Free Online Database Of Diseases, Illnesses & Ailments


Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive Hypoglycemia Causes

To date, the cause of reactive hypoglycemia is not clear. Recent studies indicate that some individuals may be overly sensitive to the normal release of epinephrine, a hormone which triggers hypoglycemic symptoms. Meanwhile, other researchers believe that reactive hypoglycemia results from a deficiency in glucagons, a hormone that normally protects the body against low levels of blood sugar. Less commonly, reactive hypoglycemia may occur as a consequence of an overproduction of insulin by the pancreas (i.e. hyperinsulinemia) due to a tumor known as insulinoma. In addition, reactive hypoglycemia may also manifest after stomach surgery or as a result of certain enzyme deficiencies due to disruptions in the balance between nutrient absorption and insulin secretion.

Reactive Hypoglycemia Definition

Reactive hypoglycemia is characterized by recurrent episodes of symptomatic hypoglycemia that occur within 2-4 hours after ingesting a high carbohydrate meal. The condition is believed to be a consequence of excessive insulin release triggered by glucose overload that persist even after the glucose from the meal has been digested or disposed by the body. Literally, hypoglycemia is low blood sugar. Most forms of hypoglycemia occur while fasting. However, reactive hypoglycemia is one that occurs right after eating a meal.

Reactive Hypoglycemia Diagnosis

Diagnosing reactive hypoglycemia can prove very difficult. Patients exhibiting symptoms similar to reactive hypoglycemia may not actually have the condition. Diagnosis is focused on confirming that the symptoms are caused by low blood sugar and that these symptoms are alleviated once blood sugar levels return to normal.

Reactive Hypoglycemia Symptoms and Signs

Symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia vary depending on the patient's sensitivity to fluctuations (i.e. rapid elevation and decline) of glucose levels in the body. Common symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, headaches, light-headedness, sweating, palpitations, nervousness, depression, irritability, flushing, tremors, increased appetite, increased craving for sweets, rhinitis, and even epileptic-type response to rapidly flashing lights.

Reactive Hypoglycemia Treatment

Patients with reactive hypoglycemia usually do not require treatment. However, dietary changes are often advised, including eating smaller meals at short intervals throughout the day and avoiding high carbohydrate foods.

Most Viewed Pages

Recent Searches

Our Visitors Ask About

Medical News