What is Hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar (glucose) drops too low and the brain does
not get adequate fuel.  Insulin-dependent diabetics can experience hypoglycemia if
insulin levels are too high.  
Hypoglycemia can also occur in healthy people if they
have consumed a large amount of high glycemic carbohydrates, such as fruit juice.
The fruit juice
triggers the release of a large amount of insulin, which then pulls too
much glucose from the bloodstream, resulting in hypoglycemia
.  It can occur quickly
and if not treated immediately, a person with hypoglycemia may become unconscious.     

What is Blood Sugar?

Blood sugar is basically the fuel that runs the body.  It does not build strong, healthy muscles, bones,
organs, or glands.  If a muscle does not have adequate blood sugar it becomes weak.  Nerves and the brain
depend upon normal sugar levels to function properly.  When blood sugar is out of normal balance, many
types of symptoms develop because nearly all tissues in the body depend on it to function.  

Diabetes is a condition in which the blood sugar level is too high; hypoglycemia is a condition in which the
blood sugar is too low.  The pancreas secretes insulin to lower and use blood sugar; the adrenal glands and
pancreas produce hormones to raise the blood sugar level.  In the case of hypoglycemia, if still more sugar is
needed, some other adrenal gland hormones convert fat and protein to sugar.   In the body’s effort to maintain
proper blood sugar levels, the glands that regulate it may become stressed and cause symptoms.

Who is at risk?

Everyone who lives and breathes needs to be concerned about hypoglycemia and diabetes.  Energy is
produced from glucose and glucose is produced from our food.  If we are not eating properly, we are not
producing efficient energy.  Then we begin storing fat, and we set the stage for illness and disease.  Any time
one of our basic needs is out of balance, the body is under stress and cannot function properly.

Most people walk around every day in some state of blood sugar imbalance. The symptoms of hypoglycemia
and diabetes are a clear indication that the body is not processing or metabolizing glucose properly.  The most
overlooked symptoms are
fatigue, depression, stress, and obesity.  There is a direct correlation between
obesity and insulin insensitivity.  However, you do not have to be 50 to 100 lbs. overweight to have a blood
sugar problem.  If you are overweight, you have a 200% greater chance of developing Type II diabetes.  
Which usually manifests itself with hypoglycemia first.  
Left undiagnosed, untreated, and unmanaged,
hypoglycemia can turn into diabetes.  


The symptoms of low blood sugar can come on quite suddenly - the effects may be both physical and
emotional.  Hypoglycemia is usually easy to treat, but it is important that you know what to do before it
happens to you.  (For TREATMENT, request a brochure on
Hypoglycemia & Nutrition.)

Other symptoms that may come on more slowly are:

Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) affects nearly everyone.  The body has either too much or too little
insulin.  Neither state is healthy.  Continuous cycles of rollercoaster high and low blood sugar levels can
develop into
hypoglycemia and diabetes.  It can be prevented, managed and controlled.  Nearly everyone at
some point in their life has experienced low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), they just don’t recognize it.  They
pay more attention to the time of day, weather, and the clothes they are wearing, than they do to their body.


Some common every day causes of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar are:

  •  Taking too much insulin (diabetics)

  •  Eating at the wrong time

  •  Skipping meals or snacks

  •  Extra exercise without additional food

There are other contributing causes including:  improper nutrition, resulting from the over consumption of
processed, chemically treated, overcooked, high fat, high glycemic, packaged, fast food, and nutrient deficient


Other Causes:

Hyperinsulinism is a condition wherein too much insulin is secreted for the body’s needs; thus, the blood
sugar level is lowered too far.  Sometimes hyperinsulinism can result from something as simple as rapidly
eating too much sugar.  Foods with high sugar concentration, such as soda, sport drinks, candy, pies, and
cake, may cause a rapid rise in blood sugar.  Some people are sensitive to this rapid change, and excessive
insulin is secreted that lowers the blood sugar too far.  Unfortunately, the individual then wants (or craves)
more sugar to bring the blood sugar level up again.  A vicious cycle is started with another insulin response.  
Often the proper treatment for hyperinsulinism is to simply avoid eating foods with high concentrations of
refined white sugar.

