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Old 06-28-2016, 11:28 PM   #1
x777defiance
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Does dieting and exercise cause dizziness/anxiety?

So, my name is Nathan and I am 20 years old. I mainly lived a sedentary lifestyle of eating mainly fatty and sugary foods. Especially fast food, that was my thing to do when I was bored. I was never big on fruits and vegetables, until just recently. Towards the beginning of May, I got sick with Gastroenteritis (a.k.a. the stomach flu). I got lightheaded, nauseated, my appetite wasn't there, diarrhea, etc. This lasted for about 11 days. Around this time, I was 245 pounds. I went to the doctor and she wanted me to get a blood test just to make sure it wasn't anything else. She did diagnose me with Gastroenteritis though. So a day passes, I got my blood test (fasted for it) and got my results the next day. It turns out, my liver enzymes were through the roof, but everything else seemed fine to her. So I had to get a liver ultrasound and a couple days later, she told me I had a really fatty liver and that I needed to exercise and eat healthier meaning no sugary stuff, no fried foods, more veggies/fruits, etc. So ever since the 21st of June, I have lost 30 pounds by walking a mile or more almost everyday, along with eating more fruits and veggies, chicken and fish (more than red meat), and I am now 215 pounds. During this time, I have been lightheaded a little bit like every day when I was eating healthier/exercising. Anyways, on the 21st of June, my girlfriends grandma was in the hospital (she's not going to make it), and I felt totally fine that day at home (as in, barely lightheaded, no anxiety symptoms, nothing.) I told her that I would come visit her to comfort her through this time and such. I drove to the hospital to visit, met my girlfriend, went up the elevator and walked into the room where her dying grandmother was. Right when I saw her, I started feeling lightheaded and dizzy. My chest got tight (no pain), my legs felt weak, I couldn't stop moving my right leg, my mouth got dry, and I had to breathe slowly. I felt like I was going insane. I thought to myself, "Hmm, maybe my mind didn't like seeing this kind of thing and it'll be gone when I get home." Well, I was right and wrong. I told my GF's parents (after visiting for an hour or so) that I had to go home because I didn't feel well and seeing this probably made me sad/uncomfortable (that's probably why I felt so off.) So I went home, I was fine for that night. The next day, I could tell I was a bit dizzy, but it subsided and whatnot after awhile. The day after that, I was driving home from the store and I started feeling really dizzy. I had to pull over and call my mom because it was very scary, and it felt like the same thing that happened when I visited my GF's grandma, but just a little worse. I had to go home (my dad had to meet me and drive me) and I laid in bed, still dizzy with chest tightness and numbness in my left hand. The numbness went away shortly after I got it, but the dizziness and chest tightness was still there. I didn't have much of an appetite but I did eat a granola bar and I felt better afterwards when breathing slowly and trying not to think about it. During these nights, I still can't sleep. I keep waking up after 1-2 hours of falling asleep. A few days later, I wanted to go to the ER to see if I had anything wrong with me. What a long 10 hours that was. I got my blood work done (nervous as crap during that time), had to do a urine sample, yada yada. The doctor wanted me to get a CT scan done of my head, so I went to do that and had to wait awhile for the Doctor to come in with the results. He said the CT scan showed acute sinusitis in my right sphenoid sinus. They said that could be the cause of my dizziness and whatnot. So they prescribed me with Azithromycin to get rid of the sinusitis. I have been taking it since they gave it to me on Saturday (I had to take 2 on day one, then 1 each other day). I do get dizzy spells like everyday now since that first attack, but I noticed that I keep getting chest tightness. Every time I get both together, I check my pulse. It's like an obsession of mine now. Especially if I get dizzy, I check my pulse to see if my heart is beating fast. Before I ever went on a diet and exercised, my HR was like in between 70-90 resting, and now it's around 50-70. That's what scares me, because of my lower heart rate. Maybe the Diet of low-carb/low-calories is making my heart beat slower, I'm not too sure. I went to my doctor yesterday (June 27th) and she told me that with the symptoms I'm having, it sounds like I have anxiety and maybe seeing the grandma that one day in the hospital traumatized me or something? Plus with the Sinusitis, its making me even more dizzy and then the anxiety hits because I don't want to die? I don't know really, but I have never felt this way before in my life. Like, I was always a care-free person. I don't have alot of stress also. I keep getting dizzy and then my chest tightens and then I start checking my pulse just in case because I think I have an abnormal heartbeat, it's all crazy. My parents always tell me that there's nothing to worry about because my all my blood tests come back fine, even my cholesterol levels are good. The only thing bad on my blood tests are the liver enzymes, but in just one month of dieting and exercising, they went down massively. So basically what I'm trying to ask is, am I overreacting? I try calming myself down and saying I'll be okay and breathing slowly but I don't think that works. Anything helps.
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Old 06-28-2016, 11:53 PM   #2
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Hello Nathan,

There is really no way to tell what is going on with you over the internet so I would just make sure your doctors check you out thoroughly to make sure everything is okay.. It almost sounds like a panic attack.. If you are worried about what you are eating and if that is affecting you, posting a menu of what you are eating might help.. The first few weeks of lowcarbing can cause dizziness.. especially if you are not eating enough.. Make sure you are staying very well hydrated because that could cause some of the symptoms you are experiencing.. make sure you are getting plenty to eat.. Don't skip meals.. That could also make you feel dizzy.. But again, you need to make sure you are talking to your doctors and maybe even get a second opinion.

Hope you feel better very soon!!

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Old 06-29-2016, 05:27 AM   #3
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Do you mean May 21st? Because if you've lost 30 pounds in 8 days, you certainly need to go back and talk to your doctor.

