Reactive Hypoglycemia Symptoms
Reactive hypoglycemia symptoms vary among individuals but generally include irritability, headaches, extreme perspiration, depression, shaking, or heart palpitations. It is a condition in which signs of low blood sugar appear in a patient after foods high in glucose are consumed. Discomfort generally becomes apparent 2-5 hours after a meal and can be diminished by eating a food product high in carbohydrates. Treatment for reactive hypoglycemia is prescribed only after other possible diseases have been excluded. The condition can be hard to diagnose in patients since there are other illnesses that have very similar symptoms. In order to determine the problem, doctors generally study the history of signs and symptoms for a patient. Also, a blood glucose test will need to be conducted while a patient is experiencing symptoms. A blood test is taken from the arm and tested in a lab to provide an accurate reading.
Personal monitors are not helpful in determining the condition. Doctors may also observe a patient when problems occur to see if their blood glucose returns to 70 or higher after drinking or eating. If blood sugar levels are less than 70 at the time of discomfort and then resolve after eating, then generally a diagnosis is confirmed. Researchers are still unclear on the exact causes of the health issue, but some theorize that some people may be more sensitive to epinephrine. Epinephrine is a natural hormone that the body secretes which can cause many reactive hypoglycemia symptoms. Other experts have suggested that a deficiency in the glucagon secretion in the body may be a cause of the condition. "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." (Matthew 9:35)
There are some cases in which the cause is definitive such as a result of stomach surgery or unusual enzyme deficiencies detected in a young patient. These causes are rare and do not provide an explanation for the general patient population that struggle with the illness. The treatment for reactive hypoglycemia includes a special diet and regular exercise to provide relief for patients. It is important to add exercise such as walking, biking or swimming to one's weekly routine. Exercising four or five days a week at least 30 minute a day provides significant health benefits. Most importantly is the addition of a carefully programmed diet plan that provides as much balance to blood sugar levels as possible. Patients that adhere to proper exercise and diet plan can control uncomfortable symptoms and live very normally.
Most people that are diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia will benefit from the direction of a nutritional counselor. A physician who specializes in the condition will generally recommend the best route to take when developing an effective dietary treatment. Dietary issues that are addressed by most health care professionals include when to eat as well as what to eat. In order to resolve reactive hypoglycemia symptoms, it is necessary for a patient to get used to eating many small meals during the day. Experts recommend eating meals and snacks at least every 3 hours. Consistent intervals of meals provide a better chance for metabolic balance in the body's system. Foods that are high in fiber such as whole grains are favored over enriched, processed foods. A variety of foods should be consumed including meats, vegetables, dairy products and some fruits.
Avoiding certain foods is also important since certain products can cause problems such as caffeine, sugar, and alcohol. Foods that are high in starch as well should be avoided such as white potatoes, white rice and corn products. Simple sugar products such as carbonated colas, candy or certain fruit juices should also be restricted from a food plan. A dietary treatment for reactive hypoglycemia is basically a high fiber, high carbohydrate and restricted sugar diet. Many patients who adhere to this type of food plan can diminish or resolve their condition. Experts suggest that in cases of an attack, foods that are complex carbohydrates should be eaten to alleviate immediate problems. Bread, bagels, cereal or crackers can help to level low blood sugar quickly.
Complex carbohydrates produce a slower, more consistent delivery of glucose which allows the body to adjust. A carefully monitored diet may consist of approximately 15% protein, 55% carbohydrate, 30% fat and up to 40 grams of fiber a day. There are some disagreements among health professionals as to how much carbohydrates versus protein should be included in patient's diets. Since reactive hypoglycemia symptoms vary among individuals, different reactions to a treatment for reactive hypoglycemia can occur. In order to receive the best assessment and treatment for the condition, consult with a specialist in the field. The more information a person has, the better decisions can make regarding the resolution of this subtle and oftentimes complicated illness.