I remember the first time I truly felt the symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia very well – although at the time I of course had no idea what that was. I had been to a friends house for a lovely lazy lunch one afternoon. The sun was shining, the wine was flowing and the BBQ was blazing – life felt great as we sat talking and joking on her patio.
After a couple of hours of eating I started to get a headache. I didn’t think anything of it. As time went by I started feeling very strange, almost detached from myself. I suddenly became overwhelmed with a feeling of immense tiredness. I had to get home, and as soon as I did I flopped onto my bed, utterly exhausted. It was 6pm. I stayed there for the rest of the evening, unable to move a bone in my body. I presumed I had picked up some kind of virus.
The next day I was absolutely fine, and I forgot about the whole incident.
Then something strange happened. After dinner on most days, I would become overwhelmed with the same utter exhaustion. I would literally be slumped over my clean dinner plate, having to excuse myself to crash out on the sofa crushed by a headache and feeling of weakness. Eventually the feeling passed.
These dinnertime incidents started to become more frequent. I just thought that I must have overeaten.
Eventually the episodes filtered into the rest of my day, and my symptoms started getting a lot worse. I started feeling really ill most of the day, every day. I would struggle to breathe while trying to have a conversation with someone. My legs would give way on the school run and I would literally have to pull my legs up one by one to get up the stairs. I would get crushing headaches and felt like I was having anxiety attacks. I had no former experience of those.
I remember that I kept on my eyes in the mirror and wondering what was wrong with me. They didn’t look like my eyes. They were dull. I was losing so much weight – no matter how much I ate I couldn’t keep or put weight on. I thought I had a brain tumour. I was scared.
The nights would be spent writhing around on soaked bedsheets because I would be up sweating profusely all night. I wouldn’t get to sleep often until the early hours. I thought that something must be very wrong with my hormones for my body to be so feeble during the day and raging and surging at night.
Eventually I found functioning day to day so hard, I literally dragged myself to the doctor. I could no longer keep it together to work or carry out my mum duties. I was sent for blood tests and an ECG. My blood sugar results were low despite having just had breakfast before hand, and I had an irregularity in my heartbeat.
So I was sent for more blood tests and a ECHO scan. But there was nothing else. And I consoled myself that at least my heart wasn’t giving up on me, as it would often feel like. Perplexed, my local doctor referred me to a endocrinologist. It would take three months to be seen.
I thought – I could be dead in three months! In the end I paid to see a endocrinologist privately, but he said I would need a lot of expensive tests, so I had to wait to be referred back to him under the NHS (that’s our National Health Service for those reading this across the world) and had to wait those three months.
The time dragged. Three months is a long time when you’re feeling well. When you’re feeling terrible, it’s an eternity. So I barely muddled by way through life, feeling like a skeleton and a shadow of my former self, wondering if I would ever feel better again. And that was the beginning of my reactive hypoglycemia.
Did you feel this way when you were first struggling with reactive hypoglycemia. Do leave a comment and share.