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Hypoglycemia is a condition in which there
is an abnormally low level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. As glucose is particularly
important metabolic fuel for the brain (not mentioning the rest of the
body), lowered glucose can result in a
host of central nervous system disorders.
Hypoglycemia causes sustained stress which
can result in a variety of symptoms.
A person suffering from hypoglycemia may
display any of the following symptoms: fatigue, dizziness,
lightheadedness, headache, irritability, fainting spells, depression,
anxiety, cravings for sweets, confusion, night sweats, weakness in the
legs, swollen feet, a feeling of tightness in the chest, constant hunger,
pain in various parts of the body (especially the eyes), nervous habits,
mental disturbances, and insomnia.
People with hypoglycemia can
become very aggressive and lose their tempers easily. Any or all of
these symptoms may occur a few hours after eating sweets. The onset and severity of symptoms can be related to the length of
time since the last meal was eaten and the type of food that was eaten in
The main cause of low blood sugar is a diet high in refined
carbohydrates. This is a diet rich in processed foods, sugar,
soda, and coffee. Sound familiar?
Complex carbohydrates are really
long chains of sugar molecules when they get broken down
These foods require little
digestion and get absorbed all at once and all too rapidly into the bloodstream.
This sugary food consumption shocks the body and alarms your whole
system. "Get rid of it!! Out rushes the insulin, made by
your pancreas for this reason and knocks out every bit of glucose and
quickly stores it as fat. (The body does store sugar as gylcogen in
the liver and muscles, but there is just so much it can store
before it has to store it as fat cells.)
result of this the blood sugar level becomes unstable. The blood sugar level drops.
At this point,
people tend to reach for more refined carbohydrates, and the cycle
continues. The more you eat, the more you sugar in the blood, the
more insulin takes it out of the blood and over
time, the insulin gets less effective. This is what is known as
But before you get to being insulin resistant, the insulin takes the sugar out of your
blood. and the two
adrenal glands, your emergency stress team, are mobilized to handle the
situation. They boost the blood sugar with an emergency store
of a special sugar glycogen. If this repeats itself too often you
adrenals will become overwhelmed. So sooner or later, your adrenals
will be unable to save the system and won't be as
effective. You start feeling worse after sweet or
starchy highs, so you go to the sugars more often.
More and more Americans today may have this
condition, due to poor dietary habits. High stress levels
are believed to be a contributing factor in the increasing incidence of
hypoglycemia, but then hypoglycemia contributes to the
Often people do not realize which is
causing the problems. It is sometimes hard to detect. This
is most often created by diet. This is referred to as
functional hypoglycemia (FH).
Many other bodily disorders can cause
hypoglycemic problems as well, among them adrenal insufficiency, thyroid
disorders, pituitary disorders, kidney disease, and pancreatitus. Immune deficiency and candidiasis are strongly linked to
Glucose tolerance and hyperinsulinemia (high
blood insulin levels), produce hypoglycemia which frequently occur sin people
with chronic liver failure. Other common causes are smoking. Though it may seem paradoxical, low blood sugar can also be
an early sign of diabetes (high blood sugar). This is due to the
fact that the cells become resistant to all that insulin in
the blood and thus the sugar remains in the blood.
Diagnosis of hypoglycemia can be difficult
because the symptoms often mimic those of other disorders, including
allergies, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, digestive or intestinal
disorders, eating disorders, neurological problems, nutritional
deficiencies, and weight problems.
To diagnose hypoglycemia, a
health care provider may perform a glucose tolerance test (GTT). However, many people have symptoms of hypoglycemia even though the results
of a five-hour GTT are within normal limits.
A useful diagnostic
test may be to follow the dietary and nutritional supplemental regime and
see it the symptoms improve.
Naturopaths and other alternative medicine health providers view
hypoglycemia as a disease of civilization due to the overburdening of the
system from the modern diet. .
Analyze your current diet - Find out what foods cause you
distress and eliminate them from your diet.
Avoid simple sugars - These cause the pancreas to overproduce
insulin. They also lack B vitamins and other essential nutrients
which are needed to metabolize sugar into energy. Simple
sugars come in a variety of forms called: sugar, fructose, glucose,
corn sweeteners, corn syrup, fruit sugar, table sugar, and brown
sugar. They are found in alcoholic beverages and are hiding in
many canned, packaged and frozen foods.
Eat vegetable protein - nuts, grains, seeds.
Add fiber-rich foods - sluggish digestion or constipation can
benefit. It can help slow down the absorption of glucose into the
intestinal capillaries. Slower absorption allows a more gradual
release of insulin and faster normalizaton of blood sugar levels after
Avoid caffeine and nicotine - these over stimulate the adrenal
glands. When these and other stressors and a generally poor diet are
combined, the adrenals can enter into a state of emergency. They
become depleted of important vitamins such as B complex and C.
You can use herbs known to rebalance blood sugar - black
siberian gingseng, dandelion, gentian, ginger, cinnamon, uva ursi,
licorice root, and huckleberry leaves are some of the different ones that
are used. Goldenseal is helpful
but not for long periods of time so not to deplete B vitamins. Astragalus,
is a tonic herb that is said you can use daily and boost energy by providing
adrenal and immune support.
Adrenal support is important. Before you take any herbs, make sure you know what it is you
are doing. Herbs are more like natural drugs and will
help relieve symptoms more than anything else.
Pay attention to what you eat - when you eat is as important as what
you eat. Hypoglycemic people should eat frequent, small meals to
provide the body with a steady supply of fuel that is easily and slowly
converted to glucose.
Supplement the diet - providing the body with overall
support. Consider supplements that regulate the blood sugar, adrenal
extracts, glucose tolerance factor, zinc, and chromium, nutrients that
allow insulin to do its job more effectively. B vitamins supply
crucial enzyme cofactors essential for carbohydrate metabolism. L-carnitine,
L-glutamine and vitamin B6 help lessen cravings for sugar. Vitamin E
increases energy naturally. Also consider supplements that
nourish specific digestive organs associated with hypoglycemia - liver,
adrenal, and pancreas
You want to find the real reason that
you have hypoglycemia and help that.
Liver - The liver stores glycogen and breaks it
down. Biotanicals such as dandelion root, Siberian ginseng. and beet
leaf aid in the process. Celandine, methionine and choline work to
maximize liver efficiency. Lipotropic factors also help control
blood sugar by boosting liver function..
Adrenal - Pantothenic acid, freeze-dried adrenal gland
extract, Royal jelly, Siberian ginseng, vitamin C and zinc. For more
information about supporting the Adrenals.
Pancreas - Digestive aids that support the pancreas might
be indicated when there is impaired digestion.
As with any non-optimum
health symptom, finding the cause results in a solution.
Once the cause is found it can be addressed and improved with
proper nutritional support. This is called functional
There is a formula to build healthy
blood sugar levels.
Here is some educational information and suggestions from a nutritionist Chiropractor on Hypoglycemia and Intermittent Fasting
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