Functional hypoglycemia or reactive hypoglycemia has historically been much more recognized by alternative medicine practitioners than traditional physicians. This has led to a confusing set of criteria for diagnosis and Hypoglycemia Treatment. Today, we are faced with an array of diets for the condition including the Dr. Phil’s diet, the South Beach diet, the Mediterranean diet, the Atkins diet and others. All these have some benefit and we will help you sort through the maze in the paragraphs to follow. One topic, that of the glycemic index of foods, is one you will want to pay close attention to. Also, as you read, you will want to grasp the concept that hypoglycemia plays a role in many other conditions including fibromyalgia, depression and Diabetes.
Hypoglycemia is a condition of low blood sugar, (somewhat the opposite of high blood sugar which is diabetes). Hypoglycemia is usually a problem secondary to some other primary condition such as insufficient function of the adrenal gland, the thyroid, liver or pancreas. Sometimes allergies, and especially food allergy, can lead to symptoms of hypoglycemia as well. Commonly, it is associated with the craving and over-consumption of sugar. Of the 40 plus symptoms of hypoglycemia, the most common include:
- Chronic fatigue with a mid-morning or mid-afternoon let down.
- Craving of sweets, caffeine or soda.
- Overconsumption of sweets, caffeine or soda.
- Shakiness or lightheadedness.
- Constant hunger.
- Muscle tension that won’t go away.
- Feel better after eating.
- Frequent heart pounding.
- Anxiety, panic attacks.
- Family history of diabetes.
- Momentary light headedness upon standing.
If you feel you may have hypoglycemia, you will benefit greatly by doing a self-evaluation utilizing a Comprehensive Health Assessment. See below for details.
If your Comprehensive Health Assessment suggests you may have hypoglycemia, it would be a good idea to have your alternative medicine practitioner do an evaluation. Included in the available testing which may be indicated are a 5 hour glucose tolerance test, adrenal cortisol/DHEA test, liver function and thyroid function. An easy test your physician can to do to assess the adrenal component is to take your blood pressure lying supine (on your back) and again immediately upon standing. The BP should rise 10 points. If it doesn’t, it is suggestive of adrenal insufficiency which is often one of the players in hypoglycemia.
Please study the related articles of this site for additional information on other conditions which may be involved with hypoglycemic symptoms.
If there are no other major contributing factors such as those listed above, the typical patient can expect to start feeling better after a couple weeks of being on a hypoglycemia diet. The first few days of sugar and/or caffeine withdrawal can be difficult because of the addictive nature of these foods. But, as a rule, after the first few days patients begin to notice a significant improvement in their symptoms. It takes from 6 months to a lifetime to completely recover but the rewards in how you feel and perform are well worth the effort. Get the help of a good clinical nutritionist to help you progress through this difficult condition.
The diet for hypoglycemia is typically a sugar, caffeine, alcohol and simple carbohydrate restricted diet accompanied by supplementation to support function of the involved glands. Eating five times a day using low or moderate glycemic index foods helps stabilize the blood sugar levels and smooth out the associated symptoms. In general, any the following supplements may be utilized depending on what is indicated from testing:
For the adrenal gland:
•Licorice Root herb (must not be deglycyrrhinized)
•Vitamin B 6
For the pancreas
For the liver
For the thyroid
•Thyrotrophin (a product from Standard Process Laboratories) Iosol (a very good water soluble iodine product from TPCS, Costa Mesa, CA)
The symptoms of hypoglycemia are easily addressed with an Online Comprehensive Health Assessment . The assessment questionnaire will give you in depth insight as to whether you may be experiencing hypoglycemia and/or a number of the other related conditions that we have discussed which can contribute to hypoglycemia. The assessment is an inexpensive yet very detailed look at your health from the viewpoint of alternative medicine. We wholeheartedly recommend it.
Listed below are supplements we recommend for our patients with Hypoglycemia. Metagenics sells pharmaceutical-grade nutrition products not available in stores. They are available only through healthcare providers. Products we commonly recommend for this condition include:
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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