Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Suspense Ends

I wanted to be sure after I had an app't with my doc Friday before I started talking about it too much.  I've done some research over the past couple days (saving you from the long story) stemming from an article someone sent me where it stated some people have an adrenaline reaction to food.  It piqued my interest and after some reading I came across this... Postprandial Reactive Hypoglycemia (PRH) (postprandial = after eating).  It's the diagnosis my doc and I are now going with and investigating.  It's rare.  It's not at all like the regular hypoglycemia you hear about and it's sort of the complete opposite of diabetes.  The Wiki article I linked gives the symptoms (to save myself from writing them out here).  I've never been in a coma but otherwise I have all of those (plus more).  There's another good page here that lists symptoms and I'll list them below, because they're more "every day" than the physiological symptoms as before....

1) Shaky hands after meals (2-3 hrs). Cold hands, nose. (It would be 23C degrees out and my fingers would still be freezing. I could never understand this.. until now!)
2) Clumsiness
3) Feeling faint and have to sit down. Tiredness.  Lethargy.
4) Craving sugary foods (chocolate cake, cookies, soda, etc)
5) Sweaty, cold/clammy hands
6) Food allergy or frequent stomach upsets but unable to pinpoint the cause. No diet adjustments (i.e lactose or gluten) make you feel better.
7) Panic attacks or nervous disorder (this is why I said you weren't far off, Bix. I sort of feel like this all the time, but it's so often I've gotten used to it and almost have learned to ignore it.  There are moments where it's worse than others, though).
8) Getting or feeling hungry to the point of feeling ill.  Feeling the need to eat immediately.
9) Problems thinking straight.  Being 'scatterbrained' or forgetful.  Mental confusion. The lower sugar gets, the more difficult it is for the brain to operate.  (Prime example this morning.. I went to market, got a few things I needed, but my sugar fell and I had to get vegetables, but I couldn't a) decide which vendor to get them from, b) should I buy regular or organic? and c) it never occurred to me to ask them to split the bunches to individual items (too much for me).  So I walked around in a daze because I couldn't think and I just gave up and went home).
10) Unexplained mood swings. Irritability.  (I didn't connect my sudden mood swings to my sugar until about a week ago, and even at the time is was speculation).

In PRH, blood sugar goes down after a few hours of eating (2-4, though I'm affected at 2.5.  Most people, after a balanced meal, sustains them 4-6 hrs).  When you consume carbs, your insulin production increases.  If you have PRG, your body over-compensates, resulting in low blood sugar.  Insulin drives down blood-sugar levels while glucagon raises it.  If insulin is too low or glucagon is too high, the result is hypoglycemia.  Insulin also takes excess carbs and stores them as fat, locking them in (and the fat is usually gained in the belly).  Insulin triggers an adrenaline response, which is what I feel all the time (but didn't know it).  I hope I have all the information straight (and that you can understand) as I'm still trying to understand it.

I now have a glucometer (they're not cheap) and have been advised to test 3 times through the day, randomly.  Though I'm going to read up on when the best time is to test to obtain the best results for diagnosis.  I'm being referred to a specialist, an endocrinologist.  Very much looking forward to that appointment.


bambi said...

This is great news! To finally have an answer. Do you keep a journal of the food you eat, then what your body does, and when? I get tired of the doc asking questions and I've never paid attention to when or if certain symptoms always happen after....whatever.

Maybe I should.

Perovskia said...

Thanks, girl. It feels good.

I've kept a journal in the past for these purposes, but I think I'll keep another one.

It's mandatory, I think, if you want an aid in finding out what's wrong. Do it.

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Great that You finally has a probable diagnosis. Life will become so much easier now when You´ll know how to eat to last through the day without problems.
Take care now!

Perovskia said...

You're right, Christer. It feels good to know what direction to go in. We shall see what this path will bring :)

hydra said...

I really do hope that you've cracked the problem at last. I'd never heard of PRG but I shall research it now. Good luck with the machine.

hydra said...

I meant PRH!

Perovskia said...

I hope so too, Hydra. I can email you more sites (when I remember) to give you more research. It might help.

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