Friday, October 30, 2009

Causes Of Low Blood Sugar

Hypoglycemia (diabetes low blood sugar) is an induced condition by diabetics when they take more insuline or other drugs to reduce the blood sugar than needed relative to the levels of glucose in their bloodstream or if after taking the drugs and do not eat as usual or by doing strenuous excersice , I found a diabetes reversal report that I think it is very good

Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia in people who do not have diabetes is less common than once believed.


However, it can occur in some people under certain conditions such as early pregnancy, prolonged fasting, and long periods of strenuous exercise. People on beta blocker medications who exercise are at higher risk of hypoglycemia, and aspirin can induce hypoglycemia in some children. Drinking alcohol can cause blood sugar to drop in some sensitive individuals, and hypoglycemia has been well documented in chronic alcoholics and binge drinkers. Eating unripe ackee fruit from Jamaica is a rare cause of low blood sugar.

Blood sugar regulation
During digestion, your body breaks down carbohydrates from foods such as bread, rice, pasta, vegetables, fruit and milk products into various sugar molecules. One of these sugar molecules is glucose, the main energy source for your body. Glucose is absorbed directly into your bloodstream after you eat, but it can't enter the cells of most of your tissues without the help of insulin a hormone secreted by your pancreas.

When the level of glucose in your blood rises, it signals certain cells (beta cells) in your pancreas, located behind your stomach, to release insulin. The insulin, in turn, unlocks your cells so that glucose can enter and provide the fuel your cells need to function properly. Any extra glucose is stored in your liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. This process lowers the amount of glucose in your bloodstream and prevents it from reaching dangerously high levels. As your blood sugar level returns to normal, so does the secretion of insulin from your pancreas.

If you haven't eaten for several hours and your blood sugar level drops, another hormone from your pancreas called glucagon signals your liver to break down the stored glycogen and release glucose back into your bloodstream. This keeps your blood sugar level within a normal range until you eat again.

Aside from your liver breaking down glycogen into glucose, your body also has the ability to manufacture glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis. This process occurs primarily in your liver, but also in your kidneys, and makes use of various substances that are precursors to glucose.

Possible causes, with diabetes
If you have diabetes, the effects of insulin on your body are drastically diminished, either because your pancreas doesn't produce enough of it (type 1 diabetes) or because your cells are less responsive to it (type 2 diabetes). As a result, glucose tends to build up in your bloodstream and may reach dangerously high levels. To correct this problem, people with diabetes take insulin or other drugs designed to lower blood sugar levels.

If you take too much insulin relative to the amount of glucose in your bloodstream, it can cause your blood sugar level to drop too low, resulting in hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia may also result if, after taking your diabetes medication, you don't eat as much as usual (ingesting less glucose) or you exercise more (using up more glucose) than you normally would. Your doctor usually works with you to find the optimum dosage that fits your regular eating and activity habits to prevent this from happening.

Possible causes of low blood sugar symptoms, without diabetes
Hypoglycemia in people without diabetes is much less common. Causes may include the following:

* Medications. Taking someone else's oral diabetes medication accidentally is a common cause of hypoglycemia. Other medications may cause hypoglycemia, especially in children or in people with kidney failure. One example is quinine, which is used to treat leg cramps and malaria.
* Excessive alcohol consumption. Drinking heavily without eating can block your liver from releasing stored glucose into your bloodstream, causing hypoglycemia.
* Some critical illnesses. Severe illnesses of the liver, such as drug-induced hepatitis, can cause hypoglycemia. Disorders of the kidney, which can keep your body from properly excreting medications, can affect glucose levels. Long-term starvation, as may occur in the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, can result in the depletion of substances your body needs in gluconeogenesis, causing hypoglycemia.
* Tumors. A rare tumor of the pancreas (insulinoma) may cause overproduction of insulin, resulting in hypoglycemia. Other tumors may result in excessive production of insulin-like substances. Or, the tumors themselves may use up too much glucose. Enlargement of beta cells of the pancreas that produce insulin (nesidioblastosis) may result in excessive insulin release, causing hypoglycemia. People who've undergone gastric bypass surgery are at risk of this condition.
* Endocrine deficiencies. Certain disorders of the adrenal glands and the pituitary gland can result in a deficiency of key hormones that regulate glucose production. Children with these disorders are more prone to hypoglycemia than are adults.

Hypoglycemia after meals
Most hypoglycemia occurs when you haven't eaten (in a fasting state), but that's not always the case. Sometimes, hypoglycemia occurs after meals because the body produces more insulin than is needed. This type of hypoglycemia is called reactive or postprandial hypoglycemia.


Common causes of low blood sugar include the following:

* Overmedication with insulin or antidiabetic pills (for example, sulfonylurea drugs)

* Use of medications such as beta blockers, pentamidine, and sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra)

* Use of alcohol

* Missed meals

* Reactive hypoglycemia is the result of the delayed insulin release after a meal has been absorbed and occurs 4-6 hours after eating.

