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Diet Change/fainting


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Hi everyone! For the past 2 months I have been feeling pretty good. I decided to go on a diet and have lost 30 pounds in almost 2 months. I was fainting on a daily basis before I started dieting....but once I cut my calories under 1,000 I compleatly stoped passing out!! I had no more chest pains,dizzyness ,rapid Hr,ect. This past week I decided to cheat a little and eat whatever I wanted. When I was out today I woke up on the ground. I couldn't believe it! I felt like I was before. It made me so mad because I was finally doing so much better. I just thought this was really weard. I don't see how just cutting my calories could of made such a difference...maby I was just lucky for a couple of months? Has this ever happened to anyone ealse? I could feel me heart pounding right before i went down,but i diddnt think anything of it. When the ambulance ppl arrived they said my Hr was very low. and they said it much of dropped fast. They wanted me to go to the ER but i diddn't want to. I probably wouldn't be told anything new.

Last month I went for anyother stress test. I diddn't faint but I felt awful. I am still waiting for the test results. I keep calling and calling but no one calls me back...so Im guessing the test results much be normal..so Im not really sure what 2 do now. I do know I am going back to my diet 2morrow!!

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heather -

at the risk of sounding harsh, it is NOT safe for an adult woman to eat that few calories on a regular daily basis. there are rare exceptions, but they require medical monitoring & it doesn't sound like that is the situation you're in. other than with very specialized medical nutrition products, it's not possible to get the nutrients your body needs with less than a 1000 calories.

if you need to lose weight there are safe/ healthy ways to do it, but extreme calorie cutting isn't one of them and is a guarantee for problems moving forward....even if you're feeing fine or ever better than normal now.

i don't mean to ignore the fact that you've been feeling better but am concerned for you & your overall health. there are several reasons i can think of that you might be feeling better in the moment on your diet, or of course it's very possible there's not correlation at all. perhaps in cutting your calories you have also cut out certain types of foods? if so, perhaps there is a significant correlation between your symptoms and these items. there are some people who have drastic overall improvement without (or with less) dairy, gluten, sugary items, etc. so if you're eating different types of foods this may be the difference in how you're feeling and certainly is a great thing to learn as it can be carried over into a healthy & sustainable way of eating long term. one other possibility is that you're getting the "rush" that extreme dieting/ calorie restriction can bring, particularly in earlier stages; it's an actual physical reaction that happens to some people more than others, has been thought to play a role for some in the development of eating disorders (by no means the only issue but a contributing factor), etc. i don't know for certain but based on what i do know it's not all that far fetches to thing that this physical phenomenon could affect the autonomic nervous system in a way that you could feel better. in the short term. over time it will NOT sustain, your body will get run down, you'll end up with vitamin/ mineral deficiencies & permanant bone loss, you'll lose your ability to reproduce, etc.. and it's quite likely that you'll be passing out more rather than less.

i don't like to lecture but you really truly can't keep this up. i can imagine how enticing it must be since you're feeling better, but the feeling better won't continue. i can't tell you when you'll "crash" but you will. i guarantee it. hopefully if you examine the changes you've been making other than the calorie restriction itself you'll be able to pinpoint something(s) that IS sustainable, i.e. fewer carbs, smaller amounts of food at one time (large meals can be a major trigger for sycope & other ANS symptoms in some), etc. and you can continue to feel better long term. i'm not against your losing weight in a way that is healthy but please talk with your doctor or a dietician in regard to a safe way to do so.

take care,

:) melissa

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Hi, Heather:

Sunfish has made a lot of good points and knows her stuff! :) I have to agree, as well. That's a really low calorie diet that you are on right now. Have you been monitored by a doctor or nutritionist with your new diet?

Again, in agreement with Sunfish, it seems very likely that you inadvertently cut out a problematic food or larger meals might be the cause of your syncope.

On the day that you fainted again, you mentioned you ate anything you wanted... what did you eat that day that you weren't consuming on your dieting days?

While your diet isn't the best plan and should probably be modified to include more calories, you might have discovered some good information about your fainting.

- If there was more than one food type that you ate on your non-dieting day that you haven't been eating while dieting, perhaps you can introduce those into your diet on separate days to see how each food type makes you feel.

- To see if larger meals might be the cause, you could try eating a large meal that consists only of the types of food you ate while dieting.

I do hope that you have somehow discovered a way to help yourself feel better (but I agree with Sunfish - the drastically reduced caloric intake will cause more harm than good in the long run).

Take care, please!

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I agree with Melissa and the rest of the gang. The most common reason for fainting or feeling lightheaded after eating is the low BP caused by eating too much or too many carbs. Eating smaller, high-protein meals might help you...as well as avoiding some of the other foods mentioned above.

Also when you lose a lot of weight in a short time, you'll probably wind up putting it right back on. It's much better to gradually adjust to a diet and lifestyle that you can realistically keep up even after you lose the weight. Your results will be much slower, but are more likely to last.

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Thanks for the advise everyone! It helped alot. I spoke with my cardiologist today and he thinks I should be eating atleast 1,500 a day. I did forget that eating large meals can trigger ANS problems. I think that could of been the case. He' putting me back on a small dose of Midrodine 3 times daily. He thinks that might help.

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I have found that sticking to the "low carb diet" helps my symptoms greatly.

I don't calorie count, but decreasing carbs has helped with the whole range of symptoms.

As the holidays rolled around, I decided to just eat whatever I wanted including cakes, cookies, the usual holiday fare and I have not been feeling as well. I've actually been feeling quite unwell. There is definitely something about carbs and POTS symptoms with me.

Take care of yourself and don't overdo the dieting.

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