What is Hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia is characterized by an abnormally low blood glucose level, usually below 70 mg/dl. It is important not to just consider this number – your doctor should tell you which levels are too low for you.

Increase the number of exercises without correct orientation, or without the corresponding adjustment in feeding or medication; skip meals; eat less than necessary; exaggerate the medication, believing it will bring better control; and alcohol intake are common causes of hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia in extreme situations can lead to loss of consciousness, or to seizures, being very serious, in immediate measures.

The signs of hypoglycemia are important tips for a preventive action and they can vary from person to person. Over time, you will learn to identify how your body indicates that your blood glucose level is falling too fast. Anyway, at least among those who take insulin or who are at increased risk for episodes of hypoglycemia. The more important is to monitor blood glucose levels in order to keep glucose well controlled, in a safe way in relation to hypoglycemia.

The only way to be sure if your glucose rates are too low is to check them with the device itself if possible. However, if you are experiencing symptoms of hypoglycemia and are unable to make the measurement at that time, do the treatment – ensuring safety is the priority at this time. Severe hypoglycemia can cause accidents, injury, lead to coma, and even death.

Hypoglycaemia is considered by many as a side effect of diabetes treatment. But several other factors can also lead a person to develop a hypoglycemic picture. This is because hypoglycemia is not a disease in itself, but an indicator that there may be some more serious health problems.


There are two types of hypoglycemia: fasting hypoglycemia and postprandial or reactive hypoglycemia.

The difference between the two is simple: fasting occurs before meals and postprandial occurs after meals. This second type is not as common as the first but still appears with some frequency.

What is Reactive Hypoglycemia?

Reactive hypoglycemia is the lack of blood sugar. That occurs between 1:30 and 3 hours after eating foods rich in sugar or carbohydrates. They can affect diabetics or non-diabetics.

It causes symptoms such as a headache while being hungry and increase in the desire to eat sweets and should be treated with the consumption of foods with a low glycemic index as the integrals, to rebalance the rate of glucose in the bloodstream.

Reactive hypoglycemia, also called functional hypoglycemia, has been increasing considerably in the world.  It is possible to see a significant increase in functional hypoglycemia in the middle and upper classes. Some patients say they can not live without the ingestion of sugar and assume the compulsion for sweets and sugary foods.

In recent research, it has been identified that about 50% of the US population has already had some hypoglycemic manifestation.

Reactive hypoglycemia is a term that identifies recurrent episodes of hypoglycemia, occurring after eating a meal rich in refined carbohydrates or glucose. Typically, this type of hypoglycemia manifests itself in times of crisis for the body, such as in periods of prolonged fasting, and may also be triggered by the inadequate intake of refined carbohydrates.

Proper and nutrient-rich nutrition can be one of the most important steps to a healthy and complete life.

Among the many problems that can be caused by the high consumption of refined carbohydrates and also by the intake of sugar is reactive hypoglycemia.

Know what reactive hypoglycemia is, know what the main symptoms are and how to perform the diagnosis and treatment of this problem.

Symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia:

Symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia include:

  • A headache; hunger; tremors;
  • Nipple; cold sweat; dizziness, tiredness, heart palpitation.

To diagnose reactive hypoglycemia, it is recommended to perform the 5-hour glycemic curve test because examination of the 3-hour glycemic curve may confer a false negative result.

What can cause reactive hypoglycemia

Causes of reactive hypoglycemia include:

  • Pre-diabetes;
  • Poor diet, eat too many sweets or sources of carbohydrates:
  • Stay more than 3 hours without eating anything;
  • Hormonal diseases such as dumping syndrome, occurring in 15% of individuals who had gastric surgery;
  • Fructose intolerance;
  • In case of galactosemia;
  • Sensitivity to leucine;
  • Inappropriate use of medications to control diabetes.

Reactive hypoglycemia is very common among physical activity practitioners, especially those who take carbohydrate-based supplements. Therefore, special attention should be paid to eating and never be training on an empty stomach.

Treatment for reactive hypoglycemia

Treatment for reactive hypoglycemia is based on keeping blood glucose levels constant.

To treat reactive hypoglycemia quickly one should offer something to the individual to eat even if he does not feel like it. Eating 1 loaf or taking 1 cup of natural orange juice is usually enough.

It is recommended For better control of reactive hypoglycemia :

  • Do 6 meals a day, 2 main and 4 snacks intercalated, high in protein and low in sugar and carbohydrates;
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages;
  • Practice moderate exercise;
  • Eat high-fiber foods and high-protein foods at all meals;
  • Avoid eating sweets when on an empty stomach.


The consequences of reactive hypoglycemia are neurological symptoms such as mental confusion, depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, phobias and lack of concentration.

Diet for reactive hypoglycemia

The diet for reactive hypoglycemia should be directed by a nutritionist after diagnosis. This is important so that the individual learns to eat correctly avoiding the recurrence of hypoglycemia.

Best Diet to control reactive hypoglycemia.

The diet for reactive hypoglycemia should ensure that sugar levels remain constant in the blood. Reactive hypoglycemia usually occurs 1 to 3 hours after eating foods high in sugar or carbohydrates. Reactive hypoglycemia can affect diabetics and non-diabetics.

To treat reactive hypoglycemia quickly, it is enough for the individual to eat something like 3 toast or a fruit juice. A  balanced diet should be followed and meal times should be monitored, to prevent reactive hypoglycemia occurring.

In the diet for reactive hypoglycemia, it is important not to stay too many hours without eating, meals should have intervals of 2 to 3 hours.

Breakfast and snacks – give preference to foods with complex carbohydrates and low glycemic index such as whole grain bread with fresh cheese or toast with yogurt.

Lunch and dinner – always have half the plate with vegetables and the other half rice or pasta or potatoes with meat or fish or egg or beans as follows:

Recommended meal in reactive hypoglycemia

reactive hypoglycemia

What to eat in case of reactive hypoglycemia

In case of reactive hypoglycemia, that is, when the individual has a tendency to enter into a crisis of reactive hypoglycemia, one should eat fiber-rich foods that delay digestion such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. It is important to follow a balanced diet and give preference to foods rich in proteins such as lean meat, fish and egg and complex carbohydrates such as brown bread, rice, and pasta, and the full version of these foods also has more fiber.

What not to eat in case of reactive hypoglycemia

To avoid crises of reactive hypoglycemia one should not eat foods rich in sugars and simple carbohydrates like cakes, cookies, chocolates, sweets, soft drinks, refined foods like white bread. It is also important to exclude alcoholic beverages from food.

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