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Shaky between meals


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Sometimes, like on weekends, I'll be out for anywhere between 3 and 6 hours..I've noticed I tend to get extremely shaky, weak, irritable, and dizzy when going that long without food. Whereas my mom or 14 year old brother are perfectly fine. Is that normal? I'm a bit worried cuz people have told me it's the beginning of diabetes..?? Any input is much appreciated!

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Perhaps its because your mom/brother have more reserves to draw energy from? This is what my doc and therapist told me before, because their bodies are working more efficiently. Are you underweight? Are they bigger than you?

Hi, I get the same thing and I'm pretty much healthy. At first I was worried it was caused by very low blood sugar, which could mean I had a few health problems. I think if you eat regularly and then wait a long time in between eating the next day or something, your body expects to be fed at a particular time. I have a lot of problems with it because of different shifts for work. Of course, its best to grab a snack or something, make sure that you are eating enough but if you can't and you have to wait, have a drink of water. I find if i make it through an hour my body excepts it's not going to be fed till later then stops bugging me. All this is assuming you are eating enough, though. 

now that you (probably) eat regularly, your body is used to fuel every so now and then. Since you taught it that it will receive fuel every 3 or 4 hrs it gets upset when it doesn't. Bodies can get really upset when they are not fed in time.

I don't know what eating habits your mom and brother have but they probably skip meals more often than you and thus are used and have learned to ignore the feeling. Plus maybe they can stand it a bit better than you. We are all special in our own way.

Just bring a snack or a sandwich for half way or insist that you need something to eat when you feel that way. I'm in the middle of learning to plan my day.

Also check if your total calories really fits your need (including your activity level)

Be happy that your body is giving you such clear signals. Mine isn't so clear about what it needs (or I have untaught myself not to listen :-), so I often use the alarm clock on my mobile to help remember myself

This is NOT the beginning of diabetes- quite the opposite, in fact. What you're experiencing is low blood sugar. Our body has a complex system of hormones that raise and lower blood sugar in relation to food. After we eat, we release insulin to lower the sugar. When we go a long time without eating, we release glucagon to raise blood sugar. There can be a problem with both. Diabetes mellitus is a problem with insulin, becoming shaky after fasting is a problem with glucagon.

 

The reason why low blood sugar is falsely attributed to diabetes is because those who take insulin can experience low blood sugar, but this is only true in those taking medications. If you're not taking insulin or oral antidiabetics, then your problem is not related to diabetes at all.

 

Having this problem is not an actual medical condition. However, if it is really interfering with your life, you need to buy a glucose meter and test your sugar when you feel these symptoms. If it is falling below 70, you should call your doctor. If they find nothing is wrong with you, they're simply going to tell you to eat more often.

Low bloodsugar. I have the same problem.

Keep some food on you - I suggest trailmix (in a resealable bag or the damn raisins are going to be all over your bag). Being thirsty aggravates it in my case so some water at hand is also a good idea.

Realy. People are different. It's nothing to worry about

Original Post by cwrz:

This is NOT the beginning of diabetes- quite the opposite, in fact. What you're experiencing is low blood sugar. Our body has a complex system of hormones that raise and lower blood sugar in relation to food. After we eat, we release insulin to lower the sugar. When we go a long time without eating, we release glucagon to raise blood sugar. There can be a problem with both. Diabetes mellitus is a problem with insulin, becoming shaky after fasting is a problem with glucagon.

 

The reason why low blood sugar is falsely attributed to diabetes is because those who take insulin can experience low blood sugar, but this is only true in those taking medications. If you're not taking insulin or oral antidiabetics, then your problem is not related to diabetes at all.

 

 Low blood sugar CAN be a precurser to diabetes. Some people produce too large amount of insulin, which causes the low blood sugar. It also can cause the insulin producing cells wear out prematurely, thus eventually causing diabetes.

This is probably not the case for you. I see you are a recovering anorexic. It probably has more to do with what/how much you are eating. It can be associated with your age. If you are going through a growth spurt, you NEED calories! More now that what you would need to maintain as an adult. Males are not fully developed until their early 20's, and the last thing to fully develop is the brain. You need the right amount of protien, carbs and fats. Restricting while you are still developing is dangerous, and can cause permanent damage to your organs. Whether it causes damage to insulin producing cells, I am not entirely sure, but if it adversly affects heart muscle and brain tissue, I'd imagine islet cells are succeseptable too.

