Case Studies in Hypoglycemia



Hi Don,

I was checking through some old mail, and then checked out your site to see if
my case, the one I sent you a few months ago, was posted. It isn't. I would
like it to be posted if possible. I realize you are just a guy with a web
site, who decided to post a page on this issue out of the kindness of your
heart. And you probably got distracted.(You are right!  I got involved with my kilt making
and with my pancreatitis.  You wouldn't believe the pain pills I take!)

I wouldn't even be writing to you again, except:

You see, when I was in hell, with my hypothyroidism undiagnosed for a year and
a half, I had hypoglycemia bad AND KNEW IT, and believe it or not, your
website comes up at or near the top of the list (of search engines) for
"reactive hypoglycemia," which I knew I had. That makes your site more
important as a source of information, in terms of the web, on hypoglycemia
than John Hopkins and Harvard Medical School etc. for the afflicted.

Since my hypothyroidism was diagnosed 2 years ago, and I am on synthroid, my
hypoglycemia is corrected too. I can't eat piles of candy or anything, but I
can eat reasonable amounts of sugar without fainting and feeling like I'm
going to die.

Anyway, I feel a responsibility to share some of my knowledge and experience
of this relationship between hypoglycemia and hypothyroidism, in some cases,
and today, I pretended I was in my old situation....trying to search for pages
on "hypoglycemia" to see if any of the top ones, mention anything about
hypothyroidism and they don't.

Yet with no mention of hypothyroidism and its relation to hypoglycemia on your
website, either in the case studies, or in your blurb where you say that the
cause of hypoglycemia may be various (true enough) and is unknown (not true,
one possible cause is HYPOTHYROIDISM), I think it is possible some poor person
like myself of a few years ago, who is having hypoglycemic attacks, even to
the point of passing out, will stumble on your site and not make the
connection between their hypoglycemia and the possible cause of
hypothyroidism, an easily treatable condition. A doctor would not deny a TSH
(hypothyroid blood check) to a patient as they would an expensive glucose
tolerance test. A glucose tolerance test involves a lot of time in a clinical
setting, which is why the managed care medical system in the US has eliminated
it, for the most part.

Even if you were just able to add the words IN SOME CASES, HYPOTHYROIDISM IS
ONE CLINICAL CAUSE OF REACTIVE HYPOGLYCEMIA, it would be enough to lead people
to check out something on hypothyroidism to see if that is their problem.

The big issue with hypothyroidism, is that the main symptom is fatigue.
Fatigue is associated with hundreds of other medical conditions making it
nearly meaningless when a person goes into their doctor and says "I'm
exhausted all the time." Your body doesn't have adequate hormone to metabolize
food properly, so it drags other organ and hormone systems down with it, and
in some people it causes wicked hypoglycemia, as I had.

I read the three cases on your site about hypoglycemia at the time I was ill,
they had a BIG impact on me. I knew I was similar to the one guy, who when
given a glucose tolerance test, was crawling on the floor making animal
sounds. I knew I would go nuts too, if I took a lot of glucose, and my doctor
would know something was seriously wrong with me.

If I ate a banana, I got pressures in my head and felt awful, with a jittery
feeling in every cell of my body. Anyway, I went to my doctor and proclaimed
confidently, I KNOW I HAVE REACTIVE HYPOGLYCEMIA, and I requested a glucose
tolerance test, which he refused! Instead, he gave me a sugar stick test in
his office, at a time I was not having an attack, and said my blood sugar was
fine, and that I should eat anything I want. I couldn't eat sweet things
before I drove in for my appointment because once I almost wrecked the car
because I had an hypoglycemic attack while driving. What I should have done,
in retrospect, was drive to his office an hour early, drink a few cans of soda
in the parking lot, sit in his reception area informing the receptionist that
when I faint on the floor Nurse Goodbody is to give me a finger stick test for
glucose level, and inform Dr. Asshole that I have reactive hypoglycemia.

A substantial portion of MD's do not recognize hypoglycemia as a medical
condition. They think it is a fallacy, (except in diabetics who overdose on
insulin) and have testified as such in several legal cases involving the
TWINKIE DEFENSE, where a person was on a sugar high, agitated because of
hypoglycemia, and committed a crime. Many doctors testify that there is no
such thing, in anyone, except diabetics.

Anyway, I believe that with some mention of hypothyroidism as a POSSIBLE cause
of reactive hypoglycemia, your website could help hundreds of people who were
in my situation.  Thank you.

Donald Mccullough wrote:

> Thank you for your kind offer.  The reason it has not been updated is
> that it  is so hard to find people willing to offer their case study.  I
> will
> include yours as soon as possible. (Obviously I did not get it up on my web site very fast.)
> T wrote:
> > Hi Fred, (It's really Don, if anyone else writes me.)
> >
> > I see your page hasn't been updated since 1995. You can put my blurb
> > under the case studies if you wish. Your page comes up very high on the
> > list of search engines.
> >
> > Two years ago, I lived with hypoglycemia for a year and a half. I also
> > had other health problems. My HMO doctor would see me for 3 minutes
> > every month and ignore my complaints. I went to the ER twice following
> > severe hypoglycemic attacks. I would get crushing pressures in my head
> > and feel like every cell in my body was going tense. I fainted only
> > once, but it was frightening for me because I've never fainted before.
> > And when I fainted the one time,  I struck my head on the sink and
> > twisted my neck.
> >
> > I learned to control my hypoglycemia by avoiding foods high on the
> > glycemic index, and not eating a lot of starch at one sitting. This did
> > little to relieve my exhaustion, disassociation, irritability and a
> > dozen other symptoms including: insomnia, sensitivity to cold, photo
> > sensitivity, calf and foot cramps.
> >
> > I'd been running every morning for years, and had no health problems. To
> > be beset by hypoglycemia and other symptoms was a nightmare for me. I
> > felt so different, psychologically and physically, from the way I felt
> > the first four decades of my life that I didn't know what to do.
> >
> > The cause of my hypoglycemia turned out to be hypothyroidism. When I was
> > diagnosed with hypothyroidism, after being an exhausted zombie for a
> > year and a half, I took Synthroid (synthetic thyroid hormone supplement)
> > and was able to eat fruits and starches without having "attacks."
> >
> > My research indicates that the "recognized" clinical causes for
> > hypoglycemia are as follows:
> >
> > Hypothyroidism (98%)
> > Pituitary tumor (1%)
> > Pancreatic tumor (1%)
> >
> > Hypoglycemia is an associated condition of hypothyroidism. For whatever
> > reason, it is found only in a minority of people with hypothyroidism.
> > Hypothyroidism is a condition whereby the thyroid gland does not produce
> > adequate hormone. Only about half the the primary care physicians in the
> > US know that hypoglycemia is an associated condition of hypothyroidism.
> >
> > I am not saying people with hypoglycemia all have hypothroidism, I am
> > merely suggesting that people who have hypoglycemia should have a
> > thyroid test -- a "TSH" -- and that the more severe cases of reactive
> > hypoglycemia may vary well have HYPOTHYROIDISM as an underlying cause.
> >
> > Hypothyroidism is eight times more common in women than in men so men,
> > in particular, men have to ask their doctor for the TSH test, which is a
> > covered test by most medical plans and is relatively inexpensive.
> >
> > Tim
> >
> >