Insulin resistance, low blood sugar??

Why we all seem to carry it all around the waist...

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Insulin resistance, low blood sugar??

Postby vixen89 » Tue May 25, 2010 9:39 pm

Hi everyone!

I'm new here, & should probably warn you that I tend to write in big paragraphs no matter how much I try to condense it down! So I apologise in advance lol!

I've just been diagnosed with PCOS, after mentioning to my Dr that it's in my family (my cousin advised me to tell them).

I was put on Yasmin pill just before I got my results, as I'd been on the mini pill (because of high blood pressure & nausea/migraines) but it made my acne return with a vengence & gave me bad tummy pains & bloating (I was diagnosed with IBS last year).

So when I went to discuss my results with the Dr, she simply said that the Yasmin will help my skin, & to come back if I start gaining weight or want to start a family! She printed out some info & briefly went through it with me, saying that 'this & that' weren't problems for me... I was in & out within a couple of mins!!

But, after reading the handouts she gave me, I wondered whether the related insulin resistance could be behind all my problems...

Firstly, I'm always tired, no matter how much sleep I get! I come home from college & usually nap for a couple of hours because I can't fight the overwhelming sleepiness.

Secondly, a few hours after eating/when I've not eaten, I'll start shaking, feeling weak like I'm about to pass out, start sweating, feel sick, get a headache and sometimes feel dizzy! I also usually get snappy if say, I'm at my boyfriend's & he's not getting me food quick enough! Once I've eaten something, all these things will gradually disappear.
For ages I didn't know what was causing it & had tests done, but the Drs didn't find anything up with me. I now believe that they could be symptoms of low blood sugar, is this right?? Could it be caused/related to insulin resistance & PCOS???

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated! =) My doctors haven't been very helpful!

Thanks! x
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Postby Hols969 » Wed May 26, 2010 8:00 am

Do you have diabetes in your family?

Normally the way you are feeling is more down to diet and how our pcos bodies handle the food you are eating.

You should not get the highs and lows and it could mean your diet is wrong. What are you eating generally? it may be worth doing a food diary. GI is the best way to control the symptoms and stop the highs and lows and you need to cut out pretty much all sugar as it makes it ten times worse.
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Postby vixen89 » Wed May 26, 2010 12:06 pm

Hi, thanks for the reply!

Yes diabetes is in my family. My dad has it, he's just been put on tablets to control it. My grandad on my mum's side also had it & my uncle has suspected diabetes.

I wouldn't say my diet was that bad, compared to some people I know. I usually eat porridge for my breakfast every morning, or sometimes egg on toast or fruit & fibre cereal - I try & avoid things like cheerios & cornflakes because they seem to make my symptoms worse & come on sooner. I'll snack on either nuts, fruit, yoghurt or sometimes have half of my sandwich mid-morning, then have sandwiches on wholemeal bread for lunch. For my evening meal, I'll eat things like spaghetti bolognaise, meat & veg type of meals, homemade curries, fish & chips on a fri (oven cooked).. and sometimes will have a shop-bought pizza or hollands pie & chips. I always try & eat veg with every meal. We're not exactly well off at the mo, so my dad refuses to buy stuff that's expensive... & it seems that most 'healthy' stuff is expensive! =(

I don't eat any chocolate or crisps during the day, but sometimes have dessert after my evening meal. I get big cravings for chocolate etc at night but I'm going to try my hardest to stop eating things like that from now on!

I drink water every day, and usually tea in the morning (de-caff without sugar) & sometimes pure orange juice. Rarely drink fizzy drinks & I can't drink coffee or red bull type of drinks because they make me crash within an hour & feel really ill! Have take-aways/fast food about once a month, sometimes more sometimes less... but that's usually if I'm out & about and don't have any food with me or if I'm with my boyfriend.

