Hypoglycemia Symptoms and Treatment

Last Modified on Jun 19, 2014

What Is Hypoglycemia?

The body’s main energy source is glucose or sugar. As the body breaks down glucose, it releases energy and regulates several of the body’s processes. However, when the blood sugar drops to an abnormally low level a condition called hypoglycemia occurs, causing a range of symptoms and issues. Hypoglycemia is most commonly associated with diabetes; however, several additional health conditions may cause or be linked to the development of hypoglycemia. Much like a fever, hypoglycemia is not actually the disease itself but rather is an indicator of an underlying health problem.

The symptoms of hypoglycemia may vary depending on the individual as well as the exact cause. Nonetheless, several common symptoms can help identify hypoglycemia. Common symptoms of hypoglycemia include confusion, abnormal behavior, heart palpitations, shakiness, anxiety, sweating, hunger and a tingling sensation around the mouth. While uncommon, hypoglycemia may also cause seizures and loss of consciousness.



Maintaining a constant blood sugar level is important for sustained health and energy. As the blood sugar falls below a normal level, hypoglycemia occurs. This drop in glucose level may be caused by a variety of factors. Drug use, diabetic treatment, critical illness, insulin overproduction, endocrine deficiencies and excessive alcohol consumption may all lead to hypoglycemia.

Natural Remedies for Hypoglycemia

Just as several factors lead to the development of hypoglycemia, several things can be used to treat the condition. Several home remedies stabilize blood sugar and prevent the characteristic drop in blood sugar level associated with hypoglycemia. Angostura bitters taken with artichoke leaf and gentian root normalize blood sugar as does astragalus and licorice root. Additionally, bilberry and wild yam control insulin levels, and gymnema sylvestre suppresses the absorption of saccharides. Additional beneficial herbs include Echinacea, parsley, pau d’arco, raspberry leaves and uva ursi. An effective treatment plan also involves getting regular exercise, avoiding aspartame and artificial sweeteners as well as sugary fruits, and sweetening food with natural sweeteners such as stevia.

Read below for more many remedies from Earth Clinic readers.

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User Reviews




Avoiding Aspartame   1  0   

Posted by Dorcas (Camden On Gauley, West Virginia) on 06/25/2013

[YEA]  Hi, I have been hypoglycemic for a long time now and I have always drank diet coke. Do you know that I stoped drinking diet coke and I have not had one low blood sugar since. Last night I tryed the diet coke again and woke up at 3 am with a blood sugar of 60. I believe the aspartame is what makes people have low blood sugar whether it be in the things we drink or eat.

Cinnamon   1  0   

Posted by Surfminister (Charlotte, Nc, Usa) on 03/29/2011

[WARNING!]  Hey ya'll,

I've been battling hypoglycemia lately and I've found some great stuff here on EC. So thanks to everyone for posting and special thanks to Ted for all of his input.

I did want to point out, however, that if you are dealing with hypoglycemia, be careful of taking too much cinammon. Most of the blood sugar supplements out there are for diabetics and the emphasis is on lowering blood sugar.

I read on one post that cinammon will "stabilize" blood sugar and it will, if you are diabetic. On the other hand, if you are hypoglycemic, cinammon could potentially drive your blood sugar too low. I guess "stabilize" means "lower" to a diabetic, I should have caught that.

So just be careful with cinammon and hypoglycemia. I experienced this myself when I tried taking 500 mg, twice per day. I took one tablet at night and one in the morning and by mid morning, my sugar plummeted. The cinammon was the only thing I changed in my daily routine. Before this, I had been getting progressively better and sugar swings were becoming less and less frequent.

Cheers, JRo

Replied by Sand
Atlanta, Ga
03/29/2011
Which brand of cinnamon did you take? I've wanted to use cinnamon for controlling high blood sugar but understand that not all brands will give you the same result.

Posted by Dee (San Diego, CA) on 05/27/2009

[YEA]  Cinnamon Tablets cured my Hypoglycemia! I use to suffer from Hypoglycemia until I started taking Cinnamon tablets which you can purchase at any Health Food store or Vitamin shop. The Cinnamon helps to stabilize your blood sugar when taken on a daily basis. It's inexpensive and ALL natural. I havn't had any hypoglycemic episodes since I've been taking the Cinnamon. 500 to 1000mg per day is what is recommended. You will experience immediate results!!!

Replied by Coretta
Suitland, Md
03/16/2011
I have had Hypoglycemia for around 1 year because I stopped drinking alcohol. That's what I think. I tried using cinnamon and it helped but I did not no that I could purchase Cinnamon Tablets. Thank you so much I need a good night sleep because Hypoglycemia wakes me up and I have to eat something sweet to go back to sleep. During the day the Hypoglycemia doesn't botter me. So I am thankful for this information. Coretta

Jogging   1  0   

Posted by Mike (Chicago, Illinois) on 09/27/2008

[YEA]  Nothing cures hypoglycemia better than jogging 40 minutes a day.

Replied by Elf
Blomington, Illinois, Usa
02/17/2010
Many people, like myself, who have hypoglycemia get fits of nausea after aerobic exercise. So jogging won't help everyone.
Replied by Bee
Anon, Usa
02/17/2010
I would also worry about doing heavy exercise if you don't have your blood sugar under control. I think you should work on diet first. Exercise is important too for overall health, though.

