Chapter Six. Reactive Hypoglycemia
Standard cases of hypoglycemia take place when the intake of carbohydrates is not substantial enough to compensate for the losses due to physical exertion or stress. There is another kind of glycaemia however, reactive glycaemia. It is caused by a disproportionate reaction of the pancreas when dealing with the arrival of bad sugars.
The Excessive Desire for Sugar
In cases of reactive hypoglycemia, the lack of sugar is considerable and, consequently, the desire to eat sweets is pronounced. Depending on the intensity of the reactivity of the pancreas, this craving can be strong, extreme, all-consuming, or uncontrollable.
The person undergoing an attack of reactive hypoglycemia feels an imperative need to eat. He or she feels that they must eat immediately and cannot wait another second. The need is so imperious that people in this condition will search feverishly for something sweet to ingest. When the disturbance of the pancreas is minor, the person can eat what he or she has found more or less calmly. But if the pancreas is extremely reactive--meaning that there is a huge lack of sugar--the individual will hurl him or herself on anything edible. For example, he or she will not calmly eat a package of cookies tranquilly one by one, but will munch on several at a time at top speed, as if he or she was trying to eat the largest possible amount of food as quickly as possible.
The hunger felt by people who have been deeply afflicted by this condition is not only excessive, it is also insatiable. They cannot stop eating all day long. Of course they will take some small breaks here and there, but that is only the better to prepare to hurl themselves on something else to eat. These breaks occur during the short periods of hyperglycemia during which their need for sugar is satisfied and their craving for sweets does not appear. But these periods are quite brief; they last from thirty to sixty minutes rather than several hours. All the rest of the time they are in a hypoglycemic state. This gives them an irresistible desire to eat, so they eat.
The disorder described here is due to bad sugars. Things do not play out this way with good sugars. Their consumption does not create the desire to eat ever more sweets. To the contrary, they reduce the craving for sugar. As soon as the body has received the fuel it was missing, a feeling of satiety is established. Nothing is pushing this individual to continue eating, or more precisely overeat, as would be the case if they had eaten foods with bad sugars.
To free oneself from the bad sugar cycle it is therefore necessary to abstain and replace them with good sugars.
Symptoms of Reactive Hypoglycemia
The big absence of sugar during attacks of reactive hypoglycemia can bring about a variety of physical ailments. Fatigue and a lack of energy appear much more strongly than is the case with simple hypoglycemia. The sense of fatigue is proportionate to the reactive state of the pancreas. The individual feels so weak that she or he no longer has any momentum or enthusiasm. In serious cases, the individual feels incapable of undertaking any task and even less able to deal with obstacles. Furthermore, everything turns into a problem for him or her. Life stops seeming rosy but turns gray or even black.
The lack of sugar disrupts the functioning of the organs. Because the heart is an organ that requires sugar to function properly, its absence prevents it from working normally. Blood pressure can drop to a varying degree depending on the person. He or she can experience a minor case of low blood pressure and some slight dizziness, or, in the more serious cases, have strong drops of blood pressure and dizzy spells. He or she can even stagger and faint. Sometimes there is ringing in the ears or headaches. To restore the pressure to its normal rate, the heart will suddenly accelerate its beat. Palpitations can result from this, panicking the individual.
The lungs are driven by the muscles. In the event of a lack of sugar, respiratory amplitude is reduced and consequently the intake of oxygen is also diminished. In mild cases, the subject will only experience shortness of breath, sigh repeatedly, or yawn from the lack of air. In more serious cases, the subject has the impression that she or he is suffocating and desperately try to breathe. In this case, the individual becomes nervous, or very anxious and panicked. He or she will perspire, and have hot flashes or cold sweat. Tingling sensations or pins and needles will cause unpleasant feelings in different areas of the body. The person becomes more or less hypersensitive to noises, odors, and light.
These troubles can span a wide range, going from a simple lack of concentration or difficulty making decisions to mental confusion and false perceptions.
These problems can go from simple impatience and irritability, to fits of anger and even violence. They can manifest in the form of a lack of zest for life, but also attacks of anxiety without any cause, permanent worries, fears, phobias, weeping fits, and depressive states. A lack of inner assurance and emotional hypersensitivity can also appear. While each of these symptoms are bad enough to experience on their own, the combination of several of them together that an individual afflicted with reactive hypoglycemia can feel is sheer torture. Reactive hypoglycemia sufferers will not experience them all at the same time, but only some at one time and others at another. They thereby spend their time prey to a full variety of different mental states over the course of each day.
In Part 2, we will look at eliminating bad sugars from the diet and how to replace them with good sugars to ensure your body and brain are powered with long-lasting, healthy energy.