Hypoglycemia Treatment in Bristol, VA
What Is Hypoglycemia?
Glucose is the main sugar found in your body that powers everyday movements and activities such as walking, breathing, and thinking. When glucose levels drop below normal levels, hypoglycemia can occur. Also known as low blood sugar or low blood glucose, hypoglycemia is commonly associated with diabetes treatment; however, a variety of medical conditions and lifestyle choices can drive hypoglycemia symptoms. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can lead to more serious health complications.
If you or someone you know has a blood sugar deficiency, it is important to meet with a healthcare practitioner in Bristol who can provide vital hypoglycemia treatment. Call (423) 482-8711 or contact Dr. Dalal Akoury online to get started today.
Causes of Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia can be a side effect of your body producing too much insulin. If there is too much insulin in your system, the standby glucose (sugar) in your blood is routed to your cells and used as fuel. Once used, your blood sugar levels drop.
For people with diabetes , hypoglycemia is usually caused by medications that help the body create insulin in order to lower blood sugar levels. As a result of this medication, blood sugar levels may drop too low and result in hypoglycemia.
Although not as common, people without diabetes can experience hypoglycemia if their bodies cannot stabilize their blood sugar levels. Other potential causes of hypoglycemia include:
- Increase in physical activity
- Hepatitis and other liver diseases
- Hormone imbalance
- Skipping meals
- Alcohol consumption without enough food
- Quinine, an anti-malaria drug also found in tonic water
Dumping syndrome is another possible cause of hypoglycemia. Dumping syndrome can develop in patients who have had stomach surgery for gastroesophageal reflux disease . The syndrome causes rapid movement of sugar into your intestine, raising your glucose level. The pancreas responds by increasing the release of insulin; in turn, blood glucose levels drop and cause hypoglycemia.
Low Blood Sugar Symptoms:
Hypoglycemia symptoms are numerous and include:
- Heart palpitations/arrhythmia
- Irritable mood
- Neuropathy/painful pins and needles sensation
- Confusion/difficulty concentration
- Syncope (fainting)
- Difficulty speaking
Hypoglycemia Unawareness and Other Risks
There are several complications that can result from untreated hypoglycemia. These complications include a loss of consciousness, seizures, or death.
If left untreated, symptoms of hypoglycemia may be masked by something called hypoglycemia unawareness, a serious condition where your hypoglycemia presents itself asymptomatically, or without any symptoms. Hypoglycemia unawareness--in essence--hides the life threatening condition from your body and brain.
For patients with diabetes, untreated hypoglycemia can cause additional problems. To prevent hypoglycemia from occurring, patients with diabetes may take smaller doses of insulin to prevent their glucose levels from dropping. Patients who do this run the risk of undertreating their diabetes, which can lead to further health problems.
To diagnose hypoglycemia, your healthcare practitioner will review your symptoms and likely administer a few tests to determine the root cause of your low blood sugar. A blood test, in particular, is paramount in identifying the level of glucose in your blood; if your blood sugar level is lower than 50 or 70 milligrams per deciliter, you may have hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemic Diet and Other Treatment Options
The treatment for non-diabetic hypoglycemia usually involves implementing lifestyle changes. For patients with diabetes, a glucose monitor (CGM) can be used to track any change in the level of glucose present in your blood. This can keep you notified of any potential drastic shifts in blood glucose. Difficult and/or emergency cases often respond to IV glucose as a fast acting form of treatment.
Your healthcare provider may recommend the hypoglycemic diet to treat your condition. This diet recommends eating 3-4 smaller meals per day; frequent meals usually help control the amount of sugar in the blood. The diet also stresses the need to avoid foods with high saturated or trans-fat, caffeine, processed and refined sugars, and alcohol.
Foods supported by the hypoglycemic diet have a low glycemic index and are rich in complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and soluble fiber. These foods include:
- Green leafy vegetables
- High-fiber foods such as apples, green leafy vegetables, and beans
- Healthy carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, and legumes
- Grass-fed beef and pasture-raised poultry
- Fresh fruit
- Healthy fat such as nuts, seeds, avocadoes, and coconut or olive oils
- Steel-cut oatmeal
- Plain Greek yogurt
Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before beginning a new diet plan; he or she can tailor the plan to suit your individual health needs.
Hypoglycemia doesn't have to control your life. To find a healthcare practitioner in Bristol who specializes in hypoglycemia treatment, call (423) 482-8711 or contact Dr. Dalal Akoury online.
AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center
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