July 29, 1999
Hypoglycemia, Other Illnesses
Question from Arizona, USA:
My daughter is Type 1, has been for 3 years and doing well. My question now is about myself. I have had a few “panic attacks” for the first time in my life, and read that a drop in glucose changes norepinephrine and other brain chemicals into the picture, causing a sense of anxiety and panic. I experimented to see if this might be the case for me, as I drink a lot of juice and don’t eat much. I tried my daughter’s diabetic diet — frequent meals, mostly protein, and I had an amazing change come over me. I feel very much in control now. My Is this the same kind of chemistry that changes for my daughter when she gets low, or is the insulin in my own working pancreas going to create a different sense of hypoglycemic reaction? Where can I read for more information on this?
It is splendid that adoption of a high protein, frequent meal regimen has made you feel so much better. You do not however provide any evidence that you yourself have been hypoglycemic so that you cannot be sure that your symptoms were due to any resultant surge in counterregulatory adrenal hormones. ‘Panic attacks ‘ are a very real thing; but there is no evidence that they have a relation to low blood sugars.
My suggestion would be to stay with the diet as long as it helps you so well; but to talk to your doctor about further exploration of your symptoms if they recur.