Low level of glucose in blood, causing a variety of symptoms in different people; these include sweating, Dizziness, trembling, weakness, hunger, slurred speech, blurred vision, tingling in hands or lips, Headache, irritability, aggressiveness, even unconsciousness. All body cells, especially those in the brain, require energy in the form of glucose to function properly, hence the variety of symptoms. Blood glucose level can be lowered by alcohol, paracetamol, progesterone, and oral contraceptives; Addison's Disease, hypopituitarism (see Pituitary Problems), Thyroid Problems, and cancer of the pancreas (see Cancer) can also lead to low glucose levels; more commonly, low blood sugar is a symptom of taking too much insulin to correct insulin-dependent diabetes or of overdosing with hypoglycaemic drugs to correct insulin non-dependent diabetes (see Diabetes).
In emergencies, orthodox treatment is to give an injection of glucagon (a pancreatic hormone which stimulates liver to release stored glucose) or of glucose; a spoonful of honey or a small glass of milk will boost blood sugar level almost as quickly. However, long-term solution is dietary, plus treatment of underlying cause.
Naturopaths, most homeopaths, and a few medical doctors also recognize a phenomenon called spontaneous, functional, or reactive hypoglycaemia in which none of the causative factors mentioned above are present, blood sugar level appears to be normal, yet person suffers from typically hypoglycaemic symptoms. In addition to those mentioned above, person may suffer from Confusion, forgetfulness, lack of concentration, Depression, purposelessness, Anxiety, Phobia, or think and behave in a suicidal or anti-social way; on the physical plane, he or she may feel extremely tired, bloated, or cold and sweaty, or have a headache, backache, or joint and muscle pains, or suffer from numb extremities, muscular twitches, abdominal cramps, and even convulsions. Typically such symptoms come on suddenly, often first thing in morning, before breakfast, or 2 hours after exercise or emotional stress.
One possible explanation of this form of hypoglycaemia is that although blood glucose level may be normal, level of glucose in brain may be low. Symptoms seem to be helped by eating foods which have a relatively low glycaemic index (low rate of conversion into glucose); these are precisely the foods recommended in the Blood Sugar Levelling Diet. Causes of reactive hypoglycaemia appear to be Stress, excessive consumption of caffeine or refined carbohydrates, food Allergy, and smoking. The only sure way of diagnosing condition is to give a glucose tolerance test, over 5 hours if possible.
Homeopathic treatment for both true and functional hypoglycaemia is constitutional.
Self-help: If you are prone to hypoglycaemic attacks, make sure your family and work colleagues know what to do if you pass out. Always carry glucose tablets or barley sugar, but keep these strictly for emergencies. Make sure you eat something every 2 hours or so, especially before strenuous exercise, and stick to those foods permitted under the Blood Sugar Levelling Diet. Take extra Vitamin C and B complex, and also chromium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and manganese. Get a full 8 hours sleep a night, avoid getting overtired, and exercise regularly, slowly increasing exercise periods.