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Extreme hunger,sweat,fatigue,armpit pain,GERD,chest X-ray

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Practicing since : 2001
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Extreme Hunger

I noticed that occasionally I have episodes of what I would call as extreme hunger especially when I just have cereals in the morning. The hunger usually comes a couple hours (4-5) hours after having the cereals The thing is that its not the hunger that bothers me rather the manner in which it occurs. The onset comes typically in 15 20 minutes, that is I'm not feeling hungry then all of the sudden the hunger hits. When it hits, I become very hungry. On top of that, I sweat and feel very weak. But if I eat a candy drink a coke or eat anything sugar-related, it goes away just as quickly as it comes. That is in 5-10 minutes. I don't have diabetes. My sugar level is 103, Cholesterol is 152, triglyceride is 160; although I'm a bit overweight 188lbs @ 5'3 tall.

Is this a sign of diabetes onset?

Best Regards,
Posted Fri, 4 May 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Follow-up: Extreme hunger,sweat,fatigue,armpit pain,GERD,chest X-ray 8 minutes later
Another question is that:

Occasionally, I have a little pain UNDERNEATH my armpit. It's about 3 inch directly below the armpit. The pain doesn't radiate to the chest, but it extends toward my back although not all the way to the back. It stops just where my back starts. This pain doesn't occur very often. However, when it does, it does so in varying degree of severity. On the worst case, I feel like someone had just kicked me in that area. On a lesser scale, it's annoying.

Please note that I have GERD. I don't know if GERD has anything to do with this. I had a chest X-ray about 3 yrs ago. I'm not a smoke, although when I was in college about 20-yrs ago, I was a social smoker. I quit after college.

Best Regards,
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 4 hours later
Thanks for writing to us.

Bouts of extreme hunger that are relieved on having something sweet are indicative of hypoglycaemic attacks due to poor blood glucose control in your body.

You need to have a glucose tolerance test to diagnose if you have any diabetes.

Loosing excessive weight might also improve the borderline abnormality in blood glucose control.

The pain below your armpit may be due to a cardiac related problem like angina.

A complete cardiac check up with ECG and ECHO is required under the guidance of your cardiologist for diagnosis.

It is less likely to be due to GERD. Proper investigations are necessary for early diagnosis and proper treatment.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Extreme hunger,sweat,fatigue,armpit pain,GERD,chest X-ray 4 hours later
Thanks for your reply.

Regarding the first question, I will follow up with my doctor. As for the second question regarding the pain below my armpit, I forgot to tell you that I had an 2 ECO tests and 2 stress tests in the past 3 years. Both of which are fine. On top of that, I've tried to exercise really hard to see if I have any chest pain due to strenous exercise. The funny thing is that the more I run, the better I feel. My primary doctor seems to dismiss it as a muscle strain because although it is below my armpit, it is more toward my back than it is toward my chest. I've asked this question to several doctors. None of which can really pinpoint the real cause.

Some have suggested me to take the chest x-ray again just to be sure because I've smoked a long time ago.

Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 55 minutes later
Thanks for writing again.

Pain in the chest, if your cardiac profile is normal,it can be due to -

1)The first possibility is of pleuritis - You may have VIRAL BRONCHITIS. Your pain may be caused by PLEURISY, an irritation of the lining of the lung that is usually caused by a viral infection. Hard coughing may also cause pain in the muscles and chest wall. Drink plenty of fluids, and try cold medicines and/or anti-inflammatory medicines to relieve your symptoms. See your doctor if the pain continues for more than a few days or if you develop a fever.

2) The second possibility can be of myositis or muscle pull due to overuse of muscles. Mild antiinflammatory drugs and hot fomentation will help you.

3)The third possibility is of anxiety neurosis or GERD. It should go away with the right treatment and the following lifestyle measures:

a) Try raising the head of your bed about four inches with blocks.

b) It also might help to avoid eating or drinking for two hours before you lie down. Also avoid taking two or three heavy meals. Instead, take regular frequent small meals. Avoid taking tea or coffee prior to bedtime and concentrate more on a healthy diet.

c) To help control the stomach acid, one should not drink alcohol or drinks with caffeine in them, or eat chocolate or spicy or greasy foods. Further, avoid eating any junk food or oily, spicy food. Take a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet consisting more of fruits, salads, soups and raw vegetables (after proper washing). Also increase the protein content in your diet instead of carbohydrates and fats. An advice from a dietitian will be helpful.

d) Also take some antacid but if the symptoms are severe, then you may need drugs like proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole after consulting your doctor.

Wishing you an early recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Extreme hunger,sweat,fatigue,armpit pain,GERD,chest X-ray 7 hours later
Hello Dr. Tayal,

Regarding the first question, Hypoglycemia, is it true that hypoglyecemia comes with diabetes? In another word, one must have diabetes prior to having hypoglyemia? My sugar level was 99 5 years ago and yet I still experienced that. Now it reaches 103. My doctor told me the reading of 103 or the very low 100's level can be interpreted as depending on one's race. If one is of African descend, then 103 should be a warning sign. However, if one is of Asian descend, then it could be opened to interpretation somewhat as to whether I'm a pre-diabetic or not. I'm Asian by the way.

Your previous answer suggested me to lose the weight "Loosing excessive weight might also improve the borderline abnormality in blood glucose control" seems to me that I'm may be able to reverse this phenomenon if I lose some weight. Do I read your comment correctly?


Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 10 hours later

Hypoglycaemia is most commonly associated with diabetes. But can happen due to other reasons such as weakness also.

A single reading of blood glucose levels does not suggest much. The best way of diagnosis is 'Glucose tolerance test'.

Yes, loosing excessive weight can reverse diabetes too some extent if the abnormality is only mild.

Hope this helps. Thanks again for writing back to me.

Take care

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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