If you have hypoglycemia (commonly referred to as 'low blood sugar'), you have probably already felt the wrath of a reactive hypoglycemia attack. A reactive hypoglycemia attack can be scary. The sudden drop to dangerously low blood sugar levels can sometimes cause reactive hypoglycemia to come in an instant, while other times you may feel the attack creeping up on you. Treating a reactive hypoglycemia attack is fairly easy, and doesn't require shots or medication like most other ailments. If you have, or suspect you have reactive hypoglycemia symptoms, the first step to treating it is always to see a physician. Reactive hypoglycemia is a serious health disorder that requires proactive changes in most people's lifestyles, as well as constant monitoring; otherwise it could lead to life-threatening issues. While InfoBarrel is a great place to learn and get educated about different treatments, it should never be a replacement for a real doctor. However, in the meantime, you can take a look at these steps on how to treat a reactive hypoglycemia attack, and stay safe until you can see a doctor.
Things You Will Need- Strong mind - A helper - Food - Doctor - Future Diet Plans
It's easy to panic if you're having a reactive hypoglycemia attack, especially if you already have anxiety problems. If you're going to overcome both the reactive hypoglycemia attack as well as the potential panic attack that may accompany it, you're going to need to stay calm and focused. Will this be hard to do? Most definitely. In my experience, it's one of the hardest things to overcome, mentally, but it needs to be done. If not, you could wind up passing out (fainting), which can lead to effects such as hypoglycemic shock, coma, seizures, and even death. Don't panic and you'll get through your reactive hypoglycemia attack a lot easier. Note that anxiety and stress lowers blood sugar levels even more.
FIND SOMEONE TO HELP
If you're having a reactive hypoglycemia attack by yourself, Step 1 is an absolute MUST, and you need to either call 9-1-1 or go straight to Step 4 if you are able. However, if you have a reactive hypoglycemia attack and others are around to help, you are a lot luckier. Find someone and let them know you have hypoglycemia and that you are having a reactive hypoglycemia attack right now. Tell them not to panic and that you just need help for a few minutes so that you don't faint.
If you have found someone to help you through your reactive hypoglycemia attack, you need to sit down and let them take over the next step. Sit with your head in between your legs to maximize blood flow to your brain and allow you to reduce the possibility of fainting. This is your time to stay focused on not panicking.
TEMPORARY TREATMENT - A QUICK FIX
The fastest way to treat a reactive hypoglycemia attack is to do just that - 'treat it'. What I mean is to get yourself a treat or small snack to temporarily boost your blood sugar levels.
If you have someone helping you, stay on Step 3 and have them go fetch your treat for you. If you are by yourself, and you are close to anything containing sugar, get it immediately. If not, call 9-1-1. You don't want to risk not waking up if you go into hypoglycemic shock.
The best snacks to get for a quick treatment of a reactive hypoglycemia attack are any of the following: 1/2 cup orange juice or non-diet soda; 6 oz of milk; 2 tbsp of peanut butter; 1 tbsp of honey or jelly; peanut butter or cheese crackers; granola or cereal bar; or 1/2 of a candy bar. A lot of people with reactive hypoglycemia carry these things on them at all times, which is an excellent idea for all hypoglycemics to do.
Remember that these treatments for reactive hypoglycemia attacks are only temporary fixes, and that you should never let your blood sugar drop to dangerous levels just because you are prepared for a reactive hypoglycemia attack. Always avoid alcohol and starchy foods like white bread.
LONG TERM TREATMENT - THE HYPOGLYCEMIA DIET
After you have done Step 4 and temporarily treated your reactive hypoglycemia attack, you need to get a healthy, well-balanced, hypoglycemia-friendly meal into your body. As a hypoglycemic, protein and complex carbs are your best friends. Try implementing a hypoglycemia diet consisting of about 20% protein, 40% fruits and vegetables (mostly vegetables), and 40% whole grains/wheat into your lifestyle. Stay away from simple carbs in starchy and sugary foods. Fiber is always a good thing to have if you have reactive hypoglycemia, as it naturally regulates blood sugar levels in the body.
Switching to a hypoglycemia diet and eating these hypoglycemia-friendly meals will bring your blood sugar levels back to normal, but be careful not to overeat after you just had a hypoglycemic attack or you may experience a jittery or nervous, uncomfortable feeling from such a quick spike in blood sugar levels.
Now that your reactive hypoglycemia attack has subsided, the best idea is to take precautions to never let it happen again. Make sure you stick to your hypoglycemia diet, and make an effort to eat 6 small meals a day instead of 3 large ones. Avoid starchy foods, stress, and alcohol as much as possible as these things will all make your blood sugar levels go haywire. Always have some kind of treat within reach in case you feel a reactive hypoglycemia attack coming on. Consult your physician for more information about reactive hypoglycemia, hypoglycemia diets, and treating reactive hypoglycemia attacks.
Tips & Warnings
* Keep snacks with you at all times in case a reactive hypoglycemia attack begins.
* Wear an ID bracelet that identifies you as a hypoglycemic in case you have a reactive hypoglycemia attack in public, so that people will be able to help you better.
* Remember not to panic in the event of a reactive hypoglycemia attack as it will only make things worse. Anxiety and stress causes blood sugar levels to drop.
* Hypoglycemia is a potentially life-threatening disease and you should remember not to ever replace your doctor with InfoBarrel.
* Never drive if your blood sugar levels are low or if you feel a reactive hypoglycemia attack coming on. You would be surprised at how many deaths this has resulted in.
* Always avoid empty calories. Alcohol, soda, sugary and starchy foods are bad for your blood sugar levels and are not included in any kind of hypoglycemia diet plan.
If you liked this article and want to learn more about hypoglycemia, be sure to check out my other InfoBarrels:
- The Hypoglycemia Diet Plan
- How Alcohol Affects Hypoglycemia: The Effects of Alcohol on Hypoglycemia and How to Stay Safe
- Top 5 Things Every Hypoglycemic Should Avoid
- What is Hypoglycemia? Answers to Basic Questions About Hypoglycemia
- Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)