Hypoglycemia Symptoms and Diagnosis
To diagnose hypoglycemia in people who do not have diabetes, the doctor looks for the following three conditions:
For many years, the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was used to diagnose hypoglycemia. Experts now realize that the OGTT can
The doctor will also check the patient for health conditions such as diabetes, obtain a medication history, and assess the degree and
A diagnosis of reactive hypoglycemia is considered only after other possible causes of low blood sugar have been ruled out. Reactive hypoglycemia with no known cause is a condition in which the symptoms of low blood sugar appear 2 to 5 hours after eating foods high in glucose.
Ten to 20 years ago, hypoglycemia was a popular diagnosis. However, studies now show that this condition is actually quite rare. In these studies, most patients who experienced the symptoms of hypoglycemia after eating glucose-rich foods consistently had normal levels of blood sugar–above 60 mg/dL. Some researchers have suggested that some people may be extra sensitive to the body’s normal release of the hormone epinephrine after a meal.
People with symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia unrelated to other medical conditions or problems are usually advised to follow a healthy eating plan. The doctor or dietitian may suggest that such a person avoid foods high in carbohydrates; eat small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day; exercise regularly; and eat a variety of foods, including whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
References and Sources: Medline, Pubmed, National Institutes of Health