Hypoglycemia is a term that is all too familiar to diabetics. In fact, many patients are already on some version of a diet for hypoglycemia recommended by a physician. This condition, however, is not only associated with diabetes and can affect anyone. It can be caused by a variety of factors, and exhibits symptoms that might worsen if left untreated. Luckily, with a few changes in diet, you can successfully improve your health and prevent future occurrences.
What is Hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia is a term used to describe extremely low blood sugar. The human body turns food eaten into a sugar called glucose. Glucose is the main source of energy. However, for glucose to convert to energy, it needs help from insulin. The purpose of insulin is to regulate the level of glucose in your blood. If you have too much glucose and little insulin, it is called hyperglycemia. If your glucose is low and insulin is unusually high, you have hypoglycemia.
Causes of Hypoglycemia
The most common source of this condition is injecting too much insulin. It is possible for diabetics to overestimate their dosage. However, in some instances, diabetics can take the correct amount of insulin but find that it is too much for the body at a particular time. This is often the case after exercise.
For non-diabetics, the usual causes can be certain medications, excessive alcohol intake, eating disorders; kidney conditions, liver disease, issues with the endocrine and tumors growing in the pancreas. Although some cases require medical attention, most people can effectively control and prevent an overproduction of insulin with a diet for hypoglycemia.
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
People who regularly suffer from low blood sugar are familiar with the early symptoms. These can include shaking, sweating, an accelerated heart rate and unusual hunger pangs. Some people also experience tingling in the lips, pale skin and anxiety. If symptoms become severe, they can cause mental disorientation, seizures and even loss of consciousness.
Recommended Diet for Hypoglycemia
Before listing the foods in the diet of hypoglycemia, it is important to understand what the diet is intended for. A good diet for hypoglycemia slows down the rate at which glucose is released into the blood. Processed and sweetened foods are not only overloaded with carbohydrates, but can cause a glucose spike because they are digested quickly. When this happens, the pancreas can produce a lot of insulin to handle this load. Therefore, recommended foods are ones that are harder to digest to prevent a spike.
Foods in Diet for Hypoglycemia
To prevent blood sugar spikes, it is highly advisable to stay away from processed foods. The best foods to manage your sugar levels are eggs, whole fruits, vegetables, salmon; chicken, whole grains, nuts and cheese. Olive oil can be used for cooking or dressing salads. Regular chocolate should be replaced with antioxidant-rich dark chocolate. Yoghurt is also a safe choice of snack.
The general rule of thumb is to eat foods in their natural state. Anything packaged, modified or commercially prepared might contain harmful sugars and carbs. A diet for hypoglycemia should contain complex carbohydrates instead of simple ones. Complex carbs release glucose slowly throughout the day, which means blood sugar levels are likely to remain level.
What you eat has a significant impact on your blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemia is easily triggered when you consume foods that are easier and faster to digest. To maintain a great diet for hypoglycemia, select natural products and avoid processed foods filled with simple, unhealthy carbohydrates.