Brain Chemistry Problems Archives

Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar?

[ Brain Chemistry Problems Archive ]
[ Main Archives Page ] [ Glossary/Index ]
[ FAQ ] [ Recommended Books ] [ Bulletin Board ]
   Search this site!
 
        

Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar?

Posted by Danielle on March 12, 2003 at 09:35:12:

Dr. Stoll. I hope you can help as I have found this entire site so helpful. Here is the deal. Lately I have been having these really wierd "episodes." For a while I have felt rather depressed (I believe a combination of reduced sunlight and winter blahs and some situational things that have me feeling blue.) My mom has suggested manic depression because my sister was treated for this with Lithium and she said it runs in the family. But I am wondering if it could be one of three things based on the following symptoms: one minute I am so irritated and angry I have to actually leave the store or wherever I am for fear I will say/do something embarassing, an hour later I am so excited over something I am elated. But then in that same 24 hour period, I will crash again. I find myself waking up in the middle of the night with uncontrolling feelings of "getting nowhere in life", worry I will end up a bag lady all alone, shame over mistakes I have made. I just can't describe how overwhelming these thoughts are. I also have a tendency to fly off the handle. These frequent mood swings are ruining my life. I can't take it anymore. This happened to me about 10 years ago very bad, while in a job I hated. I ended up being treated with Prozac (worked for about a month), Wellbutrin (did not work at all) and finally a doc put me on Ritalin (thinking it was adult ADD) which made me absolutally homicidal. I called him and told him I was feeling out of control and he took me off the drugs. I ended up quitting my job, started working out and began taking bodybuilding suppliments containing ephedrine. This seemed to cure my "depression" for a while, but then I developed insomnia. Finally, I wonder if any of these symptoms could be related to low blood sugar. As a teen, my doc did a glucose tolerance test and measured my blood levels every half hour. He was shocked to see that my blood sugar fell as low as 39!!! I have heard that blood sugar dips can cause some bizarre and seemingly unrealted symptoms. The other day when I was beginning to freak out in a store (sudden paranoia, extreme irritability, room starting to cave in) I went to the snack area and ordered a coke. I felt better and was able to get through the day. But I still woke up that night with that awful paranoid, gloomy feeling. I am also trying to avoid sugar. I currently do not take any medication or any supplements other than a multi-vitamin. I know this is a lot of information, but I am asking you as I do not want to go the anti-depressant route if I can avoid it. I also am not convinced this is depression or even manic-depression. My moods swing within minutes or hours, rather than days or weeks. Is Borderline Personality a possibility? I asked a doctor and he said I was "too self aware" to be BPD. I would REALLY appreciate any insight. Could you suggest any supplements to treat manic depression or low blood sugar to I could rule these out?



Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar?

Posted by Helping You on March 12, 2003 at 14:28:45:

In Reply to: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar? posted by Danielle on March 12, 2003 at 09:35:12:

I think you should see Dr. Eric Braverman at his medical center in NY. He SPECIALIZES in problems like yours and he uses a special test called BEAM which can determine precisely what levels of neurotransmitters you have, what speed your brain is operating at, and can even diagnose alzheimers, parkinson's, bi-polar, and ADD years before these conditions actually show up. The test can even determine which nutrients and medications would be useful thererby minimizing side-effects and time wasted on testing out different nutrients and medications.

-HY



Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar?

Posted by Sonja on March 12, 2003 at 15:52:48:

In Reply to: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar? posted by Danielle on March 12, 2003 at 09:35:12:

I hope Dr. Stoll will answer soon.

I would just like to comment because your post reminded me so much of my own reasoning before I recovered from severe, rampant hypoglycaemia, 6 years ago. I used to have severe mood swings, insomnia and a host of other symptoms… This went all the way to childhood, that's why it was so difficult to tell whether it was a physical symptom or a personality trait. Within a few months on a strict diet, most of those symptoms disappeared. It is not enough to cut out sugar and anything that contains traces of sugar. You need to stay off bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, coffee, tea, juices and anything with a high glycemic index, and eat only the perfect whole foods. Only the rigorous approach will work. In the beginning you would need a lot of protein, until the blood sugar stabilizes. This may take a long time. But the optimal approach is to find out which metabolic type you have, and eat according to that type, to avoid the problem in the future. You'd need to read a few books to help you on the way.

