Doctor's orders: gain weight, eat candy.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

After literally weeks of experiencing strange symptoms, seeing two doctors without any answers, and worrying about what might possibly be causing all of this, we finally have a diagnosis: hypoglycemia.

In a nutshell, I've had three episodes of severe tremors over the past month and a half, as well as a constant nagging headache, some nausea, and dizziness. The tremors were, by far, the most concerning symptom. It wasn't just as though my hands were shaking a bit. The muscles in my whole body, mainly my legs, contracted uncontrollably for up to 30 minutes. Two different doctors were convinced I was pregnant (thankfully, I am not!) but had no other ideas of what it could be. I couldn't help but think of what might be causing this, wondering if I may have a brain tumor or something very serious. Fear of the unknown can grip you.

After putting some of the pieces together, a third doctor (of internal medicine) recognized it immediately as hypoglycemia. That thought had definitely entered my mind, but because of never having low blood sugar before, it still seemed like an unlikely possibility.

But when it was all explained to me, it makes a lot of sense. It's likely that being under the recommended weight for my height is contributing to the problem, as though my body has so little fat to fight for itself that when I go without food for too long, the blood sugar drops so low that I begin to shake. This weight loss has been gradual and involuntary and probably has to do with becoming a vegetarian in the last year.

I've been given a planned diet that should help me as I change the way I eat and, more specifically, how often I eat. I eat very healthy, just not enough - and not enough protein. I also need to figure out how to put on a few pounds in a healthy way. He said that should help with the overall maintenance of my glucose level. The eating candy part is only in case I feel an attack coming on, so I'll be sure to have a concentrated sugar source on hand. And no, "gain weight, eat candy" wasn't all the advice I was given. :)

All this said, I have so much to learn about being hypoglycemic, but am thankful it's nothing more serious than that. Thank you to everyone who has been praying!

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