I took my glucose test this past week. Contrary to what I've read in various forums and blogs, the test itself is really not that bad. Shout out to my doctor's office for giving me the lemon-lime flavor: I may have moaned a little bit more if it were orange. I hate that fake "orange" flavor like you'd find in soda. Gives me the shudders.
All my friends told me that if you ate before the test, you'd fail, so I fasted. Twenty minutes into waiting for my blood draw, I felt a little queasy and dizzy, but figured that it was par for the course. An hour later, the tech drew my blood and I was allowed to eat. I had packed a protein bar for this and shoveled it into my mouth as quickly as possible. I then headed to work, still feeling pretty dizzy.
Three hours later, I was still dizzy and started getting really sleepy, harkening back to the good ole days of first trimester. That night and the next morning, the dizziness continued. At J's insistence, I emailed a nurse at the doctor's office. She told me that if I was not better by the next morning I needed to come in. When I woke up the next morning and saw the fibers on the carpet moving, it was time to head to the doctor.
At the glucose test appointment, my blood pressure was 110/60. Two days later, it was 80/54. The doctor came in and reviewed my lab work. I passed the glucose test and my iron levels were great, but I've been hitting the bottle too often: the water bottle, that is. I been drinking so much water that I flushed out a lot of sodium and potassium and ended up dehydrated. Taking the test dehydrated and on an empty stomach forced my kidneys to work overtime to process all that sugar. As a result, my blood pressure rapidly dropped and caused all the related symptoms. This article kind of summarizes all the technical stuff.
The doctor looked at me and said, "you're a runner, right? Well, you wouldn't run 12 miles in the heat on straight water, would you?"
No, I wouldn't. And sniff sniff, haven't run 12 miles straight in a year.
He continued. "There's a reason the University of Florida made so much money with the Gatorade formula; you need to replace the salt and electrolytes you lose or else you'll crash. Pregnancy is a lot like running in that sense. You lose nutrients very quickly (in pregnancy, because the baby is ganking it all) and so you have to make conscious efforts to replace them."
So off I left with instructions to drink Gatorade during the day and eat a salty snack before bed. But it got me thinking: even though I sweat so much that there was a salt rim around my forehead, I usually weigh more after strenuous exercise than I do beforehand. I also display all the classic signs of dehydration: headaches, not hungry, muscle aches, etc. Now I know it's because I need more salt to stay hydrated and I feel kind of silly for not having realized that beforehand. Huh. Margarita shot bloks, anyone?
How do you replenish salt during a work out? Sports drinks, salt tabs, pretzels?