Still struggling and now panic attacks…

Yes I’m still struggling with controlling my blood sugar. L I had a really good day yesterday up until after 4 p.m.  I was having tea with a friend and lost track of time and was an hour late with my snack.  All of a sudden the blood drained from my head and I started to feel shaky.  I quickly ate the 2 little peaches and hunk of cheese I brought with me, which helped for a while, but from that time on…and all night long…I didn’t feel stable.  I got maybe 2 hours of sleep last night.  And today I feel very unstable.  I just had to eat lunch a bit early because I didn’t feel great and my blood sugar was 82.  In general, with some rare exceptions, I don’t feel good once I get into the 80s.  Then again, days ago I didn’t feel good at 127 either, but an article on Joslin’s website FINALLY verified what I go through.

 

http://blog.joslin.org/2012/02/a-false-sense-of-hypoglycemia/

 

My problem has always been that I fall too fast, not necessarily to under the official hypoglycemic level of 70.  And, I really do think my body prefers to be at higher blood sugars so that when I’m at a normal number, I don’t feel good (sometimes).  A diabetic friend of mine goes through that.  She actually lets her numbers run a bit high because she can’t stand how she feels when she’s at the numbers her doctors want her to be at.

 

An additional upset that has been plaguing me for months, and seems to be getting worse, is that my hypoglycemia has actually started triggering panic attacks.  I’ve had such severe and scary low blood sugar attacks when I’m alone, that now I get scared if I feel too far from medical help or if food isn’t easily and quickly available.  My fear starts to make me panic, which then triggers my blood sugar to get all messed up.  It’s a vicious cycle.  The past week I’ve started to panic when I go to bed at night.  I live alone.  I have had to try to psych myself out of it and deep breathe my may out of the heart racing and fear.  It’s awful.  I am someone who used to travel the world alone and now I’m afraid to be alone in my own home.  The fact that my health has caused an emotional issue makes me want to cry even more.  I am a fighter and will continue to try to get these panic attacks to stop, but it’s hard.  I just wish to God I could go back in time to before my endocrine system blew.

As a side note, I do think I need to increase my carbohydrate intake a bit.  I just have to make sure to eat carbs with protein and fat.

:-(

Carrie / Atheria

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6 responses

  1. Hi Carrie,
    Been thinking about your panic attacks since I read about them today. I’m convinced that your adrenal function may be compromised due to the overall damage done to your endocrine system. Your panic attacks are the result of low cortisol. You replenish your coritsol during the evening while sleeping and deplete the reserves throughout the day.

    There are some bovine, adrenal supplements which help (short-term), also grape-seed extract is another cortisol booster.

    However to get the complete picture, a salivary cortisol profile must be performed to determine where you stand on your remaining adrenal function.

    Here is a website which helps to interpret the results of a salivary cortisol profile. Click through the profiles to observe the progression of adrenal fatigue.

    http://www.chronicfatigue.org/ASI%201%20.html

    My ex-wife has the same struggles with adrenal weakness due to the lack of a thyroid gland–removed due to thyroid cancer.

    I’m sure this is a lot of information to digest if you haven’t confronted it before. Also your endocrinologist may not be aware of the value of a salivary cortisol profile–something to be discussed with a more nature centered, health provider.

    I would like to share my knowledge of adrenal function, endrocrine balance, and health recovery plans with you next time we meet.

    -Lonnie

  2. Hi Lonnie. Thank you very much. I did have a saliva test done last year for estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA (my estrogen:progesterone was messed up so I am on natural progesterone cream now), my testosterone is too high, and my DHEA is through the roof high. An endocrinologist back in early 2011 did check my cortisol levels via a 24 hour test and them came out fine. Granted, that was a year and a half ago. My coworker pointed out that I may indeed be having menopause symptoms with the racing heart and panic feeling when I go to bed. Ugh. I do highly think my blood sugar issue was triggered by pre-menopause changes.

  3. I deal with the same thing on an almost daily basis, In fact, my symptoms seem much worse when I have a “:false low” than a legitimate low. I, too, have struggled with panic attacks because of my blood sugar for a few years now and it seems every time I get my blood sugars under control, something happens (stomach flu or some other sickness or a severe low (under 50)) to throw them out of whack and it kicks me into a vicious cycle once again. I’ve never heard of the cortisol salivary test, but I have a hard time getting treated by doctors around here. I live in an extremely rural town with only two doctors, both general practice. According to the 5 hour glucose tolerance test, my fasting and first four hours I am diabetic, but my last number plummets, so they say I’m not diabetic, “just hypoglycemic” and send me out the door with a printed hypoglycemic page dated 1983. I did see an endocrinologist once a few years ago that said I wasn’t diabetic because my A1c came back at a 5.9, so they couldnt help me either. it is a very frustrating place to be in! So, I definitely feel your pain and struggle with this. My blood sugar will range anywhere from a high of 310 in a day to a low of 40-60. That kind of roller coaster is brutal on the body and I’m just now beginning to understand the connection between the adrenalin, cortisol and other hormone response by the body associated with the swings and the panic attacks. I realize I’m posting on an older thread, but I just wanted you to know you are definitely not alone in this and I hope that you have seen an improvement in your health by now!

