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I think i might have hypoglycemia

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by ghost_whistler, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. ghost_whistler

    ghost_whistler · Well-Known Member

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    For about 15 years I've had the symptoms of feeling really hungry very often and becoming weak and shaky and faint if I don't eat. I can't miss meals and struggle if I don't get to eat when I need to, as well as trying to manage my weight. Unfortunately I don't have an official diagnosis as the doctors have been completely useless in diagnosing anything, though they are keen to tell me it isn't diabetes. I've done finger prick blood tests which didn't seem to get any results. I've seen nutritionists who couldn't recommend anything remotely helpful other than the most basic "try and eat healthily" (well, obviously!), and I even did a test where I had a morning appointment with the GP who got me to drink a glucose drink before eating that day. They tell me the results don't yield anything, but the symptoms persist and it's really debilitating. I don't know what else to do. Eating healthily is difficult and expensive. I have insomnia (though very rarely do i wake up hungry). I've been advised to eat things like porridge for breakfast, but that actually makes my symptoms worse (other cereals are better - ironically as is something like a fried breakfast, but I don't have those if very very rarely for obvious reasons). I could go back to the GP but so far they've been worse than useless, and our service locally is suffering due to cuts. The first doctor i spoke to just said, in respect of managing, scoff a packet of biscuits if you're busy. Clearly that's bad advice, but if anyone can relate to what I'm saying I'd be grateful, thanks.
     
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  2. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Do you know it's blood sugar related? Have you tested your blood sugar levels when you are having these symptoms?

    @Lamont D might have some info on reactive hypoglycaemia for you.
     
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  3. mo53

    mo53 Type 2 · Expert

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    @ghost_whistler hello and welcome to the forum. @daisy1 will post some really useful information. Have you tried a low carb diet to see if it helps?
     
  4. ghost_whistler

    ghost_whistler · Well-Known Member

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    Years ago i saw a specialist who gave me blood sugar measurement kit with some paper you dropped a bit of blood on. They couldn't seem to diagnose anything and just decided that they would call it 'funcitonal' hypoglycemia, but that was only becaus ethey coudln't find anything else. It was all very confusing and I've been left ever since with no answers.
     
  5. ghost_whistler

    ghost_whistler · Well-Known Member

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    No, I have had no real dietary advice and wouldn't know what to eat for a low carb diet. I'd give it a go, but I don't have a lot of options when it comes to buying food. Also I have a lot of foods I just don't like so replacing carbs would be difficult. I'd give it a try if possible, but i don't know where to look. Whenever I've looked into diets all i've found are fancy recipes with weird ingredients that are expensive or hard to get.
     
  6. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    Before you change your diet, it might be helpful to get some actual figures. You've mentioned an oral glucose test above (the glucose drink) - what was the result of that?

    You've also mentioned finger prick tests - again, what numbers did you get?

    Bear in mind that some people do feel weak and strange if they go too long without eating. What would be helpful would be if you could give some actual figures. Do you have your own blood glucose meter so you can check what your blood sugar is when you're feeling weak?

    If you can give some info about that, and what you've eaten, that might help :)
     
  7. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi,

    I'll tag in @Brunneria , she knows a thing or two about RH.

    As an insulin dependant myself. I couldn't possibly make much more appropriate comment..
     
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  8. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    You could look here for a low carb beginners guide

    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/a-new-low-carb-guide-for-beginners.68695/
     
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  9. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Hi and welcome!

    You may find it interesting to have a read of the Reactive Hypoglycaemia section of the forum.
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/category/reactive-hypoglycemia.70/
    Interestingly, lots of us who have RH have received very similar reactions from the doctor as you have, and RH doesn't usually show up on a 2 hour glucose tolerance test. @Lamont D had to have one that lasted 5 hours, rather than 2, because the symptoms don't usually appear until after the the 2 hour ones are over.

    I would agree that you need to do some testing, to see if your blood glucose does dip into hypoglycaemia at the time you get your symptoms, because there are other conditions which would produce similar experiences.

    I am guessing that your surgery haven't provided you with any way to test your blood glucose? They rarely do.
    If you are interested in getting a meter for yourself, then that is fairly easy to do. In the UK they can be bought in any high street pharmacy, and come at a range of prices. The best value one I have heard of, is the SD Codefree (which is the one I use). It can be bought from eBay, Amazon, and from the supplier Homehealth. Have a shop around, and you will see that the prices for different meters vary a lot, and you want to bear in mind that you will be repeat buying strips, if you want to run systematic tests to see how food affects your blood glucose.

    If you are interested in Low Carbing, then there is now a huge amount of information available on the internet.
    Diabetes.co.uk have a Low Carb Program, and the Dietdoctor website is a wealth of brilliant info and recipes.
    Links to both are in my signature below.
     
