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Kathleen Bundy, MS RD CLT(Registered Dietitian)answered(6/14/2012)Low blood sugar/hypoglycemia can be caused by medical conditions although the most likely cause is chaotic or unbalanced eating patterns. If you skip meals or eat unbalanced meals with too much starch, carbohydrate, or sugars you are likely to spike your blood sugar and then have a resultant drop. What goes up must come down and the higher and faster you go up, the quicker and deeper you drop. The most extreme example would be skipping breakfast and then having candy and soda. The sugars are rapidly absorbed and your body releases a lot of insulin to manage the glucose load; all that insulin brings your blood sugar way down and you end up with symptoms of hypoglycemia. To prevent "reactive hypoglycemia" you should focus on eating balanced meals with sufficient protein (especially in the morning) and fiber, avoid drinking your calories via juices, sodas, or other sweetened beverages, and add snacks with protein as needed to keep your blood sugar balanced.
Pamela Warren, MS, CHN(Certified Holistic & Clinical Nutritionist)answered(9/21/2012)All are great suggestions. Eating patterns are very, very important here. When you have hypoglycemia = low blood glucose levels = low blood sugar, you are likely experiencing poor control of your blood sugar (glucose).
Those with hypoglycemia can generally not go longer than 3 hours between meals or snacks. Therefore, it's best for you to make certain that you consume a little protein and a low carb food, such as healthy green-leafy vegetables for 2 meals each day. You might find that protein at breakfast holds you longer. Even though certain foods will keep you from experiencing low blood glucose in less than 3 hours time, in order to correct the problem, you should be certain to eat every 3 - 3.5 hours. Do this for a period of at least 3 weeks - 1 month and see if this helps you to relieve the symptoms you've described from low glucose levels.
Your snacks should be protein snacks like: quality roasted and unsalted nuts, or a good quality 2% fat yogurt. It's best never to consume 0% fat yogurt as you will become hungry again in less than an hour. It does not have enough fat in it to create true satiety and your glucose level will again drop quickly.
Here's an example of a healthy eating pattern for someone with hypoglycemia: Breakfast 7:30 am Snack 10 am Lunch 12:30 - 1 pm Snack 3:30 pm Dinner 6:30 - 7 pm
If you must have another snack before bed, try to consume it at least 3 hours prior and keep it light. Make it a whole, fresh fruit with fiber like an apple or pear.
This should help you quite well to reverse your symptoms of poor glucose control.