Many people think of diabetes being about high blood sugar, but the truth is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is just as big a problem. For some people, blood sugar level can suddenly drop to dangerously low levels. This is known as 'reactive hypoglycemia'. Here is what causes it, and what you can do about it.
Why Reactive Hypoglycemia Happens
Eating is how you provide your body with fuel. When you digest your food, it stimulates your body to release insulin to help convert the sugar in your blood into energy.
In some people, digestion can naturally occur very rapidly. Other people might just be eating a meal that is very large or very high in carbohydrates or sweets. When this happens, the body tries to compensate by flooding your blood with insulin. This flood of insulin can cause the blood sugar to drop, despite the fact that the person just a meal recently.
That's not the end of it. A sudden release of insulin and drop of blood sugar can put the body on red alert. The reaction to that stress is to release adrenalin, which only make the symptoms of hypoglycemia worse.
How to Avoid Reactive Hypoglycemia
There are ways to avoid setting off this domino effect. Keeping your food portion controlled, particularly controlling your carbohydrate and sweets, is a first step that might help. Eating smaller meals but more meals per day is also a great way to keep that energy streaming more steadily.
Avoid simple carbohydrates, such as sugary foods or white flour products. Stick to complex carbs like whole grains and low sugar snacks.
By taking precautions you can keep your blood sugar levels from bottoming out.
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