Today has been interesting. The following link, which was shared by a thoughtful poster on Livin' Low-Carb Discussion, is why....
Reactive Hypoglycemia: A Disease Of Carbohydrate Poisoning
All of the sudden I'm putting puzzles pieces in place that actually fit. I am now 95% convinced that I am reactive hypoglycemic. I say only 95% because there is still a slight chance there are other issues. But that chance has reduced drastically, at least in my mind.
Here are the parts that stand out for me:(symptoms I have in bold)
Let me list a few symptoms, just to show you that you are not immune:
* Panic Attacks
* Memory Problems
* Inability to Concentrate
* Inner Trembling and Pounding Heart 1-4 Hours after a Meal
* Palpitations/Irregular Heartbeat
* Weight Gain in Abdominal Area
If you recognize any three of these symptoms in yourself over a period of time, you are probably at risk for reactive hypoglycemia.
A more complete list of symptoms:
* Loss of libido
* Leg or foot cramps
* Memory and concentration problems
* Impotence and inability to maintain an erection
* Dizziness, and sometimes even actual fainting
* Blurring of vision
* Nasal congestion
* Tinnitus (ringing ears)
* Numbness and tingling of the hands, feet or face
* Abdominal cramps
* Bowel problems
Out of 29 symptoms I have 17! For the first time I'm seeing a connection with all these symptoms, which I always assumed were separate issues. Just today, while shopping with my children, I had a dizzy spell, and then was lightheaded for a good little while. We quickly finished the shopping and once I got in the car I ate an Atkins bar. Not long afterwards I felt normal again. I now realize how crucial it is that I carry a snack with me at all times.
More interesting info:
RHG occurs frequently in individuals suffering from Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and explains a lot of the symptoms that people with these syndromes have experienced but never had a clear picture of. FMS and CFS are hard to diagnose and some medical systems refuse to admit that such wide-ranging symptoms could all be generated by one overarching disorder.
Thyroid problems and adrenal insufficiency can also be present with hypoglycemia, and they are both frequently found with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. The difficulty with testing for them is that doctors tend to look at test results rather than symptoms. If you come to a doctor with every symptom listed at the above website, but your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is even 1 point inside the "normal" parameters, many times the doctor will tell you only that: "Your tests show that your TSH is within the normal range." (Loosely translated, this means, "Get out of my face with this stupid thyroid suspicion. I'm the doctor here.")
But there is nothing that will cure RHG once it gets established. The only way to deal with it is to put yourself on a STRICT low-carbohydrate diet, and STAY on it. As Dr. Starlanyl states in her article, this condition will lead to Type II diabetes if it is not carefully managed.
That last sentence, which I put in bold, is scarier to me than any Steven King novel ever thought about being.
So this could be a problem I'm having with FMS and/or Thyroid. Or could just be the problem all together.
When RHG sufferers test their fasting blood sugar in the morning, they will find it elevated. (Normal blood sugar in the fasting range should be between 80 and 100 mg/dl.) Their blood sugar will frequently be between 115 and 135. Over a period of careful diet and attention to other factors, like hormone supplementation, that fasting blood sugar should fall to more normal readings.
I've tested my fasting blood sugar twice after getting out of bed. The first time was 107, the second was 104. Not a huge jump from the norm, but above the norm none-the-less. Testing it during the day, after a meal, has been as high as 131. I doubt this is coincidence.
The author, Liz Pavek, doesn't claim to be a medical professional, but she does a good job of summing it up in layman's terms. There's a lot of other info in this article so be sure to check it out.
In summation: This girl is going to pull herself up by the bootstraps and be extra careful. I don't like needles, or medications, enough to risk not doing this right.