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.
Treatment For Reactive HypoglycemiaTreatment for reactive hypoglycemia is most successful by making dietary changes including dietary supplements. This may include eliminating foods high in starch, sugar, and preservatives. Likewise, adding fresh foods, a daily vitamin, and a regular exercise program to a person's life will undoubtedly decrease symptoms of hypoglycemia. The onset of dietary problems may be poor lifestyle choices or genetic disposition. While there are no drugs that can directly help this disease, other problems caused by complications can be treated with medication. Complications may include, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and mental dysfunction. Careful evaluation of any adverse reaction the body has to any exposure of food or environment can lead to better diagnosis and management.
There isn't any solid reason for the onset of this disease, but many theories exist. Treatment is different than other forms of the disease due to the reactions after food is consumed. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may occur up to 3 hours after food has been consumed. A food journal may help a person pinpoint specific foods that cause any adverse reactions. Some research shows a connection with the hormone epinephrine or deficiencies in glucagon. Both of these theories are inconclusive due to the inconsistency of results. In addition, excessive production of insulin may cause enzyme deficiencies thus creating symptoms of hypoglycemia. Problems that may occur include excessive hunger, nervousness, perspiration, shakiness, dizziness, sleepiness, confusion, weakness, and anxiety. While these problems can indicate other health problems, a look at lifestyle, health history, and the results of different types of tests can eliminate possible diagnosis. It is relatively certain, however, that treatment for reactive hypoglycemia is not associated with diabetes. In addition to the above-mentioned symptoms of hypoglycemia include irritability, headaches, depression, or heart palpitations.
After a blood glucose test is taken and a problem is determined, proper actions can be taken toward management. However, testing does not always indicate the problem, thus improper diagnosis can happen. Changes in diet are not harmless when monitored carefully. If changes in diet and exercise solve the problem then occasional monitoring should be the only continued care needed. These tests will help determine any other problems that may have been missed or if the unseen problem is not properly diagnosed. Other lifestyle changes such as stress reduction, relaxation techniques, and daily stretching will aid in recovery and management of most diseases, but particularly dietary related diseases. After test results and lifestyle habits are reviewed a proactive plan for wellness should be put into place. Treatment for reactive hypoglycemia may include eating more often throughout the day as well as changing the contents of the diet to include foods rich in fiber and vitamins as well as a balance of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. Avoiding trans fats, refined sugars, and all preservatives offer a platform for wellness. Though the current diet may seem balanced, take a look at the quality of food consumed. Processed foods are far inferior to anything fresh. In addition, when fresh food is consumed, in general, less is eaten thus creating a balance for the extra cost of buying fresh or organic. Even if dietary changes alleviate most of the problem, isolated episodes may occur. In this instance the consumption of complex carbohydrates can act as a treatment for reactive hypoglycemia. Consumption of bread products help regulate the rate at which glucose enters the body. Depending on the BMI of a person and other health concerns a nutritionist can help determine the best proportion of certain foods needed in order to create the environment for optimal health.
Though prescription medications cannot help this disease, the onset of reactive hypoglycemia may be due to mistreatment or unknowingness of another disease, which has escalated. In this case, the management of the other disease can act as a treatment for reactive hypoglycemia. If the other disease is managed, symptoms of hypoglycemia may go away. However, if characteristics like depression or abdominal pain are left untreated for an extended period of time, other problems may exist therefore requiring more treatment. Nutritional supplementation is also helpful in management; particularly concentrations on chromium, magnesium and B6. If diabetes is an issue, other nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, and manganese can be added. Careful supplementation of chromium or magnesium with the help of a doctor can naturally prevent blood sugar levels from falling dramatically which would decrease the threat of serious effects such as fainting, illness, and even heart attack. Overall, a good multivitamin will start a person on the road to wellness, but additional supplements may be recommended depending on the specific situation. "Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them." (Proverbs 5:6)
Stress reduction may seem unrelated, but actually is directly related to the success of any treatment plan aiding in the quality of diet and exercise program a person may be willing to participate in. When stress is reduced then more time and patience can be devoted to developing a healthy lifestyle. This may mean implementing daily meditation time or starting up a new hobby. These actions will not only help with continued stress reductions, but also fill time that may have previously been spent eating junk food or vegging in front of the TV. Though some activities may have been eliminated through the evaluation of personal stress, new activities will fill that time which may include support for people in the same situation. Support through family members, professionals, or people going through the same issues is important for continued wellness as well as achievement of initial success.