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Facts You Should Know About Hypoglycemia
Question: My wife thinks I am hypoglycemic, but I'm not sure. What can you tell me?
Hypoglycemia is an often misunderstood and misdiagnosed medical problem! According to leading medical authorities, it affects half of all Americans, including celebrities Burt Reynolds and Merv Griffin! Popularly known as "low blood sugar," hypoglycemia means a level of blood glucose too low to meet the immediate energy needs of body tissues for normal function! A combination of many factors may cause this affliction, which ultimately results when glucose input falls relative to outflow in the bloodstream! Hypoglycemia is not itself a disease but is a manifestation of some underlying abnormality toward which diagnosis and treatment should be directed!
Hypoglycemia causes neuroglycopenic symptoms due to a malfunction of the brain and nervous system: symptoms such as mental confusion, nervousness, mood swings, depression, phobias, outbursts of temper, crying spells, headaches, indecisiveness, forgetfulness, dizziness, faintness, and suicidal thoughts! It also causes adrenergic symptoms due to the release of adrenalin as the body tries to restore blood sugar levels to normal! These symptoms include sudden hunger, allergies, fatigue, insomnia, heart palpitations, craving for sweets, cold hands and feet, blurred vision, inner trembling, bad dreams, and cramps! These symptoms aren't necessarily specific to hypoglycemia, because other conditions can produce the same feelings and malfunctions!
To find out if hypoglycemia is the cause of your symptoms, have your blood sugar measured when the symptoms are present! The proper equipment and technique must be used by a qualified physician or results may be inaccurate and misleading! Blood glucose levels in adults below 40 milligrams per deciliter are generally not normal, and levels greater than 55 mg/dl are not abnormal! If the blood glucose level is normal, then you don't have hypoglycemia! If the blood glucose is borderline or definitely low during the symptoms and then they disappear promptly when the blood sugar is raised, then hypoglycemia may well be the problem! The oral glucose tolerance test is one common method to check for hypoglycemia, but some doctors feel that it is an irrational approach to its diagnosis!
Hypoglycemia requires immediate correction! Food intake and glucose injection will raise the blood sugar promptly! Eliminate sugar, white flour, alcohol, and caffeine from your diet! Replace these offending foods with good, wholesome, nutritional foods! Eat three meals per day without exception! And eat snacks in between if necessary! Exercise is important too! By simply improving your diet those hypoglycemic symptoms will diminish significantly!
Is Low Blood Sugar Making You a Nutritional Cripple? by Ruth Adams and Frank Murray. New York, Larchmont Press, 1970.
The Hidden Menace of Low Blood Sugar by Clement G. Martin. New York, Arco Publishing Co., 1976.
Hypoglycemia: Fact or Fad? by Lynn J. Bennion. New York, Crown Publishers Inc., 1983.
The Dos and Don'ts of Low Blood Sugar by Roberta Ruggiero. Hollywood FL, Frederic Fell Publishers, 1988.
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