It doesn’t happen often but when it does, the signs are clear. I begin to feel light-headed or dizzy. My palms become clammy. My breathing increases with my heart rate. I try to calm myself down but I have already begun to panic. The back of my neck feels sticky with sweat. If it is bad enough, I will see the black spots. That is the most alarming sign because by the time I see spots; I know what comes next. The black spots will grow larger and larger. By the time the spots have blended together, I have passed out. This is what it is like to live with hypoglycemia.
I was diagnosed with this condition when I was in high school. Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs when your blood sugar (glucose) is too low. Glucose is the body's main source of fuel. If your body’s fuel level is too low, that could be a problem. My condition is mild. I do not take medication and can usually control it as long as I take care of my body. I have found that I must eat. That is the number one culprit if I have a spell. There are days when I feel a little “off.” That is when I know that my hypoglycemia is acting up. Usually, as long as I maintain a healthy and regular diet, I am fine. I did experience more of a problem with it during pregnancy. Again, it was managed by remembering to feed my body.
This probably also explains why it is hard for me to have blood drawn. They call me “a fainter” and they keep a close eye on me. And I always have juice or a snack standing by. I have made the mistake of thinking that I could ignore my body’s signals and “power through” the black spots. If this feeling hits me, I try to control my breathing. I sit down. I force myself to relax. I find something that contains sugar, a soda, or a handful of candy, even fruit will work in an emergency. I generally eat frequent small meals or snacks throughout the day that are high in natural sugars like fruits and protein found in lean meats and nuts.
If you suspect any of these symptoms, make an appointment to see a doctor.