Help me understand my hypoglycaemic symptoms

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi everyone,

Firstly a few things about me:

- I'm 22 years old

- Genetically fast metabolism

- Have chronic fatigue syndrome

- Not diabetic as far as I know

For my whole life I've needed to eat hi-carb meals roughly every 2 hours or I get headaches, feel cold, very tired, nauseous and lightheaded. I consistently feel terrible when I wake up in the morning (which has always been the case, it's not just the CFS though that's made it worse) and if I fast for too long I get so nauseous I need to take medication before I feel well enough to eat.

I always thought these symptoms were due to hypoglycaemia so I recently got a blood glucose test kit. I did my first reading this morning. Here's a timeline:

10am: woke up with the beginnings of a headache, hunger and fatigue

10:15am: ate 2 wholegrain muesli bars (not a lot of calories in these)

10:30am: went back to sleep

1:20pm: woke up with really bad headache, brain fog and fatigue

1:30pm: did the glucose test

My result was 4.5mmol/L, which according to everything I've read on the internet so far, seems to be a normal, non-hypoglycaemic reading. This is confusing given how sick I was feeling, and especially the fact that I'm starting to feel better now that I'm eating a whole tin of butter beans fried with brussel sprouts and spinach on buttered toast. If it wasn't for the improvement with eating I'd assume it was all just caused by CFS.

Is there an alternative explanation for these symptoms? Is my blood glucose meter wrong? Or is my baseline normal glucose level just different to most people's?


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  • Posted

    Test your blood glucose upon waking in the morning and 2 hours after eating. You’re checking to see if your blood sugar levels recover properly after eating.

    The most likely cause if your problems is diet. You’re hardly eating anything  and no protein. I recommend you troubleshoot your diet and nutrition because low minerals vitamins or protein can all cause health problems. Dietary changes can be used euth great success fir many ailments.

    You might try switching to white rice and  eliminate wheat completely- do some research on a gluten-free diet- as you may have a wheat allergy or sensitivity. A proper elimination diet can help you sort out what foods could be causing headaches or brainfog. Wheat, dairy, soy, corn, processed sugar are the worst for triggering the immune system and causing headaches and other symptoms.

    Cfs? Tiredness anf brainfog? If you’re unable to get results with proper blood glucose  testing, improved diet and nutritional supplements, you might try having your thyroid tested. You might also look into chronic pancreatitis as a source of your symptoms. All can be treated with diet.

    Lastly, I recently read some research about CFS and high tyrosine levels. People with CFS should avoid high tyrosine foods such as turkey. This is something you can try for yourself to see whether turkey or other high tyrosine foods trigger your CFS. 

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    • Posted

      With all due respect, I posted here because I wanted to know if it was possible to be hypoglycaemic with a blood glucose level of 4.5mmol/L, not to have my diagnosis of CFS called into question.

      I understand that you're trying to help but it's incredibly frustrating to constantly be told that it's my fault that I'm sick, that my lifestyle is wrong, that my diet is bad, etc. I try so hard every day to be kind to my body, even while being too tired to do so. I eat constantly and lots of vegetable based protein as well as chicken and occasionally beef; I regularly eat an entire tin of beans for breakfast, one of the best vegetable sources of protein. I can currently only eat small portions at a time because the CFS slows down my digestion but this has not always been the case. Like most people with CFS I have tried a lot of different supplements and medications without success. Often these have complications for people with CFS so even if they have a vitamin deficiency, for example, they might not be able to take supplements without feeling sicker (which has been the case for me with Vitamin D). I take an iron supplement because I do have iron deficiency (which has existed for much longer than my CFS), all my other vitamins and minerals are within normal range and my thyroid is also fine. I have had pretty much every test under the sun and they all came back normal. I would not have been diagnosed with CFS if this wasn't the case. I can't get food allergy tests done due to the requirements of the test which I know would trigger both hypoglycaemia and a CFS crash which would make it impossible for me to continue full time work, which I rely on for my income, but I'm very analytical about my health and have observed over the years that WHAT I eat never seems to make any difference to how I feel.

      More importantly though, I have only had CFS for 1 year whereas my hypoglycaemic symptoms and high energy requirements have been lifelong (my dad was a doctor and actually tested my glucose regularly when I was about 5 because of this, but I never knew what the readings were).

      I hope this doesn't come across as too rude, I just want to make sure it's clear what my intentions were in starting this thread, and hopefully enlighten some people about what it's like to have CFS and what they can do to make our lives a little less horrible smile

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  • Posted

    I've had this before though I don't have CFS. MtViewCatherine is right. You have a high metabolic rate and the food you eat barely has anything to supply your body. I agree with testing a Random Blood Sugar after 2 hours of eating. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you, yes I definitely have a high metabolic rate and it's hard to keep up with my energy requirements. I've eaten a nutritious calorie-rich meal every 2 hours today and have felt pretty good except for the half hour or so in the lead up to needing another meal where I am feeling faint and nauseous and wondering how long I can put off lunch number 3 for.

      I did another glucose reading this morning immediately after waking up, having fasted for 8 hours at that point. I got 4.7mmol/L, another perfect healthy reading, yet I was feeling really unwell (again, symptoms improved after eating).

      I think there must be something I'm missing because I don't understand what I am meant to be looking for in a reading taken 2 hours after eating? I know diabetics use this to check if their glucose has FALLEN back to the normal fasting level, but this doesn't seem relevant to me as I'm fairly certain I have never had high blood sugar in my life! My problem is I'm getting normal fasting readings but have symptoms of hypoglycaemia. Apologies for my ignorance, I am new to all this so still lots to learn!

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  • Posted

    Hi there.

    Im type 1 and if i were you i would test before eating then every half hour for two hours to get a profile of what is going on. It could be your getting what is called rebound hypos.

    Also remember that glucose metres are not 100% accurate. If my metre doesnt agee with how i feel then i test several times and take an average.

    Your metre said 4.5 but in reality you could have been 4, i know for myself that 4 or any less makes me begin to feel uncomfortable. Also do you have QC soloution fot your metre? It may put your mind at rest if you got some. Also you can see from the target range how much results can vary and still be acceptable.

    Hope this helps.


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    • Posted

      Thanks, I'll try what you said! I don't have a QC solution because you have to buy all the things separately and they didn't tell me you could get one when I bought it...I'll have to go back, it would definitely be good to have.

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