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TOPIC: Dizzy and weak if I don't eat for a few hours

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August 7, 2012 6:38 AM
This issue is becoming a great problem with me.

I have had my blood sugar, glucose and iron levels checked but all are fine.

Every few hours I get hungry and its not the normal hungry, its a feeling of sickness, dizziness and weakness that normally should come with a whole day of fasting but I get it every couple of hours.

I then have to eat something to stop the feeling.

Does anyone else get this? Or have any tips to overcome it? It makes dieting very difficult
August 7, 2012 6:43 AM
Then you SHOULD eat every few hours. There's no reason for why you should go hours without eating, even though you're trying to lose weight. Just keep some healthy snacks around all the time, and when you feel ill, eat. When you have your bigger meals, make sure they consist of food that are filling for a long time, and not just 30 minutes.

Do you eat a lot of sugar or food containing sugar? That could increase your want/need for it, and make you feel bad when not having it. Almost like an addiction. I know you said your blood sugar is fine, but it's still worth checking out the sugar in your food :)
  24610673
August 7, 2012 6:44 AM
Yes- Me too. My last physician told me to keep hard candy in my bag to suck on because it will be lower cal than any other juices or quick fix option. I find that if I stay away from high carb or sugar foods, the feeling happens less frequently. It may have to do with the sugar spike and then drop that occurs afterward.
  26307806
August 7, 2012 6:45 AM
I used to be exactly like that - always had to plan to have an emergency snack available. However, about 3 weeks ago I switched to a primal way of eating (lower carbs, high fat, high protein) and my blood sugar hasn't dropped ONCE. I can actually go several hours without eating now. Pretty amazing, and honestly, very liberating! LOL
August 7, 2012 6:46 AM
What you are eating definitely can affect that. If it's high suger/processed carbs your body is going to burn through it in no time. To stay full and have the lasting power you need to make sure you have protein and fat, even in your snacks. So instead of just an apple, have apple and peanut butter or string cheese. The fats and proteins take much longer to digest and provide a steadier stream of nutrition to your body.
  25606983
August 7, 2012 6:48 AM
QUOTE:

Then you SHOULD eat every few hours. There's no reason for why you should go hours without eating, even though you're trying to lose weight. Just keep some healthy snacks around all the time, and when you feel ill, eat. When you have your bigger meals, make sure they consist of food that are filling for a long time, and not just 30 minutes.

Do you eat a lot of sugar or food containing sugar? That could increase your want/need for it, and make you feel bad when not having it. Almost like an addiction. I know you said your blood sugar is fine, but it's still worth checking out the sugar in your food :)


Like she says. Do watch for too many processed carbs at a shot as it makes you unable to process stored fat and blood sugar plummets.

Eat! Your body is telling you something. Also, iron pills also helped me a lot, although I wasn't low in iron.

Finally, did your doctor say you were TOO thin?
Edited by nxd10 On August 7, 2012 6:52 AM
  22310201
August 7, 2012 6:49 AM
Weird. I'd go see a physician.
August 7, 2012 6:50 AM
If you like to eat every few hours (I like to keep my mouth busy and my stomach satiated, personally; it keeps the cravings away), raw vegetables are very low in calories and very high in nutrients. You could keep some baby carrots, cucumber slices, or bell pepper strips on hand.

If you don't want to feel obligated to eat every few hours, or if you're just too busy, try loading up on proteins and cutting back on carbs. I'm hungry half an hour after I eat a carb-based snack, but a protein-based snack keeps me going for hours.
  23705048
August 7, 2012 6:52 AM
I get this but I have low blood pressure. A salty snack e.g nuts help.
smile
August 7, 2012 6:56 AM
Happens to me too every now and again. I really think it's a signal that I'm just undereating. For what it's worth, I think it happens less when I eat more protein (especially earlier in the day), so I'm not at all surprised to see that a primal way of eating helped another poster. While I try to eat more whole, unprocessed foods, I'm just not ready to jump in the the primal way of eating yet. I find that eating some carbs and some protein when this happens helps tremendously.
  16762840
August 7, 2012 6:58 AM
QUOTE:

I used to be exactly like that - always had to plan to have an emergency snack available. However, about 3 weeks ago I switched to a primal way of eating (lower carbs, high fat, high protein) and my blood sugar hasn't dropped ONCE. I can actually go several hours without eating now. Pretty amazing, and honestly, very liberating! LOL


Yup. The symtoms described are low blood sugar. I am diabetic, eat paleo and guess what? No highs and lows. I've been doing this for years and my A1C is below 6 - non-diabetic levels. I still have to take pills twice a day, but it sure beats insulin. Primal or paleo is the way to go to avoid those symptoms. I also find that I stay full for a loooooooooong time. It's almost difficult for me to eat 1200 calories.
August 7, 2012 6:59 AM
Your weakness and dizziness is most likely a result of not enough "sugar." I found that if I eat every 2-3 hours it helps with not only my metabolism, but I don't get "shaky" either. I always have a fruit with my breakfast, mid-morning snack, and then my afternoon snack. Make sure each of your meals include a protien, fat, and carb(fruit)...then they will be well-balanced. For instance...my mid-morning snack consists of an apple, string cheese, and reduced-fat wheat thins. Good luck!
August 7, 2012 6:59 AM
also make sure you are drinking enough water.

