Sweating, weakness, hunger, dizziness, trembling, palpitations, confusion, and sometimes double vision. Behavior is often irrational and aggressive and movements uncoordinated; this state may be mistaken for drunkenness. The victim may lapse into a coma due to extreme low blood sugar. Symptoms are usually episodic, being related to time and content of the previous meal. Symptoms are usually improved by eating.
What is Hypoglycemia?
From Modern Western Medicine
Hypoglycemia is an abnormally low level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Almost all cases occur in sufferers from insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In this disease, the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates the level of glucose in the blood), resulting in an abnormally high level of glucose. To lower it, diabetics take either hypoglycemic drugs by mouth or insulin by injection. Too high a dose can either reduce the blood sugar to too low a level, thus starving the body cells of energy. Hypoglycemia can also occur if a diabetic person misses a meal, fails to eat enough carbohydrates, or exercises too much.
Rarely, hypoglycemia can result from drinking a large amount of alcohol or from an insulinoma (an insulin producing tumor of the pancreas); it also occurs for no known reason in children, but is usually only temporary.
Insulin-dependent diabetics should always carry sugar with them to take at the first sign of an attack. If a person is unconscious and it is suspected they suffered a hypoglycemic attack, a physician should be called immediately.
From Traditional Medicine
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, often develops from the same kind of dietary extremes that cause diabetes, but instead of a diabetic shortage of insulin, an excess is produced. In time, if insulin production continues, the pancreas becomes overworked and loses its ability to produce sufficient and/or effective insulin, the result being diabetes. Therefore, hypoglycemia is often a precursor to the onset of diabetes.
The hypoglycemic person usually has a long history of sugar abuse and is often drawn to sugar in an attempt to placate some underlying emotional disharmony. Often, too much meat in the diet causes excessive sugar cravings. This is an attempt to establish a protein/carbohydrate balance. Excessive meat eating also generates prostaglandins that may cause pain, inflammation, and depression, and sugar and alcohol can temporarily reduce these burdens.
To resolve a hypoglycemic condition, one must avoid denatured and refined foods, because these foods lack minerals and other nutrients that control all metabolic activities, including insulin production. Refined flour or sugar, for example, is composed primarily of carbohydrates that deliver energy and warmth. The minerals that are refined away would have been incorporated into the blood, hormones, and various body fluids to cool, moisten, and subdue the burning of sugars into energy. The hypoglycemic body robs its own tissues of these needed minerals, thereby losing the deep controlling reserves that stabilize it during dietary extremes and stress in general. Thus, those with low blood sugar may notice major fluctuations in blood sugar levels according to what they ate at the last meal.
High-protein diets have been considered a cure for hypoglycemics, because protein digests slowly, supplies energy gradually, and does not trigger excess insulin production. But a high-protein diet causes other serious problems. The best dietary remedy seems to be to eat complex carbohydrates (as shown below) along with the general advice to chew thoroughly, eat small and frequent meals, and do simple food combining.
Foods to Eat
It is especially important not to overeat, chew thoroughly, and not eat up to 3 hours before bed.
- Whole grains, such as rice, millet, and oats
- Beans, especially mung and garbanzo
- Tofu and other soy products
- Chlorophyll-rich foods, such as wheat grass or barely grass, spirulina, and chlorella
- Seaweeds (soak before using)
- Vegetables, especially string beans, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, yams, spinach, and avocadoes
- Fruits, especially blueberries and huckleberries in small doses
- Nuts and seeds, in small quantities
- Flax oil
- Sweeteners, such as rice syrup and barely malt, in small quantities
Foods to Avoid
- Salt (eat only small amounts because salt reduces blood sugar)
- Fruit juices
- High-protein foods, such as meat, poultry, and dairy products
- Flour products
- Dried fruit
- Refined carbohydrates
- Vegetable juices
Herbs to Treat Hypoglycemia
- Michael Tierra’s Formula 25. Purchased or ordered through your health food store. One of the best formulas to use for hypoglycemia.
- The following is a specific formula for hypoglycemia:
1 part goldenseal
1 part juniper berries
1 part uva ursi
1 part cedar berries
1 part dandelion root
1 part bistort
1 part licorice root powder
1 part huckleberry leaves
Powder the herbs and put them in #00 capsule. Take 2 capsules, three times a day, between meals. This can also be taken as a decoction in doses of 2 oz. twice daily on an empty stomach.
- Dandelion tea: A cup one-half hour before meals acts as a tonic to the liver and stomach and helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
Combine the following herbs to build up the digestive system:
1 part dandelion root
1 part calamus root
1 part gentian
¼ part ginger
¼ part cinnamon
Alternate hot and cold packs morning and night for 10 minutes over the kidney area, pancreas, and adrenals.
- Vitamin B complex
Thiamine: 1.5 mg per day
Riboflavin: 1.8 mg per day
Vitamin B6: 2 – 10 mg per day
Vitamin B12: 2 – 10 mg per day
Niacin: 20 mg per day
- Vitamin C: 100 – 500 mg per day
- Vitamin E: 100 – 400 IU per day
- Zinc: 15 mg per day
- Lecithin: 1 tsp., three times daily
- Bran: 1 tsp., two or three times daily