In simple layman’s language, hypoglycemia is the body’s inability to properly handle the large amounts of sugar that the average American consumes today. It’s an overload of sugar, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and stress. In children hypoglycemia symptoms are usually caused by high sugar diet and missed meals.
In medical terms, hypoglycemia is defined in relation to its cause. Reactive hypoglycemia, the kind we are addressing here, is the oversecretion of insulin by the pancreas in response to a rapid rise in blood sugar or “glucose.”
All carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits and grains, as well as table sugar) are broken down into simple sugars by the process of digestion. This sugar enters the bloodstream as glucose and our level of blood sugar rises. The pancreas then secretes a hormone known as insulin into the blood in order to bring the glucose down to normal levels.
In hypoglycemia, the pancreas sends out too much insulin and the blood sugar plummets below the level necessary to maintain well-being.
Since all the cells of the body, especially the brain cells, use glucose for fuel, a blood glucose level that is too low starves the cells of needed fuel, causing both physical and emotional symptoms.