I've always thought a spoonful of sugar helped the medicine go down. Maybe not? After months of undiagnosed symptoms like extreme fatigue, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and a pounding heartbeat (among other symptoms) I went to the doctor for some blood tests and finally received a diagnosis! No Paula, I don't have cancer! Turns out I have Hypoglycemia, an abnormally low level of sugar in the blood. After a little pep talk from the doc about eliminating sugar and starting on a South Beach style diet, I came home and googled all I could about the unfamiliar-to-me-disease. If you'd like to educate yourself along with me, here's a little of what I learned:
"In simple layman's language, Hypoglycemia is the body's inability to properly handle the large amounts of sugar that the average American consumes today. It's an overload of sugar. Functional hypoglycemia, the kind we are addressing here, is the over secretion of insulin by the pancreas in response to a rapid rise in blood sugar or 'glucose.'
"All carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits and grains, as well as simple table sugar), are broken down into simple sugars by the process of digestion. This sugar enters the blood stream as glucose and our level of blood sugar rises. The pancreas then secretes a hormone known as insulin into the blood in order to bring the glucose down to normal levels. In hypoglycemia, the pancreas sends out too much insulin and the blood sugar plummets below the level necessary to maintain well-being.
"Since all the cells of the body, especially the brain cells, use glucose for fuel, a blood glucose level that is too low starves the cells of needed fuel, causing both physical and emotional symptoms: fatigue, insomnia, mental confusion, nervousness, mood swings, faintness, headaches, depression, heart palpitations, a craving for sweets, cold hands and feet, forgetfulness, dizziness, blurred vision, inner trembling, outbursts of temper, and sudden hunger."
So there you have it. I only wish I would have noticed the symptoms sooner so I could change my diet and start feeling like myself again. No more standing in line at Target afraid I'm going to pass out before I reach the check-out stand, or driving down the road feeling dizzy and drunk. Scary!!! I know it's going to be a difficult month to stay away from sugar (hello....Halloween???) but I'm so done with feeling zapped of energy all the time, so stay away from sugar I will....even though all I want right now is another chocolate chip pumpkin cookie over there on the counter. Grrrrr!