June 13, 2010

Non-diabetic Hypoglycemia

If you think this is about diabetes, you are mistaken. Food reactive hypoglycemia, reactive hypoglycemia, and hypoglycemia are all terms that have been used for a disease that is most often misdiagnosed. Diagnosis is often arrived at by the process of elimination. Low blood glucose is the culprit and hyperglycemia is not involved.

Why this on a blog about type 2 diabetes? Because I have a family member that has this. Even though there is a lot of misinformation (doesn't this sound familiar), there is a lot of good information available. The rule we use in discussions of diabetes of “what works for you, may not work for me” applies here as well. Not every solution will work for everyone.

The comparison between hypoglycemia and diabetes reveals many common similarities. While definitely not the same, both have no special diets available, although there are many who claim otherwise, and both have many people promoting their treatments as the only way. The largest difference is there is no gain to be had by the big pharmaceutical companies and as such hypoglycemia has no large research studies to define it or few ways to educate the medical community. See an endocrinologist for the greater chance of correct diagnosis.

Although this has not been conclusively proven, there appears to be several types of hyperglycemia. Reactive hypoglycemia and hypoglycemia are generally used interchangeably although they may not be identically the same and symptoms normally appear within four hours after eating. Food reactive hypoglycemia generally occurs at the start of eating and the quantity of insulin exceeds the need. And fasting hypoglycemia occurs when food is not eaten for what ever reason, illness is often the culprit. As of yet no genetic or DNA markers have been identified to hypoglycemia,

What are the symptoms? Some of them are:
  • fatigue
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • having trouble sleeping for nights on end or insomnia
  • headaches
  • personality changes rapidly
  • always hungry for something sweet
  • doctor says there is nothing wrong – I advise seeing an endocrinologist
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • heavy sweating 
There are more, but many are just subcategories of the above.

There are many good sites available. I highly recommend the first two sites. .

1.Site one    Lots of pages to explore. Take time to read the surveys page.
2.Site two    Many more pages to explore.
3.Site three
4.Site four
5.Site five
6.Site six
7.Site seven
8.Site eight

For more sites and to do your own research type “reactive hypoglycemia” into a search engine and read. Many sites do not properly reflect a proper separation from diabetes and hypoglycemia in diabetes. Hopefully, I have presented a diverse group of sites to show that there are many sides to the discussion and that one size does not fit all.

While many still claim that hypoglycemia is not related to diabetes, many former patients do develop diabetes later in life and many have family members or relatives with diabetes, Others say that people with hypoglycemia do not develop coma, but sites four and eight above shows that it does need to be seriously considered.

I may have raised more questions than I have answered, but there is still much that needs to be learned about hypoglycemia, its variants, and control with nutrition. Good progress is being made and more needs to be done.