A metro Detroit woman should be celebrating her tremendous weight loss, but instead is now battling a rare condition that has her regretting her bariatric surgery. Nina Toral can no longer be left alone, so her dog, Fluffy, is always by her side.
The little Pomeranian can smell and sense when Nina's sugar is crashing.
"If I start to pass out, she starts licking my face and when I am passed out she finds me she starts barking, barking," says Nina.
That happens almost everyday.
In 2006, Nina had gastric bypass surgery and lost more than 100 pounds. But several years later, a terrible side effect showed up. Nina says she was sweating, shaking and passing out regularly.
"It got to the point that I was actually dropping on the floor in front of my customers," says the bridal seamstress.
Turns out, she's hypoglycemic.
She's not diabetic, but no matter what she does or eats her blood sugar drops too low. It happens so fast before she knows it, her body shuts down.
"I don't have a life anymore. I'm not allowed to be left alone, I'm not allowed to drive, I cannot be left with my grandkids or any of my children, infants, by myself because if I pass out on them, you know, what are they going to do?" Nina says.
"Her case is actually one of the more severe cases," says Henry Ford endocrinologist Dr. Ebru Sulank. She has been treating Nina. She says doctors don't understand the link between hypoglycemia and gastric bypass surgery.
"Most likely, it's believed that it's the combination of the change in anatomy, the change in the hormones, the change in how the food is absorbed," says Sulank.
Nina's husband, Dan, is always ready with an injection that will raise her glucose levels - and it works, usually.
"If I just inject it into her thigh and within 15, 30 seconds she starts to respond a little bit. But, there's been mornings that I have to give her two in order for her to come out of her glucose episode that she's having," Dan says.
For Nina, this is not how she every imagined her life.
"I have to depend on people to be with me, literally, to babysit me," she says.
Fox 2's Deena Centofanti reports Nina has had a setback after they met and that Nina is now in Dr. Sulank's care and will eventually be headed to the Mayo Clinic for more specialized treatment.