If you are eating enough, and still are experiencing these symptoms, consult your doctor.

orlaith- That's interesting.. I suppose it could be true..though its funny, cuz I eat more than them. Well, certainly more than my mom. My brother doesn't have much quantity, but he eats very calorie dense foods. I mean, that kid will have a generous slice of chocolate cake for breakfast and 2% milk. Talk about the breakfast of champions! lol Nope, I'm not underweight. Almost overweight actually. I'm 5'7" and 144. My brother is like an inch or two shorter, but like 15 lbs lighter. And my mom is very small. So I'm bigger than both of them.

ducati- I've definitely noticed that my body feels hungry at specific times occasionally, particularly dinner time, which is at exactly 7 every day. But even if I deviate from my "usual" schedule, I'll still get the shakiness given enough time. See I have a hard time determining what's "enough". I actually have no idea how many calories I've been eating. I might post my eats later today (and the times). I'm going to do errands for a large part of the day, so I'll have to keep an eye on this.

jolanda- I try and eat when I feel hungry, which kinda scares me because it's soooo often! My brother has a big appetite, but he's got no issue with this. My mom eats very little, so I'm surprised she doesn't have this. It's kinda embarrasing actually..I always have to have food with me :/

cwrz- I've actually been meaning to test my blood glucose. Someone in my family is in fact diabetic, and so he has one of those glucose meters. One of these days, I want to test it (when I feel the symptoms of course).

kat- Yummmm trail mix! :D I like that! Sometimes it's just a little embarrassing. Everyone thinks I'm such a pig cuz I'm like always eating and cuz of how big my portions are..

wingnutaviary- Like I told someone else above, I'll post today's eats. Though I must admit, being the weekend, its a lot different than what it usually is during the week.

Thanks for the input everyone..

I've had these same symptoms of low blood sugar (for me, it's an insulin problem related to another health issue I have).  Like another poster has mentioned, this CAN mean your body isn't responding appropriately to insulin (precursor to diabetes), but that's certainly not the only reason you would experience this.

The best way to avoid episodes of low blood sugar is to eat more "slow burn" foods at meals.  Protein, fat, & high fiber carbohydrates (all things with a lower glycemic load) will keep your blood sugar steadier than "fast burn" foods like sugar and starches.

 

Adrianne- It's interesting, I used to think it was an issue with a lack of those "slow burn" foods. While it does play a small role in how quickly I feel shaky, it seems to happen regardless.

So for my meal menus...it looks something like this on a weekend. (This is NOT how I eat during the week at all)

B (~9:00): 2 pieces of buttered toast and coffee [with cream and sugar]

L (~12:30): Italian-style sandwich with oil/vinegar, meats (can't remember what kind lol), and some vegetables, 2 oreos afterwards

Feeling the shakiness by 4:00

S (4:30): Piece of naan (that indian flatbread stuff) and a banana

D (7:00): Tarragon chicken, pilaf rice, peas with some butter on them

S (8:00): A couple oreos

So that was today. So I didn't do all that great varying my meals. I realize a lot of it was carb. During the week it will look more like this:

B (6:45): 2 pieces of buttered toast with coffee

S (10:30): Dried fruit, cheese stick, carrots, apple

L (12:30): Sandwich (usually pastrami or PB&J), yogurt

S (3:30): Energy bar (I *usually* don't have anything at this time, but sometimes I do. So that means almost 7 hours of no food! :/)

D (7:00): Hungarian goulash served over egg noodles

^^ That's a more accurate picture of what I eat during the week. Does it look adequate? Or too much?

I'd be shaky on that too.  I have issues with grain and with sugars if eaten at the wrong time.  For one thing, bread or toast first thing in the morning is a big no no for me.  That begs for me to go into a hypoglycemic reaction an hour or two later.  I do much better if I have bacon and eggs or a steak first thing in the morning. 

Original Post by goobyb:


kat- Yummmm trail mix! :D I like that! Sometimes it's just a little embarrassing. Everyone thinks I'm such a pig cuz I'm like always eating and cuz of how big my portions are..

I take it that you have siblings??... :-)

Try muesli or porridge for breakfast and see how that goes. Also: I don't know how big your portions are but unless you have second helpings your daily menu looks a bit sparse for a mail teen. Are you logging you cals?

Check out what you burn here - unlike the CC Tool it is suitable for teens

http://www.bcm.edu/cnrc/bodycomp/bmiz2.html

And 7 hours without food is clearyl a no no for you.

It's difficult to log when yomeone else cooks for you because it is rather awkward to get up and weigh your food, but maybe try estimating it in terms of cups. Logging will also give you a rough idea if you are getting the nutrients you need.

90_no_more- I never really had a problem that I could tie to eating grains and sugars. Actually, when I eat too few (like I used to many moons ago), I get very sluggish. Not necessarily shaky, but my muscles are slow and I feel like I'm in a fog. Me (and my parents too actually) have eaten buttered toast for years without a problem. As much as I'd love to have a full-fledged breakfast in the mornings, with my schedule it's extremely difficult. On the weekends I will occasionally, but certainly not on weekdays.

kat- Yep, I have a 14 year old brother. The only time I'll have second helpings is dinner time..but it's usually about a quarter, sometimes even half of my first portion. I stopped logging cals many months ago, because the idea of keeping track of cals was just so painstaking and tedious! And the amount of guilt I'd feel when not reaching the number (or going over the number) was just too much. I might log the weekday meal plan just to see what it amounts to. Yeah, I'll admit the 7 hours with no food is pretty dumb on my part. But sometimes, it is unavoidable.. :/

So I got almost exactly 2000. Of course, this an estimation. It was very difficult to estimate that goulash. Been awhile since I've actually logged my cals :P

And that calculator says..
2300 - inactive
2720 - low activity
3150 - moderate
3680 - very active

Now I've always had a hard time determining which category I fall in..but either way I'm surprised that I fall short by at least 300 cals :O However, on the occasional days that I have dessert, I think it bumps me up by about 400 cals.

