Nausa - disorientation

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 6/17/2009 2:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi! I usually post in the depression forum, but I am also a type 2, diagnosed about 8 years ago. I hope my question isnt repedative, but I need to know if what Im experiencing is common, or if I may have some other issue.
First of all, I am a terrible patient. I dont have medical insurance, and rely on county funded programs for medical help, where funds come and go, and currently are gone. I have 2 different meds but again, I am a bad patient and am not as consistent as I should be. My normal readings are probably high... 170 to 250, I know, I know.... When I am best behaved, the readings are normal, 120 to 150.
My question is, it seems that if I dont eat every 4  hours, and this includes the night, I become sick - feeling, above all else, disorientated. Also feeling dizzy, nervous, cranky, nausa.... but again the main symptom is disorientation, and an inability to make a proper judgement about what is happening.... I eventually realize that it is a low sugar thing and can correct it, but not until after I get these sick symptoms. I remember reading about these symptoms in my early education of diabetes, but these symptoms seem so extreme and exagerated. These things happen whether I am on track with my meds or not, doesnt seem to make a difference.
so thanks for any input and your support.... take care...

Lanie G
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5968
   Posted 6/17/2009 3:00 PM (GMT -7)   

Scott, sorry for these problems.  A couple of questions:  What is your blood sugar when you're feeling disoriented and dizzy?  It's important to know that because if you really are experiencing a low, then you do need to have something ready to bring the blood sugar up.  Glucose tabs or gel, candy, orange juice - depending on how low you are.  What meds are you on?  Are they for diabetes?  What are you eating?  For breakfast, lunch, dinner?  You've said you are a terrible patient.  Well, it doesn't matter if you have insurance or not, meds or not, whatever..... you have to eat correctly and take the meds correctly.  When you have the readings of 120 to 150, you say you are best behaved.  What do you mean?  Eating right?  Taking meds?  Let's see what's going on and if we can offer some suggestions but we need more specific info.  Ok?

forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 6/17/2009 4:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lanie.... I am not sure what my sugar reading are when this happens, I am truly disorientated, and do not think to check my sugar... I just think, "oh wow, whats wrong....???...Maybe I need to eat now" and do so, so when I check my sugar later, its elevated from eating. My meds are glipizide and glucaphage, old school stuff, its what the county provides.

I do know that when the tremors from low sugar starts, its in the 60 to 80 range. But that just feels different from the disorientation symptoms described, and I can usually catch a crash like that early. If I have taken my meds and have a sugar crash, its usually very bad, almost like the meds have caused the crash. I will eat but it can take an hour or more for me to recover. This is usually what makes me stop taking them, fear I guess. Then I start checking my sugar, and its way up there, so I go back on the meds. I cannot find a balance.

Best behaved for me means I have not eaten candy (or similar) or drank sugared drinks. I dont typically keep track or monitor carbs from bread, pasta etc. I know that if I am eating protein at least 4 times a day, not eating sugars from sweets and drinks, and taking meds properly, my readings are normal, 120 to 150. anything below 110 feels awful to me. But I know some people say 90 is normal to them, but that has never felt right to me. So maybe my normal is a little higher than what is typical.

My diet is inconsistent but on the healthy side (except of course for sugar slips - I try to maintain, but to be honest, I slip almost daily) I couldnt really list food and meals here, I rarely eat out. Meals usually consist of protein, a bread or similar, dairy, 2 or 3 servs of fruit/veg (not enough) daily. Nothing to far off the charts.

So, I dont know if I have provided enough info for you to help, I am curious if anyone out there has this disorientation symptom. Its a little disturbing to me. Feels like in the back of my head I know what to do, but cannot, cannot process the thought properly to take the appropiate action, whether that be to eat food or just protein, straight sugar, test my sugar, call for help, lay down, etc.

Maybe the symptom is not diabetic, maybe its neurological, psycological, a symptom of depression I know I have, hence a form of mental illness??? I dont know. I have this vertigo thing going on too. I am pretty sure that is not diabetic, feels like an inner ear issue.

So, thanks in advance for any help.....

