Reactive Hypoglycemia – What It Is, How to Feel Better


Often people who have reactive hypoglycemia aren’t even aware of it. They notice that “something” is wrong, but might not be able to get a diagnosis, if they go to a doctor about it at all. Hypoglycemia is difficult to prove, unless your blood sugar can be tested at the time you have symptoms, which is difficult if you don’t have a meter around. Unless you or someone in your family is diabetic, you probably DON’T have a meter around. So how do you know if you’re hypoglycemic?

Here are some symptoms:

-acute hunger, possibly even a painfully empty feeling in your stomach

-feeling very tired or weak suddenly

-shakiness or jitters

-feeling dizzy or faint

-slurring or speaking slowly

-an anxious feeling, maybe even crying

-feeling very hot suddenly

-if sleeping, bad dreams or confusion upon waking

Of course, you should talk to your doctor about this. But some are hesitant to commit to a diagnosis because you won’t often have concrete evidence. However, you can help yourself feel better by taking a few simple measures.

-Figure out when you usually have problems. With reactive hypoglycemia, it’s usually a few hours after a high-carb breakfast, but you might have lows in the afternoon or at night. Try eating more proteins and less sugars/carbs at the meal just before the time of day you usually feel bad. (Doughnuts and pancakes are delicious, but you might need to find a different time of day to enjoy them, in moderation.) And drink more water whenever you can.

-Buy a roll of glucose tablets from a pharmacy or grocery store. They taste like fruit-flavored candy, but get into your bloodstream faster, helping you feel better very quickly. Learn to recognize YOUR symptoms, and pop one in your mouth as soon as you feel “low.” Follow up with a small protein/carb balanced meal, like a peanut butter sandwich, within half an hour.

-Exercise often, and make sure you’ve eaten a BALANCED meal beforehand. Again, keep glucose with you. Exercise WITH someone or exercise where you can get help if you need it. Don’t go off alone.

-If you drink, do so only in moderation. Most women shouldn’t have more than a drink a day. Two is okay for most men.

-If you’re diabetic or have other medical conditions, always follow the advice of a health care provider.

-Don’t stress about it, but do discuss it with your doctor. Reactive hypoglycemia, if handled carefully, rarely leads to or indicates other problems.