Hypoglycemia can be something that happens to people at some point during their lives. There are natural and nutritional solutions to prevent its occurrence.
What is Hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia is abnormally low blood sugar (glucose). Without enough glucose, brain functioning is impaired. This situation is called “neuroglycopenia”. As a result, a person suffering from hypoglycemia can feel “dysphoria” or even have “seizures, unconsciousness…(or) brain damage or death”. Typically, people who are diabetic and who are taking insulin or other glucose-regulating medications will be the ones to experience hypoglycemia. It is important to note that even non-diabetics can suffer a bout of this condition. It is caused by excessive insulin, metabolism problems, some poisons or medications, hormone issues, alcohol, starvation, infection, and organ failure. Carbohydrates or dextrose-rich foods can usually resolve the blood glucose deficiency; however, serious cases may require an injection of glucagon.1 Hypoglycemia’s disturbing symptoms of shakiness, nervousness, light-headedness/fainting, anxiety, confusion, nausea, weakness, etc. can come on suddenly, but they can also be quickly resolved.2
Diabetics should have their medications reviewed with their physician. If the scheduling of medications or amounts are off-kilter, the patient and doctor can work together to make sure the proper doses are taken at the proper time, according to the patient’s lifestyle. If patients exercise a lot, or need alterations in following a healthy meal plan, they can work with their doctors to make sure that they are getting enough meals, snacks, and appropriate medication dosages for their activity level. Alcohol is responsible for cases of hypoglycemia, especially when a person drinks on an empty stomach or drinks heavily. For those on insulin or diabetic medications, alcohol use must be considered carefully, and it should always be consumed with food. Diabetics should carry glucose tablets or gel, or have fruit juice or hard candy available, in case hypoglycemia occurs.3
There are homeopathic and herbal supplements available to prevent hypoglycemia or restore balance to blood sugar levels. Some home remedies may include gudmar (an Ayurvedic herb), angostura bitters, artichoke leaf, or gentian root. To treat the body’s stress response, one might consider licorice root (in moderation) or astragalus. Insulin can be regulated by wild yam and bilberry. To support the liver and pancreas, a person may try dandelion root or milk thistle. Nutrition and dietary prevention are the keys to overall health and balance. Reducing refined sugars, alcohol, processed foods, saturated fats, and artificial coloring/flavoring can be beneficial. There are many natural sweeteners on the market, such as stevia, barley malt syrup, brown rice syrup, and molasses that can help the body avoid roller coaster glucose levels.4 It is important, also, to focus on lean proteins and green vegetables. This will reduce “blood sugar volatility”. Some nutritional supplements can also assist the dietary changes, including fish oil, psyllium seed husks, cinnamon, ginger, kudzu, aloe vera, and green tea. They “control the tempo of glucose entry” and keep the blood in balance.5 Finally, various vitamins and minerals can also support good blood health, including C, E, B, chromium, and magnesium.6