Hypoglycaemia

This is a condition where there is too little sugar in the bloodstream.

 

Also See Diabetes

What to look for

  • weakness.

  • sweating

  • hunger.

  • nervousness.

  • dizziness.

  • trembling.

  • heavy or cold perspiration.

  • tingling in hands and feet.

For diabetics, symptoms might also include:

  • headache.

  • nausea.

  • rapid heartbeat.

  • confusion, muddled feeling suggesting drunkenness.

  • unconsciousness, coma, or convulsions.

Hypoglycaemia, is caused when the pancreas is overactive and too much sugar is removed from the bloodstream and the blood sugar becomes low. In most cases, hypoglycaemia can be treated easily without professional intervention when the symptoms are recognised early enough.

Usually the condition occurs in diabetes sufferers, but non-diabetes patients can suffer hypoglycaemia as well. Whether you are diabetic or not, if these episodes occur frequently, you need to speak with a professional to learn to keep the levels under control.

 

Causes

To get energy, the body draws on glucose, the sugar circulating in your bloodstream. When glucose levels fall below normal, the body cannot meet its energy requirements. This is when the symptoms occur.

A hormone produced in the pancreas called insulin, is used by the body to convert glucose into energy. The levels of insulin fluctuate and depend on demand. When there is too much insulin in the bloodstream however, available supplies of glucose are burned up too quickly, resulting in hypoglycaemia.

After a meal, insulin levels can rise abruptly, when the sudden rise in blood sugar levels triggers increased production by the pancreas. By the same token, glucose levels may drop as a result of a missed meal or vigorous exercise.

Hypoglycaemia can also be brought on by other factors:-

  • stomach surgery

  • some types of cancer

  • liver disease

  • alcohol

  • high fevers, and reactions to food or drugs

  • small tumours that can develop on the pancreas.

  • diabetics should always have their blood sugar level monitored.

If you seem to be consistently suffering from hypoglycaemia, your doctor will test you to see if diabetes is the cause.

 

Traditional Treatment

It is necessary that your diet be regulated to ensure that you are receiving appropriate doses of glucose and insulin at the correct times. Your doctor will assist you with this.

If you are diabetic and become unconscious during a hypoglycaemia attack, it is essential that you receive immediate medical treatment.

 

Alternative Considerations

Non-conventional remedies emphasise nutrition and diet, with supplements of vitamins, minerals, and herbs.

 

Herbal Therapies  A concoction made from gentian (Gentiana lutea) helps to stimulate the endocrine, or hormone-producing, glands.. A concoction made from gentian (Gentiana lutea) helps to stimulate the endocrine, or hormone-producing, glands..

 

Dietary Considerations

  • Small, frequent meals of whole foods, especially whole grains, fermented dairy products (such as cheese), and lean meat and fish.

  • Supplements of chromium - always check with your doctor before taking supplements if you are diabetic.

  • Avoid alcohol (a simple sugar), caffeine, and cigarette smoke, since they can create large swings in your blood sugar levels.

 

Personal Care

Whether you are diabetic or not, you can prevent a more serious attack of hypoglycaemia by simply eating a lolly or anything sweat such as a can of non diet soft drink. Combine this sugar with a small piece of protein with slow the absorption of the sugar into the bloodstream and stop the up and down of the blood sugar levels.

 

When to seek further professional advice

  • you are diabetic and experience symptoms of Hypoglycaemia often

  • you feel faint and think you might become unconscious.