Lanie G
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5968
   Posted 6/17/2009 6:14 PM (GMT -7)   

Ok, listen up, Scott.  mad    I'm presuming you're an adult and responsible for your behavior, so no more misbehavin', ok?  nono   First of all, you have to eat correctly and consistantly in order for your blood sugar and your meds to know what to expect.  What you also need to understand is that bread, potatoes, corn, anything made with flour and sugar will keep your blood sugar elevated.  So, #1:  search through our past threads about food/recipes/meals for ideas of what to eat.  (And you might find some suggestions here that are contrary to advice from the county dieticians.  The bottom line is: the more carbs you eat the higher the blood sugar.)  #2: take your meds regularly as prescribed.  You're making your body react like a yo-yo and that's not good for your internal organs, including your brain.  #3:  Take your blood sugar when you're feeling disoriented or instruct your family and friends to do that if you can't.  Being in the 70's might not be dangerous but might make you shakey.  Lower will have more effects.  That is, IF you are actually going low because since you're not testing your blood sugar, you don't really know that.  #4: the disorientation and nausea might not be from low blood sugar.  It might be any number of things: low or high blood pressure, inner ear problems (as you said), stress and nerves, other conditions (I'm not a doctor.)  Malaria can make you feel that way, too!  (I had malaria, so I do know that.)

The point is to find out if it's really low blood sugar.  Now, you said you feel tremors in the 60 to 80 range.  80 is normal for a person without diabetes.  Readings of 120 to 150 might be after you've eaten dinner that had carbs.  You should be below 110 most times of the day and below 100 fasting when you wake up in the morning.  If you're feeling awful when you're under 110 it's because your body isn't used to normal blood sugar readings.  That will change when you get yourself back on track, eating regularly and taking your meds correctly.  Sometimes when a body has had really high blood sugar for awhile, it thinks it's "normal" and when meds or diet brings the blood sugar to a normal range, the body isn't used to that and might feel shakey or sweaty.  That will pass as it gets used to normal blood sugar.

Please let us know how it goes, ok?  :-)

forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 6/18/2009 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Lanie... Okay, I'll be good. It has always been REALLY hard for me to eat properly. I do understand the severity of the disease, but life overwhelms me and it becomes a "thing" that I dont care for properly. I do know that the more I talk about it, seek advise and try to educate myself, the better off I am and the easier behaving becomes.... I used to go to a diabetic support group, that was helpful, this forum is helpful...

.... thanks for your advice and gently slapping me around, I appreciate the time and care you took to post... you make the world a better place...

more later... Scott

Lanie G
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5968
   Posted 6/18/2009 10:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Good, Scott, I'm glad you didn't mind being slapped around!  I wanted to get your attention.  :-)   No one can motivate you to stay on track but you.  You have to want to control this for yourself.  Sometimes we can't control everything we want in life but we can control what goes into our mouths.  It would be helpful if you kept a daily journal or log of what you eat during the day.  Be honest about writing everything down.  Only then can you see what food is affecting your blood sugar - and that food will be all carbs (any kind of bread, cake, waffles, bagels, potatoes, rice pasta, etc.).  Another thing that will help keep blood sugar in line is regular activity.  If you have time, try taking a daily non-stop walk for at least 15 minutes.  You might already be doing that if you have to walk to work or school, or to a bus stop.  And write down in the journal what activity or exercise you do.  Whatever is happening in your life, you can do this at the very least for yourself and you will be accomplishing a lot toward the control of your health.  If you need to lose weight (I have no idea if you do but if this is an issue...) then cutting down the carbs you eat and getting in regular exercise will help you do that in addition to helping control the blood sugar.  Let me know how this goes, ok?
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 6/18/2009 4:34 PM (GMT -7)   
If I may jump in here and give you a REAL scare... Anytime your blood glucose reading is over 150 more than two hours after a meal you are doing PERMANENT DAMAGE to your eyes, kidneys, heart, liver, feet, blood vessels and arteries. This is the real deal. It's lasting damage. If you read back in the posts you will find some written by a brave lady who goes by "wheelchair bound". She joined this forum after years of not following her program and just before they removed both of her legs above the knee.

