Reactive Hyperglycaemia

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Hi,

My dad (72) has reactive hypoglycaemia. After 2 hours of eating, his blood sugar level drops suddenly. He becomes unconscious followed by vomitting and weakness. He regains consciousness after a while. This has happened quite often. Please suggest any help on this. Thanks.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    My dad does not have diabetes. His blood sugar level after eating stays lower than his fasting sugar level. Please advice. Thanks
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  • Posted

    Hi payal3,

    As it is reactive hypoglycaemia, your father SHOULD have been advised on how to control this.

    Your father should eat 5 or 6 smaller meals per day, rather than the regular 3 times a day.

    His diet should consist of eating fewer carbohydrates, but should also include a higher proportion of fats and/or proteins.

    In reactive hypoglycaemia, what occurs is that the pancreas 'over-produces' insulin in response to the foods and drinks imbibed, which is what's causing him to lose consciousness.

    Carbohydrates are broken down to release glucose, which is abosrbed through the walls of the intestines into the bloodstream.  Fats and proteins slow down this absorption.

    In theory, if there isn't such a quick rise in blood glucose levels, the pancreas wouldn't need to produce so much insulin to deal with the rise.

    I don't know whether you live in the UK, my friend, but most packaged foods and/or drinks do contain a list of their contents on the wrapper.  If your father eats more fresh foods, I'm afraid you'll need to do a bit of research on the carbohydrate content of the foods/drinks.

    You could also ask your father's doctor to refer you to speak with a dietitian as s/he would be able to offer better advice on this than your father's doctor would be able to.

    Sadly, there is no 'magic pill' that will 'cure' anyone of reactive hypoglycaemia.

    I wish you well, and truly do hope that your father is able to get a better grip on his condition.

    Lots of Love and Light.

     Mick

    x x x x

     x x x

    P.S. Please don't be offended, or alarmed, at the 'x's'.  It's merely a logo, of sorts, that I've used for more than 40 years now.

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  • Posted

    Hi Payal, the vomiting is very concerning. It seems reasonable with the  drop in  glucose and a disgnosis of hypoglycemia that its the most likely cause of his problems. However, the hypoglycemia could be a symptom of some other condition.  Medications can cause a myriad of side effects, so you’ll want to check those first if he’s on meds.

    I say this because onset of hypoglycemia at 72 seens a bit odd. People generally develop blood sugar problems before they’re 60, not later on. Of course, some medications can cause blood sugar problems and diabetes. Some diabetes nefications can cause stomach upset and even worsened diabetes.  You teally  have to watch carefully.

    You’ll have to do a little trial and error. Try different diets. This can be challenging with older folks who are stuck in their ways. You might try a diet of some slow cooked lean meat and  vegetable soups for a while to see if you can get the blood sugar more stable and stop the vomiting.  Instead of starchy potaties or rice, try low glycemic root vegetables (diakon radishes, turnips, parsnips) in the soup  to boost calories a bit. Keep in mind, you’ll want to avoid foods that could spike his blood sugar even if you only try this for two weeks.  At least you'll get an idea of what helps and what doesn’t.

    For example,  high fat foods, when eaten while having certain liver conditions can result in vomiting.

    If you try dietary changes without success, you might try an ultrasound to check for blockages in the gut or related areas. 

    Hope you’re able to solve the problem!

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much for your reply..this was helpful..I will let him know..
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  • Posted

    Just another question: I have read in an article that there can be a tumour in the Pancreas causing Reactive Hypoglycaemia. This worries me. Any suggestion for the tests which can be done to check the condition... Thanks.
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    • Posted

      No, payal3, that is incorrect.

      If there is an insulin-producing tumour, it is NOT Reactive Hypoglycaemia.  It's a different type of hypoglycaemia that is called Fasting Hypoglycaemia.

      With Fasting Hypoglycaemia, surgery is sometimes called for to 'solve' the situation.

      The fact that you stated your father suffers his hypoglycaemic episodes a few hours after eating indicates that it is HIGHLY LIKELY that it IS Reactive Hypoglycaemia.

      Your father's doctor would first check his fasting blood glucose level ... that's testing after your father hasn't eaten or drunk anything overnight.  If your father's blood glucose level is low, the doctor would refer your father for further testing.  The further testing would include testing your father's insulin and C-peptide levels.

      If further confirmation is needed your father MAY be invited into hospital for a special fasting test that can take between 48 and 72 hours.  He will not be allowed to eat or drink, apart from water, throughout this period.

      He would have blood tests at intervals of between three to six hours, and also whenever he showed symptoms of low blood sugar, to look at the key levels of blood glucose, insulin, C-peptides and sulphonylurea.

      Be well, my friend.

      Lots of Love and Light.

       Mick

      x x x x

       x x x

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    • Posted

      Oops!

      Please forgive me, payal3.  I forgot to add that insulin-producing tumours are very rare when compared against the number of cases of Reactive Hypoglycaemia.

      Lots of Love and Light.

       Mick

      x x x x

       x x x

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much Mick for your reply.. 
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    • Posted

      Dear payal3,

      You are more than welcome, my friend.  After all, that's what this forum is about ... helping each other.

      Lots of Love and Light.

       Mick

      x x x x

       x x x

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