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Hypoglycemia: An Introduction



Glucose.  Despite all the warnings of sugar overload, glucose is a form of sugar that the human body needs.  And it needs a steady supply of it.  Glucose is your body's main 

source of energy. Your body can't manufacture this and it can't store it.  So it's dependent on you to feed it what it needs.

 
When your body is abnormally low on glucose then a condition called hypoglycemia develops. Hypoglycemia is not a disease; it's an indicator of a more serious health problem. Most commonly, this health condition is associated with diabetes.  But, other problems can also prompt it.

 

If you don't have diabetes, some of the reasons why you may be experiencing hypoglycemia include the use of certain medications or alcohol as well as having some kinds of cancer.  Diseases associated with the kidneys, liver or heart failure can also prompt the symptoms of hypoglycemia.  Another reason for experiencing this problem could also stem from a deficiency of hormones. 

 

Moreover, if you have a disorder which results in your body producing an abundance of insulin, you could be prone to hypoglycemia.  Insulin is the hormone that your pancreas secretes which regulates you level of blood sugar.

 

Sugar is one of the major fuels for the body.  The only two ways you system can acquire it only through the consumption of simple sugars or complex carbohydrates.  During the digestive process, your body takes the carbohydrates from foods like bread, pizza, rice pasta, fruit and milk products as well as fruits and vegetables.

 

Glucose is one of theses sugar molecules which get broken down.  It's then absorbed directly into your bloodstream following your meal.  It cannot, however, penetrate the cells of most of your tissues without the aid of insulin.

 

If your pancreas produces and, in turn, releases too much insulin into your blood stream, you suffer from a health condition called hyperinsulinema.  Again, like low blood sugar, it's not a disease in and of itself, but it's an indicator of an underlying health problem.  When your pancreas releases too much insulin, even more glucose enters your cells.  You liver is unable to get rid of the glucose in your blood stream.  The result is low blood sugar.

 

If you don't have diabetes, the normal fasting blood sugar level is between 70 and 100 mg per deciliter.  Blood sugar level is considered low in a person who doesn't have diabetes when it dips to 50 mg per deciliter or below.

 

However, you need to be aware that insulin isn't the sole factor in the complex process of blood sugar maintenance.  Following a meal, for example, insulin levels are elevated.  Your liver accepts the extra sugar and stores it in the form of glycogen.  When the insulin levels dip between meals, you liver then breaks down the glycogen into glucose. 

 

Your body additionally has the ability to manufacture glucose through a process known as gluconeogenesis.  While it occurs primarily in your liver, your kidneys also aid the creation.


Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

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Site Features

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Cartoons!
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Links
Birth Stories
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Advertising

Contact Us


Birth, Joy, & Raspberry Leaves
-a new video compiled by Catherine and Amanda Young
of The Compleat Mother

Go HERE for more information on the waterbirth video!


Click here to read: The Farmer and the Obstetrician

Click here for the Home Sweet Homebirth (Video)

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Greg Cryns
The Compleat Mother Magazine
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