Hypoglycemia is a condition wherein blood sugar falls to lower than normal levels. It is well known that glucose is the body’s main source of energy. In the process of digestion, food is broken down into various components, including sugar. With the help of insulin, secreted by the pancreas, glucose reaches the cells within tissues. Extra glucose is stored in muscles and the liver in the form of glycogen. In any case, if a person is unable to consume food for several hours, the blood sugar level decreases. To balance this out, the pancreas secretes another hormone that stimulates the muscles and liver to break down the stored glycogen into glucose.
People with diabetes experience hypoglycemia when their glucose levels are inadequate. Blood sugar levels below 70 mg/dL are considered low. People with diabetes also live with the threat of hypoglycaemia.
Prevention is better than cure. Therefore, leading a healthy lifestyle is essential to remain disease-free. There are certain factors people with hypoglycemia need to pay attention to. The glycaemic index, which is an indicator of the extent to which carbohydrate-containing foods affect blood sugar levels, is something people with hypoglycemia must keep in mind. Certain foods to be included in the hypoglycemia diet plan as mentioned below:
Never skip breakfast. As blood sugar levels dip at night, you should eat breakfast as soon as possible after waking up. Try to avoid fruit juices with added sugar in the morning; this can lead to glucose instability. Breakfast should ideally include items like whole-grain toast, boiled eggs, agave, cinnamon, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, honey, and Greek yoghurt with berries. Also read about the fruits to avoid in diabetes.
Lunch should include protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Tofu sandwiches, whole grain bread, chicken, tuna, vegetable salad, chickpea, baked sweet potato, and grilled fish are some good options.
People with hypoglycemia should try to include vitamins and minerals in the form of snacks between meals. An apple, banana, nuts, cheddar cheese, whole grain bread, a vegetable smoothie, cucumber, and carrot are some snack options.
Dinner should include protein and carbohydrates. Always try to keep your meals small. Chicken, tofu, vegetables, brown rice, salad, kidney beans, lentils, and tomatoes are ideal dinner components. A hypoglycemia diet should exclude processed foods, foods rich in sugar, more caffeine, alcohol, trans and saturated fats. Doctors prescribe a hypoglycemia diet plan for the patients which should be strictly followed.
A condition that causes low blood sugar levels after four hours of a meal is called reactive hypoglycemia. The American Diabetes Association recommends the 15-15 rule if a person’s blood sugar level decreases below 70 mg/dL. It is advisable to have a quick snack because all the blood sugar comes from the meals and beverages that you consume. Consume 15 gm of carbohydrates and then wait 15 mins to check the sugar level. If the sugar level is still below 70, consume another 15 gm of carbohydrate and wait 15 minutes to recheck your sugar level.
For a rapid sugar gain, here are some food options:
Foods containing a higher amount of fat and fibre take time to be absorbed. That’s why it is inadvisable to consume these foods as they do not help balance your blood sugar level rapidly.
If it is not possible to have a snack, the two available products are chewable glucose tablets and glucose gel, which help in regaining the blood sugar level. These products are available without any subscription and are recommended for people who frequently experience blood sugar loss. Another option is a Glucagon kit, to be consumed as per a doctor’s prescription. Glucagon is a hormone that activates liver cells to release glucose in the blood.
Someone with diabetes who does not have enough glucose in their bloodstream will experience diabetic hypoglycemia. In this situation people feel nervous, afraid, short-tempered or confused, vision becomes blurry and the balance becomes unsteady.
Serious hypoglycemic conditions can lead to unconsciousness or seizures. In such cases, consume meals containing 15 gm of carbohydrates. Taking insulin in such cases can further reduce the blood sugar level and taking Glucagon is prescribed instead.
If hypoglycemia occurs frequently, small meals throughout the day are recommended; this will prevent the decrease in blood sugar levels. A condition in which a person who does not have diabetes experiences hypoglycemia is known as non-diabetic hypoglycemia. If the blood sugar level is low or unstable, this condition may occur. Several factors are responsible for the occurrence of hypoglycemia in people without diabetes.
A non-diabetic hypoglycemia diet plan that includes proteins, fibres, meat, dairy products, fruit, vegetables, and whole-grain bread in your diet can help regulate glucose levels as it will help you have lasting energy preventing the collision of sugar. It is mandatory to limit the uptake of high-sugar foods.
People may experience hypoglycemia without diabetes. Glucose is considered the main fuel to work for the brain and body. It is of utmost importance to manage hypoglycemia diabetes because it may develop long term health-related troubles.