You must get a grip on this disease before it finishes you off. Read back in the posts and learn from all of our mistakes. We will help you all we can, but you have to work hard every day to be "good". Not scolding here... just want you to understand how important this is.

TV Editor, our new moderator is a guy who has just figured out how to control his diabetes with his food plan and exercise. He's not on meds, yet, but I'm sure he can help and relate to you better than we gals can. Good luck with this and come back often.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 6/18/2009 10:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow...It is really scary that adults don't take Diabetes as seriously as they should... I hope that he does take care of himself before something really bad happens...

 I hate Boats!!!!
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, DDD....
1999 Hemi Lamenectomy/2005 Spinal Fusion(L4-S1)
Methadone 120 mg. a day/15 mg. Oxycodone as needed(up to 4 x a day)
High Blood Pressure: Lisinopril HCTZ 10 mg. daily
Type 2 Diabetes: (March 16, 2009)
Metformin HCL ER 1000 mg. at night..Glipizide 5mg. 2X in the morning


Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 481
   Posted 6/19/2009 7:14 AM (GMT -7)   

(Thanks for the intro Jeannie :)

Hi Scott,

First off, stop eating the bread, dairy and candy!

That's about as slap-aroundy as I get so relax tongue

It sounds to me that between your meds and sugar slips, your BG is on a BIG roller coaster.  This might explain the disorientation you feel when your BG is in the normal range -- the highs are too high and the lows are too low.  I know what you mean when you talk about the disorientation and vertigo.  I experience both of these occasionally and I suspect they are blood pressure related.  Best both of us check with a medical professional to be sure.

First, let's get you off the roller coaster yeah

1)  Eat nothing white 'cept cauliflower & cottage cheese. (and eggs and some nuts ... we're gonna have to finalise this some day ;)  This is an easy way to remember what are carbs (bad) and what are not.  Bread, potatoes, cereals & pasta are the Bad Boys of the Carb Gang.

2)  No sugar ... not even brown sugar or pink candies. (You were thinking about the nothing white deal right? turn   Also, watch the fruit & corn and ... you have to read labels and books and forums to get a complete list.  Sugar-free sodas, juices and artificial sweeteners can be used to calm your sweet tooth. (we can worry about chemicals and additives later, once your health is more stable)

3)  Eat less of everything but more often.  Personally, I have to eat less in the morning and more towards the end of the day so I reduce the portion sizes of regular meals and snack in between.  Nuts, celery & cheese work for me.

Its really just a matter of changing your focus on what is important in life.  I think we've all, probably due to TV and other media, become obsessed with food.  I mean, if you were a car, would you watch The Gasoline Network all day?  Its just fuel.

If you do slip, exercise.  I've gotten to the point where when I know I've eaten too much or the wrong thing, I go for a walk -- even just to the end of the street & back.  It works.

Do as Lanie suggested and keep a log book of what you eat, meds & BG readings.  You don't have to do this forever -- just as long as it takes to get a handle on your personal condition.  Try it for a week.  You'll see results.


Chris - Forum Moderator, Diabetes

~ Diagnosed Type 2 in July/'08
~ Dropped 35 or so pounds after following HealingWell advice
~ Diabetes under control / no meds - so far - knock on head
~ My doctor thinks HE is responsible (Don't tell him! He's happy ;)

I used to eat 100% wrong -- now I eat 95% right

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 6/19/2009 9:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Can't really add to all the great advice you've been given. All I can say is JUST DO IT.

Make understanding your diabetes situation a priority and make the choice to take control of it yourself. No one else will do that for you - not even the doctors so, don't delude yourself otherwise.

Sorry, but it's the nature of the beast that you have to make conscience decisions on a daily basis to manage your condition. Ignored, the beast will at some point, rear it's ugly head and bite your leg off... LITERALLY! Or maybe it'll let you stay mobile but irreversibly blindfolded. Or maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones it takes pity on and decides to just knock you off quickly with a heart attack. It's an ugly beast but one you can keep caged and tame or running around rampant causing chaos. Your choice.
- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)
"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows"-Epictetus

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