Have you ever had hypoglycemia symptoms, but when you check your blood sugar, you’re completely normal? So then you wait 20 minutes, check again, and you’re blood sugar hasn’t changed. Yet you still feel hypoglycemic? It’s kind of a phantom hypo. Yeah, I have too. Annoying right?
Recently I’ve seen a lot of tweets that people were experiencing this syndrome, and could not explain it. Then suddenly it happened to me a few times in a few days. It’s happened to me before, if only rarely, but all of this chatter about it made me want to know what the heck is going on. When we ARE hypoglycemic, we know what to do to correct it, but what are we suppose to do when we have symptoms, and we ARE NOT hypoglycemic? I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather deal with high blood sugar than low blood sugar. High blood sugar affects my body, which I can deal with, but low blood sugar affects my mind, and I can’t handle losing my mind. So I needed to know how to fix this.
Well, I think I’ve found the answer. Everybody’s symptoms of a hypo are different, and mine even change every so often. So I went looking for my symptoms on the web, and kept finding the same thing over and over. A combination of dehydration, and low electrolytes. My last post was specifically about the spiraling hole that dehydration can cause for a diabetic, and the importance of correcting it. What are the symptoms of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance? They’re almost the same, and include but are not limited to:
- Light Headedness
- Mental Confusion
- Muscle Cramps
- Weakness or Fatigue
- Irregular Heartbeat
Do those symptoms look familiar? Looks like hypo symptoms for most people right? So what if our phantom hypo is really dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance? Well, I tested this theory. Last week, when I had my last phantom hypo, and I started researching all this stuff, I reached for my carb free protein powder, which has a good dose of electrolytes in it. I mixed up a shake, gulped it down, and 15 minutes later my symptoms were gone! Now, I’m not saying this is definitive by any means, but I’d recommend you go ask your educator or endocrynologist about this.
Some of my favorite foods that are high in electrolytes are bananas, avocados, leafy greens, some fish, some seeds, and more. There are many sports electrolyte drinks out there, but I don’t recommend them because they are have carbs. There are also things like Emergen C Electrolytes, and Pedialyte, but I think they have carbs too?
So the next time you have phantom hypo symptoms with a normal blood sugar, you might be low on electrolytes? Again, please ask your endocrinologist or diabetes educator about this before taking action.
********** Now ya know, and knowing is half the battle. Go Joe!!! **********
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