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Hello all!

I will start off by saying that if you are taking the time to read all of this then you have my greatest level of appreciation. I never ever thought I would be on this site or be in the position I'm in and it's been the roughest time in my life.


Background: I am a 26 year old male in very good health (or at least until recently), I have always been very active and in very good shape as well. Before all of this I used to lift weights and run 4-5 times a week for about 7-8 years. I always stayed very hydrated, ate a relatively clean diet, and never was a big fan of sweets. However, I smoked 5-7 cigarettes daily on avg. for 12 years (14-26) and drank beer socially on and off from age 18-26 (mostly from 23-26). I also drank a rockstar sugar free energy drink daily from age 18-26.


I have dealt with panic/anxiety on and off since I was 16 years old and have been on 25-50mg of Zoloft ever since. I had Lyme Disease once when I was 19 and once when I was 20 but symptoms were cleared by antibiotics both times. I have had IBS-C since about age 20 with bloating and constipation/slow digestion and been taking fibercon pills after every meal for it as well. Also since about age 20 I started developing a lot of floaters in both eyes and becoming very sensitive to sunlight. I also experience trails and flashes in my vision as well which have seemed to have gradually worsened over time.


When I turned 23 I started drinking alcohol 2-4 times a week regularly going out with friends. I would average anywhere from 10-12 beers per night. I usually would have an energy drink before going out as well. When I turned 25 I started getting anxiety the day after drinking which gradually got worse to the point where I was having full blown panic attacks after a night of drinking(no matter how much water I drank). A couple times they were so bad that I had to be rushed to the hospital on a couple occasions which everything checked out fine. Eventually it got to the point where I would feel real out of it and also very shaky for days sometimes weeks after drinking. The shaking was really starting to bother me and I was freaking out so I bought a blood sugar meter and tested myself and it was 89 I believe so I quit drinking and stopped worrying about it.

I didn't drink for 3 mts until my 26th Birthday I started up again (like an idiot), I was fine at first but after drinking for the 4th time I was back in the hospital with a severe panic attack (shaking,dizziness, couldn't speak, feeling faint etc.) which everything checked out fine again. I tried cutting back on the amount I was drinking but still the same result. The last night I ever drank (4 mts. ago) I had maybe 5-6 beers tops over 3-4 hours. The next night I couldn't sleep was shaking non-stop with real bad anxiety and ever since then I have been in a hell hole :(. I quit energy drinks and cigarettes too because I just wanted the anxiety to go away and live a healthy life. I also quit using fibercon because it was messing up my digestion. I also went back to taking 25mg of Zoloft daily as well, it has helped my digestion but still having other symptoms.

Unfortunately things didn't get better from there. I kept getting shaky and symptoms of low blood sugar and I can't even excercise for more than 10 mins without getting shaky faint and nausea even if I eat something before. I have been to the hospital several times for what seems like low blood sugar but always turns up normal.

Another BIG symptom I've recently acquired is after I eat something with carbs I get severe head pressure/headache and feel real out of it and then within a few hours I'm shaky again. I've been to my primary care Dr. and an Endocrinologist. I've had 2 fasting blood sugar tests, which were 76 and 82. My hemoglobin A1C is 4.7. I have tested myself quite a bit the highest post prandial I've seen is 151 an hour after eating (meter is a Relion from Wal-Mart and could be reading wrong) and usually my blood sugar is back down to 120 or below 2 hours after a meal of high carbohydrates. Endo won't give me a glucose tolerance test but I'm convinced that I have reactive hypoglycemia. I'm eating low carb right now but I still feel like hell with head pressure after eating carbs and shakyness/dizziness/sweaty hands hours later. I'm in a constant state of anxiety for no reason and I feel miserable. Everyone thinks I'm nuts and making it up but I know my body and know something is wrong.

I also had my thryroid checked along with pretty much everything else on a blood test at the hospital and it all came back normal. The only thing thats weird is one time when I almost fainted while driving and was rushed to hospital and blood sugar was 152 which didnt make any sense.

I just want to be able to exercise again and be happy and live life without suffering all the time. My mother was a borderline gestational diabetic when she was pregnant with me, other than that no other family history of diabetes.

If anyone has ANY suggestions or any advice for me it would be GREATLY appreciated. Again, I would like to personally thank you for reading this monstrosity and can't believe I just typed all that but it feels better getting it out and talking about it.

I hope you all have a wonderful evening.

God Bless
 

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Welcome to the Forum, PeacefulOne! :welcome:

Your numbers look near-perfect! The 150s are, indeed, a little high. You may want to check to make sure they aren't frequent but, as you say, they could've been flukes. (Or, use the testing technique Diabetes86 posted above me.)

I must say that your symptoms do not all sound like diabetic symptoms. Thyroid is notorious for being highly symptomatic, despite normal readings, and may be worth a re-check.

