Hypoglycemia and chiari...

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Hypoglycemia and chiari...

Postby emmacos » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:28 pm

Hi All,

Just wanted to post a question here...

My 20 yr old daughter Helen is suffering quite badly at the moment with daily headaches, and she says when she eats sugar they get a bit better. Ive just been looking into this, and notice that Hypoglycemia can be linked to Chiari. Im pretty sure she's not diabetic, but just wondered if she could be hypoglycemic, either caused by some medication she takes or the condition, maybe? Im not sure at the moment, but just thought I would ask the question and see if anyone else suffers with this...

Helen takes Propranolol morning and night for headaches, and I have read that this is one of the medications that can cause it!

Emma.x
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Re: Hypoglycemia and chiari...

Postby karenb » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:14 pm

Hi Emma,

I was dx'd with hypoglycema about 20 years ago, several years before I showed my first SM symptoms, over a decade before I was actually diagnosed with SM. Chiari has been ruled out.

Your daughter may need a thorough blood workup to figure out what's going on... better to be safe than sorry.

FYI, I was formally dx'd with hypoglycemia based on a 5-hour fasting blood sugar test, long before I was taking any meds on a routine basis (except advil & sudafed for my sinus headaches). The best advice I was ever given was to always eat breakfast, heavy on complex carbs & protein & try to avoid refined sugar. When I do experience a hypoglycemic episode, I crave food of any kind, but especially protein, for the remainder of the day. Also, a friend told me today that she tends to crave sugar as a result of her hypo-thyroid... just a possibility.

Best wishes to you and your daughter.

Karen
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Re: Hypoglycemia and chiari...

Postby emmacos » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:40 am

Thanks for that Karen,

Im pretty sure Helen's not diabetic - she's had a fasting blood test for this. The reason Im thinking about this possibility is because Helen is getting awful headaches daily at the moment, and she says that when she eats something sugary the headache goes temporarily, and I just wondered if there may be a link with this.

Are you diabetic?

I have read there is a link between chiari and hypogycemia, and Ive also read that some meds can cause it, and propranolol is mentioned as one med which can cause it, and Helen is taking this morning and night, and has done for some time.

Emma.x
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Re: Hypoglycemia and chiari...

Postby emmacos » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:43 am

Karen,

Helen also has syringomyelia as well as chiari.

She hasnt had a scan of her spine for some time, just head scans to check csf flow etc.. which seem fine. Maybe they should do a full spinal mri also to check the syrinx hasnt altered. She had decompression surgery in Oct 2004.

Emma.x
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Re: Hypoglycemia and chiari...

Postby karenb » Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:44 am

Hi Emma,

In response to your question, no, I'm not diabetic - not even borderline. The hypoglycemia is just part of my normal metabolism.

I would suggest mentioning the link between the headaches and the sugar craving to your regular doctor so they can order bloodwork to try to pinpoint the cause (or send you to a specialist). I'd also discuss the propranolol with the prescribing doctor to see if maybe she can be transitioned to something else more effective with fewer side effects.

Another set of MRIs might also be in order, but my initial reaction is that they may not be that useful in getting to the root of the problem.

Best wishes to you and your daughter,

Karen
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Re: Hypoglycemia and chiari...

Postby emmacos » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:35 pm

Thanks for that Karen.

I wish we lived in the US, there do seem to be more chiari specialists there.

I will mention the sugar helping the headaches, and the propranolol when we see Helen's neurologist on sunday. She just seems to be getting worse, her symptoms seem to be worsening and it is quite frightening as no one seems to know what to do!

Emma.x
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Re: Hypoglycemia and chiari...

Postby pmaxwell » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:13 pm

Emma,

25 years ago when ASAP was founded, we did not have very many Chiari specialist in the US either. They considered it rare. With awareness we have made changes to the diagnosis in the US. It is gone from an estimated 15000 to over 300,000 and some expect it is even higher. Check with your doctors and see if they can help you to spread awareness among the medical field. The more doctors who are aware these disorder exist, they more people will get a proper diagnosis.

best wishes,

Patricia
Together We Can...
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