L-Glutamine   1  0   

Posted by stephanie (Chicago, IL) on 09/18/2007

[YEA]  Most "alcoholics" don't realize their addiction is chemical and a direct result of being "hypoglycemic". The addiction to the alcohol is so strong because their blood-sugar level drops so severely and gets replenished so quickly with alcohol--because of the high sugar content. In other words, it's not your fault! This is the answer, if you are trying to cut back on your alcohol intake or go "cold turkey", just buy a bottle of "L- Glutamine" and take one every time you have a craving for alcohol. "Glutamine is an amino acid that your brain can use as an emergency substitute fuel when you haven't eaten recently or have been eating too many carbs and your blood sugar level is too low. This is a glucose stand-in that stops the impulse to run to the candy machine when it's low blood sugar time. L-Glutamine can stop your cravings and get you feeling steady and even within ten minutes." Julia Ross, from The Mood Cure-awesome book. I'm telling you, it works, now go help yourself!

No-Grain Diet   1  0   

Posted by Madhavi (Mumbai, India) on 09/20/2011

[YEA]  No-Grain Diet

After a decade of battling hypoglycemia and it's associated symptoms, I have begun following a no-grain diet. While I do not weigh food and calculate quantities, I do try to eat no more than 1. 5g per kilo body weight of protein per day. This includes a low-carb whey protein shake, two eggs and very small portions of fish or meat. The rest of my plate is filled with non-starchy vegetables/salads and a good serving of healthy fats. The fats are very important. I chase my meals with a glass of water mixed with juice of half a lime. It took about 2 weeks to see results when I first started. For the past 4 months of following this diet, I have felt no hypoglycemia symptoms whatsoever. No shaky hands. No brain fog. No dizzy spells. No afternoon headaches. No ravenous hunger soon after eating. My energy levels are better. Just losing the 'shakes' is such a great feeling! I do take basic multivitamins... But I do not attribute the change to them since I have been taking them for a while now with no noticeable difference. I must note that I have been gluten-free for 5-6 years now... However that alone did not help my hypoglycemia. Giving up ALL grains is what did the trick!

Small Meals, Caffeine Only After Lunch   1  0   

Posted by Theglennstreet (Taipei, Taiwan) on 03/18/2010

[YEA]  I had suffered for years from Hypoglycaemic attacks, mainly when I have neglected to eat regularly, as we all do from time to time.

However, I was still prone rather severe episodes of Hypoglycaemia until I read that caffeine was a probable cause.

I now only ever drink tea, coffee (or caffeine) after lunch and this has virtually eliminated the attacks which only occur if I do not eat regularly.

In short - my personal cure for Hypoglycaemia - eat little and often and avoid any caffeine until after lunch.

Replied by Jeff
Chico, Ca
08/08/2011
I've had good luck with smaller more frequent meals however this most certainly will not cure the problem. If you are interested in completely getting rid of it (and you should, low blood sugar is deadly) google Dr. Roberto Illa and make an appointment to see him, well worth the plane ticket (saved my life). He is an ingenious research doctor and has a method that can actually fix the underlying problem (hypothalamus usually), he has a book call the Illa protocol if you are interested.

Stevia   1  0   

Posted by Kathy (Frederick, MD) on 08/01/2007

[YEA]  I first read about stevia a little over a year ago. I was convinced enough to try and have been using it ever since. I have hypo-glycemia (low blood sugar), however, I no longer suffer from the extreme drops in blood sugar levels. I drink 10-15 drops of the darker liquid stevia every day in yerba mate tea. This gives me a nice boost in the morning, staves off my allergies and helps to balance my blood sugar.

I know of a little girl who lost her hair due to extreme thyroid problems when she was younger. I had remembered reading that if you combine a few drops of the dark stevia with creme de cocoa soap and lather on your scalp, you may be able to re-grow hair. I truly didn't know if this would work and was very skeptical but my heart went out to this 12 year old that has to wear wigs everyday so I told her parents about it. She's been using it for about two months now and her hair is re-growing. Granted, ever so slowly and patchy on her head but we're all very hopeful that she will continue to grow gorgeous locks!

Bottom line, stevia is extremely sweet and takes a little getting used to. It's a wonderful alternative to artificial chemicals. It has zero effect on blood glucose levels. I've found it in dry packets, clear liquid and dark liquid forms.

I've also heard it's good for acne but I have not tried that myself. Apparently it tightens a little bit as it dries on your skin. Put a light coating on yoru skin. Leave on overnight. It washes off very easily. After several days you should see much improvement.

Replied by Susan
NYC, NY
02/28/2009
[WARNING!]   I would be careful about using stevia for hypoglycemia, depending on the causes. Stevia is traditionally used to treat diabetes because it raises your insulin levels. But, for those who are hypoglycemic because their insulin levels are already too high (like myself) could be sabotaging themselves. Also raised insulin levels affect all your other hormones, raising them across the board, which, if you are a woman, can be very bad, leading to polycystic ovaries.
Replied by Spencer
La, Ca
09/01/2012
How can one tell if their Hypoglycemia is caused by high or low insulin levels? Beside seeing a doc.

Yogic Breathing   1  0   

Posted by Nicholas (Edison, N.j. Usa) on 01/16/2013

[YEA]  I had a severe case of hypolycemia for 8 years. It started right after I had an emotional upset in 1976. Then I discovered yoga breathing in 1984. By the time I had my 20th breathing session I was healed of hypoglycemia and of most emotional problems. Yoga breathing is also called Rebirthing, Conscious Breathing. A great many of our "uncurable" physical problems are caused by emotions that we suppress into the body.

Replied by Mary
Arlington Heights, Illinois
06/03/2013
Please please tell me more about yogic breathing. Thank you.
Replied by Kell
Los Angeles, Ca
06/28/2013
Yes, please explain the yoga breathing and how often a day you do it and how long etc... Thank you!







 



DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.

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