Low carb and brain fog, do I have diabetes?

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Low carb and brain fog, do I have diabetes?


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Old 04-05-2012, 04:39   #1
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Question Low carb and brain fog, do I have diabetes?

I'm a 37 year old sedentary worker who used to have a bad diet. My dad had type 2 diabetes and I've been feeling major swings between meals. If I don't eat every 30 minutes I get extremely bad brain fog (can't even remember 5 digits).

So last month I started exercising and went on a low carb diet. I've also been checking my blood sugar, which has never gone over 150 and never gone under 90.

I don't know why I experience this severe brain fog and symptoms that are exactly like hypoglycemia, yet my blood sugar "looks" fine.

I am eating very few carbs and getting lots of protein, yet here's a rundown of what happened to me today:

Breakfast: 2 eggs and half English muffin, tea.
Snacks: boiled egg, almonds.
Lunch: lean beef and broccoli, tea

Then I did this test:

Glucose before eating: 118. EXTREME brainfog, can't remember 5 numbers.

5 minutes after eating, glucose is 128. Feel slightly better, thinking is still foggy.

10 minutes after eating I am tired and have a bit of a headache.

30 minutes after eating, I'm 150. I can almost remember 5 numbers.

45 minutes after eating, I can finally think a little but it is still difficult to recall 5 numbers. I feel like taking a nap.

My fingertips fear for the next test and my right hand is refusing to push the button. I have to allow muscle fatigue to assist with "accidentally" pushing the button.

1 hour after eating, glucose is 128. Feel much better than before eating but my thinking is still at 70% of what it used to be before the low carb diet that I started last month.

2 hours after eating, glucose is 119. I feel like I have adrenaline running, face is hot, etc. I can sense the brain fog coming back and I'm a bit hungry. Need a snack.

My numbers are fine. So how can I be experiencing what seems like swings in blood sugar?

I cannot adapt to low carb.

My A1C was 5.8. I also have low testosterone and auto immune thyroid disease that is treated.

Richard

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Old 04-05-2012, 05:25   #2
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I would Also like to see some responses from those that know more

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Old 04-05-2012, 05:32   #3
 
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The brain fog could be caused by one of the medicines you are taking or could be something else. My advise is to make an appointment with your doctor and let him figure out what is going on.

As a side note, it looks to me like you are trying to eat low fat. If you eat low carb, you also need to eat high fat. Your body usually burns carbs for energy, but when eating low carb, your body burns fat for energy instead.

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Old 04-05-2012, 05:51   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLowT View Post
Breakfast: 2 eggs and half English muffin, tea.
Snacks: boiled egg, almonds.
Lunch: lean beef and broccoli, tea
Where's the fat in your diet? It looks like maybe you're trying to go both low carb and low fat. That would give me brain fog too!

How about adding bacon, ham, or sausage to your breakfast, skipping the English muffin, and turning the eggs into an omelet overflowing with cheese? Instead of lean beef at lunch, eat a well-marbled cut, cover the broccoli with cheese sauce, and add a salad smothered in high-fat dressing?

I also snack on almonds at work, but I serve them with room-temperature butter and treat the almonds like tiny potato chips and the butter as dip. Another great snack for a desk job is string cheese; I switch between plain (which I sometimes eat with a small apple) and flavored (jalapeno is my fave).

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Old 04-05-2012, 06:07   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WV Mom View Post
Where's the fat in your diet? It looks like maybe you're trying to go both low carb and low fat. That would give me brain fog too!

How about adding bacon, ham, or sausage to your breakfast, skipping the English muffin, and turning the eggs into an omelet overflowing with cheese? Instead of lean beef at lunch, eat a well-marbled cut, cover the broccoli with cheese sauce, and add a salad smothered in high-fat dressing?

I also snack on almonds at work, but I serve them with room-temperature butter and treat the almonds like tiny potato chips and the butter as dip. Another great snack for a desk job is string cheese; I switch between plain (which I sometimes eat with a small apple) and flavored (jalapeno is my fave).

This diet I posted above isn't the best example. I often sneak in some oatmeal with 1/2 tsp cinnamon, I usually have a couple pieces of bacon with my eggs and whatnot. Certainly today has been one of my worst days and I haven't had enough fat. Might be one reason.

My doctor thinks I'm just not getting enough calories, which is also true. I'm trying to lose a little midsection fat. But there's more to this.

