I am a 29-year-old vegan (a cruelty-free diet is absolutely essential for me - so please don't go there). I have been vegan for four and a half years, lost about thirty pounds very slowly over those years, and my health has been very good.
My problem is that near the end of my walk home from work in the evenings (it's about a 45 minute walk at a fast pace), I start feeling shaky, dizzy, disoriented, anxious, sweaty, and I usually end up eating a big snack uncontrollably quickly after I get home. Sometimes I have similar symptoms while eating a meal particularly slowly (like in a restaurant with company) or immediately following a meal.
I consume a healthy, balanced diet. I'm sure it's lower in protein than the usual N.A. diet but I'm sure it's sufficient. I supplement my diet with vitamin B12, vitamin D in the winter, and occasionally chelated zinc when I feel run-down.
About six months ago I did a blood test (fasting glucose, cholesterol, hemoglobin, iron, B12, etc.) to see whether anything was lacking, and the results were very good. The only thing that was abnormal was that my LDL was low! There is no family history of diabetes. I've been tested for thyroid abnormalities over the years but it's been normal (although my maternal grandmother had hyperthyroidism). I haven't lost weight abnormally since the symptoms began (about a year ago). Any ideas?
You could ask your doctor to run a glucose tolerance test on you to see if your pancreas perhaps is over-producing insulin when stimulated. That could be the cause of your symptoms. Your body may start producing insulin when you start to eat, but if you eat too slowly, the carbs you eat aren't matching the insulin properly. Or when you walk, you could be burning off too much sugar for your body. Hypoglycemia exhibits in symptoms such as what you describe. And it seems that it corrects itself at some point, so if this is happening to you, you may just need to make sure you have some carbs going in that digest quickly at those times to prevent a low from making you feel bad. A half cup of juice before the meal may help stave off a low if it is going to be a long meal, or a small amount of juice or sports drink with you as you walk, just to sip on, could stave off the bad feelings. But the glucose tolerance test would be the only test that MIGHT show this in action.
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