You have likely already heard of the term postprandial hypoglycemia in reference to a form of diabetes. Hypoglycemia is a condition resulting in low blood sugar levels and is most common among those with diabetes mellitus. Although this is by far the most common, men and women can experience hypoglycemia without having diabetes this is called postprandial hypoglycemia. This condition can become present for a number of different reasons including dysfunctional blood sugar levels after a major surgery, excessive insulin created naturally or through medications used improperly or poor functioning glucose tolerance.
Something called reactive hypoglycemia is often discovered after the administered oral glucose tolerance test. This by far the easiest test administered to determine whether you are experiencing postprandial blood sugar levels. This testing for postprandial hypoglycemia has come a long way over the years and today it takes only a few simple tests to get to the bottom of your signs and symptoms. In this article we will go through the symptoms as well as the causes of postprandial hypoglycemia that may include hereditary fructose intolerance and plasma glucose concentration as a brief example. Alimentary hypoglycemia or better known as dumping syndrome is by far the most common form of postprandial hypoglycemia and one we will discuss here.
The symptoms will condition vary greatly, depending on the severity of their condition, their hydration levels, etc. and therefore treatment varies greatly as well. Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with postprandial hypoglycemia:
- Heart palpitations
- Increased appetite (feeling as though you are literally starving)
- Coma (in the most extreme cases)
This is only a short list of the signs associated with this condition and they vary greatly from each other and can easily be diagnosed with a number of other diseases. This is why the oral glucose tolerance test is so important because it focuses in on the causes of this condition and eliminates any underlying conditions as well to get a clear diagnosis.
Alimentary hypoglycemia occurs for 15% of the population who have had a stomach surgery of some kind. It is incredibly easy for the body to react adversely to a major surgery and in some cases the patient will come out and become hypo- reactive or in other words, postprandial hypoglycemia. This syndrome can be treated through the following:
1. Eat small meals or snacks every 4-5 hours to keep your blood sugar levels consistent throughout the day
2. Replace refined foods with whole grains to take advantage of the fibre and complex carbohydrates
3. Make sure your diet is well balanced and full of variety to include all the food groups
4. You will want to avoid alcohol and caffeine as these can adversely affect your blood sugar levels.
5. You will also want to limit your intake of sugar through your diet. For many people suffering from this condition, their low blood sugar cannot be offset by eating more sugar through diet.
As you can see there are many similarities of treatment when compared to someone suffering from diabetes. The difference between the two conditions is that diabetes is something many people will live with for the duration of their life where postprandial hypoglycemia is something that is temporary for many patients. If the cause of this condition is related to a surgery of the stomach or gastric organs of the body than you are most likely dealing with a condition that will return to normal once you have taken the necessary steps to restore your blood’s glucose levels.
On the other hand, if this condition goes undetected it can become a major problem and one that you may be dealing with for the longer term. When your condition comes to light you will likely be tested for diabetes as well because hypoglycemia is often a sign that type 1 diabetes is beginning to set in. Just as if you were having problems with your heart, you would not wait to get a diagnosis and find out what the causes of your symptoms could be. The same way of thinking should be applied here. Hypoglycemia can start out as a mere inconvenience when you have to change your diet and eating habits but if you choose to ignore the signs your body is giving you, you may find yourself suffering needlessly.
Many people live long and happy lives with these conditions and find that over time their major lifestyle changes were not that big of a deal and they prefer to live a healthier lifestyle because it prevents more severe conditions down the road like high blood pressure and heart disease. Watch for the signs of postprandial hypoglycemia now that you know what to look for and request an oral or other blood glucose tolerance test asap.