Hypoglycemia, also called low blood glucose or low blood sugar, occurs when blood glucose drops below normal levels.
Glucose, an important source of energy for the body, comes from food. Carbohydrates are the main dietary source of glucose. Rice, potatoes, bread, tortillas, cereal, milk, fruit, and sweets are all carbohydrate-rich foods.
After a meal, glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to the body's cells. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps the cells use glucose for energy. If a person takes in more glucose than the body needs at the time, the body stores the extra glucose in the liver and muscles in a form called glycogen. The body can use glycogen for energy between meals. Extra glucose can also be changed to fat and stored in fat cells. Fat can also be used for energy.
When blood glucose begins to fall, glucagon another hormone made by the pancreas signals the liver to break down glycogen and release glucose into the bloodstream. Blood glucose will then rise toward a normal level. In some people with diabetes, this glucagon response to hypoglycemia is impaired and other hormones such as epinephrine, also called adrenaline, may raise the blood glucose level. But with diabetes treated with insulin or pills that increase insulin production, glucose levels can't easily return to the normal range.
Hypoglycemia can happen suddenly. It is usually mild and can be treated quickly and easily by eating or drinking a small amount of glucose-rich food. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can get worse and cause confusion, clumsiness, or fainting. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to seizures, coma, and even death.
In adults and children older than 10 years, hypoglycemia is uncommon except as a side effect of diabetes treatment. Hypoglycemia can also result, however, from other medications or diseases, hormone or enzyme deficiencies, or tumors.
SYMPTOMS OF HYPOGLYCEMIA
The following are the most common symptoms of hypoglycemia. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. In most cases, the symptoms will go away once you eat (especially if you eat sweets). Eating sweets however is not the best way to deal with hypoglycemia.
THESE SYMPTOMS INCLUDE (but are not limited to):
Body feels weak
Sudden moodiness or behavior changes, such as crying for no apparent reason
A craving for sweets
Cold hands and feet
Family history of low blood sugar or diabetes
Low libido (sex drive)
Inability to concentrate
Waking up tired and exhausted
PMS or premenstrual syndrome
AM I HYPOGLYCEMIC
How do you know if you are hypoglycemic or not? Is there anyway to test to see if you are
What amazes me is that the answer is no. There is no standard way to test for hypoglycemia (although a small amount of doctors use a glucose test).
According to recent research, it is estimated that there are close to 100 million people in the United Sates alone that are suffering from hypoglycemia and many of them don't know it. With that many possible cases, wouldn't you think that they'd come up with a way to test for the disease
If you are suffering from any or many of the symptoms listed above, yes, you COULD be hypoglycemic.
You should consult your doctor to rule out any other possible diseases, but don't allow the doctor to take over. You must be proactive in your approach and go with your gut feeling if the doctors tell you that you're fine.