HomeDiabetesReactive Hypoglycemia: What It Is and How to Manage It

Reactive Hypoglycemia: What It Is and How to Manage It

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

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

This text will inform you every part it’s good to learn about reactive hypoglycemia: what it’s, the right way to handle it, and the right way to higher forestall it. 

Woman measuring her blood sugar to test for reactive hypoglycemiaWoman measuring her blood sugar to test for reactive hypoglycemia

Signs of low blood sugar 

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

Low blood sugar is often outlined as any blood sugar degree beneath 70 mg/dL. Even folks with out diabetes can expertise low blood sugar! 

The indicators to look out for embrace:

  • Shakines
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiousness
  • Problem concentrating
  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Fast heartbeat 
  • Weak spot and excessive fatigue 
  • Feeling faint
  • Starvation 
  • In extreme circumstances, lack of consciousness, coma, and loss of life 

In the event you’re affected by frequent low blood sugar ranges and also you shouldn’t have diabetes, it is best to discuss 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 completely 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 several types 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. 

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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. Nevertheless, individuals who usually undergo from reactive hypoglycemia sometimes are both prediabetic or have diabetes and undergo from gastrointestinal dysfunction, corresponding to gastroparesis. 

Moreover, individuals who shouldn’t have diabetes however have a hormone deficiency generally 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 usually in people who find themselves obese and overweight. The truth is, affected by reactive hypoglycemia, particularly late reactive hypoglycemia, might put you at larger danger for growing diabetes. 

How do I handle reactive hypoglycemia? 

In the event you suspect that you’ve reactive hypoglycemia and also you shouldn’t have diabetes,  ask your physician about getting a mixed-meal tolerance take a look at, or MMTT. 

That is the place they gives you a candy drink made to lift blood sugar ranges, inflicting your physique to supply extra insulin. The physician will then carefully monitor your blood sugar over the subsequent a number of hours, to see when you’ve got a spike after which a crash. 

Dropping too low (beneath 70 mg/dL) a number of hours after ingesting the liquid may very well be an indication that you just’re affected by reactive hypoglycemia. 

In the event you at present have insulin-dependent diabetes, chances are you’ll need to discuss to your physician about decreasing your insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio or taking much less long-acting insulin, or possibly each.

In case you are affected by low blood sugars after meals, have diabetes, however will not be on insulin, discuss to your physician about doubtlessly decreasing your diabetes drugs.

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

It’s necessary to notice that there isn’t any 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. 

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First, deal with the low blood sugar

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

Eat no less than 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates, corresponding to glucose tablets, juice, or one thing else candy like sweet, and take a look at your blood sugar once more to ensure it’s rising. 

In case you are dangerously low and your blood sugar just isn’t responding to fast-acting glucose, name 911 instantly and have somebody offer you glucagon. 

Eat smaller, extra constant meals 

Strive ensuring to eat a meal or snack each 2-3 hours, so that you’re by no means starved. If you do eat, be certain 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, be certain it’s full of protein and wholesome fat, relatively than easy carbohydrates.

Meals and snacks with a lot of processed and added sugars and carbohydrates require extra insulin and usually tend to end in reactive hypoglycemic episodes. 

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

You’ll be able to 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. 

In the event you drink alcohol, don’t accomplish that on an empty abdomen

In the event you’re vulnerable to low blood sugar ranges and reactive hypoglycemia and also you take pleasure in ingesting alcohol, all the time drink it with meals. 

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Alcohol lowers blood sugar ranges, and if you happen to haven’t had something to eat for a number of hours, it could 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. Assume cheese, olives, and uncooked greens with hummus alongside that cup of wine. 

Train frequently 

It’s necessary to get common train to assist keep constant blood sugar ranges all through the day. Goal 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). 

In the event you wrestle with reactive hypoglycemia after dinnertime, that isn’t the most effective time to train. Nevertheless, establishing an train routine on the identical time every single day will assist your physique learn to reply to each carbohydrates and bodily exercise higher, thus decreasing the probability of extreme low blood sugar ranges. 

In the event you don’t know the place to begin, discuss along with your physician about growing an train routine that may give you the results you want and your life-style. 


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, corresponding to gastroparesis, and people who find themselves recovering from surgical procedure, are fighting alcohol dependancy, or have cancerous tumors or a hormonal imbalance. 

There are a number of methods to handle reactive hypoglycemia: the primary, when you’ve got diabetes, is by decreasing your diabetes drugs and/or insulin. Speak along with your physician about how one can safely do that. 

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

In the long run, chances are you’ll decide to eat smaller, extra constant meals targeted on wholesome fat and proteins, train frequently within the morning, and solely drink alcohol with meals. 

By taking these strategic steps, you may assist handle reactive hypoglycemia and stop it from taking up your day. 

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