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Hypoglycemia – In non-diabetics

What is non-diabetic hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia is the condition when your blood glucose levels are too low. Normally, in a 24 hours period, the ideal blood glucose level needs to be between 70 mg/dL and below 140mg/dL. Symptoms of hypoglycemia mostly occur in the range between 50-60mg/dL even after a few whiles of a meal.

Commonly, it is seen in people with diabetes when they have irregularity in taking medicines or medicinal dose not matching with the given condition and inappropriate food habits (a type of food is important).

Though hypoglycemia is rare in non-diabetics it can affect people severely and if not treated immediately it could be life-threatening.

What causes hypoglycemia in non-diabetic people?

Non-diabetic hypoglycemia is due to two main causes:

1) Reactive type: Occurs within a few hours of a meal.

i) Where a person is prediabetic having varied amount of insulin secretion.

2) Non-reactive type: No relation with the meal but could be the cause of a current disease.

i) Can be due to the medications for chronic diseases like kidney disease or diabetes, heart or liver.

ii) In the case of Alcoholic fatty liver disorder or disease (AFLD) where the production of glucose is stopped.

iii) Also in case of alcohol with binge drinking.

iv) Pregnancy

v) Hormonal imbalance

Who are at risk of developing hypoglycemia?

i)People who are obese

ii)People with certain health issues as mentioned above

iii) Dumping syndrome resulting in rapid gastric emptying caused due to gastric surgery or malfunctioning of the valve between the stomach and the duodenum (first part of the small intestine)

iv)Low-calorie diets


Hypoglycemia occurs during fasting or long gaps between meals. Few symptoms include,

i) Headaches

ii) Sudden hunger surge

iii) Shivering

iv) Lightheaded

v) Unconsciousness

vi) Sweaty

vii) Irritable

viii) Sleepy even after a long sleep

ix) In worst cases may lead to coma

How to treat hypoglycemia?

Immediate low blood glucose level can be treated with consuming glucose in the form of a fruit juice or mixture of salt and sugar to maintain electrolyte balance.

i) Eating small meals every after 2 to 3 hours.

ii) Consuming a balanced diet. Inclusion of proteins and healthy fats along with carbohydrates.

iii) Consuming complex carbohydrates like wheat, oats, rajgira (amaranth), sorghum, all seasonal fruits, and vegetables.

iv) Restricting sugary foods.

v) Always carry a snack with you. For instance; nuts, dry fruits or roasted chickpea or cereal bars.

Despite above dietary changes if the symptoms persist, determining the root cause of low blood glucose level is important in treating it completely.

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