I just wanted to explain my experience of symptoms and what potential treatments I could look at trying.
2 years ago I developed a post nasal drip in my nose that was constant throughout the day. After 2 trips to the ENT consultant over the course of a year (and many failed nasal sprays) I was advised to have my adenoids removed earlier this year.
About 6 months ago I went through a horrible bought of depression due to a very painful breakup which left me in a depressed state for about 4-5 months. During and after this depressive state my diet started to get worse and worse, to the point where I would go to a shop just to get some sugar like a cake or a chocolate bar. Along with the diet worsening I began having frequent hypoglycaemic dips and so went to the doctor. I have a fasting blood sugar test, glandular fever and a thyroid function test, all coming out normal.
I did some research online and discovered hypoglycaemia isn’t necessarily detectable via the fasting test and that a GTT would show it. I spoke to 2 GP’s after that, neither of them would refer me for a GTT. Also worth noting prior to this I was fit and healthy in terms of physical exercise.
When the crashes got to a frequent and erratic state I completely overhauled my diet. All fast acting carbs were removed and I made sure to eat small meals every 2-3 hours. This was 2 months ago and although I no longer experience crashes I currently have 2 symptoms which cause me a lot of problems. The first is horrible fatigue. An honest estimate is that my physical activity has been cut to ¼ of what it used to be. This is AFTER the change of diet. It manifests as both physical and mental fatigue. The other symptom which came on about 6 weeks ago was a feeling around my chin and right side of my face that the skin is slightly stretched and numb. There is no visible evidence on my face. This occasionally causes a feeling of bloating in my throat and swallowing is slightly restricted at times. I also experience occasional symptoms of nausea and diarrhea but these tend to be infrequent.
I have had the GP check my throat and swallowing and it appeared to be fine (from his point of view).
My diet consists of oatbran, sprouted wheat bread, natural peanut butter, avocado’s, whey protein (unflavoured/unsweetened), brown rice, lettuce, tomato’s, sweet corn, carrots, peas, cucumber, celery, millet grain, cheese, eggs, tofu, chicken, tuna, prawns, butternut squash, steak, butter, raw nuts and apples. As you can tell from the list fruit is restricted due to fear of the sugar content. I also take a multivitamin with probiotic every day.
I’m really not sure what to do next. I’m expending no more than 20 minutes walking exercise a day on a highly nutritious sugar free diet and I still feel exhausted. Not to mention this strange sensation round the right side of my face and neck.
I have an appointment with an endocrinologist coming up shortly and have also ordered a home wheat and gluten allergy test. I haven’t suffered from any food intolerances in the past but this seems like the closest thing that could be a link between random fatigue and facial skin irritation. It’s also worth noting I haven’t felt majorly depressed for a while now and been able to remain in relatively high spirits even with these symptoms.
These are some of the things I’ve researched and my thoughts on why they may or may not be the problem.
- Reactive hypoglycaemia – I was confident this was the condition I was suffering, however the diet change has solved some problems but created/worsened others. For example headaches, achy eyes, sugar crashes have improved but fatigue has worsened, along with the development of this skin problem.
- Adrenal fatigue – This one is hopefully one an endocrinologist might be able to shine some light on. The majority of symptoms I have experienced have been known to be associated with adrenal fatigue and hopefully I can get some thorough tests done.
- Chronic fatigue – I dismiss this as a possibility as its only really fatigue that is a symptom I experience. I don’t get muscle pain, joint pain, unrefreshing sleep or many of the other symptoms. I also don’t feel particularly run down 24 hours after exercise.
- Food allergy – This is something I shall think about investigating. It could be something deemed healthy in my diet that is causing the fatigue and skin irritation.
I’m trying not to worry too much as I haven’t really had many tests done (only the 3 blood tests mentioned above about 3 months ago) and there are still plenty of avenues to explore.
Other points to note
- I get 7-8 hours of sleep every night and get up and go to bed at roughly the same time.
- I eat at roughly the same times each day.
- I’m 6ft 3 and 11 stone. I’ve never easily been able to put on weight despite an above average food intake.
- I remember experiencing random isolated hypoglycaemic episodes as long as 5 years ago when none of the above was a problem. These were very infrequent (1-2 a year) and were only triggered with large quantities of high sugar supplements such as Dextrose.
- Throughout my life I’ve often had trouble concentrating on things.
- There isn’t much of a routine to the fatigue. However more often it is experienced in the morning and early afternoon.
- Perhaps a hint of a routine regarding the facial stretching feeling in that it’s often worse in the morning and better in the evening. I tend to eat oats and wheat in the morning which is why I’ve decided to do an allergy test.
- Prior to all this I was very fit and healthy, and used to exercise 3 times a week. I was also exercising during the depressive period I had.
- I have no family history of any serious illnesses.
Any advice would be much appreciated.