I've had a strange problem that's been going on for several years.

I cannot exercise like I used to. I used to be able to lift weights, run on the treadmill and swim. I cannot do this stuff anymore. I can only walk fast (barely jog). I'm not overweight, in fact I'm underweight.

When I attempt to do any sort of heavy exercise, I get an adrenaline rush. I guess as though my adrenaline is trying to get my liver to release more glucose (I think that's how it works?).

If I push myself just a tiny bit too far, say, 5 mph on the treadmill for more than 5 minutes, I get an adrenal rush from hell.

My cardiologist did a stress test and noted tachycardia then sent me to my endocrinologist, who said I have "reactive postprandial hypoglycemia" along with "pseudopheochromocytoma" and told me to eat small frequent meals.

Seriously, back in 2007 I used to have a problem that landed me in the ER quite a few times. My blood pressure would be 90/60, and then 30 minutes after eating, it would rise to 210/110. That's the "reactive hypoglycemia" part (according to the endo). This is managed with, I hate to say, a beta blocker. This is doing the trick to prevent the blood pressure from rising. It is blocking the effects of adrenaline on my heart.

I know something isn't right with my glucose metabolism. I bought some books on diabetes and still can't quite grasp what is going on.

The brain fog isn't so much of a bother when I am not on a diet (my diet could use some work). But the adrenal rushes with exercise is real problem. I didn't mention this in my first post because I wanted to keep it simple.

Is there such a condition where the body has normal glucose levels but is not able to use the glucose as it should? like "glucose uptake" problems or "glucose metabolism" problems?

If so, what is that condition called, what causes it, and how can it be treated?

Thanks
Richard

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Old 04-05-2012, 06:20   #6
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Okay, so you have, at a minimum, low testosterone, auto immune thyroid disease, reactive postprandial hypoglycemia, and pseudopheochromocytoma. There's too much going on there for little ol' me to give you any helpful answers. What does your doctor say besides "not enough calories"?

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A1c
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08/2012: 5.9
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Diet
Low-ish carb (~90-150g per day)
Low-ish calorie (always below 2000, except for vacations )

Exercise
Ummm . . . it's supposed to be cardio and weights three times a week, but I'm not so good at this.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:26   #7
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Welcome to the Forum!

I agree with all who recommended more calories and more fat.

Have you seen an endocrinologist? If not, can you get a referral from your primary doc?

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Old 04-05-2012, 06:43   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WV Mom View Post
Okay, so you have, at a minimum, low testosterone, auto immune thyroid disease, reactive postprandial hypoglycemia, and pseudopheochromocytoma. There's too much going on there for little ol' me to give you any helpful answers. What does your doctor say besides "not enough calories"?
Thanks for the reply.

The endocrinologist (went through two already), cardiologist and family doc have nothing else to add. Just "eat small frequent meals". That's not helping enough.

I just simply have to figure out what kind of condition could be causing me to not be able to use up glucose properly.

For what it's worth, testosterone increases insulin sensitivity. I'm wondering if back in 2007 (when my endo had me on testosterone replacement), that might have exacerbated my existing glucose metabolism problem and made my reactive hypoglycemia worse at the time.

My doctors are supposed to figure this out but seems I've fallen in a crack.

OK I will throw one more thing in. I have an electrical heart condition called PSVT that is set off from these adrenal rushes. So I have to find an answer.

Well, here I am with a headache and brain fog again. I just ate pot roast, mashed potatoes and corn an hour ago (I gave in). Felt fine for 30 minutes and I'm crashing again.

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Old 04-05-2012, 08:35   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLowT View Post
I just ate pot roast, mashed potatoes and corn an hour ago (I gave in). Felt fine for 30 minutes and I'm crashing again.
Having been officially diagnosed with reactive postprandial hypoglycemia, and then giving in to eating this much carbohydrate, would you not be expecting another crash? I certainly would. Corn & potatoes are some of the hardest-hitting, fastest-acting carbs of all. I hate to sound like a broken record, but it looks to me like you'd benefit greatly from cutting carbs and getting a lot more fat into your diet. You have nothing to lose but the brain fog, right?

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Old 04-05-2012, 08:46   #10
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In my opinion, Shanny et al, nailed it! Eat more fats and give up the 'giving in' and eat a more balanced diet. Then tell us how it goes...

Good luck.

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