10 Things You May Not Know About Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia can happen in diabetics and in those without diabetes. In my instance
I am not diabetic but have frequent bouts with hypoglycemia, to the point that I must
monitor my blood glucose levels (blood sugar) to make sure that I don't dip too low.
Here are ten things that you may or may not have known about low blood sugar.
Food Can Be Our Enemy
I wish I could have a dime for everytime I've heard "Just eat a cookie" or some other
well meaning but misplaced thought. For reactive hypoglycemics, our blood sugar can
actually go down more if we eat very sugary foods. Proteins are better to eat; they
last longer without a crash but take more time to raise blood sugar too.
Symptoms Don't Disappear Quickly
Just because my blood sugar has finally climbed from 50 to 150 doesn't mean that I
am feeling better. For a couple of hours at least after a low blood sugar bout I'm
going to be confused, headachy, and fatigued. Don't expect me to bounce back as quickly
as my blood sugar did.
"Her OGTT Test Was Normal So She Doesn't Have Hypoglycemia"
Wrong. The Oral Glucose Tolerance Test doesn't necessarily have to show that you have
hypoglycemia for you to have it. If you are showing signs of the condition and those
symptoms improve when your blood sugar is raised, that is enough to be called hypoglycemic.
I've not been tested with this because I don't want to shock my body that severely
when I know that my monitor tells me I get too low and can treat it on my own.
Hypoglycemia Can Be a Side Effect
Depending on some of your medications, hypoglycemia can be a side effect of those
drugs. If you are on some diabetic medications you can experience more low blood sugars
than others not on medications. You'll need to test more frequently.
Hypoglycemia Can Be a Secondary Illness
I've got interstitial cystitis (Diagnosed in 1993). One of the secondary illnesses
to that is fibromyalgia (of which I was diagnosed a couple of years ago). I also now
have hypoglycemia which ironically is a secondary illness to fibromyalgia. So one
of my illnesses made me more likely to develop another. If you have hypoglycemia and
are not diabetic, have a full workup to make sure you don't have any silent conditions
going on as well.
There is No Cure for Hypoglycemia
You can't get immunized, you can't take a pill and it will go away, there is no cure
for hypoglycemia. We treat the symptoms when the symptoms happen. Because of that,
our plans can change in an instant.
Good Foods Can Be Bad
Fruit, fruit juices, diet items, they all have things that hypoglycemia patients can
get in trouble with. Artificial sweeteners and fruit sugars are still bad for you.
Eating an apple can put too much sugar in your body if you are a hypoglycemic. Make
sure your nutritionist crafts a diet that helps your individual situation.
Stress is Even Worse for a Hypoglycemic
Stress releases chemicals into the body. Those chemicals will make the pancreas pump
out even more insulin that will plunge blood sugars. Try to keep yourself as far from
stress as you can, learn yoga, read, and do deep breathing, anything to help with
Not All Doctors Think Hypoglycemia Is Serious
There are still some doctors who don't look as hypoglycemia as a serious condition.
Even though if your body loses enough blood sugar you will pass out, slip into a coma,
and could die. If you have a doctor like this, keep looking.
Hypoglycemics Need More Meals than a Normal Person
Please don't say things like, I wish I could eat all day. Trust me; I'm eating when
everything in me is screaming how bad the food tastes. I'm supposed to eat a small
meal/snack every 2 to 3 hours to keep my blood sugar on an even bar and hopefully
do away with the dips and spikes. Many of those times I'm not hungry and the food
doesn't taste good because of it.
If you know someone that is hypoglycemic, read as much as you can about it, or better
yet, ask them questions. See how you can help. Hopefully these 10 things you may not
know about hypoglycemia helped to clarify some things.