“Ashley is hungry.”

If you know me well, you have for sure heard that I don’t like doctors…

I don’t like going to them, I don’t like their offices, and I don’t like the nurses.  Ironically, I don’t mind dentists, dermatologists, chiropractors, and podiatrists; but general practicioners, eye doctors (hehehehe…even more ironic is that I work at a optometrist office), and physical therapists creep me out.

This semester I have been reminded of yet another reason I don’t like them.  Forgive me for using this blog as my soapbox for complaining, but I think that this is worth noting.

The second thing most anyone would know about me is that I am always hungry. I am like an eating machine, and yet I still struggle with bouts of what I call “low sugar,” where I feel dizzy, nauseous, jittery, moody, and an unusual craving of sugar (I have no sweet tooth whatsoever other times).

I was first told about hypoglycemia in 7th grade by a friend’s dad who overheard my symptoms, but I never thought much of it. To me, it just equated: my body went through food fast, so I needed to eat more. I finally approached my doctor about this after seven years (yes, I did just say 7) of wrestling with this phenomenon myself and after experiencing a rather severe bout my spring semester of freshman year in college. When I asked him if it was possible I had hypoglycemia, I was told “that everyone nowadays thinks they’re coming down with hypoglycemia or diabetes” and was sent on my way.

I was disappointed in general with how I was treated as a patient (but after all, I’m not a big fan of doctors anyway, remember?); and unfortunately, I believed my doctor and avoided thinking or dealing with the symptoms for a season.  This has only prolonged the problem.

Recently, because of both an increase in symptoms as well as a study I was doing on yeast infections, I began to look into hypoglycemia again (some doctors say the two are related) only to find my answer for both studies in what I knew all along: hypoglycemia.

I took a quiz on www.hypoglycemia.org to help determine whether or not you have the “disease,” and here are my results:

Anything above 20 is considered to be at risk.
You are at a higher risk to have Hypoglycemia. Please see a doctor for further test. This is not a test that if you score 70% or above you pass. Your risk is determined by the total points that you scored. A total score of less than (20) twenty is within normal limits. A higher score is evidence of probable adrenal insufficiency and/or deranged carbohydrate metabolism (Hypoglycemia), and would indicate further testing.

Other research I have done confirm the symptoms I have had for the last 8 years now have been and still are hypoglycemia: (these are taken from www.hypoglycemia.org and www.edocrineweb.com)

Some of the symptoms of hypoglycemia are:

  • fatigue
  • insomnia
  • mental confusion
  • nervousness
  • mood swings
  • faintness
  • headaches
  • depression
  • phobias
  • heart palpitations

· a craving for sweets

· cold hands and feet

· forgetfulness

· dizziness

· blurred vision

· inner trembling

· outbursts of temper

· sudden hunger

· allergies

· crying spells

The Classic Symptoms

  • Polyphagia (frequently hungry)
  • Polyuria (frequently urinating)
  • Polydipsia (frequently thirsty)

Other Symptoms Might Include

  • Weight loss
  • Poor wound healing (cuts, scrapes, etc.)
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry or itchy skin
  • Recurrent infections such as yeast infections, groin rash, or external ear infections (swimmers ear)

While thankfully I haven’t had all of the symptoms listed here, I have exhibited a good number of them – maybe I can blame bad test scores on forgetfulness and mental confusion … LOL – and am thankful to finally be able to understand the reasons behind them.

Looking back and reading what I’ve compiled here, this all seems so dramatic and scary and life-changing. Well, it’s not really. It is in once sense, in that I’m altering my diet as much as is possible here at school. I’m supposed to limit certain foods and focus on others and be sure to eat breakfast (Yeah, I know, Mom and Dad, you’ve been telling me that all along) and have six meals a day (won’t complain there). We’ll see how practical that is in a cafeteria that serves almost complete carb meals, doesn’t have a convenient breakfast schedule, and definitely isn’t conducive nor cheap enough for six meals a day. I’m not sure how this is going to work, but the last few weeks I have tried to experiment with certain aspects of this plan, and I have consistently felt better.

If you’re interested, this site was really helpful in explaining the whole diet to me: http://www.gicare.com/Diets/hypoglycemia.aspx

So, here I go, stepping out without doctors and diagnoses and am adjusting accordingly. Hopefully, this will prove to be successful.

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