Hypoglycemia is a condition associated with, an abnormally low level of glucose in the bloodstream. And this occurs due to the fact that glucose is burned too rapidly, or when the glucose release falls short of tissue demands or when huge amounts of insulin is released into the bloodstream. Hypoglycemia which results from fasting or from injection of too much insulin (such as with the diabetic) is referred to as "reactive". Reactive hypoglycemia which is due to fasting which can occur in the morning prior to breakfast, will cause a specific endocrine imbalance. While hypoglycemia may provide only vague symptoms (depending upon how quickly the individuals' glucose levels drop), if not corrected, severe hypoglycemia may result in coma and/or irreversible brain damage.
A less serious type of hypoglycemia "postrandiaal hypoglycemia", usually disappears after something, sweet has been eaten. In 'idiopathic reactive" hypoglycemia there seems to be no apparent cause. Other known causes are; "Hyperalimentation" which is due to gastric dumping syndrome and/or from impaired glucose tolerance. Fasting hypoglycemia usually results fiom an excess of insulin or insulin-like substance or from a decrease in counterregulatory hormones.
It can be "Exogenous" ~ resulting from such external factors as alcohol or drug ingestion, or "Endogenous" ~ resulting from organic problems. Endogenous hypoglycemia could be the result of tumors or liver disease, insulinomas, small islet cell tumors in the pancreas, secrete excessive amounts of insulin, which inhibits hepatic glucose production. The good news is that they are generally benign in 90% of patients. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS include
- trembling, tension
- cold sweats
- rapid heart rate
DIAGNOSIS: A Five (5) Hour Glucose Tolerance Test will confirm hypoglycemia.
TREATMENT: Effective treatment for reactive hypoglycemia requires dietary changes which will help to delay glucose absorption and gastric emptying. While it is advisable to always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified professional, small, frequent meals; ingestion of complex carbohydrates, fiber and fat, with avoidance of simple sugars, alcohol and fruit drinks. The patient may also find that adequate amounts of water will be helpful, as will a sufficient amount of daily exercise. Avoid processed foods and supplement with 500 to 1,000 milligrams of vitamin-C, 200 to 400 Intenational Units of vitamin-E, and Chromium (400 to 600 micrograms daily). Also include the Essential Fatty Acids in your diet.
Some forms of "fasting" hypoglycemia, surgery and/or medications may be recommended by ones' attending physician. Be watchful; maintain a healthy diet and a healthy Iifestyle, and be informed (know your alternatives).