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Dizziness and lightheadedness associated with high-carbohydrate.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 01, 2013 at 10:01 PM

Hello. It seems to be well known that high amounts of carbohydrates can cause drowsiness, though most sources relate dizziness and lightheadedness to low amounts of carbohydrates in the diet.

However in my experience it seems that carbohydrates have given me symptoms of dizziness and lightheadedness to the point of near fainting and temporary blindness (usually when changing position suddenly). The symptoms usually occur around an hour after having the food. I've noticed that after removing grains, sugary foods and potatoes that the symptoms disappear, and on the occasion when I eat high-carb foods (when little choice is available) the symptoms re-appear. To give an idea of how much carbohydrate, chocolate with about 20g of sugar has been enough to cause dizziness.

I have had my blood and heart checked and everything is fine in that department, except a slightly low neutrophil count and slightly high histamine which is unrelated I'm guessing.

Would people consider this to be normal? Has anyone experienced similar symptoms that go beyond mere drowsiness with high-carb foods?

63075669c2ec8cb6dab906c334c9b911

(112)

on April 23, 2013
at 11:37 AM

I mentioned this to a doctor who said that it's best to avoid fruit, particularly fruit like bananas. She recommended fat and protein particularly for breakfast, to eat nuts and diary as snacks, and to consume foods with slow release energy. I will still buy fruit but try to eat less of it and perhaps buy small green apples. I'm currently going through an elimination diet to examine food effects on eczema. Hopefully I can add eggs, nuts and cheese back into my diet OK, which will help me add appropriate foods. I bought some parsnips the other day which is probably a mistake.

63075669c2ec8cb6dab906c334c9b911

(112)

on April 02, 2013
at 07:38 PM

Today I had a meal with a lot of vegetables which I estimated to come to around 17 GL, and afterwards I had mild symptoms. I only have mild lightheadedness but perhaps I should be more careful with the vegetables. The butternut squash was the worst offender when I looked up the numbers. Or maybe it's actually something else to do with the food, but I don't see what that could be.

63075669c2ec8cb6dab906c334c9b911

(112)

on April 02, 2013
at 01:38 PM

Well I certainly have had problems with sugary foods such as chocolate. Wheat products are, no surprise, especially bad.

33266cca338ab54cee9a2aa160f5bdb6

(502)

on April 02, 2013
at 09:02 AM

Odd, I used to get reactive hypoglycemia like that with wheat but not other carbs.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on April 01, 2013
at 10:57 PM

I dunno, two of the few restaurant meals that lead to future hunger before that sick feeling is Thai and sushi for me, even if the former consists of piles of rice. Maybe the linoleic acid in the soybean oil delays gastric emptying or something lol.

63075669c2ec8cb6dab906c334c9b911

(112)

on April 01, 2013
at 10:52 PM

Though looking again, small portions of rice wouldn't be too bad. I don't think it's needed though.

63075669c2ec8cb6dab906c334c9b911

(112)

on April 01, 2013
at 10:47 PM

Eating a reasonable amount of rice would likely reach the same glycemic load where I have problems with other food. I've not had dizziness while eating only fruit and vegetables for carbohydrate.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on April 01, 2013
at 10:32 PM

Having a rice cooker at home and work and a substantial supply of basmati has been a life saver for me. Fruit-induced inflammation doesn't sound right unless you're allergic. If you're stuck going to a restaurant, rice in general works out well for me.

63075669c2ec8cb6dab906c334c9b911

(112)

on April 01, 2013
at 10:24 PM

Hi Travis. I can take fruit and vegetables (Minus potatoes) with little problem (though I've had suspicions that fruit may cause inflammation with me, but I've not established that as true). Indeed it's the foods with high glycemic-load that are problematic. Unfortunately sometimes it's hard to eat foods with low GL, as I'm not always cooking for myself. I've read about hypoglycemia but not reactive hypoglycemia, and you might be right about that, as it seems to describe my issue.

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1 Answers

best answer

2
Medium avatar

on April 01, 2013
at 10:10 PM

Sounds like reactive hypoglycemia. For me at least, it's a lot worse with low-carb or with high glycemic carbs like bread or sweet potato/potato. The best carbohydrate sources for me have been basmati rice and fruits where the fructose exceeds the glucose by a lot, such as apples and pears. Eating these things in the context of a balanced meal that contains meat and fat has helped slow down the glucose uptake further.

I've always been like this on any diet, but I'm holding out hope that there is some nutrient insufficiency that I might be able to eventually correct that will allow me to mainline glucose like so many people can. I kind of doubt it though, since my mom and brother are the same way.

63075669c2ec8cb6dab906c334c9b911

(112)

on April 01, 2013
at 10:52 PM

Though looking again, small portions of rice wouldn't be too bad. I don't think it's needed though.

63075669c2ec8cb6dab906c334c9b911

(112)

on April 01, 2013
at 10:24 PM

Hi Travis. I can take fruit and vegetables (Minus potatoes) with little problem (though I've had suspicions that fruit may cause inflammation with me, but I've not established that as true). Indeed it's the foods with high glycemic-load that are problematic. Unfortunately sometimes it's hard to eat foods with low GL, as I'm not always cooking for myself. I've read about hypoglycemia but not reactive hypoglycemia, and you might be right about that, as it seems to describe my issue.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on April 01, 2013
at 10:57 PM

I dunno, two of the few restaurant meals that lead to future hunger before that sick feeling is Thai and sushi for me, even if the former consists of piles of rice. Maybe the linoleic acid in the soybean oil delays gastric emptying or something lol.

63075669c2ec8cb6dab906c334c9b911

(112)

on April 01, 2013
at 10:47 PM

Eating a reasonable amount of rice would likely reach the same glycemic load where I have problems with other food. I've not had dizziness while eating only fruit and vegetables for carbohydrate.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on April 01, 2013
at 10:32 PM

Having a rice cooker at home and work and a substantial supply of basmati has been a life saver for me. Fruit-induced inflammation doesn't sound right unless you're allergic. If you're stuck going to a restaurant, rice in general works out well for me.

63075669c2ec8cb6dab906c334c9b911

(112)

on April 23, 2013
at 11:37 AM

I mentioned this to a doctor who said that it's best to avoid fruit, particularly fruit like bananas. She recommended fat and protein particularly for breakfast, to eat nuts and diary as snacks, and to consume foods with slow release energy. I will still buy fruit but try to eat less of it and perhaps buy small green apples. I'm currently going through an elimination diet to examine food effects on eczema. Hopefully I can add eggs, nuts and cheese back into my diet OK, which will help me add appropriate foods. I bought some parsnips the other day which is probably a mistake.

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