Reactive Hypoglycemia Symptoms
What is Reactive Hypoglycemia?
Reactive hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs when your body has an abrupt drop in blood sugar after eating. While it's not technically considered a food allergy, reactive hypoglycemia can be triggered by foods high in carbs and sugar.
A healthy person's blood sugar levels remain pretty consistent throughout the day. If you eat something high in carbs and/or sugar (like candy or cake), your blood sugar will go up quickly. This causes insulin to spike so your body can metabolize all of this extra energy intake. But if you have reactive hypoglycemia, your body overreacts to all that extra insulin production by dropping your blood glucose levels too fast—so fast that it feels like you're going into shock!
Causes of Reactive Hypoglycemia
Lack of sleep
Eating too much sugar
Having a large meal (more than 300-400 calories)
Not eating enough (less than 300 calories) In this case, the body does not have enough energy to process what you consume and cannot produce insulin efficiently. This causes the blood sugar levels in your body to drop rapidly. This may result in an extreme sense of hunger that can cause you to eat more food than necessary or even binge on unhealthy foods such as sweets and carbohydrates which will only exacerbate the problem further.
Symptoms of Reactive Hypoglycemia
Reactive hypoglycemia is when your blood sugar drops too low after eating. That's a problem because your brain needs glucose to work properly. Hypoglycemia can cause you to feel weak, shaky, dizzy, and have headaches or trouble concentrating. It can also make it hard for you to think clearly and stay focused on tasks that are important in your day-to-day life—like driving or doing math problems in class!
Reactive hypoglycemia symptoms typically start within 30 minutes of eating. If these symptoms keep happening after meals (especially at night), talk with an endocrinologist about having an HbA1c test done. This blood test measures how much glucose has been in your body over the past three months by checking the percentage of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in red blood cells
Diagnosing Reactive Hypoglycemia
There are several ways to diagnose reactive hypoglycemia, including:
Fasting for 24 hours and then having your blood sugar measured at regular intervals. This can be done at home using a glucometer or at a doctor's office.
A glucose tolerance test (GTT) is usually performed in the morning after an overnight fast of 10-12 hours but before breakfast. You will be given 50g of glucose to drink over a period of 1 hour and your blood sugar levels will be checked regularly during this time, then again 2 hours later. If you have reactive hypoglycemia your blood sugar levels may rise rapidly after drinking the glucose solution but drop soon afterwards as they become unresponsive to insulin in your body and instead start producing more adrenaline than normal when you're stressed out or anxious about something - like failing English class!
Diet Tips for Reactive Hypoglycemia
There are a few ways to help manage reactive hypoglycemia. Since it's caused by over production of insulin, you’ll want to monitor your carbohydrate intake so that your blood sugar stays at a constant level.
Additionally, avoid refined sugars and carbohydrates as much as possible because they can cause your blood sugar levels to spike quickly—and then drop just as rapidly when the insulin wears off.
Don't overeat; overeating may cause high levels of glucose after digestion which leads to reactive hypoglycemia symptoms like dizziness and fatigue
By lowering your blood sugar quickly you can help reactive hypoglycemia
Avoid high-glycemic foods.
Eat fatty cuts of protein
Avoid inflammatory oils
Eat slowly, and don’t drink liquids with your meal unless you have to (if you do, take a small sip of water). This is especially important if you have diabetes as it can lower your blood sugar too much too quickly!
Focus on fat and protein for satiety
Don’t know where to start? Click below for a beginners guide to low carb, high fat.