I get low blood sugar which causes me to have migraines & to be shaky like you're describing, so I have to eat at least a cracker or two every 2 or 3 hours. My body burns through food extremely fast (but I also work a labor intensive job). I get very irritable if I don't eat.

You should try to eat some protein at each regular meal and a little bit with every snack, too.  Don't have just a piece of fruit (which is the worst if it is low blood sugar or insulain realted).  Have the fruit with some cheese.  Try an apple and one Tbls of peanut butter.  Hummus with celery sticks or crackers.  A glass of milk with two graham crackers.  And make sure you are eating good wholesome foods not junk which puts a strain on the system.  Healthy, whole and unprocessed is best.  Get some raw vegetables in, too.  And read up on the South Beach diet.  It is a little different from the high protein low carb plans and explains the body processes that may help you with your calorie intake.

Derek-really?? lol

how much are you eating, i only skimmed the posts, and your activity on most days?  it really donest look like much food, plus 7hrs without eating?  ofcourse, anyone would feel shaky!

have an egg w your toast, always have something btwn lunch+dinner, and then why no night snack?

Ryder- Yep, that sounds like me. It's funny cuz I've always considered myself to have a painfully slow metabolism..

koalabear- Really? Fruit is that bad? I do usually eat stuff that isn't procsessed. Eating heavily processed food actually doesn't make me feel good, so I tend to avoid it. But of course, every now and then, I simply must have something :) I'm usually good about my veg too...just not in the 2 days that I posted :P Thanks for the info!

Amy- I did a very rough tally with the bold menu I posted above and it turned out to be almost exactly 2000. Now that's the first time I counted in a lonnnng time, so I had no idea I was eating that. Yeah, the 7 hours thing is pretty dumb for me to do.. I probably could avoid it if I tried harder. When it comes to breakfast in the morning, I'm always in a big hurry and I'm not always hungry. Sometimes I find even the toast alone hard to eat. But on the weekends, for sure. Sometimes I'll have a dessert after dinner, but I've been trying to get away from those. Ever since the holiday season, I've found myself eating those dessert foods like crazy EVERY DAY. Not a binge, but certainly not normal.

so i get shaky if i dont eat every few hrs, feel wake, etc, mind you, i havent worked out in about 4 months but im still hungry+have to eat, rt?! lol

im not super hungry in the AM either but i have to eat bc i dont have time to eat at work when i get there, i have 1 cup fiber cereal w/1 fage, mixed w/PB+J, its good, i post my meals in my journal sometimes and im able to eat every few hrs and it works, good luck!

I only know that fruits are high glycemic index foods and you want to either avoid them, use in moderation, or make sure you slow down your digestion.  One way is to eat protein with them; you can also do so with eating fat at the same time but that doesn't help lower calories although you could for instance eat some grapefruit sections with a few avocado slices.  however, having those same green slices with salsa is better for you. (fights cancer, too.)

Same is true for processed grains like white bread and white rice.  Even instant oatmeal is worse than the old fashioned kind that must be cooked for a long time.  the oats are coarser and take longer to be absorbed by the body.  You may want to read up on the low GI index.

I was never overweight, but my tendency is to be hypoglycemic.  Triggers for this are fruit, grains of any kind and sugar.  It is much worse if those types of foods are eaten without high fats and proteins.  I figured this out by the time I was 18.  Fruit or toast as breakfast.  No.  Fruit after dinner OK.  Pasta or bread by itself.  No  Pasta with ragu bolognese OK. 

Amy- So it IS somewhat normal to have this after not eating for awhile. I'll have to check em out. I do have a very brief gap in between my early class and my official "1st" period class. I suppose I could squeeze in a snack. It's a shame teachers have to be so hard when it comes to food. Totally brings me back to my gaining days when I would sneak huge meals in class xD

koalabear- I simply can't avoid fruit altogether..I love it too much! I used to pay suuuper close attention to combining carbs with a fat or protein..that is, till it got obsessive :/ Back when I had more time, I used to make old fashioned oats that took half a century to cook before school lol. Now time is just so hard to come by in the mornings. I'm pretty bad when it comes to bread and rice. They are probably my top 2 favorite foods EVER!! So if I paid more attention to the glycemic index and such, do you think it would totally eliminate this problem?

90 no more- I do have a family history of hypoglycemia. My grandfather actually has diabetes. When he and my grandmother are out, they always carry little sugary candies that can hold him off for a bit should his blood sugar drop too much. It sure would be interesting to see what would happen if I threw something with more fat or protein into my breakfast along with the toast. Maybe my problem IS the beginning of hypoglycemia..

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