* Severe infection

* Cancer causing poor oral intake or cancer involving the liver

* Adrenal insufficiency

* Kidney failure

* Liver failure

* Congenital, genetic defects in the regulation of insulin release (congenital hyperinsulinism)

* Congenital conditions associated with increased insulin release (infant born to a diabetic mother, birth trauma, reduced oxygen delivery during birth, major birth stress, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, and rarer genetic conditions)

* Insulinoma or insulin-producing tumor

* Other tumors like hepatoma, mesothelioma, and fibrosarcoma, which may produce insulin-like factors

What follows are expansions on the points noted above and should be incorporated within those points (such as cancer, diabetes drugs, organ failures).

* Most cases of hypoglycemia in adults happen in people with diabetes mellitus. Diabetes has two forms, type 1 (loss of all insulin production) and type 2 (inadequate insulin production due to resistance to the actions of insulin). People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin to control their glucose level; if they skip meals or have a decreased appetite without changing their insulin dose, they may develop hypoglycemia. Insulin is also used to treat some people with type 2 diabetes.

* If a person with type 1 diabetes accidentally takes too much insulin, or a person with type 2 diabetes accidentally takes too much of their oral medications or insulin, he or she may develop hypoglycemia. Even when a diabetic patient takes medications correctly, improper meals, odd mealtimes, or excessive exercise may result in hypoglycemia.

* Often a person who has more than one medical problem may become confused about how much of a certain medication they should take, or their medications may interact to cause hypoglycemia.

* Hypoglycemia also may occur in people with cancer, which often causes loss of appetite. Many such people skip meals because they are not hungry or because chemotherapy causes foods to taste differently. To prevent this, people on chemotherapy should be encouraged by their doctors and loved ones to try to stay on special diets and take medications to keep them from feeling sick. If this does not work, special medications to help with appetite are available.

* Adrenal insufficiency results from diseases that impair the adrenal glands, which are located above the kidneys. These small structures make certain hormones and substances, mainly cortisol and epinephrine, which also help elevate glucose in addition to their other functions. If these substances are not made, low blood pressure, hypoglycemia, or both can result.

* The pituitary gland makes growth hormone, which also helps to maintain the balance of glucose. Deficiency of growth hormone causes hypoglycemia, especially in young infants and children.

* Kidney failure causes hypoglycemia in three separate ways. The kidneys help to generate new glucose from amino acids (called gluconeogenesis). Gluconeogenesis is impaired in kidney failure. Also, insulin circulates for a longer period of time and is cleared slowly when kidney function is poor. The third important reason is that kidney failure reduces the appetite and consequently, oral intake of food.

* The liver stores glucose in a form called glycogen. In the presence of liver failure, the abilities of the liver to generate new glucose and to release glucose are impaired.

* Insulin-producing tumors of the pancreas (called insulinomas) cause hypoglycemia by releasing inappropriately high amounts of insulin. Certain tumors of the liver called hepatomas or other tumors such as fibrosarcomas and mesotheliomas can also cause hypoglycemia by producing insulin-like factors.

Following is a list of causes or underlying conditions (see also Misdiagnosis of underlying causes of Hypoglycemia) that could possibly cause Hypoglycemia includes:

* Chronic hypoglycemia (see Hypoglycemia) - including various types of hypoglycemia:
o Reactive hypoglycemia
o Fasting hypoglycemia
* Diabetes - hypos are caused by the treatments for diabetes rather than diabetes itself
* Pregnancy
* Fasting
* Strenuous exercise
* Alcoholism
* Binge drinking (type of Alcohol abuse)
* Insulinoma
* Other causes of symptom hypoglycemia
* Hereditary enzyme deficiencies
* Hormone deficiencies
* Liver disease
* Insulinoma
* Hereditary fructose intolerance
* Galactosemia
* Growth hormone deficiency
* IGF-II producing tumors
* Breast cancer
* Adrenal cancer
Reactive Hypoglycemia

A diagnosis of reactive hypoglycemia is considered only after other possible causes of low blood sugar have been ruled out. Reactive hypoglycemia with no known cause is a condition in which the symptoms of low blood sugar appear 2 to 5 hours after eating foods high in glucose.

Ten to 20 years ago, hypoglycemia was a popular diagnosis. However, studies now show that this condition is actually quite rare. In these studies, most patients who experienced the symptoms of hypoglycemia after eating glucose-rich foods consistently had normal levels of blood sugar--above 60 mg/dL. Some researchers have suggested that some people may be extra sensitive to the body's normal release of the hormone epinephrine after a meal.

People with symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia unrelated to other medical conditions or problems are usually advised to follow a healthy eating plan. The doctor or dietitian may suggest that such a person avoid foods high in carbohydrates; eat small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day; exercise regularly; and eat a variety of foods, including whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.