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Re: Exercise Making Me - Attached potential answer

Posted by BobS, on May 29, 2004, at 12:51:01

In reply to Re: Exercise Making Me More Depressed/Irritable - HELP, posted by Buckeye Fan on May 27, 2004, at 7:17:10

Hypoglycemia means low blood sugar. This brochure is intended to increase knowledge about reactive hypoglycemia and to give suggestions on its control.
What is reactive hypoglycemia?
Reactive hypoglycemia can occur when blood glucose falls, resources of glucose from the liver are exhausted and an individual chooses not to eat. Gradually the body adjusts to this situation by using muscle protein to feed glucose to brain cells and fat to fuel the other body cells. But before this adjustment takes place an individual may experience symptoms of glucose deprivation to the brain resulting in symptoms such as: anxiety, hunger, dizziness, weakness, shaking muscles and racing heart. Because these symptoms are common to many conditions a health care provider should be consulted to assess an individual's specific symptoms and concerns.

Who does reactive hypoglycemia effect?
Reactive hypoglycemia occurs in about 2-3 out of every 10 young women, more often in obese women and less often in people over age 45. While most people experience low blood glucose levels at times, if the symptoms are severe or ongoing it is important to learn to eat promptly and properly with a balanced meal or snack. Reactive hypoglycemia does not lead to more severe conditions.

How can I control reactive hypoglycemia?
Reactive hypoglycemia can be controlled through:

nutritionally balanced meals
frequent meals and snacks
regular exercise
no smoking
weight control
medical supervision if indicated
regular blood sugar checks if advised
How can reactive hypoglycemia be controlled with nutritionally balanced meals?
When blood glucose falls, it has to be replaced sooner or later; a meal or a snack must be eaten. The question of what to eat becomes important. Many people believe the obvious solution is to eat a source of "quick energy," such as a candy bar or a cola beverage. If you eat a meal or snack that is unusually high in carbohydrate, and especially if it consists mostly of concentrated sugar (candy bar or cola beverage), your blood glucose concentration may rise too high, so that the pancreas overreacts, secreting too much insulin. The blood glucose level may fall too low or too fast. Some people then experience the symptoms of hypoglycemia.

Surprisingly, a more helpful choice is to eat a complex carbohydrate food (cracker, bagel, bread stick, soft pretzel, bread, cereal).

Complex carbohydrate foods such as crackers or bread, deliver less glucose over a longer period of time, eliciting less of an insulin response. A cracker or other grain with cheese or other protein/fat is even a better choice. The fat slows down the digestion of the carbohydrate.

Some snack and meal suggestions that meet the goal of including a complex carbohydrate, a protein source and fat include:

yogurt and fruit
cottage cheese and crackers
turkey, cheese slices and veggies on a salad
salad with beans added
peanut butter and crackers
low fat cheese and crackers
bean soup and crackers
low fat cheese on bake potato
bagel and lowfat cream cheese
A Registered Dietitian is available to students through Health and Wellness Education, IU Health Center, 855-7338 to assist with meals and snacks, nutrition and planning.

Other nutritional guidelines may help to manage low blood sugar levels.

Eat at least three regularly spaced meals 3 to 5 hours apart) daily. Include snacks if needed. Eat at the same time each day. Avoid skipping meals. This can be accomplished without weight gain by staying at a healthy caloric intake (distribute total calories throughout the day). Avoid sugar and foods and beverages containing sugar, especially on an empty stomach. An occasional sweet food consumed in a small amount with a meal may be tolerated.

Include at each meal or snack:

Complex carbohydrate: fruit,vegetable,starch or grain product.
Protein source: lowfat meat, lowfat dairy product, legume, peanut butter.
Fat source: oil, margarine,lowfat mayonnaise (fats may be hidden in carbohydrate and protein). Use these fats sparingly. Distribute meals and snack calories as evenly as possible throughout the day.
Limit alcohol. Drink alcohol only with food and only with health care providers approval.

Avoid caffeine (in coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate)

Eat 1 to 3 hours before exercise. Extra calories may be needed before exercise to compensate for calories burned.

Why exercise?

Exercise may improve blood sugar control. Reduced stress and increased levels of self-esteem are experienced in physically active people.
Exercise improves heart and lung function, circulation, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Exercise will help in controlling and maintaining ideal weight.
Are there other conditions that cause the same symptoms as reactive hypoglycemia?
Yes! There are other conditions that cause similar symptoms.

Spontaneous hypoglycemia is a rare condition in which the pancreas habitually over secretes insulin. This condition requires medical treatment. Anxiety may produce some of the same symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia.

It is important to see a health care provider for diagnosis of symptoms of low blood sugar and then to follow the treatment plan agreed upon. Health and Wellness Education, Indiana University Health Center has a Registered Dietitian and Fitness Specialist to help students make the nutritional and exercise changes important in controlling reactive hypoglycemia. Call Health and Wellness Education, 855-7338 for information or appointments with a Registered Dietitian or for a fitness assessment and exercise prescription.




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