Another, unmentioned, possibility also comes to mind. Have you ever been checked out for celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?

Please keep us posted on how things are going for you!
 

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You could have a number of allergies but be very reactive to alcohol--maybe even allergic. Have you kept a diary of everything you eat and drink for a week and your reactions? This could help you pinpoint some trouble spots. I wouldn't try the three cans of coke--especially cafeinated on an empty stomach-- while you are alone. Make sure someone is with you. I doubt that is going to work, though. Frankly, much of the reactions you describe sound related to caffeine or caffeine and sugar combos. Alcohol is a sugar, remember. What exactly is in that energy drink? And what supplements do you take?
 

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Drinking three cans of coke is the equivalent of the GTT test. I've never heard this.
Maybe in "grams of carbs" (I haven't checked), but it would be slightly more than half fructose, so not a good glucose tolerance test. Fructose, especially in high doses, behaves quite differently than glucose. You can buy glucose or dextrose powder in its pure form. To be precise, dextrose requires a few more grams than pure glucose, but it's a small difference and many labs just use the same 75g whether glucose or dextrose.

I have mine all weighed up in a zip-loc but haven't gotten up the courage to do it yet.
 

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I am soooo not gonna do a DIY GTT test!
 

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Since I see it as playing with fire, I don't think I will ever give myself a GTT

Peaceful, that is terrible. I am so sorry.

Relion meters are usually reliable and consistent. Many of us use them and are satisfied when we compare their results to the numbers we see at the doctor's office. You should be okay with the meter you bought.

To me, your BG numbers are a bit on the high side. They read like, as it says on Blood Sugar 101, like you may be at risk of being DXd with prediabetes or diabetes in the next ten years. So, getting control of your relationship with carbs/sugars now may be a very good idea.

However, those BG numbers do not explain the severity of your attacks or the consistency of the train wreck you are living now.

What do they say when you go to the ER? I ask knowing it is likely you were in no state to remember. But was anyone with you who might remember?

I agree with JT. Food allergies might be involved. The 'next day' aspect of the initial onset could be consistent with an allergic reaction. From my experience, if you keep eating/drinking the allergen the reaction can become stronger and faster...and spread to related foods.

Consider keeping a food/exercise/how I feel log (include hours of sleep, quality of sleep, fasting BG, and 1 & 2 hour pp BG test results - in case they do play into the pattern). Maybe look at GAPS or other allergy elimination diets. If you can, get tested.

Also, I encourage you to find a good Thyroid discussion group and tell them what is happening and your test results. I know, with thyroid, sometimes what looks superficially normal, is not when examined more closely.

Golly, I can think of a lot of reasons (some of them scarey like a tumor) your endocrine system would go berserk. I would hope your endo would see some kind of test results pointing in that direction.

Do you have times you feel good/close to normal? If so, when has your endo tested? When you are at your best or worst?

I would start by logging your day (look for patterns), pursuing the food allergy possibility, and looking into thyroid (to see if people living that nightmare agree your test results are normal).

Sympathies. Really.
 

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I should add I am not a doctor. And I believe you need to stay tightly linked to your doctor and endo.

In the past I used daily logs like I described to isolate patterns and identify trends and food/medicine/cosmetic allergies of my own. My doctor used the info on the log to help isolate the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Welcome to the Forum, PeacefulOne! :welcome:

Your numbers look near-perfect! The 150s are, indeed, a little high. You may want to check to make sure they aren't frequent but, as you say, they could've been flukes. (Or, use the testing technique Diabetes86 posted above me.)

I must say that your symptoms do not all sound like diabetic symptoms. Thyroid is notorious for being highly symptomatic, despite normal readings, and may be worth a re-check.

Another, unmentioned, possibility also comes to mind. Have you ever been checked out for celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?

Please keep us posted on how things are going for you!

I totally agree with you that my post prandial is somewhat high. My meter reads wrong because it never reads the same 2 numbers back to back and when I've been at the hospital they tested it and it has been off by 16 points or more, so it could be lower or higher than 150.

I was also wondering myself if it is Thyroid related, TSH is 1.70 but I have not had T3 or T4 tested. I have not been tested for celiac and it may be a good idea to but these symptoms happen no matter what I eat. I pleaded with my endocrinologist (from Joslin Diabetes center) to let me have a OGTT but he says that what I have is most likely not hypoglycemia because I would feel better at least for a little while after I eat. He also says they don't use the OGTT to diagnose hypoglycemia anymore :suspicious:
 

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You could have a number of allergies but be very reactive to alcohol--maybe even allergic. Have you kept a diary of everything you eat and drink for a week and your reactions? This could help you pinpoint some trouble spots. I wouldn't try the three cans of coke--especially cafeinated on an empty stomach-- while you are alone. Make sure someone is with you. I doubt that is going to work, though. Frankly, much of the reactions you describe sound related to caffeine or caffeine and sugar combos. Alcohol is a sugar, remember. What exactly is in that energy drink? And what supplements do you take?
Yea I've considered allergies as well but and I have keeping a log of what I've been eating and at what time but I always still end up with symptoms (head pressure after eating carbs of any sort and shaky/sweaty hands/anxiety within a few hours). I also notice in the morning I am usually shaky when I wake up. I have been eating very small meals every 2 hours which helps a little but either way I'm still always shaky after eating. I can't even exercise lightly for more than 15 mins without getting shaky/faint/nausea even if I eat something before.

