Low Blood Glucose (Hypoglycemia): Overview, Symptoms, Causes, Types, Foods, Treatment and Management

Low Blood Glucose (Hypoglycemia)

Hypoglycemia (hypo = low, glycemia = glucose/sugar), is one of the metabolic disorders in which the level of blood glucose usually falls at a lower level as compared to the average level of blood glucose. The majority of the body’s energy source is present in the form of glucose. Usually, the condition of hypoglycemia arises due to the side effect of diabetes treatment. However, some other drugs and a variety of metabolic disorders can also become the cause of low blood glucose levels in many people. The people who do not suffer from the pre-diabetes, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome can also become the victim of hypoglycemia due to some rare medical disorders which result in lowering the blood sugar levels than the normal.

Although hypoglycemia is not as such injurious to health, it requires immediate medical attention as the low blood glucose levels can cause fainting or unconsciousness in the patients of hypoglycemia. For the majority of the people, the glucose levels in the fasting state are near to 3.9 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) or 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), the levels of blood glucose below than this level serves as an alarming condition for hypoglycemia. The levels of blood glucose levels might be different among various individuals, and it is better to seek an accurate diagnosis from a specialist to be sure of the condition of hypoglycemia.

The treatment of hypoglycemia consists of steadily getting the level of blood glucose back to the normal range either with medications or by taking high-sugar drinks or foods. The intake of medications or glucose-rich foods or drinks is one of the short-term treatments and do not help in eradicating the condition of hypoglycemia. At the same time, the long-term treatment plan of hypoglycemia involves the identification and treatment of the root cause behind hypoglycemia. If the patients of hypoglycemia do not seek the proper treatment, they might suffer from complications like seizures, death or loss of consciousness.

1Reactive Hypoglycemia definition

Reactive Hypoglycemia definition

Reactive hypoglycemia or medically known as postprandial hypoglycemia is the condition in which there are low blood sugar levels after taking a meal, and it occurs after usually eating within four hours. Reactive hypoglycemia is different from the low blood glucose level hypoglycemia, which happens during the fasting condition. Some of the acute symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia involve pale skin, anxiety, hunger, sweating, lightheadedness, confusion, and shakiness. Suppose a person is using some blood-sugar-lowering drugs or insulin to treat the condition of diabetes mellitus, and the condition of reactive hypoglycemia occurs. In that case, it indicates that the dose of the medication needs adjustment.

The actual cause of hypoglycemia is not exact yet, but the symptoms of the condition indicate the association of the digestive system and the occurrence of reactive hypoglycemia. Some of the possible causes of reactive hypoglycemia include tumours in the digestive system, inherited metabolic disorders, certain medical surgeries like ulcer surgery or gastric bypass, and alcohol intake. A detailed medical evaluation is the best option to learn more about the symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia and the underlying cause of the condition. If a person is suffering from more severe symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia, then they might need some additional testing to have a proper diagnosis.

Medical treatment is usually not the requirement for treating reactive hypoglycemia. However, the treatment of the underlying medical condition is essential to treat the condition properly. The changes in dietary lifestyle often help in reducing the signs or symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia. by making appropriate changes in the composition of the meals, and the timing of taking meals helps in returning the blood sugar levels to the normal levels. Avoiding processed starchy foods and taking alcohol while eating is also helpful in avoiding the condition of reactive hypoglycemia.

Eating the meals in a balanced manner and including foods from every food group, especially eating lean or nonmeat sources of protein is very helpful in controlling and maintaining the blood glucose levels within the normal ranges. Try to replace the processed carbohydrates such as pieces of bread, muffins, pasta with whole grains. Eating various meals throughout the day and snacking in between the meals also helps in controlling the condition of reactive hypoglycemia.