What is it?
With the term hypoglycaemia we mean a lowering of blood sugar, or the concentration of glucose in the blood.
It represents the most frequent of the alterations in glucose metabolism, leading to a strong sense of fatigue and physical weakness.
Sugars represent the main energy substrate of our cells, when the concentration of glucose in the blood drops too low, the tissue cells go into a state of metabolic fatigue, no longer having the energy available to carry out their metabolic functions.
We speak of hypoglycaemia, when the blood glucose values are below 60-160 mg / dl.
The condition of hypoglycemia stimulates the release of hormones in the body, which after a general metabolic suffering of the cells of the nervous system, stimulate the body to react, with associated symptoms such as:
- Intense hunger;
- Intense sweating;
- Difficulty concentrating;
- Poor judgement;
- Behavioral changes.
The onset of the symptoms described above arises as soon as there is a sudden and abrupt drop in blood sugar.
The underlying causes of hypoglycemia can be different:
- Adrenal insufficiency;
- Liver disease;
- Hormonal imbalances;
- Tumor of pancreatic cells responsible for insulin secretion;
- Prolonged fasting;
- Restrictive diets;
- Prolonged physical activity;
- Alcohol abuse;
- Interventions of the gastrointestinal system, which modify the absorption of glucose.
In severe cases of hypoglycemia, the condition is restored with drug treatment:
- Diazoxide is a vasodilator drug, used to treat hypoglycemia associated with pancreatic cancer;
- Glucagon, injected intramuscularly, stimulates the release of glucose into the blood by the breakdown of muscle or hepatic glycogen;
Natural remedies and nutrition
The molecules involved in raising blood sugar are both simple and complex carbohydrates, even if the sugars that act promptly in raising blood sugar are simple sugars, as they are directly absorbed in the intestine, compared to the complexes that first require the digestion and then later absorption.
These are the main rules for dealing with a hypoglycemic condition:
- It is important not to skip breakfast, as in the morning there is a physiological hypoglycemic condition, resulting from overnight fasting;
- Don’t skip any meal;
- Coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, energy drinks and cocoa increase the action of adrenaline which can cause a drop in blood sugar.
- Beware of drugs that contain caffeine;
- Prefer fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit;
- Do not drink alcohol while fasting, it can trigger a sudden phase of hypoglycemia.
- Avoid the consumption of whole grains which lower the intestinal absorption of sugars and therefore blood sugar.
It should be known that in general, when a momentary hypoglycemic crisis occurs, it can be restored with the instant intake of simple sugars such as honey, candies, jam, water and sugar.
Following the ingestion of these components, within 15 minutes, the blood sugar should restore, if it persists, it is advisable to contact the family doctor to understand the primary cause.