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Discovered Low Blood Sugar After Anxiety Attack/Crashing Feeling... What To Do?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 27, 2013 at 12:50 PM

The past week I have had an onset of new symptoms. Around the same time every day (8am, then at 10am) I get the really weak, dizzy, anxious, cold hands (ice!), headache.

I started testing my blood sugar:

  • Waking up 6am: 3.2mmol/l
  • After breakfast (2 eggs, 1/2 avocado): 3.8mmol/l
  • At 8am (crashing feeling...dizzy, nauseous, faint): 3.8mmol/l ... ate another 2 eggs w/ some fat .. felt a little better. Still dizzy. Tested again right after: 3.2mmol/l
  • 10am (crashing feeling...dizzy, nauseous, faint): 3.5mmol/l
  • Tested after dinner (lots of fish, veggies) and it was 6.2mmol/l... felt great.

You get the picture. What's going on here? I've been like this for almost 2 weeks now. I had to take some time off work because when I get into the office at 8am and again at 10am I'm getting the crashing feeling like I'm going to pass out. I haven't been even close to going to the gym or wanting to be at the gym. I can barely make breakfast without feeling so weak that I need to lie down! I'm also wanting to reach for fruit (grapes, bananas, berries -- anything) when I get the feeling to ingest some sugar.

Before this I was completely fine and feeling amazing with lots of energy to workout and great focus at work -- I don't get it.

Anyone have any ideas? Should I flip my biggest meal to be breakfast? I was able to go all the way to lunch before eating anything...now I feel like I'll pass out if I don't eat something ASAP.

Should I try adding in fruit? Worried about creating an insulin spiking rollercoaster and having to worry about always having fruit in my bag etc in case I start crashing.

May be helpful:

I've been fairly low carb due to gluten intolerance. I get my carbs from veg.

It's not dehydration. I drink loads of water/herbal tea everyday. I supplement with probitics, FCLO/Butter Oil, Vit D3 and a multi.

My bloodwork shows elevated liver enzymes and I've recently quit my xylitol chewing gum addiction (50pcs a day...ugh I know!!) that I was using to deal with stress. I've read constantly having something sweet can raise insulin...could that be linked? Could also be linked to my high liver enzymes.

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on August 27, 2013
at 03:08 PM

Thanks for responding Andrew. I just ended up having a 15 grapes because my BS dropped to 2.9. After eating them it went up to 6.8. The last thing I want to do is have to eat sugar whenever I get that feeling. I like the idea of maybe starting with more protein (4 eggs maybe, and a whole avocado) and some berries or maybe sweet potato. I could try that. I wonder if staying low carb is the best approach. I'm just so confused as to why this started happening in the first place...seemingly out of no where. I also notice my BS drops when I feel stressed...hmm...

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on August 27, 2013
at 01:39 PM

Thanks -- I cam across the same thing which is what made me realize I was using the xylitol as a stress reliever and messing up my body. I hope I haven't done any permanent damage :(. My family has always been chewing gum addicts and I thought I was being clever using xylitol and not ingesting aspartame -- so much for that. I've been taking Natural Calm in the evenings.

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2 Answers

1
Cada052bf2f947ea84f5a3dcba18741e

on August 27, 2013
at 02:00 PM

Obviously, there are many factors to evaluate and everyone's different. I'm not exactly sure where you are in your paleo diet, but I have suffered from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and feeling dizzy too. My dizzy spells started long before I started paleo though, and I have noticed an overall decrease in their occurrence since I started paleo.

My breakfast sounds similar to yours, except I normally eat fruit first, add 2-4 strips of bacon and eat a whole avocado. Sometimes I add another egg, too.

For about a month or two into the paleo diet, I felt dizzy upon waking and/or right after eating, but then I would feel great for hours.

It sounds like you have some type of insulin response issue, and more protein might help the low blood sugar. As your blood sugar lowers, your body should start producing glucose from protein before stress hormones kick in, but if you don't eat enough protein, this may be an issue.

So, the only suggestions I have would be to increase your protein intake in the morning (two eggs might not be quite enough protein) and/or add some low glycemic fruit to your diet. Personally, I eat a whole grapefruit or maybe 4-8 oz of berries a good half hour or so before eating breakfast. This will give you some carbs to ease the low blood sugar, but shouldn't cause an insulin response. I like to start my day with a boost from the fruit and then coast on fat and protein.

Quitting the xylitol was a good move. Another thing to consider is that this may just be a transitional phase while your body gets used to the diet. Again, I'm not sure how long you've been eating paleo, but I noticed an overall decrease in my dizzy spells as I adapted to the diet. Once I felt comfortable with the diet, I started intermittent fasting, and I feel my insulin response has healed dramatically from that.

I know some people are against fruit if you have insulin problems, but I have utilized grapefruit and berries from the beginning without any problems. I still feel dizzy very occasionally, but it's now rare instead of every day and much less of a problem. I'm still only 4 months into the diet, but I'm convinced paleo is healing me one meal at a time.

Hopefully someone else will chime in if they had similar problems and avoided all fruit. Who knows, no fruit might improve things quicker if you suffer through the difficult times. Sorry for the long post. Hopefully some of this helps.

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on August 27, 2013
at 03:08 PM

Thanks for responding Andrew. I just ended up having a 15 grapes because my BS dropped to 2.9. After eating them it went up to 6.8. The last thing I want to do is have to eat sugar whenever I get that feeling. I like the idea of maybe starting with more protein (4 eggs maybe, and a whole avocado) and some berries or maybe sweet potato. I could try that. I wonder if staying low carb is the best approach. I'm just so confused as to why this started happening in the first place...seemingly out of no where. I also notice my BS drops when I feel stressed...hmm...

1
A6b7afacdb512b861716bca9e9226ad3

(333)

on August 27, 2013
at 01:21 PM

Here's what I found regarding the xylitol, which caught my attention overall in your post:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/19088/xylitol-pros-and-cons#axzz2d4eVuvoX

The insulin spike can affect liver enzymes, from what I've read.

Are you taking any Mg?

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on August 27, 2013
at 01:39 PM

Thanks -- I cam across the same thing which is what made me realize I was using the xylitol as a stress reliever and messing up my body. I hope I haven't done any permanent damage :(. My family has always been chewing gum addicts and I thought I was being clever using xylitol and not ingesting aspartame -- so much for that. I've been taking Natural Calm in the evenings.

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