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To get faint when I don't eat?

(57 Posts)
moutonfou Thu 26-Oct-17 11:59:53

This may sound like a ridiculous question, but I know that a lot of people do the 5:2 diet now where they don't eat until teatime and even then only have 500 calories. Muslims even manage up to 14hrs in the summer during Ramadan. And I know that humans can survive weeks without food. Lots in the news lately seems to praise the benefits of sensible fasting for regulating blood sugar and digestion.

But if any of my meals are delayed by even an hour or two (say, work meetings overrunning, no chance to grab anything, etc), or I skip breakfast, I start getting faint. DH says I'm just being dramatic and I wouldn't actually faint, but I feel like I would.

I eat plenty of calories, decent meals, and am a healthy weight (around 9st).

Is this normal?

ethelfleda Thu 26-Oct-17 12:02:05

Yep. You may just have a high metabolism. I'm 37 weeks pregnant now and even worse than I was before. I always have to have food on me!

StaplesCorner Thu 26-Oct-17 12:02:19

How old are you OP if you don't mind me asking? Could it be hormonal? I get this too I have had everything checked, full blood count thyroid etc nothing. Dietician I saw said it could be a result of stomach acid making me feel sick, but i think as long as I can cope with it, its not a big deal.

Have you been checked out by GP or do you suspect an underlying illness? How long as this been happening?

DramaAlpaca Thu 26-Oct-17 12:02:22

Same here, I feel faint & shaky if I don't eat regularly, as does my DS.

quaqua Thu 26-Oct-17 12:04:08

I feel like this when I've been eating sugar - faint, shaky and lightheaded.

RB68 Thu 26-Oct-17 12:04:45

This is about blood sugars - they are hitting a low (even if it is a low for you and they are not actually low). Try eating more long lasting carbs and not skipping meals and planning before going to long over lunchtime meetings to have a snack before e.g. a banana/oatcakes etc

Needadvicetoleave Thu 26-Oct-17 12:05:38

I suspect you feel faint but as DH says wouldn't actually faint. It's just how your body responds to low glucose levels. I get angry, my husband gets the shakes, we're all different.

oddexperience Thu 26-Oct-17 12:07:12

I get bitchy then very tired and start to sway if I’m standing

messyjessy17 Thu 26-Oct-17 12:08:08

I suspect you would find that it you weren't so rigid about mealtimes you would soon adjust to a little more flexibility. Unless you have a medical condition there is no real reason you should have any problem with waiting an hour for lunch.

How is it even possible to have exact meal times every day?

LizB62A Thu 26-Oct-17 12:08:56

I get this, I get confused then shaky and feel like i'm going to faint.

moutonfou Thu 26-Oct-17 12:13:43

StaplesCorner I'm in my late twenties. Had various blood tests over the years for different things, never had an issue flagged, even a vitamin/mineral deficiency.

MessyJessy my work sets the patterns of my meals, I usually eat breakfast when I get into work at 9.30, then our lunch break is at 1 (unless it's moved/disrupted by meetings). Then I get home and start dinner at around 6.30.

Obviously at weekends we don't keep the same pattern - on a few weekends recently we've had a lie-in and then I've walked to M&S around 11am for a nice breakfast - and I've started feeling faint in the store or on the walk back.

moutonfou Thu 26-Oct-17 12:16:54

(that is, to M&S to buy some breakfast stuff to bring back home)

StaplesCorner Thu 26-Oct-17 12:26:20

I think RS68 has a good strategy - have you tried that? Are you on low carb or trying to diet otherwise?

AnInchWasPinched Thu 26-Oct-17 12:36:06

We can't even have brunch at weekends as I go faint and throw up if I miss a meal blush

5foot5 Thu 26-Oct-17 12:38:58

For years I used to get something like this round about the end of the working day. I used to walk to and from work and sometimes I would take the precaution of having a sugary snack just before I set off as I assumed it was low blood sugar.

Eventually I found that what made the difference for me was not having bread at lunch time. Typically my workday lunch was a sandwich. However, I started the 5:2 (you don't have to do without food all day, I used to have nothing for breakfast, 200 calories for lunch and 300 for dinner) and I noticed that on my fast days when I just had a salad or soup for lunch I never got the faint feeling at home time.

Anyway these days I almost always have salad or soup for lunch and I hardly ever get that faint feeling. On the rare occasions I have sandwiches then it often happens.

bumblingbovine49 Thu 26-Oct-17 12:44:53

I know a few people who day this happens to them. In my experience they are all slim with very few weight problems among them. I on the other hand can go 48 hrs without eating with no problem apart from that empty stomach feeling near normal meal time which goes after a bit anyway . I am however obese so not sure what it all means. I don't really get upset or angry if hungry. If O am sleep deprivation however that is a different story. I get really moody/difficult if I have extended periods of little sleep.

SpookierAndSpookier Thu 26-Oct-17 12:48:38

In most healthy adults, blood sugar isn't actually going to drop enough to be causing shakiness etc. if you skip one meal. In most people the faint feeling is almost entirely psychological.

Handygarrottes Thu 26-Oct-17 12:48:38

I'm menopausal and overweight and get this too, which is v annoying bwhen I am trying to lose weight. I am trying to cut down on carbs and sugar.

NinonDeLenclos Thu 26-Oct-17 12:48:59

I'm the same and so's my dad. If I get hungry I feel weak, faint, shaky and headachey. We're both slim so maybe bumblingbovine is right, but I think it's more a metabolism thing. I don't eat that much but I do need to keep my blood sugar stable.

ShotsFired Thu 26-Oct-17 12:51:53

If you are going from a life of three square meals a day to one or none, then of course it is quite a shock to your system.

If you carried on with it, the faintness would lessen pretty quickly as your body got used to it. Just like any change really.

I routinely eat nothing from dinner one night to dinner the next and I am quite compos mentis in between. In fact if I have "normal" breakfast and lunch I feel over-full and sluggish and wonder how people do it every day!

NinonDeLenclos Thu 26-Oct-17 13:07:33

In most healthy adults, blood sugar isn't actually going to drop enough to be causing shakiness etc. if you skip one meal. In most people the faint feeling is almost entirely psychological

Sorry but this isn't true. My father faints if he doesn't get food in good time. He also faints when he has to do fasting blood tests as he can't eat breakfast (he's fine with non-fasting ones). He's the most down to earth least prone to imagining anything person I know.

One theory is that some people are more sensitive to blood sugar level changes, and it's that or the speed at which it drops rather than the actual blood sugar level at issue.

Having said that normal blood sugar is 4-6 mmol/L and mine is regularly 3.2-3.8

iwouldgoouttonight Thu 26-Oct-17 13:21:39

I get this too. I have low blood pressure and sometimes feel dizzy generally too, not sure if the two are linked.

Yesterday I was in a work thing which overran massively. At about 3pm when I'd not eaten anything since breakfast I started feeling really shaky and faint and was considering eating another person. But weirdly by 4pm when I actually got back to the office and was able to eat, I'd stopped feeling so bad and didn't actually feel hungry. Felt very tired though.

DrCoconut Thu 26-Oct-17 13:24:54

I get this and then a thumping migraine when I do eat.

Venusflytwat Thu 26-Oct-17 13:28:28

I get this if I eat too many carbs. I think they make my sugar spike and then drop too quickly.
If I am eating lower carb then I can go all day without food easily.
But the carbs taste so gooooood <sob>

ownedbySWD Thu 26-Oct-17 13:29:59

I only got this way when I was practically mainlining sugar all day long, so the spikes and troughs of my sugar levels were very dramatic. Since cutting out sugar, I can do intermittent fasting without any ill effects.

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