Reactive Hypoglycemia Treatment Guidelines And Protocol Every Diabetic Should Know

Diabetes is associated with high blood sugar levels, but did you know individuals with this disease also have to deal with risks tied to low glucose? One of the causes of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar is overmedication. However, this condition is rare because most diabetics carefully monitor their glucose levels and follow strict physician guidelines when it comes to the administration of medication.

A more common condition seen in diabetics is reactive hypoglycemia, which is the result of a sugar high followed by a rapid decrease or “crash.” Because of risk, it is essential that every diabetic should be familiar with reactive hypoglycemia treatment guidelines and protocol.

Low Blood Sugar versus Reactive Hypoglycemia

Every individual will experience low blood sugar levels at least once in their lifetime. Characterized by symptoms such as shakiness, headaches, nausea and hunger, these signs indicate the body is running low on glucose and experiencing decreasing levels of glycogen – or stored sugar.

In healthy individuals, the easiest cure is to eat a snack or meal. Diabetics on the other hand will require foods high in sugar or carbohydrates (but not high in fat, such as sweets and cookies) or specialized glucose tablets.

The Effects of Reactive Hypoglycemia

If left untreated, reactive hypoglycemia can cause dangerously low blood sugar levels in healthy individuals and diabetics. However, those with diabetes may be able to recognize the warning signs and administer hypoglycemia treatment more efficiently because of their knowledge and ability to test their blood sugar levels.

Guidelines to Prevent Reactive Hypoglycemia in Diabetics

Many cases of reactive hypoglycemia in diabetics are related to poor diet, eating habits and exercise. Typically, this condition is seen 1 to 4 hours after eating but can be prevented by:

  • Not missing meals. It is not uncommon for adults and teens to miss meals or snacks, but this can trigger the beginning stages of hypoglycemia. By this time the solution is often to grab a quick, sugary snack – which can result in an episode of a sudden blood sugar low shortly after.
  • Eating a meal high in simple sugars. Cookies, cakes and pastries full of sugary goodness may taste great but can leave diabetics prone to an episode of reactive hypoglycemia.
  • Exercise is healthy, but only in moderation. During exercise, the body burns glucose for energy – but sudden or intense exercise can cause the bodies’ sugars to be consumed at dangerous rates.
  • Keep in mind this condition is not common in diabetics, but can occur if blood sugars are not carefully monitored or during incidents of accidental overmedication.

While there is no standardized reactive hypoglycemia treatment guidelines and protocol for individuals with diabetes, every diabetic should be aware of this potential condition. However, this situation can be easily avoided by the proper administration of insulin, balanced diet and moderate (physician approved) exercise program.

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