Hypoglycaemia is low blood sugar. Typically, the body maintains blood sugar levels within a narrow range through several glands and hormones. When something disrupts these finely balanced control mechanisms, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) or diabetes (high blood sugar) may result.
When blood sugar levels drop (e.g. overnight), the pancreas releases another glucagon hormone. Glucagon stimulates the release of glucose stored in the liver and muscles whenever our blood sugar drops. Anger can also cause a rapid drop in blood sugar. Besides, fright and stress stimulate the adrenals to release adrenaline (the fight-or-flight hormone).
They coined ‘Syndrome X’ to describe blood sugar level changes leading to hypoglycaemia. Excessive insulin secretion and glucose intolerance are followed by diminished insulin sensitivity. That, in turn, leads to high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, obesity, and ultimately type II diabetes. Moreover, mental symptoms can include headaches, depression, anxiety, irritability, confusion, bizarre behaviour, and convulsions.
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Excessive intake of carbohydrates is the most common cause of hypoglycaemia. It also triggers the pancreas to secrete too much insulin.
Besides, heavy exercise can rapidly deplete available energy stores;
Pregnancy providing for the needs of the foetus places additional demands on sugar control mechanisms;
Drugs such as tobacco, caffeine, alcohol, aspirin, and several prescription drugs;
Diseases such as kidney failure.
Diet for hypoglycaemia:
So, consume a diet high in fibre and complex carbohydrates. Medical scientists have shown that blood sugar disorders relate to inadequate dietary fibre intake. Water-soluble fibre slows digestion and increases cell sensitivity to insulin. Moreover, it improves glucose uptake by the liver and other tissues, preventing a sustained elevation in blood sugar. High-fibre foods include most vegetables (eaten raw or lightly steamed), beans, brown rice, oats, lentils, potatoes, soy products, fruits, apples, apricots, bananas, avocados, and cantaloupe melon, grapefruits and lemons.
Remove or limit all alcohol, canned and packaged foods, refined and processed foods, dried fruits, salt, sugar, saturated fats, soft drinks, and white flour from the diet. Also, in the case of hypoglycaemia, avoid foods containing artificial colours and preservatives. Avoiding alcohol is also beneficial because it interferes with average glucose utilisation and increases insulin secretion. The resulting drop in blood sugar produces a craving for foods that quickly elevate blood sugar and crave more alcohol.
Avoid sweet fruits and juices such as prunes and grapes. If you drink these, mix them with an equal amount of water.
Eat low-fat cottage cheese, fish, grains, nuts, seeds, skinless white turkey or chicken breast, and low-fat yoghurt for protein.
Do not go without food or consume large, heavy meals. Eat six to eight small meals throughout the day.
Use a rotation diet.
Stress is a significant factor in hypoglycaemia, affecting the adrenal glands and blood sugar levels.
Avoid tea and coffee or any drinks containing caffeine as these affect adrenal function leading to a rise in blood sugar levels.
Also, drink at least 1.5 litres of good quality water a day.
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Chromium is a crucial constituent of the glucose tolerance factor. Besides, it functions as a co-factor in all insulin-regulating activities and plays a significant role in the cell’s sensitivity to insulin.
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