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What is Hypoglycemia?

Oversecretion of insulin by the pancreas results in hypoglycemia, a condition in which there is an abnormally low level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Hereditary can be a cause, but this condition is often precipitated by an inadequate diet.

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Symptoms of Hypoglycaemia...

Symptoms of functional hypoglycemia have a direct relationship to the time and type of meal that was last eaten.

A hypoglycaemic person may display any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headache and irritability if meals are missed
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings for sweets
  • Confusion
  • Night sweats
  • Weakness in the legs
  • Swollen feet
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Hunger
  • Pain in various parts of the body - especially in the eyes
  • Nervous habits
  • Mental disturbances
  • Insomnia


Hypoglycaemia mimics many diseases. Related disorders include allergies, asthma, hay fever, indigestion, nutritional deficiencies, malabsorption, colitis, constipation and impaired memory.

Abnormal protein and carbohydrate metabolism and poor adrenal function are part of hypoglycaemia.

Hypoglycaemia and diet...

Proper diet is a key factor for the hypoglycaemic to maintain proper blood sugar levels.

The diet should include vegetables, brown rice, avocado, seeds, grains, nuts, yoghurt, cottage cheese and whey protein.

Remove from the diet sugar, white flour products, refined and processed foods such as instant rice and potatoes, soft drinks and alcohol.

Avoid sweet fruits and juices, such as grape juice.

Avoid pasta, noodles, gravies, white rice, yams and corn. Beans and baked potatoes twice a week is permissible.

You should not go without food. Instead, you need to eat 6 to 8 small meals throughout the day. Some people find that eating a small meal before bed helps. People who have food allergies will find that their hypoglycaemic symptoms are worse when their allergies are worse.

A high fibre diet will help to stabilise blood sugar swings. High fibre foods include popcorn, oat bran, rice bran and crackers. Take fibre ½ an hour before a meal to avoid a reaction.

During a low blood sugar reaction, combine fibre with a protein food (i.e bran or rice crackers with cheese or almond butter). Fibre alone will help to slow down a hypoglycaemic reaction.

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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

If you need help or advice, please email our naturopathic team with your health question.  Please allow 48 hours for a response.

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