General chatter - Low blood sugar, panic attack or heart attack?

10-22-2007, 04:09 PM
What am I having right now? I felt fine, then started feeling a little crappy. When I stood up, I started feeling weak, then a little shaky. Now I feel shaky all over, my hands are jittery and I'm really light headed. And really worried, since I can't DO anything because I'm at home with my three kids, with no car seats (hubby took off with them this morning).

Any ideas? I'm really freaking out, which is making it worse!!! :(

10-22-2007, 04:22 PM
OK. If you have any question in your mind about whether or not you may be having a heart attack, please immediately get to a doctor to get yourself evaluated. Heart condition and panic symptoms are notoriously hard to distinguish, and women have atypical symptoms for heart problems, so please get yourself to into a medical facility.

If you are breathing much more quickly than usual, that is typically a more panic-associated symptom, as is tingling all over the body (as opposed to localized tingling in the left arm, which is a cardiac symptom). Any chest pain in a panic attack won't radiate to any locations other than the chest and will generally be relieved in 10-15 min. Most heart attacks come with chest or stomach pain/vomiting.

Again, if there is ANY chance you may be having a heart attack, please get to a doctor for treatment and/or to rule out serious problems!

10-22-2007, 04:28 PM
I remember that feeling when I was on Atkins. If it doesn't go away after 10 minutes call someone or call 911.

10-22-2007, 04:33 PM
OK, thanks. I definitely don't have any of those symptoms. I just ate a bowl of plain rice, so I'll see where I go from here.

10-22-2007, 04:34 PM
OK, have a big glass of orange juice right now and take a baby aspirin. Check your pulse - is it strong and steady? Do you have any chest pain, shoulder pain, or pain in your jaw/neck? Lie down with your feet elevated while you do this. If you feel the same or worse, call 911.
Let us know how you feel!!!!
p.s. mandalinn82, the interesting thing about cardiac incidents in women is that pain is often referred from the chest to the shoulders and jawline! This symptom is reported far more often in women than nausea and chest pain, and explains why it is usual for a woman to have a cardiac incident and carry on. The symptoms do differ between men and women, as men most often have the crushing chest pain and nausea. Gender-specific symptoms are just now being recognized by the medical community. And, according to, around 33% of women have no chest pains at all, only what they report as flu-like symptoms ...:) Also, see
for the latest on gender-differences with respect to cardiac symptoms...:)

10-22-2007, 05:12 PM
The rice fixed me up after about 20 minutes. I can't use my pulse as a good indicator, either. I haven't had a hypoglycemic episode in a few years now (I'm about 99% positive that's what this was), so it was an oddity to have it happen out of the blue and I wasn't certain. I thought I had 'grown out of it.' But I remember when it did happen, my pulse and blood pressure would drop. It happened after my second daughter was born, and freaked the nurses out - my bp dropped to 55-60 over 40. I got a can of the glucose orange syrup (yuck) and was better in a few minutes.

Thanks for the support. I get really freaky (and irrational) about things when I'm trapped at home with my girls. I'm always afraid something terrible will happen and no one will know and they'll be all alone and scared. I'm sure if someone had been with me I'd have just reached for something with carbs and not thought twice about it.

10-22-2007, 06:05 PM
I'm so glad you're feeling better. One really effective treatment is to have orange juice or a fruit juice, and if you do suffer from hypoglycemia, a tetra-pack of 5-alive does wonders. The reason, as you know, that juice is so great is that it is a liquid and quickly absorbable form of sugar. It will definitely work faster than potatoes or rice, but whatever works for you is just fine :D
Where you SHOULD be concerned is if you feel pain in your chest, shoulder, neck or jaw, or like you have a sudden onset of flu-like symptoms. When in doubt, just take the juice and a baby aspirin (the aspirin is SO important as a first preventive medication for cardiac incidents, seriously), and call 911 if you have more concerns.
I feel for you - it isn't easy being home with three small ones who rely on you! Do you have any neighbors or moms-groups in the area that you can make contact with? This might ease your mind, some...
Glad you're feeling beter :hug:

10-23-2007, 01:34 PM
Yup that sounds very typical of a hypoglycemic episode - heart attacks and panic attacks both have overlap in their symptoms, but the symptoms you described are not usually indicative of either. If you have a history of hypoglycemia and/or insulin resistance, then it's pretty safe to say that most likely, your blood sugar just got low.

Orange juice does work fast, as does regular soda (but orange juice is a lot better for you, obviously). I've found that those $1 energy gels that you can buy at fitness stores can get your blood sugar up pretty quickly, too...they're pure sugar and don't have very many calories. Other fixes: 10 skittles and/or 3 Starbursts. Just try not to bite your cheek or your tongue ;) (Hah, I don't know about you, but when my blood sugar gets low, I tend to bite my cheeks and tongue often if I'm chewing something...)