or blood sugar is a disorder of blood sugar metabolism
which may result in
in later life. It is a condition in which the pancreas
produces too much insulin, causing
the blood sugar to drop.
sometimes occurs in healthy people some hours after a meal rich in
carbohydrates, especially following muscular exertion. It is frequently found in the first few days
of life, especially among premature infants.
is a serious disorder as the brain cannot function properly when the blood sugar
level is too low. Like all other organs of the body, the brain receive its fuel from the diet. But it
can use only the sugar produced by the body from carbohydrates. Unlike many of the body
tissues, it cannot store its fuel. Therefore, it must get a constant supply of sugar through the
bloodstream. Mental disturbances caused by subnormal blood sugar levels can seriously affect
a person's life.
A craving for sweets and starches in excessive amount between meals is the first sign of low
blood sugar level . When the blood sugar level falls much below normal, symptoms
nervousness, irritability, fatigue
, disturbed vision and headache appear. Other
are sweating, trembling, numbness, absent-mindedness, dizziness, palpitation of the
heart and some sexual disturbances. Most hypoglycemia
patients feel hungry and eat frequently
to get over the feeling of weakness and emotional irritability. They feel tense if they have to go
without food for several hours.
is usually caused by an excessive intake of refined carbohydrates and sugar
foods. These substances cause the pancreas
, the adrenal gland and the liver to lose their ability
to handle the sugar properly. Other causes of low blood sugar are a tumour, disturbed
functioning of the liver, pituitary gland
or adrenal glands. Stress
intensifies this condition as it
weakens the adrenal glands and starts a faulty pattern of glucose intolerance.
The high animal protein diet generally prescribed for hypoglycemia
is not suitable for this
disorder. It may help control
the condition temporarily, but it is harmful in many other respects
and may result in other diseases like heart trouble,arteries, kidney problems and cancer
The ideal diet for hypoglycemia
should be based on three basic food groups,namely grains,
seeds and nuts, vegetable oils. Seeds, nuts and grains should be the main constituents of the
diet. Seeds and nuts should be taken in their raw form. Grains, in the form of cereals,should be
cooked. Cooked grains are digested slowly and release sugar into the blood gradually six to
eight hours after meals. This will keep the blood sugar level normal and constant for a long
Persons suffering from low blood sugar should take six to eight small meals a day instead of two
or three large ones. Eating raw nuts and seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds or drinking
milk, butter milk or fruit juices between meals will be highly beneficial. All refined and processed
foods , white sugar, white flour and their by-products should be completely eliminated from the
diet. Coffee, alcohol
and soft drinks should also be avoided. The consumption of salt should be
reduced as an excessive intake of salt causes loss of blood potassium, which causes blood
sugar to drop. The following is the menu suggested for hypoglycemia
On rising :
Fresh fruits such as apples,peaches, melons, berries, avocado or a glass of fresh
Nuts, seeds, fruit, cottage cheese and buttermilk.
Fruit, fruit juice or tomato juice.
Cooked cereals and milk.
A glass of fruit or vegetable juice or a snack consisting of nuts.
Vegetable salad with a cooked vegetable from among those allowed, one or two slices
of whole wheat bread,cottage cheese and butter milk.
On retiring :
A glass of milk or buttermilk.
Vegetables which can be taken in hypoglycemia
are asparagus, beets, carrots, cucumbers,
egg-plants, peas, radishes, tomatoes, spinach, kale, lettuce, beans, baked potatoes. Fruits
which can be taken are apples, apricots, berries, peaches, and pineapples. Consumption of
citrus fruits should be limited.
Foods rich in vitamin C , E and B-complex are highly beneficial in the treatment of low blood
sugar. Vitamins C and B increase tolerance to sugar and carbohydrates and help normalise
. Pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6 help to build up adrenals which are
generally exhausted in persons with hypoglycemia
. Vitamin E improves glycogen storage in the
muscles and tissues. The patient should take vitamin C in large doses from 2,000 to 5,000 mg.;
B6 50 mg. and vitamin E upto 1,600 lu daily.
Proper rest is essential for those suffering from low blood sugar. A tranquil mind is of utmost
importance in this condition. Nervous strain and anxiety should be relieved by simple methods of
meditation and relaxation. Yogasanas like vakrasana, bhujasana, halasana, sarbagasana and
shavasana and pranayama like kapalbhati and anuloma-viloma will be beneficial. A prolonged
neutral immersion bath is also helpful in relieving mental tension.