I had this feeling between meals and it was a combination of not keeping blood sugards up but also being thirsty but feeling hungry - the two feelings are similar.
August 7, 2012 7:06 AM
Keep some nuts and dried fruit in your handbag. Eat some every one in a while.
August 7, 2012 7:09 AM
I get that and have had it since i was a youth and never could figure out what the cause was. I have a diabetic daughter and when I asked her Endocrinologist about it he suggested I take a glucose tolerance test - but instead of a 3 hour test do 4 hours. It confirms what he called "Reactive Hypoglycemia". Basically if you eat a high carb meal - mine was usually breakfast, your pancreas over produces insulin and about 4 hours later your blood sugar crashes. During my GTT it was normal at the 3 hour point and 30 minutes later it dove to 50. I get the shakes, light headed, and sweat. The doc advised me - have more protein for breakfast and plan my day on having a snack (hi protein- the carbs just make you hungry again) around 10 am. Once I started doing that I didn't have any problems.
  15329484
August 7, 2012 7:12 AM
I carry a protein bar everywhere!
  26120058
August 7, 2012 7:12 AM
You should eat every few hours, keep small snacks with you so if you get that feeling you can eat something. Or eat fruits/veggies in between meals. I ate breakfast at 630 am, and now I'm having a peach as my "snack" at 10 am, and eating my lunch at 12 and then I don't have a snack between lunch and dinner and I usually eat dinner around 5:45-6:00 pm. Be sure to drink enough water as well, water has a lot of benefits. When I starting drinking 8 glasses a day, I noticed I had a lot more "energy" and I was more "awake" and it keeps my skin looking nice!
August 7, 2012 7:31 AM
Thanks everyone for the helpful advice.

I am not too thin - I am probably overweight if anything. But I have noticed this problem more since I came off the contraceptive pill a few months back. Could it be hormonal?

My GP said it may be something I have to live with.
I fainted once a few years back due to this problem, its very frustrating because the more I eat, the more calories I am taking in.
August 7, 2012 7:43 AM
It could be hormonal for sure. Your diet and activity levels can alter hormone levels.
  25631519
August 7, 2012 8:39 AM
I was the same way and I found if I make my breakfast my largest calorie meal and very high in protein it helps thru the rest of my day. I eat every 3-4 hours with meals and snacks and always make sure my snacks are veggies.
August 8, 2012 8:49 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I used to be exactly like that - always had to plan to have an emergency snack available. However, about 3 weeks ago I switched to a primal way of eating (lower carbs, high fat, high protein) and my blood sugar hasn't dropped ONCE. I can actually go several hours without eating now. Pretty amazing, and honestly, very liberating! LOL


Yup. The symtoms described are low blood sugar. I am diabetic, eat paleo and guess what? No highs and lows. I've been doing this for years and my A1C is below 6 - non-diabetic levels. I still have to take pills twice a day, but it sure beats insulin. Primal or paleo is the way to go to avoid those symptoms. I also find that I stay full for a loooooooooong time. It's almost difficult for me to eat 1200 calories.


I'm not diabetic (yet) but everyone in my family is and I'm always worried about insulin resistance.

I don't do paleo but I noticed that when I try to keep my carbs to 40% all those symptoms went away too. And I also am rarely hungry and have a hard time hitting my goal calories. I've been reading a lot about the relationship of insulin, blood sugar, and carbs and I am convinced that keeping carbs reasonably low is the single most important thing I can do for my health.

Have no idea how people do low carb though! I have a hard enough time keeping to 40-50%. I eat a lot of fruit and veggies like turnips and kohlrabi.
Edited by nxd10 On August 8, 2012 8:50 AM
  22310201
August 8, 2012 8:51 AM
I would do an 8 hour feeding window every day for a week to get used to it, then progress from there, but a cup of steamed veggies such as broccoli or asparagus will definitely fill you up a little more and have very little in calories while giving you proper nutrients, hope this helps!
August 8, 2012 8:57 AM
QUOTE:

Thanks everyone for the helpful advice.

I am not too thin - I am probably overweight if anything. But I have noticed this problem more since I came off the contraceptive pill a few months back. Could it be hormonal?

My GP said it may be something I have to live with.
I fainted once a few years back due to this problem, its very frustrating because the more I eat, the more calories I am taking in.


Oral contraceptives are known to raise blood sugar levels in some women (as opposed to causing hypoglycemia in some) so that may be the reason. Going off the pill may have caused your blood sugar levels to decrease.

It's strange that your blood sugar levels are normal, though. Dizziness is a rather severe symptom and very hypoglycemic.
January 3, 2013 9:50 PM
Have you found a solution yet? Thanks Jen for the post.

I am in the exact same boat, Jen. Although I have not recently taken birth control nor quit. I have gone gluten free, which helps with head aches, although i was tested and do not have celiac disease, but was told i still can have a high sensativity. I am so frustrated with it. Every few hours i get so dizzy..and quickly without hardly warning sometimes. I have even been pricking my finger to test myself...no low blood sugar...if anything maybe a tad on the high end since eating only helps. But all the calories add up. And I have litterally run into walls from being dizzy. My doctor thought it was just stress. But I don't think I am that stressed out, but I do have back pain, which could be a for of stress triggering my fight or flight hormone and perhaps we have reactive hypoglycemia?

I found a link... http://diabetes.about.com/od/whatisdiabetes/qt/reacthypoglycem.htm
What is the cause of reactive hypoglycemia?
The exact cause of reactive hypoglycemia is still unknown, but there are several hypothesis that might explain why it can happen.
Sensitivity to epinephrine, a hormone that is released in the body during times of stress.
January 4, 2013 2:55 AM
I'm following a low carb, high fat whole foods based diet and that fixed the problem for me -- so much so I was able to fast for two DAYS without issue which seemed inconceivable to me when going a few hours without eating used to make me sick.

I've never felt better and I imagine I'll be eating like this for the rest of my life, it's very similar to Paleo/Primal but less restrictive I think.

http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf

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