Non-Diabetic Fasting Hypoglycemia

by Elouise

pita-hummus

Some of you may already know about non-diabetic fasting hypoglycemia. It’s relatively rare. I have it. I’ve had symptoms for several years—mild, and always tamed by eating. But until now I didn’t have a clear diagnosis.

In the last couple of years the symptoms got worse, and I ended up collapsing twice and losing consciousness. No seizures, coma, or other bad things that might have happened. D was there both times to catch me on the way down.

The cause is simple: low blood sugar as a result of fasting. No, this has nothing to do with fasting and praying! It’s about the amount of time between snacks/meals, especially during the night.

Besides non-diabetic fasting hypoglycemia, there’s a related non-diabetic hypoglycemia disorder called insulinoma. It’s caused by a small, usually benign tumor on the pancreas that causes blood sugar to drop as insulin levels soar. Thanks to many blood tests and, yes, fasting (!), I do not have insulinoma, which can usually be resolved through surgery to remove the tumor.

So now I pay attention to the amount of time between meals and snacks, and especially between my late night snack and breakfast the following day. When I get up in the morning, I have a snack. Food as medicine! Not bad.

If I feel early warning signs, I take glucose tablets even though I just had a snack. Then I wait about 10-15 minutes so the glucose can kick in–or I need to take a couple more tablets.

Once the symptoms get going, they escalate quickly. They affect my eyesight, ability to talk, balance and coordination, muscle strength and ability to think clearly.

I usually notice my eyesight first. Things get slightly out of focus and jump around. Or my arms feel weak and heavy when I dry my hair. When the glucose kicks in, I get to the kitchen for breakfast. Passing out means it’s time for someone to call 9-1-1.

There’s a bright side to this. I’m not a candidate for diabetes. I get to nibble away at food all day long. I don’t have a problem gaining too much weight. Best of all, I know what’s going on.

Do I worry about it? Not now. At first I was apprehensive about whether I could manage this when D was away. But I’ve gotten myself through several episodes that ended happily. Which means I didn’t lose consciousness. I’m also ordering a medical ID to wear.

In the end, I not going to live in this world forever. I’ve had an amazing journey with God and with the women, men and children whose lives have intersected with mine.

For several weeks I’ve been erratic about visiting bloggers, and haven’t posted regularly. I just wanted you to know why. I was spending time with doctors, nurses, and other friendly medical staff.

Maybe you or someone you love has this condition. If so, I’m in good company!

Thanks for reading. Right now it’s time for another snack….

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 21 August 2015
Yummy Photo from hummusguide.com