Feels like hypoglycemia - too much adrenaline?
Anyone else get this? It feels like hypoglycemia, like shaky and whacked out feeling you get when you haven't eaten. But my blood sugar is normal. How to calm it down? Its a huge struggle to not eat when I feel this way. It feels like eating would help, especially loads of carbs. (carbs do help, but then I want to sleep, and also I'm trying to lose weight, so I do under 50 carbs)
I get this very often, and I'm not sure what to do.
I get an adrenaline surge with my first sip of coffee, which is great for waking up in the mornings, but I can only have about half a cup and that's it for the day or I get totally whacked out. Even decaf and green tea does it to me!
My feeling is that I have over active adrenals, maybe? How do I support them or calm them?
I also noticed that my body composition is changing and I'm putting weight on my tummy while taking it off other areas. It's like my body is stressed out.
Anyone else have something similar?
Yes I get this too, I have just got myself a glucose meter to see what my levels are at, I was starting to feel pretty low but tested at 5.3 (95), other times I feel fine at that level, normaly 2 hours after a meal im around 6.3 (113) Google comes up with perceived hypoglycaemia, when your body is used to high blood sugar levels coming down to a normal range feels like a low. But my blood sugar levels never get really high so I cant see that being the problem.
I still don't know why this happens, but it helps to almost totally avoid caffeine. I worry that it means either diabetes or blood pressure problems are looming. (I always get dizzy when I stand up, which indicates low blood pressure). I have figured out why eating carbs makes it feel better - apparently insulin shuts off adrenaline production. So for some reason I have jumpy adrenals. Sometimes I'll even get jittery and kept awake at night from drinking water... So maybe it's an electrolyte imbalance or thin blood? It's a mystery still.
Originally Posted by camel
Sounds like we are in the same boat, Camel. I get "adrenaline surges" or a deep, hard heartbeat after too much coffee (esPECIALLY on an empty stomach, even half a cup will make me jittery,) before I fall asleep, waiting too long between meals, or even in the middle of the night. When it's at night, I often feel ravenous hunger, like my blood sugar has dropped. I never tested this, but these sort of symptoms are linked to adrenal fatigue. Coupled with storing body fat around the middle (which I have also experienced after a stressful school year,) despite good nutrition/exercise, is also a sign of too much cortisol at the wrong times. I also feel lightheaded upon standing, or low blood pressure, especially after intense workouts or in the morning (and especially especially without food.)
It's kind of like a catch-22 because we want to lower our carbs because we hear that is the "holy grail" for weight loss, yet, when we do this we stress our adrenals out MORE. The adrenal glands help convert proteins into glucose (gluconeogenesis) in order to supply our brains with adequate glucose when we are in such a deficit (vegetables do not cut it). But when the adrenals are overworked, this process can be even HARDER on these glands and can create further damage.
I've noticed this too; the lower carb I go, the more adrenaline surges I get, the worse I sleep, and the less energy I have. Additionally, chronic low-carb/low-calorie is thought to produce hypothyroidism symptoms... Which means a sluggish metabolism. Not good for fat loss. I also noticed since going very low-carb, my appetite (metabolism) has really decreased. I used to eat 1700-1900 calories and was feeling good and lean, now I settle at about 1300-1500 calories but have gained abdominal fat.
Although it's hard to ignore all the "benefits" of intermittent fasting and very low-carb, you've got to look at it in the right context. A few years ago, I could go 'til 2pm on one cup of coffee, running around town like a mad woman. I was leaner, strong, and felt amazing. If I tried to fast until 2pm today, I'd be sweating, my heart would be racing, and I'd feel exhausted. THOSE are the signs that you have taken reccomendations OUT of context. There is no one-size-fits-all, it's about working with YOUR hormones and finding a way for them to work optimally.
With that said, I noticed I do best with eating three square meals a day... I don't add fat, I just eat what naturally occurs in my meat (4-5oz every meal) or the .5-1tbs I add to cook my veggies. I don't limit carbohydrates, especially on days that I lift weights (realized that was a BAD idea, and probably got me here in the first place.) I eat between 50-150g of NET carbs a day, meaning without fiber. Most of the carbs are concentrated post-workout or in the evening, but not always. I don't eat much fruit, except maybe a banana, so most of my carbs are starchy (sweet potatoes, squash, beets, carrots, peas.)
This sort of "resets" your hormones... You are eating upon waking, which is good for optimal leptin sensitivity AND doesn't require your adrenals to work overtime. Eating at regular intervals, 4-5 hours, is healthy for your circadian rhythm and prevents "hypoglycemic" symptoms because you're being fed throughout the day. Eating carbohydrates helps prevent "hypothyroidism" symptoms, reduces the need for gluconeogenesis, and also prevents those "hypoglycemic" symptoms because your brain knows it has enough glucose. It will NOT necessarily impede your weight loss goals, since it's not like you are adding more calories... You are replacing your added fat with carbs, but I would be suprised if you still weren't getting between 50-70g of fat a day, still a healthy range.
I also found eating more salt in them morning (1/4tsp), laying off the caffiene (I might have 1/2c 2-3x a week, and never on an empty stomach,) and eating a small snack before bed (I eat dinner earlier, around 5-6pm), helps me sleep better at night. Supplementing with magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin C, and panthothenic acid (B5, also amazing for acne!) can also help tired adrenals.
Phew.... That was a long ramble, but I am trying to drill this into my head as well. After having such sucess with fasting in the past (although I never went low-carb/fast at the same time,) I keep wanting to try it again. But I know I will just be shooting myself in the foot here. If you are getting adrenaline rushes and show signs of stress fat, do everything possible to REDUCE STRESS and don't worry about what everybody says will work! Eat the most nourishing foods you can, and as often as your body tells you, sleep a lot, get outside, smile more. I am convinced this will help you lose weight.
It certainly sounds like a stress reaction to me, too. In my case, I've eliminated coffee (because I'm stupid about it), but I have 1 cup of chai with 2-3Tbps of heavy cream in the morning. I am also rock steady on energy with nutritional ketosis - not only low carb, but moderate protein. At 155cm/5'1", my goal weight is 50kg/110lbs and ~12% body fat (post-menopausal). That means a lean body mass of 44kg/97lbs. Using either Phinney/Volek or Optimal Diet rules, that's ~55g protein per day.
So I have my protein at night, with a meal.
This works for me - you have to find a path that works for you. It sounds like you're a little between right now. Keep us informed of how things go.