Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive HypoglycemiaReactive Hypoglycemia usually occurs while the body is in a fasting state (between meals). Reactive Hypoglycemia (also known as Postprandial Hypoglycemia) is a term that is used to describe recurring symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that usually occur within 4 hours of the last meal eaten. It is characterized by low blood sugar that is thought to be a result of excessive insulin release after a high carbohydrate meal is eaten.

Though it is quite common in non-diabetic/hypoglycemic patients and those with diabetes/hypoglycemia, reactive hypoglycemia has proven hard to diagnose for just this reason. The results and causes are nearly the same in both cases. It is quite common to have the symptoms but not the condition. It is common for medical professionals to use Whipple’s Triad for aid in diagnosis.

The symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia include: headaches, sweating, depression, fuzziness, tremors, irritability, muscle twitching and a host of other symptoms commonly linked to hypoglycemia.

The most common cause for reactive hypoglycemia in non-diabetic patients is diet. A poor diet that is high in simple sugars and low in fiber and protein can trigger a large release of insulin by the pancreas. This larger than average release of insulin will cause the body to burn through the simple sugars very quickly and leave the blood-stream, plasma and body lacking the glucose levels needed for proper functioning.

To combat this one simply needs to add more complex carbohydrates, fiber and protein into each meal and stay away from cola’s and candy-bars. It is also advised to eat 5-6 meals/day that are in smaller portions than that of a 3 meal/day diet. Please read my post on the Successful Hypoglycemia Diet. Given that you don’t have diabetes, and even if you do, reactive hypoglycemia can be controlled and contained by your own dietary choices.

The purchase of a hypoglycemic diet plan book/guide can also be a big help for those who are unsure on where to begin.