Reactive Hypoglycemia

Below you will find more information about Reactive Hypoglycemia from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Reactive Hypoglycemia it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Reactive Hypoglycemia and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Reactive Hypoglycemia comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.


Reactive hypoglycemia is characterized by recurrent episodes of symptomatic hypoglycemia that occur within 2-4 hours after ingesting a high carbohydrate meal. The condition is believed to be a consequence of excessive insulin release triggered by glucose overload that persist even after the glucose from the meal has been digested or disposed by the body. Literally, hypoglycemia is low blood sugar. Most forms of hypoglycemia occur while fasting. However, reactive hypoglycemia is one that occurs right after eating a meal.


Diagnosing reactive hypoglycemia can prove very difficult. Patients exhibiting symptoms similar to reactive hypoglycemia may not actually have the condition. Diagnosis is focused on confirming that the symptoms are caused by low blood sugar and that these symptoms are alleviated once blood sugar levels return to normal.


Patients with reactive hypoglycemia usually do not require treatment. However, dietary changes are often advised, including eating smaller meals at short intervals throughout the day and avoiding high carbohydrate foods.

Symptoms and Signs

Symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia vary depending on the patient's sensitivity to fluctuations (i.e. rapid elevation and decline) of glucose levels in the body. Common symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, headaches, light-headedness, sweating, palpitations, nervousness, depression, irritability, flushing, tremors, increased appetite, increased craving for sweets, rhinitis, and even epileptic-type response to rapidly flashing lights.


To date, the cause of reactive hypoglycemia is not clear. Recent studies indicate that some individuals may be overly sensitive to the normal release of epinephrine, a hormone which triggers hypoglycemic symptoms. Meanwhile, other researchers believe that reactive hypoglycemia results from a deficiency in glucagons, a hormone that normally protects the body against low levels of blood sugar. Less commonly, reactive hypoglycemia may occur as a consequence of an overproduction of insulin by the pancreas (i.e. hyperinsulinemia) due to a tumor known as insulinoma. In addition, reactive hypoglycemia may also manifest after stomach surgery or as a result of certain enzyme deficiencies due to disruptions in the balance between nutrient absorption and insulin secretion.

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