Personally, I believe that low blood sugar weakens one's resistance in many ways, both mentally and physically, and can therefore make one more sensitive in relationships to other people. There is also a strong connection between trauma and hypoglycaemia. Traumatic experience with strong feelings (fear, pain) can lead to a fall in the blood sugar. It is important to resolve psychological issues, to disable this connection.

But you don't have to have any issues - it is also perfectly possible to get this condition by eating too many the refined carbohydrates, including sugar. Once you get to a stage where your liver is heavily taxed by constant sugar provocation, and where the supply of glucose to your brain is irregular, mood swings are likely to occur. I think it is advantageous to deal with the physical symptoms first, and see if mental symptoms remain. Once your blood sugar is stable, you'll be in a better shape to deal with whichever issues that need to be dealt with.

Follow Ups:


Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar?

Posted by Danielle on March 12, 2003 at 15:59:21:

In Reply to: Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar? posted by Helping You on March 12, 2003 at 14:28:45:

I appreciate all your input. I did some additional research on hypoglycemia and found many other symptoms that I thought were unrelated but am all too familiar with. I forgot to mention that on at least three ocassions I have blacked out after drinking either black coffee or a sugary drink on an empty stomach. Two of these instances I was outdoors and the heat was intense. On the other ocassion, it was a Red Bull drank on an empty stomach. Within 20 minutes, I began having a "panic attack" began sweating uncontrollably, became severely paranoid of my surroundings, dizzy and almost fainted. The more I think about all of this, I am fairly certain blood sugar is an issue. A few years ago I went on a mostly protein diet, allowing fats and a limited intake of any type of carb. Not only did I lose weight I had been unable to lose on a low fat/high carb diet, but my moods improved greatly. Also, I am blood type O negative. I prefer red meats and salads to pasta and bread anyway. I think I am going to give this a try again. Thanks again for your input.



Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar?

Posted by cris on March 12, 2003 at 18:42:55:

In Reply to: Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar? posted by Danielle on March 12, 2003 at 15:59:21:

For sure, keep the fats up as the carbs go down.

Follow Ups:


Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar?

Posted by Happygal on March 13, 2003 at 06:15:16:

In Reply to: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar? posted by Danielle on March 12, 2003 at 09:35:12:

Hi Danielle,

You might also try the wellness protocol on this website. It sounds like it would really help even things out for you. Read the article "How to be Healthy" for more information.

Best wishes,
Happygal

Follow Ups:


Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar?

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 13, 2003 at 07:40:24:

In Reply to: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar? posted by Danielle on March 12, 2003 at 09:35:12:

Hi, Danielle.

Listen to Happygal, Sonja, HY & Cris.

Your family history says that Le Chatelier's Principle, taking a trial of lithium, might help while you are doing the wellness. Even if it helps a lot, you might be able to stop it in a year by continuing the wellness.

Let us know how you do.

Walt



Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar?

Posted by Danielle on March 13, 2003 at 13:44:15:

In Reply to: Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar? posted by Walt Stoll on March 13, 2003 at 07:40:24:

I should probably also point out that when I first sought treatment, a therapist administered the MMPI (Minn. Multiphasic Personality Inventory for those who don't know) which revealed that I scored high on both the "Mania" and "Schizophrenic" scales. This concerns me greatly for obvious reasons. My sister was treated for roughly a month in a hospital as a teen for the bi-polar but threatened another patient the day she was to be released. I'm sure you can guess what happened. Back in she went. Dr. Stoll, you didn't mention if you thought any of this could be either low blood sugar or BPD. I really don't like the thought of taking psychiatric drugs. I believe when people are depressed they usually have legitimate reasons. Also, most people with bi-polar have told me their moods do not change hour to hour like mine do. They told me it cycles in days or weeks, usually. What do you think? Lithium sounds pretty hard-core to me. I really don't like the idea of it. It turned my sister into a zombie. Not one of the anti-depressents I ever tried worked. Not one. I just cannot live anymore not knowing what mood I am going to be in in a few hours. It wreaks havoc on my social life.



