divider image

Hypoglycemia


Introduction

Hypoglycemia is a condition when the blood sugar, or glucose, is too low. It is not a disease in and of itself, but an indicator of another health problem. Diabetics sometimes experience hypoglycemia when the pancreas overreacts to repeated high sugar intake by producing too much insulin. The excess insulin lowers blood sugar too much as the body strives to achieve proper glucose/insulin balance. Individuals without diabetes can also experience symptoms of hypoglycemia. Insulin is required to shuttle glucose into cells to be used as energy. This is particularly harmful to the brain, the most sensitive organ to blood sugar levels, which requires glucose solely as an energy source to think clearly. Hypoglycemia causes a change in the way the brain functions. Small fluctuations disturb one's feeling of well-being. Large fluctuations cause feelings of depression, anxiety, mood swings, fatigue and even aggressive behavior. Sugar balance is also needed for muscle contractions, the digestive function and nerve health.

Hypoglycemia may also be a sign of adrenal fatigue. The adrenal hormone, cortisol, helps keep blood sugars at adequate levels. When the adrenals are fatigued, however, cortisol and blood sugar levels drop. Low blood sugar, in turn, can further stress the adrenals, creating a vicious cycle. Timing of meals and types of food become essential for balancing blood sugars. High quality protein intake becomes crucial.

top

Common Symptoms

Manic/depressive psychological states; irritability; restlessness and insomnia; anxiety, depression and a feeling of going crazy; dizziness, general shakiness and trembling; ravenous hunger and craving for sweets; heart problems; lethargy or hyperactivity; nausea; blurry vision; frequent headaches or migraines; unusual night time urination; great fatigue.

top

Common Causes

Poor diet or excess dietary sugar causing abnormally low levels of glucose in the blood; poor pancreas function; drinking alcohol on an empty stomach; prolonged fasting or dieting for weight loss; food allergies; too much alcohol, caffeine or nicotine; stress; exhausted adrenals, kidney failure or liver damage; hypothyroidism; large meals.

top

Natural Treatment

Short term treatment for hypoglycemia involves regulating blood sugar and insulin response through meal timing and food combinations. Long term management includes looking at the cause of the hypoglycemic reactions. Diabetic and other endocrine disorders, including adrenal problems, as well as medication interactions, are considered. Adrenal Stress Index testing can help determine adrenal function and the body's response to stress. The standard testing for hypoglycemia is a glucose tolerance test (GTT). This is a test whereby a concentrated sugar solution is administered to the individual in a fasting state. Clinicians look for a dramatic drop in blood glucose levels. However, there are some cases of GTT testing that yield a normal glucose response, but the person still feels brain fog, light headed or disoriented. This is a form of blood sugar sensitivity and can be addressed using the same protocol as hypoglycemia. In fact, a diet for hypoglycemia is not only effective for blood sugar control, but it is great for weight management as well. Specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies along with stress, lifestyle, and poor sleep patterns may exacerbate hypoglycemic reactions. Contact EB Nutrition to learn how to determine and manage the root cause of your hypoglycemia (online or in person).

top

References

Abou-Donia MB, El-Masry EM, Abdel-Rahman AA, McLendon RE, Schiffman SS. Splenda alters gut microflora and increases intestinal p-glycoprotein and cytochrome p-450 in male rats. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2008; 71(21):1415-29.

Page L. Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone Eleventh Edition. Traditional Wisdom, Inc; 2000.

Wilson JL, ND, DC, PhD. Adrenal Fatigue. Petaluma, CA: Smart Publications; 2001.

top

Phone: 301-231-0026
EB Nutrition  |  All Rights Reserved (c) 2009  |  6319 Executive Blvd  |  Rockville, MD 20852  |  info@ebnutrition.com  |  Site by: SiteStrux, Inc.