Does your Pan­creas Over­re­act?

Does your

Wellness Update - - Front Page -

Re­ac­tive hy­po­glycemia is a con­di­tion with re­cur­ring episodes of hy­po­glycemia in a per­son who is not di­a­betic.

R eac­tive hy­po­glycemia is a con­di­tion with re­cur­ring episodes of hy­po­glycemia in a per­son who is not di­a­betic. True re­ac­tive hy­po­glycemia symp­toms are caused by low blood glu­cose ranges, usu­ally less than 70 mg/dL, and oc­cur af­ter eat­ing a meal. For the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple with post­pran­dial symp­toms, the ac­tual cause of the symp­toms is not clear, but may re­late to what food was eaten or vari­a­tions in the tim­ing of the food mov­ing through the stom­ach and in­testi­nal tract. Re­ac­tive hy­po­glycemia is the re­sult of ex­ces­sive in­sulin re­lease trig­gered by the in­take of car­bo­hy­drates, but the in­sulin re­lease con­tin­ues past the di­ges­tion phase, and past dis­posal of glu­cose from that past meal. Peo­ple who have had in­testi­nal surgery (gastric by­pass or surgery for the man­age­ment of ul­cer disease) or tu­mors in the pan­creas may have an in­creased pro­duc­tion of in­sulin that puts them at a higher risk of hav­ing re­ac­tive hy­po­glycemia be­cause of the rapid pas­sage of food into the small in­tes­tine. Rare en­zyme de­fi­cien­cies di­ag­nosed early in life, such as hered­i­tary fruc­tose in­tol­er­ance, also may cause re­ac­tive hy­po­glycemia.


Cer­tain medicines Drink­ing al­co­hol, es­pe­cially drink­ing a lot over a few days

Cer­tain ill­nesses that af­fect the liver or kid­neys Anorexia ner­vosa – This is an eat­ing dis­or­der that makes peo­ple lose more weight than is healthy.

Growths or prob­lems in the pan­creas


The doc­tor may ask about signs and symp­toms to di­ag­no­sis re­ac­tive hy­po­glycemia: Test blood glu­cose while the pa­tient is hav­ing symp­toms by tak­ing a blood sam­ple from the arm and send­ing it to a lab­o­ra­tory for anal­y­sis Check to see whether the symp­toms ease af­ter the pa­tient’s blood glu­cose re­turns to 70 mg/dL or above af­ter eat­ing or drink­ing A blood glu­cose level be­low 70 mg/dL at the time of symp­toms and relief af­ter eat­ing will con­firm the di­ag­no­sis. The oral glu­cose tol­er­ance test is no longer used to di­ag­nose re­ac­tive hy­po­glycemia be­cause ex­perts now know the test can ac­tu­ally trig­ger hy­po­glycemic symp­toms. Symp­toms may vary ac­cord­ing to the in­di­vid­ual’s hy­dra­tion level and sen­si­tiv­ity to the rate of de­cline of their blood glu­cose ranges.


Dou­ble vi­sion or blurry vi­sion

Un­clear think­ing, con­fu­sion

Sleep­ing prob­lems

Heart pal­pi­ta­tion or fib­ril­la­tion

Fa­tigue, de­pres­sion

Dizzi­ness, light­head­ed­ness, con­fu­sion


Headaches, tremors, flush­ing

Ner­vous­ness, ir­ri­tabil­ity, panic at­tack

In­creased ap­petite, crav­ing sweets

Numb­ness/cold­ness in the ex­trem­i­ties

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