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Weird hypoglycemic feeling


calypso
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For the last few days I have been feeling strange before and after meals -- kind of like a feeling that I am very hypoglycemic, with nausea, clamminess, lightheadedness and a little dizziness. My heart rate remains normal (I am on a beta blocker), and I checked my BP once with a home monitor and it was unaffected. Any ideas? The obvious one is actual hypoglycemia, but I hate to make yet ANOTHER trip to the doctor. I have always had blood sugar on the low side of normal or slightly below normal when I do any blood tests. But I never have really had symptoms until now.

After I eat, I feel a little better, but I still feel very hungry (even after a huge meal) and have a strange craving for sugar.

Amy

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Amy,

Not to bring it up yet again, lol :( but are you still nursing? It could very well be that, or the POTS...the same thing happens to me but it never did before I got pregnant with my son. He is over a year old and I still get shaky, sweaty, and lightheaded if I don't eat at least 3 meals and a snack every day...and honestly I get even hungrier than that but I try to control myself ;)

I crave sugar too- I could literally eat it with a spoon, which I think is so strange??!!

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calypso--YES! These were some of the most prominent symptoms I had while pregnant and had POTS, but I also had these symptoms post partum. I had episodes of feeling super hungry like I couldn't get full (ok, normal for being pregnant), but also dizzy, light-headed, clammy, shaky, weak, nauseated. I don't remember a craving for sugar. What helped was adding salt and a bit of fat to my diet (during pregnancy) and postpartum, just the salt. Also, keeping well-hydrated. I cut sugar entirely out of my diet--except for fruit--but, no fruit juices, no honey, no refined sugar.

Hope this helps you too, or that you find some relief somehow. When I had these symptoms I felt like I was on a roller coaster and couldn't get off.

Katherine

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Hypoglycemia has been one of my biggest problems - I used to have to eat every 90 minutes, sometimes even more often than that. Every body is different, so what worked for me may not work for you, but within less than a week after making the following changes, I can actually eat just 3 meals and an occasional snack. Being free of the incredible burden of constantly eating makes me feel almost like a normal person again!

- always have real butter (preferably raw), olive oil or virgin coconut oil with every meal

- eat meat, fish or chicken at every meal

- make veggies part of each meal (but only minimal carrots, peas, corn & potatoes) - yes, corn is actually a grain, but most of us think of it as a veggie

- absolutely no sugar or caffeine or alcohol

What I did was get involved with Metabolic Typing. Thru many at-home tests that I sent to the program headquarters, I was given very individualized suggestions for dietary changes and supplements. It has been the best thing I could have done for myself!

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You sound as if you have Reactive Hypoglycaemia. I have had it for years, your descriptions are the same as mine. It is very important to try and keep your sugar levels constant. I eat 6 small meals a day and cut out sugar from my diet. I am very sensitive to sugar. You need to find a good dietician who can set up a healthy balanced diet for you. Don't just go cutting things out of your diet. I was to strict on my diet once and got very sick from it. How I did not end up in a coma is a miracle. You can also have a glucose intolerance test done. Disgusting and not fun, but at least you will be diagnosed correctly.

This diet will help with the huger and cravings for sugar. Believe it or not you will eventually not even like sugar. :unsure: This is coming from a Choc-o-holic

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I agree that a glucose tolerance test would be good to rule out hypoglycemia or reactive hypoglycemia. I had a 2 hour and a 4 hour test done--during and after pregnancy. They both showed a very stable blood sugar, despite the symptoms. My endocrinologist told me that many POTS patients have SYMPTOMS of reactive hypoglycemia, but don't truly have the problem. Apparently, our systems become very sensitive to small, normal blood sugar changes and thus our adrenal system reacts as it would to low blood sugar, but we actually don't have low or big shifts in blood sugar. Weird.

So, I guess anything you can do to make your blood sugar levels even more stable helps, if this is the case (like it was for me). Thus, cutting refined sugars and foods with high sugar content like fruit juice, helped. Also, adding fats and oils (probably olive oil/flax oil is better than butter, but if the butter makes you feel better it's worth it) helps b/c your body breaks that down pretty slowly and it helps keep a more even blood sugar. Also, eating small, frequent meals would help--this helped me a lot too.

As my POTS improved, these symptoms improved too. I still stay away from refined sugar products anyway.

Katherine

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Thanks for all of your advice. I had two glucose tolerance tests during my second trimester of pregnancy and I had a blood sugar of 77 or so both times; I was told this was excellent. I also had a fasting glucose done for a life insurance exam in January (about two months after I had my daughter) and it was 67, so I was a tiny bit hypoglycemic. Do you think I might need another one? I am guessing this must be related to POTS, but then again I never had this happen until the last week, and I have had POTS now for eight months.

