we believe my migraines fall under my POTS stuff, it kinda helps me monitor my body more.

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Thanks, Becia. It's great that you have a neuro who's willing to pull straws like that with you. I haven't met mine yet, I'll see her this Thursday.

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I had all kinds of glucose testing done when my POTS was severe and everything came back very normal--however, I would have hypoglycemic like symptoms if I had not eaten for awhile. My endocrinologist told me it was my autonomic system overreacting to normal changes in blood glucose. My POTS specialist also implied that this was the case and can happen with this condition. I still occasionally get these symptoms, but since I improved greatly overall, I don't get these symptoms anymore. I still find I feel best on a low glycemic index diet but probably many people do!?

Here is a list of foods and their glycemic index:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods.htm

This is not at all to say that you may or may not have a blood glucose problem. Some people certainly do.

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I know exactly what your are feeling. I experience this and have a blood sugar tester and my blood sugar is normal during episodes. However eating a balance of protein and carbs does help. When I had my ttt I became extremely hypoglycemic before I thought I was going to pass out. Now I use it as a sign that it's time to drink water and more salt

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I've been trying to work this one out with my POTS for a while. I seem to do best if I don't let my blood sugar drop to much. I eat fruit, Veges and protein mostly (and good fats). I do not follow any fad diets as most have things I can't eat (mast cell issues)...this is just what my body seems to work best on.

So here's a few of my personal theories

1. Sugar is a even stronger osmotic puller than salt...so if we have trouble keeping our fluid in our blood and out of the interstitial spaces then sugar will help wade off a hypovolemic attack by pulling water into the blood (that's why they use it in hospitals for emergencies). If I have a very low bp (67/46) lying sugar will quickly bring it up (and I also follow it with caffeine to lock in the fluid through vasoconstriction). However due to the insulin response to sugar this could also make us crash. So for me Fruit seems to give me a good pull without the highs and lows table sugar etc will bring. I include it in meals and snack on it when I feel light headed.

2. I don't do well on starches. I usually crash after eating them so I only eat them in the evening, if at all, when I can lye down after. I think this is for two reasons. Firstly, to much blood pooling to my digestive system trying to process all that starch. Secondly, not enough immediate sugar release to keep up my blood volume.

So as much as low glycemic index is the advised way to go I find this very difficult, almost impossible. So I go more on Low glycemic load ie how much is going to get into my blood in a normal serving. Many fruits have high GI (they transfer sugar into the blood fast) but to get a high load in your blood you would have to eat a ton of them. A melon has high GI but a low load as most of it is water. I generally never eat more than 1/6 of a small melon at a time. But may combine it with a banana or mango that has a low immediate sugar transfer but lasts longer.

I find banana and mangos great as they give a bit of immediate sugar but are processed over time giving a longer slower release of sugar without the pooling issues of dense starches like grains.

These are just my experiences. We are all a bit different and may need different things.

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I've been trying to figure out what all this new, terrible experience means. Many of my symptoms are consistent with dys, some kind of vagus problem, excess vagal tone, leading to bradycardia, but I've also got other symptoms, tremors, weakness, trembling which are consistent with hypoglycemia. Are the two things ever linked. Can dys lead to hypoglycema. I am not diabetic (at least not that I know of).

Thanks,

I was actually interested in this concept myself. Every now and then I have episodes of really exaggerated symptoms. These 'episodes' come on quite suddenly. During these times I seem to get what I would class as feeling overly anxious when I am literally doing nothing that would make me, I get the chills (sometimes I can feel like I am having hot flashes though), a feeling that I really need to eat something, irritable, headachy, weird blurry vision (best way I can describe it), shaky (almost like an inner trembling feeling) and heart palpatations/thudding, paleness, nausea . if I monitor myself during this episodes I always have tachycardia, even on sitting/laying down on top of my POTS tachycardia. My blood pressure during this time can be quite erratic also. I feel very faint often, and my BP can swing between being really low and also really high (maybe the anxiousness has a contribution to this, but even when I am feeling as calm as I can be its still raised). Also my pulse pressure can often be quite low when this happens or I have a higher diastolic reading. Afterwards I usually feel quite exhausted/weak and I usually have quite bad insomnia afterwards as it takes a while to get over it!

Often since I feel the need to eat and also drink something (as sometimes I get a dry mouth I have noticed my symptoms tend to begin to die down after this and my BP returns to a normal level (whether this is coincidence I am not sure). What I also find quite strange is that before I was actually diagnosed with POTS I would always feel like I should carry snacks around with me and a drink as I felt the symptoms resembled those of being hungry even though that probably wasn't the issue. I would be interested to hear if anybody else had a similar experience?

The only things I can note as being a pattern when these attacks happen (usually once every 2-3 weeks) is that I have either felt a little more exhausted than usual after a bout of exercise, I have had a long gap between meals or shortly after I have had a heavy meal and also I have found it linked to the fact I have not taken my B-complex vitamins for that day. I know some of the B vitamins have a role in glucose control but whether it is far fetched to say this is of specific note, but it is just strange that I have only forgotten to take this vitamin on 2 days, and both those days I have had an episode. Usually if I have an episode they have always occured between the hours of 9-11pm.