I really do want to change my diet to something which will help me, but I don't know how. I've heard of the low GI diet but a lot of the foods recommended are whole foods aren't they? And these really aggrevate my IBS. My Dr has just told me that a low fibre diet is best for IBS. I've had to stop eating wholemeal bread for my lunch & changed to the 'best of both' ones because they don't give me as much pain & discomfort. But refined foods make my other symptoms worse. I feel like I can't win =(

Is there anything you can recommend? I'm cutting out all sugar from today onwards, which will be hard because I get mega cravings for it! But I'm hoping that eventually I'll stop wanting to eat these things. But what else should I be eating or not eating??? Is it not down to insulin resistance/PCOS?? I'm really confused & it's getting me down =(

Thanks x
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Postby Hols969 » Thu May 27, 2010 12:29 pm

It does sound as if your diet is pretty good, the only other suggestion is to have brown rice/brown spagetti etc as these are slow release as this is really what you want. Complex carbs (white rice etc is no good for us and can give us the highs and lows). Im not sure how that works for your IBS though.

If you dad is diabetic then he should be on a diabetic diet which you can follow too as it would be similar as its all about getting the blood sugar stable so you dont get light headed etc.

Try and avoid processed food so cook from scratch as these often have hidden sugars in them. I often do a batch at the weekend like bolognaise etc and freeze as sometimes its too busy during the week to start from scratch.

As for the sugar cravings, well for me it takes about 3 weeks until you stop craving it so it isnt too long but I can then have it occasionally (like time of the month or something) and I dont get the cravings inbetween. The sugar craving is a pcos symptom so you arent alone. Eating 6 small meals a day is supposed to be good as well as it then keeps your blood sugar stable as well so you dont have so long between meals. Porridge is good but it should be the whole flakes type rather than the instant ones like ready break.

Little changes will start to make a difference. Let us know how it goes though.
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Postby vixen89 » Thu May 27, 2010 2:08 pm

Yeah I've had brown rice & pasta in the past, but only once or twice, so I'll give it a whirl! It does seem to be complex carbs that cause me a lot of pain with my IBS though, like wholemeal bread, but I'll definitely try brown rice/pasta & hopefully I'll be able to cope with them.

What about potatoes? Should I avoid them or...?

My dad's not really on a diabetic diet. He's a funny eater for a start, but he's the sort who says stuff like "..all this carbs and protein nonsense!", quite old fashioned & won't have people telling him what to eat. Silly I know!!! I've asked him several times to stop buying chocolatey stuff in (for my sake as well) but he never listens!

When you say processed foods, do you mean like pizzas and pies? My dad used to buy us micro meals but a few years ago I started refusing to eat them & so we never have anything like that anymore. Tinned stuff is things like beans, soups, salmon... should I stop eating these as well?

I quite like cooking, so will encourage/nag my parents to buy ingredients for things! I'm moving out in sept to go to uni so I'm hoping I'll be able to afford stuff which will improve my diet then!

Thanks for all the advice! =) Going to take it on board, and hopefully it won't worsen my IBS!
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Postby Hols969 » Thu May 27, 2010 2:27 pm

My mother in law is the same when you try and talk about food so it made me laugh!!

Tinned etc is fine, its more the processed meals like lasagne and ready made meals that tend to be high in fat and sugar (even the low cal ones). Try the brown stuff gently incase it flares up the IBS but also when you go to uni you will need cheap food so as long as you try not to have too much sugar (and things like coke, fizzy drinks etc) and try and eat the slow release type carbs, which tends to be the brown stuff, then it will be good and just buy frozen veg as its much cheaper than fresh and just as good.

Potatoes are ok but new potatoes are best as baked are starchy so high in sugar. Also sweet potatoe is good for us and also Basmatic rice is ok if you cant cope with the brown rice (takes too long sometimes to cook!!)

Dont be rigid though as you need to have some fun but perhaps do a food diary as this may pinpoint when you have flare ups. All nuts and seeds are good as they are slow release energy so good for snacking.

Let us know how it goes though.
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Postby wanderlustlost » Fri May 28, 2010 2:40 pm

Hi, vixen!

