This is a condition of low blood sugar (glucose) which can lead to many frightening physical and mental symptoms. It is usually caused by long term over eating of refined carbohydrates (e.g. white bread and white flour products, white rice etc.) and of sugar. When refined carbohydrates and sugar are eaten they are rapidly digested and absorbed and cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. This enhances the production and secretion of the hormone Insulin from the pancreas which acts to lower the blood sugar again.
- Sugar eaten
- rise in blood sugar
- release of insulin
- drop in blood sugar
The drop in blood sugar is often extreme and the cells of the body and especially of the brain fail to get sufficient nourishment.
The hypoglycemic person may have some or many of the symptoms listed below. They are often of sudden onset and usually occur before breakfast, a few hours after eating, after exercise or after emotional stress.
- Loss of concentration
- Spaciness or foggy feeling
- Loss of purpose or sense of meaning in life
- Bad temper
- Suicidal feelings
- Blurred vision
- Twitching of muscles
- Sensitivity to light
- Fatigue or exhaustion Backache
- Bloating Diarrhoea
- Abdominal pain Cold sweats
- Muscle and joint pain
The Treatment of Hypoglycemia
The treatment of Hypoglycemia involves eating a well balanced diet with plenty of unrefined carbohydrates. These are broken down slowly by the body to yield glucose without dramatically raising the blood sugar. If the hypoglycemic person does not follow this type of diet he will run the risk of eventual pancreatic exhaustion when no more Insulin can be produced and the person suffers from Diabetes or Hyperglycemia (to much blood sugar). It is also very important to eat plenty of protein – at least 50 g daily.
The Glycemic index shows how much different foods may cause the blood sugar to rise. This is a qualitative not a quantitative measurement but it does give useful information on the relative benefits of various foods. The lower the GI the better is the food.
The Glycemic index
|porridge||71 – 96|
- All vegetables and fruits unless mentioned below as being restricted.
- Unsalted nuts and nut butters
- Sesame paste (Tahini)
- Whole grains and their products e.g.. brown bread, brown rice, brown pasta.
- Beans and peas
- Tofu and other soya products.
- Lean, organic meat, poultry and fish
Limited Intake of:
- Full fat cheese
- Grapes, prunes, figs, dates, raisins, bananas and dried fruits.
- Fruit juices
- All refined and processed foods
- All sugar and honey
- Cakes, biscuits, sweets, pastries, puddings, cereals with sugar, ice-cream, jam and
- Ketchup, relish, sauces, pickles, mustard, tea, coffee, alcohol, soft drinks,
- chocolate drinks, malted drinks.
- White bread, pasta or rice.
- Sweets and chocolate
- Medication with caffeine, cough syrups, laxatives.
Avoid stress and exhaustion and practice relaxation techniques
Get plenty of sleep. Take plenty of exercise but not to the point of exhaustion.
Eat a small meal every 2 -3 hours and avoid snacking in between.
When hungry, try eating a high protein snack – it will often give you more lasting satisfaction and energy than carbohydrates.