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Diabetes - Type 1 Community
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Avatar universal

Causes of Shakes and lightheadedness

I am a woman 21 years of age and a college student withOUT a wieght problem.

I have not found out if I have diabetes by a doctor but I get the shakes and lightheadedness all the time and some people say it could be diabetes. So Im wondering wheather or not I may have some form of diabetes or something else. I have tried to find out if I have diabetes by using a home kit to check and I didnt have diabetes. So I am wondering if home kits dont work as well as a blood test or not? And if there is any concern for my problems (shakes and lightheadedness)and if it helps I get headaches on a regular bases also my mother while pregnant with me was glucose intolerant. If you have any idea of my problem please help.
Thank you for reading this,
Stephanie A. Harris  
P.S. Should I get tested by a doctor for diabetes?
5 Responses
Avatar universal
Your symptoms of headaches, shakes and lightheadedness sound like hypoglycemia, which is LOW blood sugar. Other symptoms would be if you get hot and break out in a sweat, find yourself feeling confused or perhaps depressed or irritable, or find yourself yawning for no reason. This can happen to people when they have not eaten in a long time or if they eat something that has a lot of quickly digested carbohydrates that cause the pancreas to be stimulated too much. What happens is that your pancreas produces too much insulin, which is the OPPOSITE of being diabetic, whereby the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.

A glucose tolerance test is used to test for reactive hypoglycemia, which is when a person becomes hypoglycemic after eating high-sugar foods. Some people I have known who have definite symptoms of frequent hypoglcyemia have tested normal with this test, though, for the body is not entirely predictable, and sometimes a person will react by becoming hypo and other times they won't. In women, hormonal swings also can play a part as far as when you are likely to have episodes. You may find that the low blood sugar feeling is more likely to happen repeatedly at the end of your monthly cycle than at other times.

You may try several dietary changes to see if this helps ease the symptoms:

1. Cut out all caffeine -- caffeine makes the problem worse by speeding up the body and of course speeding up the production of insulin also.
2. Avoid foods with high levels of quickly-absorbed sugars and replace them with foods containing complex carbohydrates.
3. Eat protein wtih your carbohydrates to delay digestion and put less stimulus on the pancreas.

When you get these symptoms, you may try eating a small amount of a complex carbohydrate with some protein. Things like cheese with crackers, or an apple and cheese, or nuts and some similar high-fiber carbohydrate may make you feel better. Another possible fix for the symptoms is milk. One cup of milk may make the symptoms go away without triggering a worse reaction, for milk contains carbohydrates that are slowly digested.
Avatar universal
Go get a blood test done for glucose (sugar) levels. You may just have hypoglycemia. This is the opposite of Diabetes. It means your sugar levels are two low and can cause the symptoms you described. Diabetics experience the same symptoms only because they inject insulin to lower their sugar levels. Their pancreas (organ used to make insulin) doesn
Avatar universal
One more thing that I forgot to answer when writing the answer to your question: home glucometers are very accurate nowadays. Normal glucose ranges BEFORE meals run between 70-126, but you can start feeling hypoglycemic when the glucose number is still at about 70. In normal people, the sugar levels can go higher than 126 after eating a meal, depending on what you eat. Most doctors don't count an after-meal glucose to be in the diabetic range until it is about 150. You may want to use the home glucometer when you feel the symptoms to see if you are hypoglycemic at that time. Your glucose levels should vary fairly much throughout the day, so different numbers are nothing to worry about, but are normal as long as they don't vary hugely from the "normal" range I mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph.
Avatar universal
You mentioned that after a meal, your BG could go to 150 and still not be an indication of having diabetes.  Could you tell me how long after you eat should you test?  My BG may be higher than 150 right after I eat, but a couple of hours later, it is in the 120 range.  Thanks,  Jerry
1 Comments
Windbreaker,
If your blood sugar goes up to 150 soon after eating, and is still in the 120 range a few hours later, it is likely that you are in the very early stages of diabetes.   In people without diabetes their blood sugars will rarely if ever go above 120, and their blood sugar levels should be back to their fasting levels (in the 80s) 3 or 4 hours later.   Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
My Doctor told me to eat cheese and my sugar levels will ease gradually to normal levels which is about 115 -120
1 Comments
Truly normal blood sugars in people without diabetes, or risk of diabetes is about 83 +/- 10, regardless of what they eat.

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