What is Hypoglycemia?

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.

What the Experts Say!

The following quotes are from some of the best authors and researchers on the subject of hypoglycemia. Although they don’t specifically mention children and adolescents, their content is extremely important and pertains to individuals of all ages. The HSF hopes to educate parents, teachers and the community at large about hypoglycemia so that appropriate action will be taken if signs and symptoms noted in children indicate that low blood sugar may be the culprit.

What the Experts Say about Hypoglycemia:

“The low blood sugar of today is the diabetes of tomorrow.” Seale Harris, M.D.

“If you have puzzled over noticeable changes in your moods, thoughts, and feelings, don’t be so quick to accept them as psychological disorders. Hypoglycemia can cause severe metabolic changes in your brain and nervous system, creating altered moods, emotional instability, and behavior changes.” Joan Mathews Larson, Ph.D., author of 7 Weeks to Emotional Healing

“Why would a devastating, perplexing, far-reaching medical condition such as hypoglycemia be so consistently ignored, overlooked, and underplayed?” Connie Bennett, author of Sugar Shock!

“Our 21st century lifestyle is causing so many diseases with hypoglycemia being high on the list.” Dr. Nancy Appleton, author of Lick The Sugar Habit

“…the ultimate dream: that one day low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and all the other body chemistry problems will enjoy more credibility, research funding and treatment by nutrition rather than just by medication.” Edward and Patricia Krimmel, authors of The Low Blood Sugar Handbook

“I have never, ever seen an alcoholic who wasn’t hypoglycemic. It just doesn’t occur, it’s the same problem.” Dr. Douglas M. Baird, HSF Medical Director, author of The Blood Sugar Hotline

“Hypoglycemia, a precursor of Type 2 Diabetes, affects as least 25% of North Americans. That means that there are at least 80 million people living and working at much less than optimal productivity and creativity.” Anita Flegg, author of Hypoglycemia: The Other Sugar Disease

“You probably know someone who has diabetes. But you may not know that hypoglycemia and diabetes are linked. Blood sugar imbalances underlie both disorders.” Cheryl Chow, James Chow, M.D., authors of Hypoglycemia for Dummies

“For one person in every ten, sugar is a deadly food, paving the way toward a hundred distressing physical symptoms, plus all the tortures of neurotic and even psychotic behavior. For that person a little sugar is akin to a little carbolic acid.” Carlton Fredericks, Ph.D., author of New Low Blood Sugar And You

“The sugar-laden American diet has led to a national epidemic of hypoglycemia, an ailment characterized by irrational behavior, emotional instability, distorted judgment, and nasty personality defects.” Dr. Emanuel Cheraskin, author of The Vitamin C Connection

“It is an alarming fact that countless Americans suffer–unsuspectingly–from the debilitating effects of hypoglycemia, a diet-related condition caused by low blood sugar. Unless the symptoms are diagnosed, a multitude of mental and physical disorders can go undetected.” Dr. Harvey M. Ross, author of Hypoglycemia: The Disease Your Doctor Won’t Treat

“Warning: as many as 100 million people in this country may be suffering from a disease nobody cares to talk about! Failure to learn about it could be dangerous to your health.” Dr David Williams, author of Hypoglycemia: The Deadly Roller Coaster

“Hypoglycemia is a disease that will not kill you, only one that will make you wish you were dead.” Dr. Harvey Ross, author of Hypoglycemia: The Disease Your Doctor Won’t Treat

“Hypoglycemia is the most perplexing, mysterious, complicated, contradictory, as well as controversial and complex ‘Disease’ I know.” Dr. Paavo Airola, author of Hypoglycemia: A Better Approach

“Poor eating habits, the addition of unhealthy ingredients, increased stress and poor sleeping habits has led to the increased incidence of this underappreciated blood sugar disorder: hypoglycemia.” Dr. Keith Berkowitz, M.D., Medical Director of The Center For Balanced Health