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 Headaches and/or Problems with Sugar? 
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Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:41 pm
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Post Headaches and/or Problems with Sugar?
I am fairly sure that my mom, Trula, has LBD. Hoping for a diagnosis next month, but my list of symptoms reads like a guide to LBD.

However, I have a couple I can't find anywhere and I am trying to reassure myself that it doesn't mean my whole "diagnosis by reading and internet searches" is off.

(1) Headaches. Mom started having headaches this summer when she was taking PT for her mobility issues. The headaches seem to be caused by movement of any kind and seem to go away when she is still. The PTs refused to work with her because the headaches were getting in the way. I hope to get some PT for her to maintain muscle tone once we have a diagnosis. I suspect it could be the orthostatic hypotension, but she doesn't complain of the dizziness or head rush. She does complain of pain in her neck and shoulders. Any ideas?

(2) Sugar. We had the usual issues with Benadryl (delusions and confusion) and the Oxybutynin patch (which put her in the hospital), but now we are having trouble with sugar. It seems as if she SUDDENLY has severe hypoglycemia, with any intake of sugar, beyond a small amount, causes delusions and speech problems. She is not diabetic and her blood tests haven't shown anything, although I am going to ask for a glucose uptake test next time around. Any one else experience this?

Thanks so much for your help for a newbie.

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Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:00 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Headaches and/or Problems with Sugar?
dfrano -

The diagnostic accuracy for MDs is less than 50% for LBD. So you have rather weak competition in the diagnosing game. The key is whether she has the central feature and how many of the core features she has.

As you say, the headaches could be OH-caused if this is coathanger pain. But I've never heard of movement bringing on the headaches. And does your mother have OH? Headaches are complex problems. It's best to see a neurologist who is a headache specialist.

I've never heard of a connection between hypoglycemia and LBD. What's a glucose uptake test?

Robin


Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:54 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
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Location: WA
Post Re: Headaches and/or Problems with Sugar?
Quote:
She is not diabetic and her blood tests haven't shown anything
Then how do you know she is hypoglycemic?

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:31 pm
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Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:41 pm
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Post Re: Headaches and/or Problems with Sugar?
@Robin - She has delusions - reduplicative paramnesia (more than one house, more than one bedroom, etc.) plus delusions of people, mostly relatives who are deceased, but some not, who are visiting, in the house, in the room, etc. She has hallucinations, seeing things in the room that aren't there, mostly relatives who are deceased. She has bradykinesia - so slow that she cannot feed herself or put on her glasses, she gets almost frozen in place. She suddenly became EXTREMELY sensitive to anti-cholinergics (Benadryl and Oxybutynin) to the point of catatonia. At the same time, she started falling, saying her feet were stuck to the floor. If she walks, which she hasn't been able to do, she shuffles. She has gradually started leaning sideways, to the right, and cannot straighten herself. Her thermostat is erratic - sometimes she is hot, sometimes cold, but this is after always being constantly cold before. And she is losing muscle control completely, unable to sit up, unable to stand, etc. BUT, all of this comes and goes. She has good, bright days with no mention of delusion or hallucination, then bad days. However, the physical symptoms seem pretty constant. She has worsened severely after any anesthetic. She is not on any narcotic medication, no painkiller except ibuprofen, because she has severe reactions to all of them. She takes minimal medication. So far minimal depression, minimal mood impacts. She hasn't been diagnosed with OH before. The headaches are secondary to all the other stuff, but I would like to actually find a way to get rid of the pain, as it is the only pain she talks about. Glucose tolerance tests are the only real way to find out if someone is hypoglycemic - it doesn't really show up in standard fasting blood tests. But, because she has such horrible reactions to sugar (much like her reactions to anesthesia), I am reluctant to attempt it.

@mockturtle - I don't know she is hypoglycemic except by a process of elimination. She got her hands on one of those Cadbury eggs at Easter and ate it and nearly went catatonic later. Every single time she has a high dose of sugar (a piece of cake with icing, a candy bar, or a piece of pie), she has an episode of delusional behavior and near catatonia. She has them otherwise, but they are more related to the time of day (after dark) or how tired she is. I can guarantee, if she eats something sugary, within an hour we have delusions. I just wondered if anyone else saw this. I am reluctant to do the glucose tolerance testing because she WILL have delusions and it could make her worse, like anesthetic.

Thanks for the responses.

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Trula's Caregiver
http://www.word-worthy.com/


Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:30 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
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Location: WA
Post Re: Headaches and/or Problems with Sugar?
My husband has had all of those symptoms but it has not been related to diet nor is he hypoglycemic. The symptoms you list are more consistent with PD or LBD than with hypoglycemia, IMHO. 'Weak and shaky' tends to sum up most hypoglycemic episodes. Guess you could try just keeping her off sugar for a week and see what happens.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:11 pm
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Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:41 pm
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Post Re: Headaches and/or Problems with Sugar?
@mockturtle - My issue was that she never had hypoglycemia before (no weak and shaky ), but suddenly if I withhold sugar, she is better, in terms of delusions and catatonia, if I let her have it, we have delusions and catatonia. Of course, we have delusions and catatonia anyway, but they are guaranteed with sugar. Big sugar intake, wait a little while, guaranteed delusions and lethargy.

I just wondered if anyone else noticed any connection.

Thanks for the response.

_________________
Trula's Caregiver
http://www.word-worthy.com/


Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:19 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Headaches and/or Problems with Sugar?
I hope you can find a good diagnostician to take your mother to see.


Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:20 pm
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