From Toronto, Ontario, Canada:
I'm 22 years old, and after suffering from chronic stress, I developed very severe reactive hypoglycemia. Although my fasting blood sugar is perfect, as soon as I experience anything that will elevate my blood sugar, whether it be simple carbohydrates, or stress (adrenaline), I get an immediate high followed promptly by a horrible low.
I am currently on a very low carb diet, which consists of low carb vegetables (dark green veggies mostly), and proteins of all types. I eat throughout the entire day, and am able to maintain a perfect weight, with exercise. Most of the time I feel pretty good while on this diet, but at certain times of the month (i.e. before, during, immediately after my period), my blood sugar seems to be a little more difficult to control.
Currently I'm at the point where I want to know what is was that has caused me to have this, and if I will ever be able to rid myself of it, or will I have to eat this way for the rest of my life. My only other problems seem to consist of an inability to deal with stress -- if I don't have a lot of stress, then I feel totally fine, but as soon as stress comes along, it really wears me out. Also I seem to be very temperature sensitive, mostly to heat, I feel as though my body overheats itself at times, and am unsure why. One doctor I have seen mentioned that these symptoms may be due to my adrenal glands being a bit worn out. Do you have any suggestions or ideas that might point me in the right direction? I've had regular blood panels done, and they said that everything seems to be absolutely perfect, the only thing that has ever been noted which was also blown off, was that my white blood cell count was on the high end of the spectrum, but still not over what was considered "normal".
Several points about your question raised red flags. First, I am not a big fan of the high protein diet. There are many reasons for this. It is difficult to eat that way indefinitely. It allows for increase in fat intake. (Also, it should not be used in patients with diabetes because of the wear and tear on kidneys.) The decreased carb intake may truly put you at increased risk for lows, especially with exercise or activity. Some women experience transient worsening of glucose control before their menses.
Stress is a part of life. It will not go away. However, you may be able to train yourself to deal with it differently. As far as an adrenal issue, there is an increased relative risk for adrenal insufficiency in patients with type 1 diabetes because they are both autoimmune diseases. Your physician should be able to screen you for this without a great deal of difficulty.
Finally, I would keep good records and share these with your physician. It will allow you to work with your physician in preventing marked variations in your glucose levels that are known to make people feel bad.
Original posting 12 Apr 2002
Posted to Daily Care
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:34
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