I had to stop drinking caffeine, if I even have one sip of anything caffeinated I immediately get very shaky and feel faint. I haven't had any energy drinks in 4 mts. but I always drank non-sugar energy drinks (Rockstar Recovery). I don't take any supplements at this time, I used to take a multivitamin but it also would make me shaky/anxious/uneasy as well so I discontinued use. I'm so confused as to what could be causing all this :confused:
 

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Still sounds reactive to me. I'm not a doctor or medical person. This non-sugar energy drink has to have some substance in it to "give energy." If it isn't sugar and isn't caffeine, what is in it?
 

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I just looked up Rock Star Recovery and it has 4 times as much caffeine as a can of Coca Cola. Really, taper off all caffeine. It will take a while but you said one sip makes you shaky. You have been more than sipping. Water, PeacefulOne, water! Do you ever read Dear Abby?
 
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And all carbs are not created equal. You might be reacting specifically to wheat. (Reading Wheat Belly is quite the eye-opener.)
 

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You could do an OGTT at home using your own meter and glucose. But really doesn’t sound like your glucose numbers are crazy.
Has your liver function been tested?
So you’ve stopped all caffeine?
All drinks except water?
No medications of any kind other than the anti-anxiety?
For how long have you stopped all of this?

It does sound like a reaction to food. So carbs and caffeine and maybe additives/food colorings.
You said a multivitamin also did this.
Si there sugar/colorings in the multi that is the same as the energy drink? Maybe a clue there.
You may be intolerant to a variety of things.

I would look up food intolerances and start there.
Look into things like:
Gaps diet
Autoimmune protocol
Paleo
Low carb
Gluten free etc..

This won’t be easy to figure out. You will need to be a detective!

And also agree on thorough thyroid check besides TSH.
Meanwhile I’d go to a good physiatrist and talk about all these symptoms.
Maybe find one that takes food/lifestyle into account as well and not one that gives you a drug without trying to figure out what could be going wrong.

As noted by others above.
Definitely keep a life log (food/diet/activity/sleep/symptoms) for a couple weeks and take it to your docs.

Sorry we have no easy answers. This seems like a complicated question that you will have to figure out.
Best of luck to you.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Hello again everyone! I would like to personally thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful feedback you all have given me. I wish the people in my everyday life would be as kind, everyone thinks it's all in my head and I'm nuts.

I noticed a few of you had asked if I had totally quit caffeine and the answer is yes. If I have even a drop of caffeine I immediately become very shaky. I quit drinking alcohol, caffeine, and smoking cigarettes after my last episode after drinking alcohol which was on 12/27/14. From there it has been all downhill :(

Anyway, I saw a new doctor yesterday who is friend of the family. He reviewed my blood work and ordered an 3-Hour OGTT (also checking insulin levels) along with a few other tests for food intolerances and vitamin deficiencies. He did not think it was anything thyroid related but I'm not totally ruling that out yet.

Today I went in for the OGTT and lab work. I fasted for 14 hours prior. They took my blood at the beginning and then had me drink this sweet chalky orange drink. They took a blood sample at 30 min, 1 hour, 2 hours, and 3 hours. I had my mother drive me just in case. I felt ok for the first 2-1/2 hours, and then at 2 hours and 40 mins into the test I started feeling very faint and shaky, was also VERY hungry. They had me lay down for the last 10 mins and then took my final blood sample and I immediately ate some nuts and crackers.

I will find out in a week what my results are and I will be sure to keep everyone posted. Hopefully I can find out what is causing this so I can live my life without suffering everyday.
 

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Hey Peaceful one!

Everyone has had great suggestions. I have celiac disease. There are over 300 symptoms for celiac and anxiety is a huge one -- not to mention gastrointestinal symptoms. Check out the University of Chicago's Celiac website. It contains a wealth of information. Print out the symptom list and the required blood tests to show your doctor. Keep eating gluten until all testing is completed or you can get negative results. Celiac Disease runs in families and the genes are the same for Celiac and Type 1 Diabetes.

Do not give up! You are not crazy!
 

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Let us know the results!
 
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Great news on the new doctor!

I second, third, and fourth the vote for, if your system is under attack and out of balance, then anxiety, depression, and panic attacks can follow.

Looking forward to hearing the test results!
 
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