Causes Of Postprandial Hypoglycemia: Reactive Hypoglycemia Symptoms

Hypoglycemia as everyone knows is a state of low blood sugar level in the body, which affects the vital organs such as brain. Low blood sugar level does not allow the brain to work at its optimum potential. Hypoglycemia generally occurs among diabetics who are taking insulin, or diabetic medicines. Abnormal drop in blood sugar level due to overdose of insulin or medication is one of the possible causes of hypoglycemia in diabetics.

While, diabetics are at the greatest risk of suffering from hypoglycemia, low blood sugar level can also occur among non diabetic individual.

Postprandial hypoglycemia is one such condition that can occur even in non diabetics. Postprandial hypoglycemia literally means low level of blood sugar after eating a meal, and that is quiet intriguing,  because normally after eating food, the level of sugar rises in the blood. Let us know why it occurs and the circumstances that lead to postprandial hypoglycemia.

What Causes Postprandial Hypoglycemia?

Postprandial hypoglycemia is diagnosed through blood test. The test is performed two hours after taking a meal. Normal value of postprandial blood sugar ranges between 80 to 140 mg/dl. Postprandial blood sugar below 80mg/dl is definitely not good, but below 50mg/dl is surely postprandial hypoglycemia.

Researchers are still studying in great depth to pin point the actual cause of postprandial hypoglycemia. The two hormone secreted by the pancreas are responsible to maintain the level of glucose in the blood. Insulin combines with glucose and helps its delivery to the cells for energy utilization. Glucagon is another hormone that raises the level of glucose in the blood. Increase in insulin or decrease in glucagon production can cause hypoglycemia. There are certain catalytic factors that are known to cause postprandial hypoglycemia such as:

  • People, who have undergone gastric surgeries such as Gastrectomy (removal of part or full stomach) or other gastric bypass surgeries, are commonest sufferers from postprandial hypoglycemia.
    After these surgeries, the food rapidly passes through the stomach and intestine.
  • Over dose of insulin or diabetic medicine in a diabetic patient can also cause drop in glucose level.
  • Deficiency of amylase, an enzyme responsible for converting carbohydrates from the food we eat into glucose.
  • Liver diseases, such as hepatitis and liver cancer can prevent the release of glucose from its storage, this result into low level of blood glucose.

Symptoms Of Reactive Hypoglycemia

The symptoms of postprandial hypoglycemia can be easily confused with regular hypoglycemic symptoms; in fact it is very difficult to differentiate between symptoms of both conditions. The only striking feature is low blood sugar level after eating a meal. You may experience following symptoms if you suffer from postprandial hypoglycemia.

  • Dizziness.
  • Headache.
  • Excessive Sweating.
  • Cold and clammy skin.
  • Trembling and difficulty in movement.
  • Your hands and legs feel shaky.
  • Abnormal desire to eat sweets.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Patient is not able to realize what he is speaking.
  • Confused state of mind.
  • Palpitation and rapid heartbeat.
  • Nausea.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Increased and frequent urination.
  • Difficulty in recognition due to confused state of mind.
  • Excessive nervousness.
  • Person is not able to sleep.
  • Tingling numbness on lips, finger tips, on tip of the tongue.

The key to figure out these symptoms in relation to postprandial hypoglycemia is they occur within one or two hours after you take your meal. You can test your blood sugar during this period at home with blood sugar monitoring kit, or you can also consult your doctor.

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