Hypoglycemia, or Sugar Handling Problems

 

 

Hypoglycemia is a condition where blood sugar reaches lower than normal levels. Normally the body maintains the blood sugar levels within a narrow range through the coordinated efforts many different organs/systems in the body. When these systems are disrupted or overloaded low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or high blood sugar (diabetes) can result.

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar can be at the root of many health problems. These go beyond the obvious problem of feeling weak, dizzy or headachy if meals are delayed. People who are hypoglycemic tend to have problems with their adrenal glands (the glands that respond to stress). Hypoglycemia is often a component of many health problems like allergies, asthma, fatigue, low back and other joint pain, insomnia, ADD/ADHD, obesity, sugar and other food cravings, migraine and other headaches, and depression. Not all people who are hypoglycemic have these problems, but people with these problems are often hypoglycemic. Correcting hypoglycemia is a very important step to restoring your good health.

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can cause fatigue, depression and sugar cravings. The history form youve filled out gives your doctor a very good idea if you are hypoglycemic. You can verify it with laboratory tests, but hypoglycemia is easy to treat with diet.

Hypoglycemia is both a cause of certain health problems and the effect of other health problems. It can cause fatigue, depression, dizziness, sugar cravings, obesity and headaches. It can be caused by dysbiosis, digestive problems, stress and adrenal problems, nutrient deficiency, allergies and poor eating habits. Getting your blood sugar under control will help you to feel better. Your doctor will help you with strategies and nutritional supplementation to balance your blood sugar, but he or she will also help you address the root causes.

 

Possible Signs and Symptoms

 

If you are hypoglycemic, you may or may not have the symptoms listed below. If you do suffer from any of the symptoms listed below, getting your hypoglycemia under control may give you relief.

 

      Fatigue

      Depression

      Dizziness

      Sugar Cravings

      Obesity

      Headaches

      Anxiety

      Mood Swings

      Confusion

      Occasional Shakiness

      Excessive Hunger

      Tired or Weak If Meals Delayed

      PMS

      Heart Palpitations

 

Possible Underlying Causes

 

      A diet too high in sugars/carbohydrates, this is the most common cause

      Skipping meals

      Dysbiosis

      Digestive Problems

      Adrenal Problems

      Nutrient Deficiency

      Allergies

      Stress

 

 

Health Strategies

 

Dietary/Lifestyle Guidelines

Consumption of the Standard American Diet; rich in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods is the main culprit in hypoglycemia Below are some dietary strategies to help you.

 

        Avoid refined sugar and refined carbohydrate. Some refined foods have a relatively low glycemic index, but they deplete the B vitamins necessary for carbohydrate metabolism. Avoid foods that have a high glycemic index, see chart below.

        Eating adequate protein will help you balance your blood sugar.

        Eat small, frequent meals: If you are symptomatic when meals are delayed. This is a short-term solution. Initially eating in anticipation of your blood sugar dropping will bring your symptoms under control and reduce the craving for refined sugar. Between meals, your snack of choice is protein. Ultimately, you will want to get any symptoms you get from not eating under control and be able to follow the following rules: 1) Eat an adequate breakfast, and make sure that it contains protein. 2) Eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly. 3) Make sure that there are 5-6 hours between breakfast and lunch, and 5-6 hours between lunch and dinner; with no snacking. If you still need to snack, your health care practitioner will help you with supplementation and eating strategies. 4) Do not eat between dinner and bedtime.

        Eat food with a low glycemic index (see the page with the glycemic index chart).

        Exercise regularly: Exercise increases your muscles demand for fuel, helping to normalize your blood sugar problems. Schedule a consultation to discuss exercise or any other health issue

 

Glycemic Index

 

The glycemic index is a measure of how much blood sugar-stress is inherent with a food. If a food has a high glycemic index, it will cause the body to produce a lot of insulin in response to its consumption. Commonly, an individual with hypoglycemia will produce too much insulin and the blood sugar will drop precipitously. The individual then craves sugar or carbohydrate to increase the blood sugar, which triggers more insulin and so on. Eating food with a low glycemic index and eating frequently will help to stop the sugar/insulin roller coaster. Generally, avoid foods with a glycemic index more than 95.

 

 

Food Categories

Index

Grains

 

White bread

100

Whole wheat bread

99

White rice

83

White pasta

66

Whole wheat pasta

61

Corn flakes

119

Shredded wheat

97

Rye bread

58

All-bran cereal

73

Oatmeal

85

Potatoes

 

Baked potato

135

Instant potatoes

116

New potatoes

81

Yams

74

Sweet potato

70

Legumes

 

Sweet peas

74

Canned, baked beans

60

Kidney beans

54

Butter beans

52

Garbanzo beans

49

Lentils

43

Soy Beans

20

Dairy Products

 

Yogurt

52

Whole milk

49

Skim milk

46

Ice cream

52

Fruit

 

Raisins

93

Banana

79

Orange juice

67

Orange

66

Grape

62

Apple

53

Pear

47

Peach

40

Grapefruit

36

Plum

34

Sweeteners

 

Maltose

152

Glucose

138

Honey

126

Sucrose

86

Fructose

30

 

It must be stressed that glycemic index is not the only consideration when choosing foods to improve hypoglycemia. Whole foods with all of the vitamin and mineral cofactors are important sources of the nutrients necessary for restoring the bodys biochemistry. Feel free to schedule a consultation and discuss this or any other health topic.