Danielle Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar?

Posted by Mike on March 13, 2003 at 19:56:54:

In Reply to: Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar? posted by Danielle on March 13, 2003 at 13:44:15:

"Also, most people with bi-polar have told me their moods do not change hour to hour like mine do. They told me it cycles in days or weeks, usually. What do you think?"

There ARE BP's like that (rapid cyclers).

"Not one of the anti-depressents I ever tried worked. Not one".

That is very common among BP'ers; often times an Anti-dep. will make the person worse. The EFA's may help. Try taking a quality fish oil.



Follow Ups:


Still curious if it is blood sugar problem

Posted by Danielle on March 14, 2003 at 02:44:26:

In Reply to: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar? posted by Danielle on March 12, 2003 at 09:35:12:

Just curious, Dr. Stoll, about one more thing. As I am trying to piece some things together, today I talked with both my mom and sister. As I mentioned, sis was diagnosed for manic-dep. and treated with Lithium. She did not like the "odd" feeling it gave her and stopped. Having children seemed to calm her down some but she is still very impulsive (frequent major life changes like moving out of state and married and divorced twice to the same man...) anyway, I also spoke to my mother who said she also has low blood sugar (mom does). She reminded me that she, like me, cannot tolerate alcohol. Believe it or not she had two drinks while vacationing and clinically died for two minutes. That is a whole other story. My point is, I absolutally abhor the taste and smell of alcohol. I could vomit just at the smell of it on someone. If I have anything more than one drink, I basically fall asleep. Never get buzzed or drunk, just go straight to dysfunctional. I was wondering if based on what I have told you, you have ruled out the hypoglycemia or do you feel that the hypoglycemia is a symptom rather than a cause. My glucose tolerance test revealed that my blood glucose levels dipped way down to 39. The lab guy said he was surprised I was still awake. Also, this commonly happens to me...If I eat a bowl of sugary cereal, I fall asleep about 30 minutes later and awake suddenly about 20 minutes later sweating profusely. I have laughed this off for years until recently, when it was suggested that this could be a reaction to the sugar in the cereal. Two people in my family (an uncle and grandmother) were diabetic, but the uncle was an alcoholic and the grandmother was extremely ill and overweight. I don't drink, smoke or neglect my body like they did. I just want to know if a low-sugar diet would improve my strange symptoms.



Re: Still curious if it is blood sugar problem

Posted by cris on March 14, 2003 at 08:01:32:

In Reply to: Still curious if it is blood sugar problem posted by Danielle on March 14, 2003 at 02:44:26:

Why don't you try it and see. It is a lot more benign than your other choices. If it doesn't help, you still have all your other option open. I'm surprised you didn't try this years ago, since you seem to know your hypoglycemic history so well. Go to the Atkins website for a guide to how to do this. And be sure to eat plenty of good fats when you cut out all the carbs, since fat catabolism will be a better replacement than protein catabolism for your present glucose-based metabolism.
Just cutting out sugar would not be enough, since most carbs are quickly metabolized to glucose. Check out the Atkins site.
Good luck

Follow Ups:


Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar? (Archive in brain chemistry.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 14, 2003 at 08:33:14:

In Reply to: Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar? posted by Danielle on March 13, 2003 at 13:44:15:

Thanks, Danielle.

What is your understanding of Le Chatelier's Principle?

Lithium is a very natural and benign aproach IF this is congenital. Side effects are dose related.

Of course, in the long run, serious wellness is the most likely solution but that will not start working for a few weeks or have it's full effect for about a year. Of course wellness is the most effective approach to low blood sugar as well.

If you are fixated upon this cause, a properly prepared 6 hour glucose tolerance test will give you certain answers (see the diabetes archives). However, the results will not change what I think you need to do.

Walt

Follow Ups:


Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar?

Posted by Helping You on March 14, 2003 at 21:08:44:

In Reply to: Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar? posted by Danielle on March 12, 2003 at 15:59:21:

Well, one thing is for sure. You don't handle sugar very well. You are most likely a FAST OXIDIZER which means you need to eat high portions of fats and proteins and low portions of carbs. Also, COMPLETELY avoid all grains. See how you do. I suspect you will feel better after your first meal.