Functional Hypoadrenia - The adrenal glands are partially responsible for raising the blood sugar level when
it is too low.  If the blood sugar level is frequently lowered by a condition such as hyperinsulinism, the adrenal
glands may eventually become depleted and the blood sugar remains low.  This is not complete adrenal failure,
which is called Addison’s disease and is life-threatening; rather, the adrenal glands are not capable of optimally
performing all the functions required of them.  The depleted adrenal gland condition, known as Functional
Hypoadrenia, can be the initial cause of a blood sugar handling stress (hypoglycemia).  The adrenal glands can
become exhausted for many reasons; primary among them is stress.  The adrenal glands are very important in
handling stress, and may become overworked.

Malabsorption.  A type of hypoglycemia is caused by lack of normal digestive activity in which food is not
absorbed and used properly.

Dietary Inadequacy.  Often hypoglycemia is simply the result of inadequate dietary intake.  This may happen
in weight reduction programs such as the often popular low-carbohydrate diet.  Also, inadequate fat and/or
protein in the diet can contribute to hypoglycemia, because these items are used in forming new sugar in the
body when sugar stores are low.


The first step is to properly evaluate the body for sugar handling problems.  Laboratory tests are used to
determine if there is a condition of diabetes or disease-caused hypoglycemia.  Severe hypoglycemia is usually
caused by a pancreatic tumor; however, this is rare.  The
six-hour glucose tolerance test, used to determine
how the body is controlling sugar levels, is recommended, to properly diagnose hypoglycemia.  However,
home blood glucose testing is the best way to monitor your daily values.  

Because the symptoms complex is so wide and varied among people with hypoglycemia or sugar-handling
problems, many doctors do not understand the condition and tend to label the patient “hypochondriac” or
“nervous.”  The suffering individual is given tranquilizers, or given no answer.  Occasionally when
hypoglycemia is recognized, a diet to include a larger sugar intake is prescribed.  Although this temporarily
relieves the symptoms, it very often adds fuel to the fire and makes the condition worse.  

While most people can eat when and what they want, the
hypoglycemic does not have that luxury.  Your
blood sugar level fluctuates throughout the day with your eating and physical activities.  As you take in
nourishment, especially sugars, the blood sugar level rises; insulin keeps it from going too high and prevents
you from becoming a diabetic.  
Failure to maintain a balanced nutritional plan of carbohydrates, protein,
and fat can result in the symptoms of hypoglycemia.
 [Please request the brochure:  Hypoglycemia & Nutrition
for treatment and management.]


It is important to remember that like diabetes hypoglycemia remains a potential life-threatening condition with
short-term and long-term complications.  For those taking insulin, hypoglycemia or low blood sugars is a
constant concern.  If the low blood sugar is allowed to go on
untreated, you may experience:  Increased
confusion and disorientation; difficulty standing or sitting; convulsions or seizures, and unconsciousness.  

You may not experience all of these symptoms - low blood sugar affects different people in different ways.  
You will, however, feel very different from the way you normally feel.  Early detection is critical.  Remember,
uncontrolled hypoglycemia can develop into diabetes.  

The GOOD NEWS is:  Hypoglycemics can live a normal healthy life with the proper
education, nutrition,
exercise, stress control
, management and treatment.  Complications can be delayed, halted and even

Blood Glucose Testing:

If you experience any of the symptoms, do a blood sugar test to confirm that low blood sugar is the cause of
your symptoms.  Blood sugar testing is the most important key in taking control of your hypoglycemia
(diabetes, IGT) and your life.  
You cannot rely solely on how you feel - your blood sugar may be higher or
lower than normal.  You must test your blood sugar to know how well your nutritional management program
is working.  

Record keeping is important for you and your doctor to see and correct any problems you may be having in
controlling your sugar levels.  Blood sugars will form a pattern over a period of time.  Monitoring is a
powerful tool in tracking and controlling your blood sugar levels which will help prevent the development of
diabetes and long-term complications.

Is there any Hope?

It is important to understand that:  Hypoglycemia, Diabetes, and IGT, can be prevented, managed and
controlled!  Remember:  hypoglycemia - like diabetes is a blood sugar handling problem, therefore, we
recommend you follow the
7 Steps to Diabetes Management.      

[For more information request the brochure:  Hypoglycemia & Nutrition for treatment and management.]

•      Feeling shaky
•      Sweating
•      Dizziness
•      Weakness and/or overwhelming tiredness
•      Rapid heartbeat
•      Numbness or tingling in mouth or lips
•      Hunger   
•          Crying
•          Irritability and/or anger
•          Drowsiness
•          Mental Confusion and/or difficulty in thinking
•          Poor coordination (may result in trouble walking)
•          Blurred vision and/or headaches
•          Slurred speech