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June 12, 2003

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Lawrence, Kansas, USA:

I'm 23 years old, and I believe I have suffered from hypoglycemic symptoms for several years. If I don't eat every two to three hours, I get shaky, nervous, lightheaded, confused and experience mood swings. I also have heart flutters and cold sweats. Within 15 minutes of eating, I feel much better. However, I've also experienced extreme thirst and frequent urination, even in the middle of the night, and I know that these last few symptoms are symptoms of diabetes, not hypoglycemia. Is it possible to have both diseases concurrently?


Usually not. Some people have speculated that the intermittent lows in people at risk for diabetes suggest dysregulated insulin secretion and hyperinsulinemia. However, I do not think this has been systematically studied. What you need to do is to have a fasting blood sugar with your next physician visit.

To avoid the hypoglycemic symptoms, you may need to eat small frequent feedings throughout the day.