    • Hi Andrea. Well, I’d say you are diabetic with hypoglycemic reactions occasionally. If you are hitting 310, that is diabetic! I’ve gone over 200, but thankfully, that is rare. I just found this article about cortisol saliva tests: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-chen-md/saliva-testing_b_1760896.html – I see saliva tests for cortisol are valid, but am disheartened that testing for other hormones via saliva isn’t very reliable because I’ve done it. Via the Internet, I did a saliva test that checked my estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA about a year and a half ago or so. To be honest, the results that came back SEEMED accurate according to my hormone imbalance symptoms…but…now I don’t know. I don’t have a main doctor and pretty much rely on a doctor at work. Honestly, I’m so tired of doctors, I have vowed to not go to any in 2013. That being said, I have just started seeing a chiropractor for my 17 year long head pain from a neck injury who is not a normal chiropractor (although he does do spine cracking). He does muscle testing to see what your body says is wrong. Anyway, he got somewhat sidetracked with me because my body said my liver (which I’ve suspected is a bigger culprit with my blood sugar issue than my pancreas) was in bad shape, along with my entire digestive tract. So, he’s got me on a very limited/strict diet and a truckload of cleansing/healing supplements. So, I may have to give him a real shot and keep seeing him for a while. The problem is he is out of network, so my insurance doesn’t pay much, and I don’t think my insurance will cover the expensive supplements at all. So, I can’t see him indefinately.

      How far away from a major city are you? I really do think you need to see a new endocrinologist who is open minded.

      What I am going to tell you is that the more stable you can keep your blood sugar, the more stable it will get. And, the opposite is true. One bad low blood sugar attack, and it takes days/weeks to get your body back to normal. I’ve experienced this to be quite true. You need to be neurotic about your diet and eating small meals at least 6 times per day. Although some others do well on really low carb, I do not. I have cut back on carbs, but need some with every meal/snack. You need to test things and see how you do. For me, a good mixture of protein, carbs, and fat is very important. Fat, especially, slows down my digestion so that I don’t spike.

      Blood sugar issues are horrible. I feel your pain.

      Best wishes,
      Carrie

  4. The closest town with an endo is a little over two hours away, but you have to be referred and the two fat, old blockheads for docs here won’t refer me because it’s “just hypoglycemia”. But, I was just talking to my bro-in-law who just received his RN license told me to go to the ER the next time my blood sugar is over 240 and explain I can’t get help from the locals and they will write me a referral, so that’s at least a glimmer of hope in my direction! I am pretty OCD about my diet and I just started a paleo/primal-type diet designed for hypoglycemics and so far, I have been much more stable than I have been the last few weeks, I, too, have to have some carbs with my meals, so now it’s experimenting with which ones work the best for me. Sweet potatoes are a yes whereas any type of white potato sends my sugars soaring. (Plain) Oatmeal is another food highly recommended for hypos that I don’t tolerate well, at all.

    I understand your frustration with insurance and what it won’t cover. I wish insurances would recognize the benefits of holistic or “alternative” treatments!

    Oh! And, while I’m thinking about it, the reaction/attack-type feeling you have right before eating at restaurants may not be all psychological! There are certain foods that the body will start secreting hormones in anticipation of eating as soon as you smell them (bacon, steak and burgers were ones listen in the study), so for those with systems that are a little hypersensitive to hormones related to blood sugar, the secretion of hormones can trick the body into thinking it’s a blood sugar change. How crazy/wonderful/whacky are our bodies?! Just knowing this has helped me stopped avoiding going out to eat with friends and family. I also found it helps to sip water with lemon before the food arrives, that may be just a placebo effect as well, but it seems that tiny bit of sweetness helps ward off the feeling that I am crashing.

    Thanks for the reply, I love that I stumbled on your blog the other night and will be following your journey!

  5. Yeah, potatoes are a big no-no for me. What made my endocrine system blow in 2010 was a vegan very glycemic Thanksgiving dinner (since I couldn’t eat most of the food as a vegan) of potatoes, a little bit of veggies, and a pasta dish that had a little soy protein in it, but not much…and more wine than I normally drink. I later learned that alcohol is so bad for us because your liver can only do one thing at a time and it will default to processing alcohol out of your system instead of helping regulate your blood sugar levels via glycogen. I actually think my liver is a major culprit, not just my pancreas. Since my current holistic doc said my liver is messed up big time, I think my theory is correct.

    Yes, go to the ER! I’ve also realized that threatening a lawsuit if doctors won’t get you the care you need works. :-) If you end up in a coma, they will owe millions. And to the fat idiot doctors, tell them to talk to Roberta Ruggerio who runs http://www.hypoglycemia.org about how serious hypoglycemia is. She will set them straight. Are you on Facebook? There are some hypo groups there where we all commisserate and it’s very helpful. I’ve learned a lot. Roberta’s org has a page, and the one I use the most is called Hypoglycemia…The info you need to know. There is also I hate reactive hypoglycemia…and Hypoglycemia.

    It is very helpful to talk to others who UNDERSTAND how difficult this disease is.

    Happy Holidays,
    Carrie

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