What Is Hypoglycemia?
Learn about hypoglycemia—or low blood sugar—and what you can do to prevent it
Hypoglycemia can affect anyone and is a common concern for people with diabetes. It occurs when blood glucose (sugar) levels fall below the level needed to maintain enough energy for normal bodily functions. This energy deficit causes symptoms that may include:
- Hallucinations (in severe cases)
- Loss of consciousness (in severe cases)
Severe hypoglycemia symptoms are almost always associated with diabetes drugs, which can drive blood sugar too low. That’s one reason why I’m opposed to aggressive use of these medications. However, hypoglycemia also affects people without diabetes.
How to Prevent Hypoglycemia
The key to keeping your blood sugar level on an even keel and preventing hypoglycemia is to pay attention to what you eat—and specifically avoid loading up on high-glycemic carbohydrates. Here are the guidelines I recommend:
- Eliminate high-glycemic carbohydrates such as sugar, bread, white rice, and anything made with refined grains. These foods are quickly broken down into glucose, causing sharp spikes in blood sugar levels. In response, your pancreas churns out extra insulin to lower blood sugar, but it sometimes overshoots its mark and glucose levels fall into the hypoglycemic range.
- Focus on eating plenty of fiber-rich vegetables and legumes that cause slow and gradual blood sugar fluctuations.
- In place of three squares a day, try to eat smaller meals more frequently.
- Include a moderate amount of protein with each meal and snack, and go easy on fruit.
- Limit your alcohol intake, and drink it only with food.
I also recommend a good daily multivitamin to ensure you are getting enough chromium, B vitamins, and other nutrients involved in blood sugar metabolism.
Hypoglycemia is often an indicator of more serious blood sugar problems to come. Cleaning up your diet and improving your nutritional status will help stave off future problems.
More Dr. Whitaker Advice on Blood Sugar and Diabetes
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Meet Dr. Whitaker
For more than 30 years, Dr. Julian Whitaker has helped people regain their health with a combination of therapeutic lifestyle changes, targeted nutritional support, and other cutting-edge natural therapies. He is widely known for treating diabetes, but also routinely treats heart disease and other degenerative diseases. More About Dr. Whitaker
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