Thoughts race through your mind. Oh no, my blood sugar is low. Maybe, I should drink some fruit juice Hold it right there! When I hear someone say that they are hypoglycemic, I often raise an eyebrow. It is possible for some to experience episodes of acute hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, but that term gets tossed around more than a hot potato. In fact, the medical field uses a variety of values in glycemic control as cut-off points in order to define hypo- or hyperglycemia. This is for the rest of the population, most of whom may not even know what a common fasting blood glucose range is.
Reactive hypoglycemia, also called postprandial hypoglycemia, is a drop in blood glucose blood sugar levels. This typically happens within four hours after eating and is not related to diabetes. Usually, a definitive cause of reactive hypoglycemia cannot be determined, although there are a handful of medical diseases and conditions known to be associated with it. In those cases, treating the underlying issue will put an end to post-meal low blood sugar. Otherwise, managing reactive hypoglycemia starts with recognizing the symptoms, which can range from mild shaking, rapid heart rate, anxiety, hunger to serious confusion, vision difficulties, behavioral changes, seizures, or even loss of consciousness. Reactive hypoglycemia can cause symptoms that range from common ones that are mild and unsettling to less frequent symptoms that can become serious and even life-threatening if the condition isn’t treated. Reactive hypoglycemia can be diagnosed by measuring the amount of glucose in a person’s blood while they’re having symptoms that develop after eating as well as by observing whether or not those symptoms resolve once glucose levels return to normal. Before ingesting the beverage and every 30 minutes for five hours, his or her blood will be tested to check levels of glucose as well as insulin, proinsulin a precursor to insulin, and a substance produced in the pancreas along with insulin. For the majority of people who experience reactive hypoglycemia, there’s no apparent or diagnosable reason for the characteristic blood sugar dips. If it’s determined that an underlying medical issue is causing reactive hypoglycemia, treating that disease or condition should put an end to post-meal dips in blood glucose. In the case of an insulinoma, surgical removal of the tumor should put an end to post-meal hypoglycemia. For all other cases, there are two distinct aspects of treating reactive hypoglycemia.
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