April 21, 2006, Newsletter Issue #50: Basics of Hypoglycemia

Tip of the Week

In general, hypoglycemia has been defined as a blood sugar level less than 80, though some medical centers define it as a value that is less than 60. There may or may not be accompanying symptoms.

Generally, hypoglycemia can be caused by too little food intake when compared to insulin, too much insulin when compared to food intake, exercise beyond normal, medication side effect or non-diabetes-related illness.

Symptoms include: sweating, nausea, confusion, dizziness, hunger and weakness.

Treatment is relatively simple: provide a complex carb with a protein to bring the blood sugar level up. Combining a carb and a protein provides for a fairly rapid upswing in blood sugar (from the carb) and a level of stability of blood sugar (from the protein). This decreases the risk for rebound hypoglycemia, which is often seen in those who utilize simple carbs, alone, to treat low blood sugar.

If hypoglycemia occurs 2 days in a row, or at least 3 times within 1 week, see your doctor, to help trouble-shoot your medication, activity and diet regime.

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