A few posts earlier we spoke about The Diabetic Cascade. Throughout that post we spoke about how Diabetes is a progressive disorder that begins with Reactive Hypoglycemia progresses to Insulin Resistance then finalizes as a diagnosis of Diabetes if not properly addressed. During this post we will discuss some of the signs and symptoms of this progression and how to prevent it in your future!
Reactive Hypoglycemia is characterized by a marked decline in blood sugar within 2 to 5 hours after a meal. As the name implies, it is a state when you have low blood sugar that is reacting abnormally after meals. It is caused by an abnormal fluctuation of insulin and cortisol. Insulin is a hormone used to transport sugar from the blood to the body cells for energy. Cortisol is a hormone that is released when either there is lowered blood sugar or if the body is placed under stress which will increase the demand for glucose. When released in normal levels these hormones keep your blood sugar stable and allows your body to function properly. When there are abnormal eating habits, meals being missed, or a diet that consists primarily of carbohydrates and sugars these hormones will abnormally fluctuate causing reactive hypoglycemia. Here is a list of the most common symptoms of Reactive Hypoglycemia.
- Craving Sweets during the Day
- Feeling irritable if meals are missed
- Depending on coffee to keep you going
- Feeling Lightheaded if meals are missed
- If fatigued, eating relieves the fatigue
- Feeling shaky, jitter, or have tremors
- Feeling agitated, are easily upset, or nervous
- Poor memory or very forgetful
- Blurry Vision
Insulin Resistance refers to a state in which insulin receptor sites become unresponsive to the binding of insulin. This may be due to many things, but most commonly from diets high in carbohydrates and sugars over a long period of time. This usually is characterized as higher fasting and post-glucose loading insulin levels and a decreased responsiveness to remove insulin and glucose from the tissues. The results is the inability of glucose to be disposed or transported and inevitably causes a change in metabolism. Here are a list of the most common symptoms of Insulin Resistance.
- Feeling fatigue after meals
- Craving sweets during the day
- Eating sweets does not relieve cravings for sugar
- A constant need for sweets even after a meal
- Waist girth that is equal to or larger than hip girth
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst and appetite.
- Difficulty losing weight
Please keep in mind that you do not have to emulate ALL of these symptoms to qualify for the diagnosis of either Reactive Hypoglycemia or Insulin Resistance. Showing these symptoms suggests that you have your blood sugar and lipid levels evaluated soon!
Top 5 Preventative Techniques:
- Limit Carbohydrates, Sugar, Soda, and Saturated Fats in your diet
- Eat a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and fish
- Take an Omega 3 fish oil supplement (2 grams EPA and 1 Gram DHA=3 grams total)
- Exercise at least 20-30 minutes for 3-4 days a week
- Evaluate Blood Sugar and Lipid levels every 6 months-1 year
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our office at 973-228-0500. I would be delighted to personally walk you through some of these preventative techniques!