Are you on Metformin? Diabetes runs in my family as well on my dad's side. I found that I had the same symptoms you're describing until I went on the Metformin and that seemed to help regulate my blood sugar. Now I only get shakey and light headed and hot and passy-outy (that's a medical term) if I go several hours without eating. I used to get like that after every meal.
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Postby vixen89 » Sat May 29, 2010 12:37 pm

Thanks Holly! Will definitely take your advice! Going to cut out fizzy drinks completely, but what about alcoholic drinks? I don't drink very often anyway, partly because I can't afford to but also because I usually suffer quite bad the next day - sugar levels & IBS wise! I mainly stick to vodka/malibu/archers & a mixer such as coke/orange juice/lemonade, or sometimes wine. Any advice on which is the 'lesser of the evils' regarding sugar levels?

Thanks for the tips on potatoes & rice as well! :)

And wanderlustlost, hello! :) No I'm not on metformin. I think that's the medication my dad's just been put on though to control his diabetes. How did you go about being prescribed it? And what did your doctor prescribe it for? Are you diabetic or...?
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Postby wanderlustlost » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:28 pm

vixen89 wrote:And wanderlustlost, hello! :) No I'm not on metformin. I think that's the medication my dad's just been put on though to control his diabetes. How did you go about being prescribed it? And what did your doctor prescribe it for? Are you diabetic or...?


I was prescribed Metformin for PCOS/insulin resistance. The two often (usually?) go hand in hand and now that you're being diagnosed and are being treated with Yasmin you should be able to discuss going on Metformin with your doctor.
I don't know if it's right for everyone but most of the women with PCOS that I've met are on it...
Talk to him/her...it's worth looking into!
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Postby vixen89 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:07 pm

Thanks wanderlustlost! The problem is I haven't actually been diagnosed/told by a doctor that I suffer from insulin resistance. Of course after reading & speaking to people on here, including yourself, it seems likely... but my doctors are refusing to acknowledge it! I actually went back to my GP to ask whether the PCOS related insulin resistance was causing my low blood sugar symptoms etc but she never answered my question, just said that I've gotten into a habit (of eating - thus the reason for putting on weight) & to eat some fruit if I'm feeling a bit groggy! :(
She did say she'd send me for a sugar test if I wanted, so I agreed. I'll phone for the results tomorrow... but it was only a random glucose test, which won't show insulin resistance will it?

I've decided I'm going to go back armed with info from this site & demand some more tests & answers! And I will certainly mention the metformin!
Thanks again! :)
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Postby SallyT » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:32 pm

Hi Vixen,

Im new on here and have not yet been properly diagnosed, but bloods have the raised hormones, and I suffer from dreadful low blood sugar type symtoms a few hours after eating. Also have the hair, overweight, slightly weird periods. I am currently suffering with fatigue, frequent urination and really excessive thirst. I also suspect IR, but my doctors refuse to give me a glucose tolerance test because my fasting level is normal. Sigh. Maybe glucose tolerance test wont show anything anyway. I have bought a glucose monitor from boots and will track it for a week and see what i find. Have appointment with an endochronologist late August.

I would be really interested to read the outcome of your investigations. Good luck!
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Postby candybosh » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:44 pm

SallyT wrote:Hi Vixen,

Im new on here and have not yet been properly diagnosed, but bloods have the raised hormones, and I suffer from dreadful low blood sugar type symtoms a few hours after eating. Also have the hair, overweight, slightly weird periods. I am currently suffering with fatigue, frequent urination and really excessive thirst. I also suspect IR, but my doctors refuse to give me a glucose tolerance test because my fasting level is normal. Sigh. Maybe glucose tolerance test wont show anything anyway. I have bought a glucose monitor from boots and will track it for a week and see what i find. Have appointment with an endochronologist late August.

I would be really interested to read the outcome of your investigations. Good luck!


Hi vixen do u mind if i ask how old are you? and do u know your BMI body mass index or if u are over weight? sry i know this is personal but the syptoms you have ie thrist urinating and tierdness are classic diabetes symptoms! sry to be so blunt,

tierdness due to the sugar remaining in the blood stream and not going to our cells to give us energy, so the bodys way of getting rid of the excess sugar is............urinating!! ie making you extreamly thirsy!! i would demand the GP takes you seriously remember its your body!! Get tested properly! also be aware there is no such thing as borderline diabetes you either have it or you dont, your GP may say u have a little bit of diabetes or borderline.

Hope this helps sorry if its too much x
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