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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?

Answer:

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.

JTL