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Member story: How I discovered I had hypoglycemia

By Babs Lamont, Bowral

Source: Published in The Hypoglycemic Health Association Newsletter Volume 15 No 4, December 1999.

My mother had tobacco poisoning whilst pregnant with me, the result of working in a tobacco factory. She has never smoked. At six months my very existence was threatened with an abortion. Her kidneys failed. She e was told if she did not pass urine by the next morning it would be her life or the foetus’s. I reckon I heard those words and kicked her kidneys and the rest is history.

At three weeks of age I ulcerated both nipples on my mother’s breasts. I was put onto cow’s milk to which I proved to be “allergic” or intolerant. In my early school years I must have “outgrown” the allergy as I loved to drink as much of the free school milk as I could summer and winter.

During my school years I constantly had sinusitis, tonsillitis and chilblains. At high school I craved fresh bread rolls, doughnuts with real cream and real jam, and overripe bananas. I could never eat enough. I’d con­stantly raid the sweet tin. Fruits, fresh and home preserved, jams, pickles, artificially coloured and flavoured cordial drinks were abundant in my diet until I was 18 and a half when I left home. I was never a fat or over­weight child or teenager.

I have always been very fit, healthy, active person. I loved to sing and dance. I was never still unless I was reading. As a child I played, ran, climbed the highest trees and walked miles. This continued into my teenage years with team and individual sports of netball, gymnastics, tennis, swimming, cycling, ath­letics and walking. With running 100 yards race, after being out in front about then 75 yard mark my energy level would suddenly drop and I’d finish the race heavily and closer to the back than the front. I remember he frustration and embarrassment. In my 30’s and 40’s I was backpacking (bushwalking) and kayaking I could never understand de­spite highly nutritious breakfasts, lunches, morning and afternoon teas and my fitness, how my energy or stamina would just flag. After just a couple of hours I’d start stum­bling and would really resent the idea of such hard work, forgetting my love and enjoyment of walking and kayaking in the isolation, fresh air and beauty of the bush and rivers where I was truly happiest. I hated my pack on my back, and would get short tempered and irritable.

In my early 30’s I joined weight watchers, lost required weight, low cal drinks, artificial flavourings, colouring and preservatives again became part of my life. At about 37 I became a vegetarian, and only very occasionally eat­ing a little fish or a few eggs. I went on a 5 day fast and immediately psoriasis broke out all over my body. Through trial and error I found I was allergic to all dairy products.

In 1993/94 I worked in the desert on a remote aboriginal community in N.W. Australia. Part of my assistant art coordinating job involved decanting acrylic water-based paint into 200ml containers, over 100,000. Temperatures in the high 40’s plus nine months of the year, no ventilation. Here I developed the first stage asthma. After a horse bite to the breast I had to return to Sydney. I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress syndrome and acute anxiety disorder. The asthma cleared.

I floundered drastically with my health over the next two years until I saw an allergist, Dr Baker, and finally found out the full extent of my chemical sensitivities. I was referred to Dr Chris Reading, a psychiatrist, who helped further. Eventually he referred me on to Dr Samra and finally after all these years I was told I had reactive hypoglycemia and chronic fatigue. All the mood swings, irritability, anxiety, impatience, frustration, chronic tiredness, sudden loss in energy, sugar cravings, see­ sawing weight, poor sleep and all the other classic hypoglycemic symptoms were ex­plained. I wasn’t crazy, it wasn’t “all in my mind”. Finally I am on the right track. Thank you.

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