Hey everyone, I hope you all are having an amazing week.
I thought today might be a really great opportunity to update you guys on what’s going on with me. I always want to keep this website an open and honest space in which we all feel comfortable to be our true selves.
So here it is.
I have been struggling with strange health issues for as long as I can remember. Strange health issues? What does that even mean? Well, in many ways I’ve felt different than “normal” people. First and foremost, anxiety once controlled a large part of my life. At times it has been crippling. It would ebb and flow from debilitating to non-existent, with no rhyme or reason which I could discover, and I accepted that as a part of me.
Once I started post-secondary, I started to notice that I was tired all the time. I could sleep for 9 or 10 hours a night and it never mattered, I would still be falling asleep in class, like I was drifting into some inevitable coma. The last couple of years I began to wonder if this was food related, as I noticed that every time I ate refined carbs (i.e. a big subway sandwich) I could not, for the life of me, keep my eyes open after.
I yawn constantly. I crave sweets to the point I would really feel upset when I couldn’t have them. I shake when I’m hungry and I have a profound amount of memory gaps about my life (I always thought to myself: how do you guys remember all this stuff?!).
A couple of years ago I had an episode where my heart began beating out of control, and was shaking so badly I couldn’t stand up. I felt my whole body was in distress. I was at work at the time and had the manager call 911.
For some reason my coworkers thought that episode was drug induced (if you know me at all you know I am practically Saint Mary when it comes to drugs).
When I would tell my family that my carb comas were serious, they would brush me off.
When I told anyone I was going to heal my anxiety the natural way, they laughed at me.
Fast forward to the present.
One night while running errands with my boyfriend, our plans ran a little later than expected. No big deal – but we missed dinner. I felt myself becoming very upset. I was anxious, irritable, almost angry. My body said FOOD NOW. People joke all the time about being “hangry”, but you don’t know hangry until you’ve met someone like me. It’s different. It’s intense. I know it was to the point where Matthew was a little freaked out.
“You might have a blood sugar problem” he suggested.
‘Come on’ I thought to myself.
I don’t have a blood sugar problem, I thought. I have a fast metabolism! I’m just way, WAY hungrier than most people. It’s from having great workouts and regular meals.
Yet something about that suggestion nagged at me. I felt a pull, like this might be worth something looking into.
But that suggestion led me to the one thing, the one thing that explains everything I have been going through for years. The panic attacks, the fatigue, the frustration.
Have you ever heard of reactive hypoglycemia? I sure hadn’t.
When I eat certain foods, my body releases too much insulin. As a result, the glucose in the bloodstream falls under the normal range. Hence the fatigue. Sometimes this will release a signal to the body that something is wrong, sending the sympathetic nervous system firing out of control in an attempt to maintain homeostasis. Fight or flight, here we go! This in turn can induce panic attacks. Refined carbs can initially spike the blood sugar, but because they are broken down in the body so quickly the body, but for me eating this can result in a dramatic drop in blood sugar, which can lead to either or both of these symptoms.
I finally had an answer to this thing that had been plaguing me for so long. I finally know I have control over this. I’m not on drugs, I’m not over-exaggerating, and yes, the right foods can heal me and my anxiety.
I have spent the past couple of weeks researching, watching videos, and listening to others who have been through the same things as me. It is so empowering to hear other people’s stories and relate to what they’ve been through. Potatoes give me panic attacks! I’m not afraid to say it anymore.
Now before you start thinking I went way off the deep end, know that this is not some hippie diagnosis that I found on Wikipedia. If you want to learn more, check out this video where a doctor explains how reactive hypoglycemia works in and affects the body.
Over the last few weeks I have changed and tweaked my eating habits to better control my blood sugar. The changes have really been amazing. This will be an incredible learning journey for me as I figure out how different foods affect my body.
This would be such a natural place to end this post, but it’s not rightfully over yet. You see, I’ve taken out the burden of stress and ‘unpredictable’ anxiety in my life.
I’m left with a cold silence.
The thing that used to take up much of my attention is gone, and now I’m left in the aftermath of the storm.
Now that I have the time, the space, and the attention to do so, I’ve been able to evaluate the other aspects of my life. My relationships, my job, my values, my path. Now that I’ve had the chance to, I’m asking myself, am I truly doing what I want? Am I living to my full potential? Am I cultivating healthy, prosperous relationships with the people I love? Am I happy?
In the aftermath of the storm, I realize I can do better. I don’t want to renovate, I want to rebuild. I’m inspired to make everything to be bigger, better, and more beautiful. I want to make life the amazing, exploding, joyous experience that I deserve. I let my anxiety hold me back for so long, but now I know I want more. I want more.
The storm left in it’s wake a better me just waiting to happen.