Reactive Hypoglycemia: What It Is and The right way to Handle It

Scuffling with each excessive and low blood sugars is just about an anticipated a part of dwelling with diabetes. 

However reactive hypoglycemia is totally different from common low blood sugar ranges that folks with diabetes encounter, because it has totally different underlying causes. 

This text will let you know the whole lot you might want to learn about reactive hypoglycemia: what it’s, find out how to handle it, and find out how to higher forestall it. 

Reactive Hypoglycemia: What It Is and The right way to Handle It

Signs of low blood sugar 

It’s essential to acknowledge the signs of low blood sugar earlier than it turns into an emergency. 

Low blood sugar is normally outlined as any blood sugar stage below 70 mg/dL. Even folks with out diabetes can expertise low blood sugar! 

The indicators to look out for embrace:

  • Shakines
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Issue concentrating
  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Speedy heartbeat 
  • Weak spot and excessive fatigue 
  • Feeling faint
  • Starvation 
  • In extreme instances, lack of consciousness, coma, and demise 

When you’re affected by frequent low blood sugar ranges and also you wouldn’t have diabetes, it is best to speak to your physician.

What’s reactive hypoglycemia? 

Reactive hypoglycemia (additionally referred to as postprandial hypoglycemia) is a kind of low blood sugar that happens after meals, sometimes between 2-5 hours after you end consuming. 

That is totally different from a fasting low blood sugar, because the trigger is the discharge of an excessive amount of insulin for the meals that was eaten. 

There are three various kinds of reactive hypoglycemia:

Alimentary reactive hypoglycemia That is the type of reactive hypoglycemia that happens round 2 hours after ending a meal. 

Idiopathic reactive hypoglycemia That is the type of reactive hypoglycemia that happens round 3 hours after ending a meal. 

Late reactive hypoglycemia This type of reactive hypoglycemia happens between 4 to five hours after ending a meal. 

What are the causes of reactive hypoglycemia? 

Researchers are unclear on the precise causes of reactive hypoglycemia. Nonetheless, individuals who typically undergo from reactive hypoglycemia sometimes are both prediabetic or have diabetes and undergo from gastrointestinal dysfunction, equivalent to gastroparesis. 

Moreover, individuals who wouldn’t have diabetes however have a hormone deficiency typically even have reactive hypoglycemia. 

Reactive hypoglycemia will also be attributable to a cancerous tumor, extreme alcohol consumption, or when recovering from surgical procedures, particularly gastric bypass or ulcerative surgical procedure. 

Reactive hypoglycemia sometimes happens extra typically in people who find themselves obese and overweight. Actually, affected by reactive hypoglycemia, particularly late reactive hypoglycemia, could put you at increased danger for creating diabetes. 

How do I handle reactive hypoglycemia? 

When you suspect that you’ve got reactive hypoglycemia and also you wouldn’t have diabetes,  ask your physician about getting a mixed-meal tolerance check, or MMTT. 

That is the place they will provide you with a candy drink made to lift blood sugar ranges, inflicting your physique to provide extra insulin. The physician will then intently observe your blood sugar over the following a number of hours, to see in case you have a spike after which a crash. 

Dropping too low (below 70 mg/dL) a number of hours after consuming the liquid might be an indication that you simply’re affected by reactive hypoglycemia. 

When you presently have insulin-dependent diabetes, you could wish to speak to your physician about reducing your insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio or taking much less long-acting insulin, or perhaps each.

If you’re affected by low blood sugars after meals, have diabetes, however are usually not on insulin, speak to your physician about probably reducing your diabetes medicines.

Nonetheless, if you happen to’ve tried all of that and are nonetheless unsuccessful in therapy, under are some methods to implement to assist handle reactive hypoglycemia. 

It’s essential to notice that there is no such thing as a scientific “remedy” for reactive hypoglycemia, however simply methods to blunt the pancreas’ response to meals that may assist forestall such low blood sugars after meals. 

First, deal with the low blood sugar

Remedying reactive hypoglycemia generally is totally different from treating an acute episode of low blood sugar. 

Eat at the least 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates, equivalent to glucose tablets, juice, or one thing else candy like sweet, and check your blood sugar once more to ensure it’s rising. 

If you’re dangerously low and your blood sugar shouldn’t be responding to fast-acting glucose, name 911 instantly and have somebody offer you glucagon. 

Eat smaller, extra constant meals 

Attempt ensuring to eat a meal or snack each 2-3 hours, so that you’re by no means starved. If you do eat, make sure that it’s not an enormous meal and an enormous carbohydrate dump. This can assist forestall your pancreas from releasing an excessive amount of insulin, leading to low blood sugar. 

Not consuming all day lengthy, after which consuming an enormous meal at suppertime can improve the bouts of reactive hypoglycemia, sending your blood sugar plummeting proper as you’re preparing for sleep. 

Deal with fats and protein 

If you do eat a meal or snack, make sure that it’s full of protein and wholesome fat, relatively than easy carbohydrates.

Meals and snacks with numerous processed and added sugars and carbohydrates require extra insulin and usually tend to lead to reactive hypoglycemic episodes. 

Wholesome proteins and fat embrace meals like salmon, full-fat dairy merchandise like Greek yogurt, peanut butter, seeds and nuts, additional virgin olive oil, coconut, avocado, and lean meat. 

You possibly can simply construct a meal round these meals gadgets, by including leafy greens and colourful greens that gained’t trigger a blood sugar and insulin spike. 

When you drink alcohol, don’t accomplish that on an empty abdomen

When you’re vulnerable to low blood sugar ranges and reactive hypoglycemia and also you take pleasure in consuming alcohol, at all times drink it with meals. 

Alcohol lowers blood sugar ranges, and if you happen to haven’t had something to eat for a number of hours, it may possibly put folks with diabetes (even these with out!) in danger for low blood sugar ranges. 

Higher but, pairing alcohol with a higher-fat, high-protein snack can guarantee smoother blood sugar ranges all night lengthy. Suppose cheese, olives, and uncooked greens with hummus alongside that cup of wine. 

Train frequently 

It’s essential to get common train to assist preserve constant blood sugar ranges all through the day. Purpose to train within the early morning or afternoon, when insulin resistance is at its highest (and also you’re the least more likely to go low). 

When you wrestle with reactive hypoglycemia after dinnertime, that isn’t the most effective time to train. Nonetheless, establishing an train routine on the identical time day by day will assist your physique discover ways to reply to each carbohydrates and bodily exercise higher, thus lowering the probability of extreme low blood sugar ranges. 

When you don’t know the place to start out, speak along with your physician about creating an train routine that may give you the results you want and your way of life. 


Reactive hypoglycemia is a type of low blood sugar that occurs after meals. 

Folks each with and with out diabetes can undergo from this situation, however it’s extra widespread in people who find themselves obese or overweight, are prediabetic, have diabetes and a gastrointestinal downside, equivalent to gastroparesis, and people who find themselves recovering from surgical procedure, are scuffling with alcohol habit, or have cancerous tumors or a hormonal imbalance. 

There are a couple of methods to handle reactive hypoglycemia: the primary, in case you have diabetes, is by reducing your diabetes medicines and/or insulin. Discuss along with your physician about how one can safely do that. 

At all times deal with low blood sugar ranges below 70 mg/dL instantly and name 911 if you happen to’re experiencing a extreme low blood sugar that’s not responding to therapy. 

In the long term, you could decide to eat smaller, extra constant meals centered on wholesome fat and proteins, train frequently within the morning, and solely drink alcohol with meals. 

By taking these strategic steps, you possibly can assist handle reactive hypoglycemia and forestall it from taking up your day. 

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