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  10. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    Do bear in mind that a lot of advice on healthy eating is total nonsense - and there is evidence to show that, it is just that no one who isn't in trouble wants to find it.
    I was in a similar situation to you back in my twenties, which is an awfully long time ago now, but I started to eat low carb, but I could not do the 20gm per day levels, I needed to have about 60gm per day or I went all wobbly.
    I ate eggs fish meat - lots of low carb vegetables, mostly raw ones, but I like sprouts and cauliflower so often had those. I still keep bags of them frozen for when I fancy them.
    For the last 40 years I have managed to live well and although not without faults I don't have really major problems with my health. So far so good.
     
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  11. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    Hi @ghost_whistler,
    As others have said you do really need to get a blood glucose meter. You are certainly going to need one. If only to give you peace of mind.
    My story is very similar but I was diagnosed with T2. Simply because the doctors didn't have a clue! It wasn't until I started having full blown hypos in front of them did they refer me to an endocrinologist. Who diagnosed me! (Luckily!)
    Any form of non diabetic Hypoglycaemia is rare and the experts have not only got it mostly wrong but have trouble with treatment.
    For example, if you had a peanut allergy, would you eat them?
    Well if you do have a form of Hypoglycaemia then your food tolerances are many and the usual culprits are carbs and sugars.
    If you read the reactive hypoglycaemic forum as linked above by @Brunneria, the range of knowledge by those who have it will help you tremendously and convince you that a so called healthy diet is not so healthy. And a healthy diet for hypoglycaemics would frighten most dieticians and your GP!

    If you have questions or need to tap our knowledge of how to get to grips with what you need to do and eat.et us know, someone knowledgeable will always be around, this is a great forum and the thing is it works!
     
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  12. ghost_whistler

    ghost_whistler · Well-Known Member

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  13. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    Hi, I was told by many that porridge is so good it would help with all my problems.
    It was the worst thing to eat because porridge or any grains rocketed my blood glucose levels. Carbs by any names, slow release, complex, healthy, and so on. Carbs regardless of label are lethal for me, as are cereals, bread, potatoes, pasta, and more!
    You will have to discover which foods your body doesn't like you eating.
    There are all kinds of alternatives out there in the shops or you can make them yourself, you just have to believe that what you have been led to believe is healthy, is making you so ill!
    It will take time! It will be a shock and it will take a lot of getting use to, there isn't much help out there but this forum is here to assist and help you through it all if you need us!
    You will have to change your mindset on how your future diet is going to be if you do have a form of Hypoglycaemia.
     
  14. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    There are some low carb breads available (Bergen, Lifelife, Lidl high protein rolls). Cereals you don't need. Have eggs for breakfast, cooked any which way you like them, even with bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes. Or maybe a plain full fat yogurt with a few raspberries or strawberries added. There are plenty of options and plenty of ideas on this forum. It really is not difficult, even for the most fussy eaters among us. (and I'm one of those). Follow some of the link we have given you, read, and you will see what I mean.
     
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  15. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    Wondering what to have for my evening meal, that has just decided it!
    Thanks bt!
     
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  16. ghost_whistler

    ghost_whistler · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, what about home baked bread? Aren't these low carb breads really expensive (the gluten free stuff is really dear). Eggs every day can't be healthy surely, they're really high fat and cholestorol. I'm a couple of stone overweight and trying to lose it. I hate being fat. Besides, when I eat eggs (admittedly with toast) I don't find them filling at all and, like porridge, feel hungry quite soon after.

    I just don't know what you'd replace things like bread/starch with?
     
  17. ghost_whistler

    ghost_whistler · Well-Known Member

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    I don't recall being given an actual result of the glucose drink. They just said, iirc, there was nothing. I don't remember the numbers of the finger prick tests though I recall a couple were in the range they gave me. But again it didn't really lead anwhere so I guess they thought it wasn't anything unusual. It was a long time ago.

    I can try and get a blood glucose meter, if they aren't too expensive. I don't have a lot of disposable cash.

    What I normally eat is cereal for breakfast, though notsomuch porridge as i've said, sandwiche for lunch and then for dinner usually chicken with rice/noodles of some kind, and vegetables some fresh some slightly cooked. Afterwards i'll eat an apple or a banana with some fruit yoghurt.

    But inbetween i get hungry and struggle to snack on anything healthy. I can't snack on fruit because it just sets me off. So it either tends to e candy or cripsbread type stuff with cheese. I eat a lot of that.
     
  18. ghost_whistler

    ghost_whistler · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.

    And everyone else for the replies
     
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  19. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    Let me tag @Bluetit1802 for you as I believe they have details of the SD Codefree meter many use here.

    With glucose meters, the expense is more the testing strips than the meters so it's wise to choose carefully.

    I think @Lamont D may have information about what a Reactive Hypoglycaemia oral glucose tolerance test graph would look like.
     
  20. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    Up until 100 years ago there were no breakfast cereals, so people ate meat or fish, with whatever they fancied.
     
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