Diabetes Basics

Know All About Reactive Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia refers to low blood sugar levels. This condition is usually present in diabetics. Reactive hypoglycemia too connotes low blood sugar level but it occurs in people who are not suffering from diabetes.

Causes
There is no such known cause of reactive hypoglycemia. However, there are certain factors that may be responsible to trigger the condition. Here are some of them:

* People who are sensitive to epinephrine may suffer from reactive hypoglycemia. Epinephrine is a hormone that is released during stress.
* The inability of the body to produce enough glucagons may also result in to reactive hypoglycemia. Glucagons are hormones that increase the level of blood sugar in the body.
* In some individuals, gastric surgeries may cause the food to quickly pass through the digestive system. This can also lead to the problem.
* Enzyme deficiencies are also a rare cause of reactive hypoglycemia.
* Insulinoma, a tumor in the pancreas can also be responsible for the problem.

Symptoms

* weakness and fatigue
* drowsiness
* headache
* lack of concentration
* confusion
* unconsciousness
* double vision

Treatment
Since reactive hypoglycemia is a condition that denotes low blood sugar levels, the treatment of the problem stresses in increasing the blood sugar. Eating anything that is a fast source of sugar will help overcome a hypoglycemic episode. Some examples of such foods include orange juice, soda, hard candy or even sugar cubes.

You will experience symptomatic relief within 15 minutes of eating something that is high on sugar. Once you are able to overcome the symptoms, eat a small and light meal. This will prevent further fluctuation of sugar levels.

Prevention
With small changes in your daily lifestyle, you can easily prevent a hypoglycemic episode. Here are some simple tips that will help prevent reactive hypoglycemia.

* Do not eat anything that is high on sugar on an empty stomach. If you eat hard candies first thing in the morning then you are bound to have a hypoglycemic episode.
* Instead of three large meals, eat six small meals in a day. Out of the six meals, keep three as major meals and the other three as light snacks. This will help maintain your blood sugar levels throughout the day.
* Eating foods that are high on fiber will also help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables are some excellent sources of fiber.
* Make sure that your daily diet contains adequate amount of protein too. Fishes, milk and dairy products are good sources of protein.
* It is a good thing to carry hard candy or sugar cubes with you. You can always have them if you feel that your sugar levels are dropping.