It seems as though when I have been admitted to hospital nobody has mentioned anything regarding my blood sugars being abnormal. However I am going to check with my own monitor that I have just bought to track myself before and after meals and also in relation to exercise as I have heard a lot about reactive hypoglycaemia being linked to people who have POTS and other types of dysautonomia. Originally I had suspected it might be a flare up of IBS as during these episodes as I can also have an urge to go to the toilet (TMI!), but I just can't wrap my head around feeling so absolutely horrific from that and that maybe that is presenting itself as another symptom of hypoglycaemia as I am usually fine throughout the rest of the day.

I usually doing some light exercise on a rowing machine around 7-8pm. Usually I feel rather exhausted afterwards but today I decided to have snacks before, during and after alongside having a good drink and I have felt so far a lot less exahusted afterward. Again this could be just a fluke.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!

Hope this helps you Jerry even if it is just that our symptoms sound a little similar

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My sister has seen me very POTSy when we are out - having trouble walking, sweating profusely, unfocused, a bit panicky and she said I look like I'm hypoglycemic during these times. She nursed her mother in law who was ill with cancer and had hypoglycemic attacks and she said I act and look just like her when I'm in that state. I am not diabetic but my glucose tolerance tests indicate I could be headed that way despite losing a lot of excess weight. I suspect exercise would help this, for me. But I am unable to exercise at this time.

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Yes, seems like my attacks are like some of the one's that have been described above, confusion, nausea, shaking and I also get the thing where it's almost like I'm freezing, I shiver and shake, even when it's warm. The problem is that I had blood work a week ago and my glucose was fine. I've been thinking about getting a test kit and checking it throughout the day.

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Hi Jerry, I also get chilled with sweat when this happens and this can happen in the heat of summer or the cold of winter. My fasting blood tests were high normal but because of my age (getting old) it was recommended I have glucose intolerance testing. Sometimes I wonder if it is the telmistartin I take for high bp? When I've gone off the telmistartin (micardis) I actually feel a bit better sweating, chills wise etc., but my BP climbs too high . losing weight did not help that either. It's good to get rid of so much of my excess weight but losing it did nothing for improved bp or glucose intolerance.

Blue

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Could you have reactive hypoglycemia? It's not an uncommon symptom of POTS. Usually it occurs some time after eating, but for me it can even occur whilst I'm eating. My OH will have to grab the drink out of my hand or move the soup out of the way before I fall headfirst into it! Needless to say, we don't "eat out" any more ;-).

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I don't think the symptoms are as simple as hypoglycemia but may well be a trigger. Many of the symptoms of hypoglycemia are mediated by the low sugar causing an increase in noradrenaline and adrenaline. Since dysautonomia in our control of these hormone is damage we may be more sensitive or have a stronger reaction to hypoglycemia. So the problem may not be on the insulin/glucagon end of the response (like most people with hypoglycemia) but hypoglycemia triggering an already doggy and over reactive system.

Stefsurf your symptoms sound like excess noradrenaline.

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Science girl, so hypoglycemia triggers adrenaline? When I get these shakes it feels lot like adrenaline. I've never heard of noradrenaline before I'll have to look into it.

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Merlin, reactive hypoglycemia seems like something worth looking into as well. Eating's definitely a trigger for me for all my symptoms, the bradycardia and the trembling.

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I think there are quite a few of us with reactive hypoglycemia on here. When I had a glucose tolerance test my blood sugar dropped to 36 and I had nearly all the same symptoms that I had after my TTT where my BP dropped to 30s/20s. It was amazing to me how my body reacted in the aftermath of those 2 events in almost the exact same way, so I think Science Girl is right that it's the interaction of the glucose and the neurotransmitters that is the cause of a lot of our symptoms.

Jerry, a standard glucose level on a regular blood test may not tell you much related to this problem. You would need a glucose tolerance test with insulin levels drawn along with it. Doing it later in the day may be helpful too. Only problem is you have to fast before you do it.

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I checked my glucose the other morning, and it was a slightly high (for me) 107, so no hypoglycemia. Maybe you're right about looking into a glucose intolerance test.

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I used to have hypoglycemia. It has been almost a year without having hypoglycemia anymore!! I never had hypoglycemia problems until in middle school when I was put on celexa for my anxiety. well right after the medication I started getting hypoglycemia. We didntt connect the two until last yr. I went off the med and my anxiety has been better and my blood sugar is back to normal. I do have some tips for you. My doctor told me to avoid blood sugar crashes to always have protein and a certain amount of carbs. I always like to make sure my snack or meal was 15 grams of carbs or more but not really more than 40 because if you have a lot of carbs it could crash. also right before bed a good idea is maybe have a high fiber protein snack like an apple and glass of milk so the sugar wont crash at night. my grandma watched dr oz and he said an apple or a glass of milk b4 bed will help prevent blood sugar crashes at night.

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agreed with OI and reactive hypoglycemia - I had a continuous glucose monitor test by the endocrinologist i saw and she is the one who picked it up - i eat every two hours practically - it helps - I can not let myself get hungry because usually by then it is too late...

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I've been checking my blood sugar per suggestions here. Wow, what a surprise. My usual level is between 96 and 106, been that way for years. Now I'm seeing readings in 110s and 120s, even a fasting 139. I've never seen readings like this before. I don't eat sugar, haven't for a decade. Since I've developed whatever I have, perhaps dys, two months ago, I'm eating very little and losing weight. My blood sugar should not be going up like this, I think.

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