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Lightheadedness, Blurry Vision, Low Glucose/Cholesterol
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Lightheadedness, Blurry Vision, Low Glucose/Cholesterol

I'm 24, female, 5’6” around 120lbs. I don’t smoke or use drugs, I am not taking any prescribed medication, I am taking birth control (and symptoms existed before using BC), I'm not pregnant, and I have not had any previous serious health problems.

I like in Japan and most doctors don't speak much English. I just want some information to point my Japanese doctor in the right direction.

I got a blood test recently. I have a low blood glucose level and unusually low cholesterol. I was told to adjust my diet: more carbohydrates and sugars and smaller meals, at least four times a day. I did this and I only started to feel worse. I can eat cereal for breakfast, have some fruit as a snack, a piece of bread, then lunch (chicken and some kind of pasta), drink lots of water, and I still feel sick.

Anyway, here are some of my symptoms: light-headedness, a feeling of drunkenness, headaches, feeling “out of it,” sometimes blurry vision (where I feel like I have to squint to focus to read or see things), I feel mentally alert but my vision feels "tired" and strained. It's a very dream-like state. Sometimes I feel cross-eyed. I sometimes also feel like there is a pressure around my head, like someone has their hands around my scalp and is applying pressure, but it is not a bad headache, just a discomfort. I don't have as much energy as I used to, and when I am feeling like
this I really just want to stay at home and lie down. neck tension, headaches, and on the rare occasion extreme dizziness. The most common feelings I have, pretty much every day now, are the light-headed and “drunken” feelings. Within the last two or three weeks I’ve been getting a lot of headaches, which I never had before.

When I have a dizzy spell (maybe once a month or less) it literally feels like I am being hit on the back of the head and a sudden wave of dizziness washes over me. If I am standing I will lose balance. They only last for around two or three seconds, but it leaves me feeling sweaty and nauseous afterwards. Usually I have to lie down and I will feel out of it for the rest of the day. The last two times I’ve had bad dizzy spells were in the morning, both cases were very similar. The night before I either had a very small dinner or ate dinner earlier than usual. The next morning I got up around 7 AM and had a bowl of Special K cereal with low fat milk, a banana, and grapefruit juice. About two minutes into my breakfast I was hit by the dizzy spell. I’ve also experienced one while eating some bread (which I had been eating all morning), and once more after eating dinner at an Italian restaurant and having a small cup of coffee afterwards. The worst I experienced was a few days before moving to Japan in July 2006. I was at the hairdressers and I had only eaten a granola bar for breakfast. I was hit with several waves of dizziness, and I broke out in a cold sweat. I got so sick I had to ask the hairstylist if she had any food, and she gave me a yogurt, but I didn’t feel any better. Afterwards I went to a restaurant and ordered a bread bowl of soup. While I was waiting for my food I got really nauseous and ended up throwing up in the bathroom of the restaurant. That was the one and only time I’ve thrown up from the nausea.

I would also like to mention that before maybe March of 2006 I had never experienced any of these symptoms. I’ve been a notoriously bad eater; eating sometimes one and a half meals a day, drinking lots of sodas, sometimes not eating a proper breakfast, etc and never had any adverse health problems. Now it seems like my diet is a constant problem.

My questions are:
1) If I have hypoglycemia, with low blood glucose levels, then why don’t I feel better after eating bread, drinking a soda, or eating candy? Usually I just feel worse.
2) If I have reactive hypoglycemia, then why do I feel crappy all day long, not just three or four hours after a load of carbohydrates and sugar?
3) What can I eat that will make me feel normal or make me feel better if I am feeling light-headed and “drunk”? I've tried eating candy or drinking a coke or something like hypoglycemics are advised but I never noticed a change.
4) Could there be other problems on top of hypoglycemia (such as a food allergy) that are making my situation worse?
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233190_tn?1278553401
To answer your questions:
1) It is possible that hypoglycemia is not responsible for your symptoms, hence the minimal improvement with eating.

2) I can't answer that without examining you.  Tests for thyroid, anemia, liver/kidney diseases, and B-12 deficiency should be done to exclude other causes.

3) If you are truly hypoglycemic, further testing can be done to exclude a pancreatic tumor.  Insulin levels as well as the C-peptide levels can point to an insulin-secreting tumor that may cause the low sugar levels.

4) See above.  I suggest further blood testing to exclude the aforementioned diseases.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
kevinmd_
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Your symptoms are so close to mine. I've been dealing with this for a very long time. I'm 28 and remember feeling like this in high school. Some things that happen to me that you didn't mention is mood swings and the feeling like all i want to do is sleep. This is more than just tired. I want to lay down where ever i am. Also, there is a direct connection to tightness in my neck. near the base of my scull.

Ok, here are things that most definitely make me feel this way. Caffeine, Chocolate that isn't DARK, most foods that contain preservatives (not all. there must be may different types), bumpy roads (my whole life i thought i just got car sick). Soda and fast food are definite evil!

Food is divine. I hate not eating whatever I want. But it's so much worse to feel crappy. Switching to organic foods definitely made a difference!! It hasn't solved it all but I'm still working on that. Making the connection to food and how bad I felt made me not want to eat at all. Be careful! I too am a bad eater. Not eating also makes things worse!!
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Avatar_n_tn
forgot to say that drinking alot of water and a cold pack on my neck seems to help. Heat makes it worse.

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Avatar_n_tn
my mother has low blood sugar. if you have low blood suger you are [not] supose to eat  carbohidrates. no pop no suger no choclat, all low carb diet, whitch is meat.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow I have been suffering from the same symptoms for years now! I too am very active and athletic, im a 25year old female. I experiance this annoying dizziness,lightheadedness, 'out of it', loss of concentration&speech co-ordination, blurred vision,seeing sparkles, zooming in and out vision, palpitations,loss of balance, migranes (migraines) and tension on my temples front of head and around the eyes. I am sick and tired of feeling lyk this!! This normally occurs after eating a meal and occurs if I have not had a meal. Someone please share sme light for the causes. I eaven suspected glucoma.
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