I agree 100% with Cheri, too.
Make a list of all the things you're concerned about and have a nice sit-down with your doctor and discuss them all.
Even if it's panic or anxiety, your doctor may be able to help you with relaxation techniques or temporary medications to help you get past whatever might be the cause.
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Old 06-29-2016, 07:04 AM   #4
cgwwilson
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Hi Nathan,

One of the things that can mimic panic attacks is hypoglycemia. It might be worth your while to get a blood glucose monitor and check your blood sugar levels, especially when you're experiencing symptoms. Good luck - hope this resolves for you soon!

Carolyn

Symptoms of hypoglycemia:

Whole body: excess sweating, excessive hunger, fainting, fatigue, lightheadedness, or shakiness
Gastrointestinal: nausea or vomiting
Cognitive: mental confusion
Mouth: dryness or tingling lips
Also common: anxiety, blurred vision, headache, irritability, pallor, sensation of an abnormal heartbeat, sensation of pins and needles, sleepiness, slurred speech, tremor, or unsteadiness

Sources: Mayo Clinic and others.

Last edited by cgwwilson; 06-29-2016 at 07:06 AM..
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Old 06-29-2016, 07:57 AM   #5
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Nathan,

I also thought of hypoglycemia. Blood sugar goes up and down all day, so a hospital test might not have caught it when it was low. Testing at home, especially when you feel off, is a good idea. Test when you feel well too so you have a comparison.

Another thought I have is to be sure you are eating enough. You are a young man so your calorie/nutirent needs are probably fairly high. Are you eating fat with your fruit, veggies and lean meats?

I have sons that are 19 and 23 and I would advise them to eat low carb, but not low calorie, and certainly not low fat. I expect you can continue losing by just staying off carby junk food. You can't help losing quickly with the stomach flu, but fast weight loss from continued excessive calorie restriction will backfire in the long run.

Your electrolytes could be off-balance too. You can drink broth and add sea salt to your food and that will help. Probably the easiest thing to do is pick up some Powerade Zero or other sugar free electrolyte source and drink it regularly.

I agree with the other posters about writing your symptoms down and seeing your regular doctor. It is great you were seen in the ER, but they look for signs that you are in immediate danger. A regular doctor has more time to look at the big picture.

Good luck.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:09 AM   #6
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It sounds like electrolyte imbalance, which, in my understanding, doesn't show up well on blood tests.

Low carb diets can cause electrolyte imbalance. Once the excess carbs are depleted (those carbs hold onto extra water in the body by the nature of their storage), going low carb causes the kidneys to excrete more sodium than normal. Once sodium is low, the body freaks out and leeches the potassium and magnesium stores in the body. Low sodium causes low blood volume, which can cause dips in blood pressure. This is what is normally called "carb flu" or "keto flu." Lightheadedness, dizziness, tightness in the chest that mimics a panic attack, fatigue, brain fog...and sometimes nausea.

The body uses electricity to send messages and run the body. When you disturb that, everything starts to stop working optimally.

So, daily either drink a couple cups of salty broth or make your own Gatorade. I call it ketoade. 12oz water, plus Mio (or similar water flavoing that is 0 cal, 0 carb. Or if you can't do artificial sweeteners use a tbsp of lemon juice), plus 1/4 tsp salt, plus 1/8 to 1/4 tsp potassium salt (Lite Salt or No Salt.)

When I get the tightness in my chest, fatigue, and headache, I know EXACTLY what it is. Sodium is low. Replenish now. I also supplement magnesium 400mg daily. If you keep sodium up, 3,000mg daily or over, your body will preserve the potassium you get in your food and you generally don't need to worry as much over it, provided you are eating potassium-rich foods. In addition to being low-carb, exercise depletes electrolytes as well. So another reason to top them up. Coffee, alcohol, brown-colored sodas, thyroid dysfunction...all those deplete them as well.

Incorporate electrolytes into your daily regimen. And of course, as others have advised, if it persists, make a list and hit up your Dr. about it.

HTH.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:38 AM   #7
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Good call Jess!

I didn't think of electrolytes as they would usually have checked that in the ER. However, as you pointed out low sodium, etc. can be an issue with low carb plans and replenishing electrolytes when they are low is an almost instant fix.

Hopefully that will help with Nathan's symptoms (certainly isn't likely to hurt).
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:05 PM   #8
x777defiance
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Thank you for all your replies! I found out what was causing my symptoms. I'm sure I may have been eating a lower amount of calories than I should've been. For each day, I'd be getting around 600-800 calories and that includes low-carb AND low-fat. I've been inputting my daily meals in a calorie tracker app and that's what came up. Before I started this diet, I was eating junk food like nonstop so maybe my body just doesn't like the decrease in food/nutrients while dieting. Now I am tracking my calories and am getting around 1650 a day, and even more exercise. I am starting to eat snacks and drinking a sugar-free Gatorade each day and I'm not even getting as dizzy. Although I still can't sleep that well at night, and I do get chest tightness around my left armpit or above my breast area though but usually that subsides after awhile, especially when laying down. I feel like maybe I wasn't eating enough and my blood sugar kept getting continually low (hypoglycemia).
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:19 PM   #9
x777defiance
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It's funny because after I posted this, I started getting a bit lightheaded. I feel like maybe I am getting low blood pressure because I don't think I've been getting enough sodium either. Although now I have been increasing my electrolytes, and have even been drinking Alkaline water.
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:51 PM   #10
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Glad you're starting to figure out what's going on.

Best wishes and keep up the great work!
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