Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a condition in which there is an abnormally low level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Reactive hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar drops to abnormally low levels two to five hours after eating a meal. Symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia include sweating, tremors, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, and hunger. Most often, this results from the over secretion of insulin by the pancreas. Insulin facilitates the transport of glucose from the bloodstream into the cells, especially those of muscle and fatty tissue, and causes glucose to be synthesized in the liver. Home remedies low blood sugar can help stabilize sugar levels and improve circulation, please keep reading for mores information below.
If the pancreas is not functioning properly, normal carbohydrate metabolism is impossible. As the blood sugar drops, stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol kick in at high levels to prevent the blood sugar level from dropping dramatically.
Another type of low blood sugar is known as fasting hypoglycemia. This occurs as a result of abstaining from food for eight or more hours. The symptoms are often more severe than those of reactive hypoglycemia and can include seizures, loss of consciousness, and a loss of mental acuity. Liver disease or a tumor of the pancreas is generally the underlying cause of this type of hypoglycemia.
A person suffering from low blood sugar may display any or all of the following symptoms: fatigue, dizziness, heart palpitations, nausea, blurred vision, an inability to concentrate, lightheadedness, headache, irritability, fainting spells, depression, anxiety, cravings for sweets, confusion, night sweats, weakness in the legs, swollen feet, a feeling of tightness in chest, constant hunger, pain in various parts of the body (especially the eyes), nervous habits, mental disturbances, and insomnia. People with hypoglycemia can become very aggressive and lose their tempers easily. Any or all of these symptoms may occur a few hours after eating sweets or fats. The onset and severity of symptoms are directly related to the length of time since the last meal was eaten and the type of foods that meal contained.
More and more Americans today may have this condition, due to poor dietary habits that include eating large quantities of simple carbohydrates, sugars, alcohol, caffeine, and soft drinks, and insufficient amounts of complex carbohydrates. High stress levels are believed to be a contributing factor in the increasing incidence of low blood sugar.
Low blood sugar can be inherited, but most often it is precipitated by an inadequate diet. This is referred to as functional hypoglycemia (FH). Many other bodily disorders can cause low blood sugar problems as well, among them adrenal insufficiency, thyroid disorders, pituitary disorders, kidney disease, and pancreatitis. Immune deficiency and candidiasis are strongly linked to hypoglycemia.
Glucose intolerance and hyperinsulinemia (high blood insulin levels), producing hypoglycemia, frequently occur in people with chronic liver failure. Other common causes are smoking and the consumption of large amounts of caffeine, found in colas, chocolate, and coffee. Though it may seem paradoxical, low blood sugar can also be an early sign of diabetes (high blood sugar).
Diagnosis of hypoglycemia can be difficult because the symptoms often mimic those of other disorders, including adrenal dysfunction, allergies, asthma, candidiasis, chronic fatigue syndrome, digestive or intestinal disorders, eating disorders, food allergies, hypothyroidism, kidney failure, malabsorption syndrome, menopause, mental disorders, neurological problems, nutritional deficiencies, sepsis (blood infection), stress, and weight problems.
To diagnose hypoglycemia, a health care provider may perform a glucose tolerance test (GTT). However, many people have symptoms of hypoglycemia even though the results of a five-hour GTT are within normal limits. A useful diagnostic test may be to follow the dietary and nutritional supplement regimen outlined in this section and see if symptoms improve.
Home remedies low blood sugar
The following herbs help to normalize blood sugar: angostura bitters (or any combination of bitters), artichoke leaf, and gentian root.
To help your body respond to stress, try astragalus or licorice root.
Caution: If overused, licorice can elevate blood pressure. Do not use this herb on a daily basis for more than seven days in a row. Avoid it completely if you have high blood pressure or are pregnant or nursing.
Bilberry and wild yam aid in controlling insulin levels.
Dandelion root is an excellent source of calcium and supports the pancreas and liver.
Gudmar (Gymnema sylvestre), an Ayurvedic herb, suppresses the intestinal absorption of saccharides, which prevents blood sugar fluctuations.
Licorice nourishes the adrenal glands.
Caution: Do not use this herb on a daily basis for more than seven days in a row. Avoid if you have high blood pressure or are pregnant or nursing.
Milk thistle rejuvenates the liver.
Other beneficial herbs include echinacea, parsley, pau d'arco, raspberry leaves, and uva ursi.
Remove from the diet all alcohol, canned and packaged foods, refined and processed foods, dried fruits, salt, sugar, saturated fats, soft drinks, and white flour. Also avoid foods that contain artificial colors or preservatives.
Avoid sweet fruits and juices such as grape and prune. If you drink these, mix the juice with an equal amount of water.
Sweeten food with natural sweeteners such as stevia, a South American herb available in liquid form that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Other acceptable sweeteners include barley malt syrup, molasses, and brown rice syrup.
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