Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, happens when your body’s blood glucose level is too low to provide the necessary energy for the activity you are doing. It will result in your body not being able to withstand the complexity of what you are doing, breaking down before completion. It is that sudden drop in blood sugar that gives you the lack of energy. It can result from diabetes treatments, medications, disease, tumors, enzyme deficiencies, or hormone fluctuations. This article deals with the non diabetic hypoglycemia.
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
feeling anxious, weak
Non diabetic hypoglycemia has two types: reactive and fasting. Fasting hypoglycemia is usually common with an underlying disease, while reactive hypoglycemia is not. Diagnosis of hypoglycemia is made with lab testing of blood glucose and insulin. Fasting hypoglycemia is typed by a blood sample that has 50 mg/dL or less of blood glucose level after a vigorous exercise routine or after an overnight fast. Reactive hypoglycemia will show up in a 4 hour window after eating. Its diagnosis is made after testing the blood glucose level during symptoms (blood glucose test of 70 mg/dL or less at symptoms, going away after eating).
Fasting Hypoglycemia is caused by tumors, some childhood illnesses, alcohol, hormonal deficiencies, or certain medications. Some of the medications that can cause fasting hypoglycemia include aspirin and other salicylates, sulfa medications that are given when you have an infection, quinine that is given when one has malaria, and pentamidine. Alcohol can produce the effects in binge drinking. Illnesses that affect liver, heart, or kidneys can be the cause, as can sepsis and starvation. Shortages of cortisol, glucagon, or epinephrine can cause fasting hypoglycemia as can insulin-producing tumors. Tumors have special issues to the patient and will need more treatment that just for the hypoglycemia.
Reactive Hypoglycemia is more under debate as to the cause. It is believed to be a glucagon secretion deficiencies, or sensitivity to the release of epinephrine in the body.
There are some causes that are not under debate for reactive hypoglycemia, and they are gastric surgery are some rare enzyme deficiencies.
To treat reactive hypoglycemia eat small meals scattered across the day, regularly exercise, eat high fiber foods and a variety of them, limit sugary foods, and seek advice from a dietician or nutritionist. Diet is one of the best ways to combat hypoglycemia.