-HY



Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar?

Posted by Danielle on March 15, 2003 at 05:09:04:

In Reply to: Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar? posted by Helping You on March 14, 2003 at 21:08:44:

I think you are right. I have always felt better after a higher fat/lower carb meal. I don't get that annoying constant nagging hunger afterward either. Even in my Starbucks coffee, I have them make me an iced latte with NO SUGAR and WHOLE MILK. Drinking things like skim milk leaves me annoyingly empty-feeling. I hate the crap. I drank whole milk for years and NEVER gained weight. Then this stupid low-fat craze hit. Boy did it do me in. At first I lost weight but then I actually started gaining weight eating only 10-15 grams of fat a day. I probably consume three times that amount of fat now - easily, and I have NOT GAINED WEIGHT. I am also not fighting constant cravings. A typical lunch for me is a grilled cheese sandwich and iced tea. Compare that to the old days of a turkey sandwich with no mayo, on bread, with a coke and fat-free pretzels on the side. Way too many carbs. What else has been working well for me is those Stouffer frozen dinners that have the correct porportions of fat/protein/carbs. I just add a salad and an iced tea. OR, those BALANCE bars have saved the day on many occassions.



Re: Still curious if it is blood sugar problem

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 15, 2003 at 06:40:18:

In Reply to: Still curious if it is blood sugar problem posted by Danielle on March 14, 2003 at 02:44:26:

Hi, Danielle.

I have made light of the hypoglycemic aspect because, even if that is the sole cause of your symptoms, the real question STILL is: WHY is it happening to you?

If you could snap your fingers and magically make any hypoglycemic aspect of this go away, you still would have most of your symptoms and, even if you did not, they would be back in less than a year if that is all you did.

I am trying to get you to see this in a larger context. If you cannot, perhaps when your problem recurrs in spite of perfect blood glucons control, you will think back to what I have been trying to get you to learn.

Let us know how you do.

Walt



Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar?

Posted by Helping You on March 15, 2003 at 23:49:06:

In Reply to: Re: Manic-depression symptoms or low blood sugar? posted by Danielle on March 15, 2003 at 05:09:04:

Seems like you are doing better. Just keep in mind that a grilled cheese sandwich and ice tea is still a carbohydrate meal. There is almost no protein there and only a small amount of fat. You seem like you would do well on the Fast Oxidizer diet of "The Metabolic Typing Diet". Get the book and take the self test.

-HY

Follow Ups:


Re: Still curious if it is blood sugar problem

Posted by Danielle on March 17, 2003 at 22:27:14:

In Reply to: Re: Still curious if it is blood sugar problem posted by Walt Stoll on March 15, 2003 at 06:40:18:

Sorry if it seems I am slow on the uptake here, but if I get your gist, you are saying that the whole thing stems from a systemic imbalance? Wouldn't treating the problem with lithium have much the same chain of events...relief, followed by same old, same old? I am going to really start watching my diet. I will say this though. I went and bought myself some frozen dinners with an even balance of protein to carbs. I ate one after work along with some veggies I steamed. That night I slept extremely well, and did not awaken like I usually do. This is a good start. My mood is much improved, even though according to my calculations, PMS week is approaching. I am also having four wisdom teeth extracted tomorrow, one of them so badly decayed that the dentist I saw said my mouth was a "time bomb" and advised me against flying or doing anything in the event that decay hits the nerve soon. I asked if this decay could be causing some of my recent "infections" that have been happening out of nowhere. He said first and foremost just get the teeth out. He also said it is likely my sinuses aggravated my teeth, rather than the teeth aggravating the sinus. Does this sound right? Can tooth decay cause widespread infection in the body?



Re: Still curious if it is blood sugar problem

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 18, 2003 at 09:36:35:

In Reply to: Re: Still curious if it is blood sugar problem posted by Danielle on March 17, 2003 at 22:27:14:

Danielle,

What did your properly performed 6 hour GTT show--the actual numbers?

Walt

Follow Ups:


[ Brain Chemistry Problems Archive ]
[ Main Archives Page ] [ Glossary/Index ]
[ FAQ ] [ Recommended Books ] [ Bulletin Board ]
   Search this site!