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  • Hypoglycemia

    Hypoglycemia is the formal name for low blood sugar (LBS). Hypo is the Greek word for low and glycemia means sugar or glucose. Low blood sugar is a body chemistry condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is below the amount needed for the cells of your body to function properly. Symptoms occur when your blood sugar is too low and certain cells in the body are not receiving enough energy from glucose to function properly. Usually the first areas to be affected are your central nervous system and eyes because they use only glucose for energy. This is why it is common for hypoglycemics to experience irritability, nervousness, anxiety, headaches, visual disturbances, faintness, exhaustion, etc. There are three (3) substances you must avoid:
    * Sugars of all types - sucrose, dextrose, honey, etc
    * Starchy foods - pasta, rice, beans, breads, potatoes, etc
    * Stimulants - caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, etc

    The best way to control hypoglycemia is through a diet similar to that used to control diabetes mellitus: a reduction in simple sugars, a large intake of complex carbohydrates, and frequent feedings. Candy, sodas, and even fruit juices (which manufacturers often sweeten with lots of sugar) are all high in sugar and should be avoided. Foods that are high in soluble dietary fiber slow carbohydrate absorption and help to prevent swings in blood sugar levels. For some, fruits may also be a good addition as fructose -- the natural sugar in most fruits -- does not require insulin to be absorbed into the body cells. Also advised is an increase in meal frequency. Eating more than three meals per day helps to maintain blood sugar levels and to prevent the onset of hypoglycemic symptoms. The menu below is a one-day meal plan that puts these hypoglycemia guidelines into action.

    Reactive Hypoglycemia

    A diagnosis of reactive hypoglycemia is considered only after other possible causes of low blood sugar have been ruled out. Reactive hypoglycemia with no known cause is a condition in which the symptoms of low blood sugar appear 2 to 5 hours after eating foods high in glucose.

    Ten to 20 years ago, hypoglycemia was a popular diagnosis. However, studies now show that this condition is actually quite rare. In these studies, most patients who experienced the symptoms of hypoglycemia after eating glucose-rich foods consistently had normal levels of blood sugar--above 60 mg/dl. Some researchers have suggested that some people may be extra sensitive to the body's normal release of the hormone epinephrine after a meal.

    People with symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia unrelated to other medical conditions or problems are usually advised to follow a healthy eating plan. The doctor or dietitian may suggest that such a person avoid foods high in carbohydrates; eat small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day; exercise regularly; and eat a variety of foods, including whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

    The glycemic index ranks foods on how they affect our blood sugar levels. This index measures how much your blood sugar increases in the two or three hours after eating.
    The glycemic index is about foods high in carbohydrates. Foods high in fat or protein don't cause your blood sugar level to rise much.

    When you make use of the glycemic index to prepare healthy meals, it helps to keep your blood sugar levels under control. good
    The real problem is carbohydrates. a low-carbohydrate diet is recommended , because carbohydrates break down quickly during digestion and can raise blood sugar to dangerous levels.

    Many high-carbohydrate foods have high glycemic indexes, and certainly are not any good in any substantial quantity for people with diabetes. Other carbohydrates break down more slowly, releasing glucose gradually into our blood streams and are said to have lower glycemic indexes.

    Before the development of the glycemic index beginning in 1981, scientists assumed that our bodies absorbed and digested simple sugars quickly, producing rapid increases in our blood sugar level. This was the basis of the advice to avoid sugar, a proscription recently relaxed by the American Diabetes Association and others.

    Now we know that simple sugars don't make your blood sugar rise any more rapidly than some complex carbohydrates do. Of course, simple sugars are simply empty calories, and still should be minimized for that reason.

    Many of the glycemic index results have been surprises. For example, baked potatoes have a glycemic index considerably higher than that of table sugar.

    The GI is especially useful to people with diabetes who want to plan their diets to minimize the incidence of high blood sugar, or spikes. It measures how fast the carbohydrate of a particular food is converted to glucose and enters the bloodstream. The lower the number the slower the action.

    The numbers are percentages with respect to a reference food. They are given here with respect to white bread. In other words, on the scale white bread equals 100, which is what is generally used in the United States. Multiply the GI on this scale by 0.7 to convert to the value on the scale where glucose = 100.

    Scientists have so far measured the glycemic indexes of about 300 high-carbohydrate foods. The key is to eat little of those foods with a high glycemic index and more of those foods with a low index

    Before the development of the glycemic index, scientists assumed that our bodies absorbed and digested simple sugars quickly, producing rapid increases in our blood glucose levels. This was the basis of the advice to avoid sugar, a proscription recently relaxed by the American Diabetes Association and others.

    the experts thought that our bodies absorbed starches such as rice and potatoes slowly, causing only small rises in blood glucose. Clinical trials of the glycemic index have now proven otherwise.

    Factors such as variety, cooking, and processing may effect a food's GI. Foods particularly sensitive to these factors include bananas, rice, and potatoes . the GI for under-ripe bananas was 43 and that for over-ripe bananas was 74. In under-ripe bananas the starch constitutes 80-90 percent of the carbohydrate content, which as the banana ripens changes to free sugars. The researchers found that the GI of wheat, maize, and oats increased from whole grains (lowest GI), cracked grains, coarse flour, to fine flour (highest GI).

    the glucose response to a particular food may be somewhat individual. So it is probably a good idea to carefully watch your own blood glucose level after eating foods you have questions about and determine if they have high or low GI for you.

    Low Blood Sugar
    Hypoglycemia Assoc.
    Fast Facts
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    Hypoglycemic Diet
    Hypo & Protien
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    Hypo Diet Plan
    Low Carb Support
    Low Carb Diets
    Low Carb Recipes
    Living with LBS
    Low Blood Sugar
    What is Hypoglycemia
    Sweet n Low
    Reactive Hypo
    Glycemic Index
    Meals for You