Low Blood Sugar
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Home Medications and Treatments for Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar or hypoglycaemia is a disorder of blood sugar metabolism. Hypoglycemia occurs when your blood sugar, called glucose, is abnormally low. The term insulin shock is used to describe severe hypoglycemia that results in unconsciousness. Glucose is the body’s key fuel source.  Diabetics especially Type 1 diabetes are more likely to suffer from severe low blood sugar.

Jump to - Symptoms, Causes , Treatment, Other suggestions

Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar


A craving for sweets and starch in excessive amounts between meals is the first sign of a low blood sugar level.
Common Symptoms of Mild Low Blood Sugar:

Headaches
Hunger
Weakness
Irritability
Mood swings
Impatience
Paleness
Nervousness
Rapid heartbeat
Nausea in mild cases

More severe symptoms are blurred vision, palpitations, aggression, dizziness, shaking, drowsiness, untimely temporary loss of consciousness, difficulty in concentration, severe fatigue, sweating, anxiety, confusion and even coma.  Most hypoglycaemia patients feel hungry and eat frequently to get over the feeling of weakness and emotional irritability. They feel tense if they have to go without food for several hours. When the patient experiences any symptoms that indicate a fall in blood sugar, he should immediately take a heaped teaspoonful of sugar and then seek medical help.

Causes of Low Blood Sugar

Delaying or skipping a meal altogether, meals or snacks that are too small, drinking alcohol, or an above normal increase in physical activity, are some of the common causes of low blood sugar.
Low blood sugar is usually caused by an excessive intake of refined carbohydrates and sugary foods. These substances cause the pancreas, the adrenal glands, and the liver to lose their ability to handle the sugar properly.

Other causes of low blood sugar are a tumor or a disturbed functioning of the liver, pituitary gland, adrenal glands or surgery. Stress intensifies this condition.

Normal Blood Glucose levels in people who do not have diabetes:

Upon waking—fasting: 70 to 99
After meals: 70 to 140
Target Blood Glucose levels in people who have diabetes:
Before meals: 70 to 130
1 to 2 hours after the start of a meal: below 180 (All units in mg/dL.)

Blood glucose level below 70 mg/dL is considered low blood sugar or hypoglycemia in case of people who have diabetes.

Treatment Of Low Blood Sugar

Treatment for Low Blood Sugar using Vitamins:
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Certain vitamins have been found effective in the treatment of low blood sugar. These are vitamins C, E, and B complex. Foods rich in these vitamins are therefore valuable in low blood sugar. Vitamins C and B increase tolerance of sugar and carbohydrates, and help normalise sugar metabolism, Pantothenic acid and vitamin B6 help to build up adrenals which are generally exhausted in persons with low blood sugar. Vitamin E improves glycogen storage in the muscles and tissues. The patient should take vitamin C in large doses from 2,000 to 5,000 mg B6 - 50 mg, and vitamin E - upto 1600 IU daily

Treatment for Low Blood Sugar using Apple:
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Apples are considered valuable in low blood sugar. Two small apples with their peels should be taken after each meal for treating this condition.

Treatment for Low Blood Sugar using Molasses:
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The use of molasses has been found very useful in low blood sugar. When blood sugar becomes abnormally low as a result of over exertion or under-nutrition, a glass of sherbet made of molasses will serve as a tonic and prevent the feeling of faintness. It serves the same purpose in the body as glucose.

Low Blood Sugar Diet

There are two main, different types of low blood sugar diets:

  • Low carbohydrate hypoglycemia diets, which reduce all forms of carbohydrates, thereby increasing protein and fat
  • High carbohydrate low blood sugar diets. These hypoglycemia diets reduce intake of simple sugars, breads, and all processed grains. In contrast, they expand emphasis on vegetables, fruits, berries and whole grains.

Despite their key differences, both of these low blood sugar hypoglycemia diets have important factors in common:

1) These hypoglycemia diets all recommend eating smaller but more frequent meals, with between meal snacks.

2) All low blood sugar diets reduce intake of sugars of all kinds (including molasses and honey) and, as important, simple, processed carbohydrates e.g most breads, cereals, potatoes, and rice. The reason for reducing these frequently eaten foods: the digestive system converts most processed carbohydrates rapidly into sugar. Thus, for hypoglycemia diets, whole wheat bread is just as bad as white bread.

3) Reducing or eliminating caffeine is an effective aide to any hypoglycemia diet. (But taper off slowly since caffeine withdrawal symptoms can be fierce).

4) Reducing alcohol is also important for low blood sugar diets (But taper off in steps if you drink a lot, since alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be very dangerous).

5) Adding a small amount of protein or a modest amount of fat along with each carbohydrate serving helps most hypoglycemia diets. This slows the rate of food passing through the stomach.
With slower passage through the stomach, blood sugar increases less rapidly after eating. The less rapid rise in blood sugar, reduces the insulin response. Less insulin means that blood sugar falls more slowly. Blood sugar falling slowly, makes the destructive over-reaction of adrenalin and cortisol less necessary to prevent sugar from falling too low. With adrenalin and cortisol under control, hypoglycemia symptoms resolve.

6) Olive oil is particularly effective for low blood sugar diets, because of its exceptionally high ability to slow the stomach down. A giant benefit, for relatively few calories. Add one to three teaspoons of olive oil to each meal to strengthen your low blood sugar diet. Spread the olive oil on your food or take it straight from the teaspoon. Once the low blood sugar diets are working well, you can cut back on your olive oil dose.

Which of the low blood sugar diets are best for your individual needs? Each version of the hypoglycemia diet has its pros and cons. When we see patients in the office, we helping you select which diet is best for your individual needs.

Other effective Remedies for Low Blood Sugar

Rest, relaxation, meditation

Proper rest is essential for those suffering from low blond sugar. A tranquil mind is of utmost importance in this condition. Nervous strain and anxiety should be relieved by simple methods of meditation and relaxation. A prolonged bath at room temperature will also be helpful in relieving mental tension.
Yogasanas

Yogasanas like vakrasana, bhujangasana, halasana, sarvangasana; and pranayama like kapalbhati and anuloma-viloma will be beneficial.

Got a question ask it on the Low Blood Sugar Forum or share your knowledge and experience with others.