Reading the Signs

In the last two weeks, I’ve dropped symptoms of what happens to me when I eat sugar and cake-like things to people.  My mother-in-law askThe most recent was pecan pie.  It looked really good and when asked if I wanted a piece, I explained that my hands and nose get numb when I eat things like that.

This coming after I had a cookie for breakfast (OMG was it good) and then got told, at work, that I looked blank faced.  I don’t know if that part goes hand-in-hand with each other but it was weird to have someone say that to me while I’m at work.

Same person asked if I was diabetic or hypoglycemic.  I know the stuff runs in my family, but I was not diabetic before I had surgery and most people say that post-gastric bypass, their diabetes goes away.  What if it doesn’t?  It just shows up as something else, or manifests as something else after surgery.

My symptoms:

  • Passing out about 30 minutes after eating cake, pie, etc. I’ve been very lucky with cookies although after yesterday morning, they are now regulated to afternoon/night time.  Also, paleo cookies didn’t cause issues from what I remember.  I bounced off the walls with those.
  • Cold fingers and nose.
  • Brain fog. I know brain fog; post-surgery, it bugged me.  Felt like I couldn’t care about anything or anyone.  I guess I would compare it to being mentally numb.
  • Mood Swings. These happen a little more than normal and I have been attributing them to other things like weather changes and S.A.D.

I haven’t gotten tested though and the last time my panels were drawn, I was fine.  What if I’m not?  Two people ask you the same question for the same symptoms…

Research time!

Symptoms of hypoglycemia (which normally shows up two to three years post-op):

  • Fast heartbeat.Many things in addition to hypoglycemia can cause a fast heartbeat, including excitement, stress, exercise, or ketones associated with high blood glucose. This can make it harder to notice fast heartbeat as a potential sign of hypoglycemia, but if you are having a fast heartbeat when there is no apparent reason for this to occur, you should check your blood glucose level.
  • Looking pale.You or those around you may notice that you are paler than usual during hypoglycemia.
  • Hunger is a useful symptom of hypoglycemia since it usually leads a person to eat and consequently raise his blood glucose level. However, you may be in the habit of ignoring the initial symptoms of hunger at work or school if you’re in a meeting, engrossed in studying, or attending a lecture. This is a dangerous habit to have, because the longer you ignore hunger, the hungrier you get and the more likely you are to overeat when you finally eat. In addition, if you wait until you have moderate hypoglycemia, your judgment may be affected such that you eat the first thing you find, whether or not it will quickly raise your blood glucose level.
  • Weakness and fatigue.These symptoms are directly related to your body not having enough energy (glucose) for both physical and mental needs. It may be tempting to take a nap when you feel weak and tired, but it’s important to monitor your blood glucose level if you feel this way at a time of day when you are not usually tired. If hypoglycemia is causing your feeling of fatigue, your blood glucose level may go even lower during your nap, and you are unlikely to be able to detect other symptoms of hypoglycemia while asleep.
  • Having a headache often signals that you had hypoglycemia earlier in the day or have had it for some time. For example, if you wake up with a headache or leave a movie theater with a headache, you may have been hypoglycemic for some time. If the headache is severe enough, you may have nausea. You should treat yourself with carbohydrate and plan to monitor more frequently for the rest of the day. If the hypoglycemia has lasted a long time, the body’s stored sugar may have been used up, and you are more prone to repeat episodes of hypoglycemia that day.
  • Impaired vision.Double vision and tunnel vision are two types of visual disturbances that may occur with hypoglycemia. Like headache, impaired vision also often signals that your blood glucose has been low for quite some time. Your brain routinely takes two pictures from two eyes and formulates the pictures into a single image. When your brain does not have enough glucose, the brain loses the ability to coordinate vision. You may see fine with one eye closed, but quick action is needed to prevent the confused state that will follow if you don’t raise your blood glucose level.  Enlarged pupils can also be a symptom of hypoglycemia, but you are unlikely to notice them unless you’re looking in a mirror or someone else takes a close look at your eyes. If you are becoming hypoglycemic while reading, you may notice that you cannot find the correct line or that you see fewer words with each glance.
  • Difficulty communicating.Difficulties with communication can range from not being able to remember a word, to speaking in a monotone, to only responding in simple words such as “yes” or “no.” Some people describe feeling that the words they want to use are just out of their reach.
  • Difficulty absorbing new information.Without adequate glucose, your brain has trouble taking in new information. If you find yourself reading the same paragraph over and over or listening to someone speak then realizing you missed what was said, perhaps because you were daydreaming, you may have hypoglycemia.
  • Dizziness is another symptom that occurs after a person has been hypoglycemic for some time. You may have trouble walking a straight line or changing body positions. This is one of many symptoms of hypoglycemia that may be misinterpreted as drunkenness. If strangers or the police find you swerving while walking, medical identification in the form of a bracelet, necklace, or wallet card may save you from a misunderstanding and get you the treatment needed to stave off severe hypoglycemia.
  • Numbness or tingling.Numbness or tingling in the face or hands may be symptoms of hypoglycemia. Sometimes the numbness is first noticed in one spot, such as the upper lip, then it spreads across the face.
  • Unusual behavior.Anxious, giddy, confused, and irritable behaviors are important symptoms for friends, coworkers, and family members to learn about. These symptoms may occur when you can no longer judge that you are in danger. Your blood glucose may be so low that you no longer recognize family members or authority figures such as the police. You may argue, cry, yell, or fight.

Reading these after I copied them into my “working document” scared me a little bit.  Hello doctor’s appointment and panel work-up when I get back to Maryland.  And I guess new recipe board on Pinterest.

Shaking my head, but definitely not regretting surgery.

Listening to:  2007 Hits Playlist on Amazon

Reading:  Dear Martin by Nic Stone and The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

Quote of the Day:  “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.” ― Shirley Chisholm

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Filed under Advice Column, Weightloss

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