I am so afraid of diabetes because I watched my dad die slowly with it over the course of 20 years. But I am not at all overweight and he had the insulin resistance Type II form, so that's unlikely I think. But it's strange how I feel like my blood sugar is bouncing all over the place. I get so tired and feel a little nauseated and get hot flashes after I eat, like my blood sugar is high. I suppose next time I visit my doctor I will just ask for another fasting glucose test to make sure there have been no changes.

I have to admit I eat a LOT of carbs. But I do not eat refined carbs much. I eat a lot of organic granola, organic cereals (I LOVE low-sugar cereal), fat-free yogurt, fruit and whole wheat bread. When you guys say cut out sugar, do you mean ALL sugar -- like even the sugars that come in granola and yogurt? I don't see how I could do that. I will not be a happy camper on a low-carb diet. I don't eat meat (except seafood) anymore because it makes me feel yukky, so it would take more cooking time and creativity I guess to replace the carbs.

Any advice is appreciated. You guys are all so smart about this stuff! :rolleyes:

Amy

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calypso

I think you are right that most likely this is related to POTS. However, a glucose tolerance test, or a fasting glucose test, is inexpensive and should not be at all risky, so you might want to ask your doctor to repeat it. If nothing else it would set your mind at ease.

It is unlikely you are developing diabetes given your previous test results.

Personally, I cut out ANY sugar--even in minimally processed foods like granola and yoghurt. This doesn't mean a "low carb" diet, however. It's just the refined sugar that I cut out--so there is yoghurt I could still eat--just sweetened with fruit not sugar. I ate tons of fruit still actually. Fructose breaks down more slowly than glucose. And I still ate whole grain bread and pasta. But, you'll probably have to figure out what your body's needs are.

Hopefully your symptoms will recede with time. I have to say that I am glad I got into the habit of not eating refined sugar (although of course I do eat the occasional sweet dessert now and then :rolleyes: ). Regardless of a person's health status, refined sugar cannot be healthy--our bodies have not evolved to process a lot of this kind of sugar. People who overdo it or who are susceptible, may be more prone to developing diabetes, for example.

Good luck. Katherine

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Katherine,

Where do you buy yogurt w/ no sugar? The least-sweetened yogurt I can find is plain organic yogurt, but it still has 10 g of sugar, which is a fair amount. But I suppose it's better than the 25 that is in many yogurts. If you know of any brands that have less, I'd be interested.

Thanks for your quick response!

Amy

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There are organic brands with no added sugar. I think Stoneyfield Farms should have one plain type with no sugar. My favorite brand is Horizon, also Seven stars, and Brown Cow. Maybe I need to check the ingredients again since you say you found a plain org yogurt with 10g of sugar--maybe I was eating more sugar than I thought I was! :rolleyes:

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Have the test again. I passed with flying colours. I started off with about 4.2 and after 5 hours my sugar levels were still falling. We eventually stopped the tests because my sugar was going to 2.2 and I need food badly. You need to learn how to read labels. I don’t buy anything with sugar in to eat. My fat contents are also very low. My gp has advised nothing more than 3g/100g fat. Maximum 10 g pushing it. There is allot on the market in South Africa, look in the Diabetic section. Be careful of the diet products. They say diet and are full of sugar and sometimes height fat as well. All your symptoms sound like mine. Be careful Reactive hypo... becomes Diabetic if you don’t look after yourself. This is due to the body having exhausted the pancreas. :wub:

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Calypso,

I have the same problem and symptoms. I assumed I was reactive hypoglycemic and so got a lot of information on the hypoglycemic diet. Keep in mind that I had already eaten low sugar for over 25 years, so didn't have to reduce sugar, so I tried eating low carb and high protein. I had protein snacks. I felt worse.

Then I got a blood sugar meter like the diabetics use. I started writing down the time I ate anything and the time I took a blood sugar rating and I learned a lot about me fast!

I learned that I need carbs to keep enoough blood sugar going. By carbs, I mean a piece of fruit, a slice of bread, some potato, and so on. Protein just wouldn't keep those blood levels up in the normal range. Then I saw a nutritionist and took my chart with me. She confirmed that I need balance in each meal, carbs, protein, and a bit of fat.

That blood sugar meter told me about me. I used it to train myself how to eat to keep normal sugar levels and I can do this with 3 meals a day.

The meters and test strips are expensive when they are not covered by insurance. I bought mine out of pocket. If you know a diabetic who has an extra meter, you might be able to borrow one. I love having my own.

Another thing I learned from my meter is that when I am having the symptoms like the ones you describe I am not necessarily low in sugar. And that I can get low blood sugar without having symptoms. The only way to know for sure is to test.

I think a meter is a big help for anyone who suspects low blood sugar.

Good luck!

Michigan Jan

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