Postprandial hypoglycemia, sometimes referred to as reactive hypoglycemia, often occurs in people that have undergone invasive procedures that alter the digestive system. One example of this type of invasive digestive system procedure is gastric bypass surgery. After eating meals, people with postprandial hypoglycemia have a drop in their level of blood glucose. The treatment of postprandial hypoglycemia depends on how severe the symptoms are. The main objective of the treatment is to restore the person’s blood glucose levels to normal levels.
The insulin that is produced after a meal soars causing way to too much of the insulin hormone to be released into the bloodstream. The cells in the body are then thrown into overdrive trying to deplete the amount of blood sugar when the glucose is dispersed. Since the liver is not able to compensate for the glucose depletion, the insulin continues to flood into the system. The overabundance of insulin, in a system that does not have glucose for the insulin hormone to regulate, results in the body being left in a hypoglycemic state.
The majority of postprandial hypoglycemia cases occur when the digestive function was disrupted from surgery. Some people, however, develop it in response to glucose tolerance impairment or if they have been over medicated for a diabetic condition that already exists. If a hypoglycemic treatment is inappropriately administered, a postprandial hypoglycemic episode may occur.
The good news is that postprandial hypoglycemia is usually easy to diagnose because the drop in the blood sugar level is usually obvious. It is highly suggested that patients with postprandial hypoglycemia keep a record of any hypoglycemia symptoms that they experience throughout the days, especially because it is highly unlikely that an episode will occur at the doctor’s office. This will also serve as a great reference that patients can go over with the doctor to track your progress and a reminder of anything that should be discussed with the doctor. The doctor will most likely administer regular blood tests to evaluate blood glucose levels over a period of time.
The symptoms that appear in patients with postprandial hypoglycemia are almost identical to the symptoms with the other forms of hypoglycemia. These include physical weakness, feelings of hunger and lethargy. These patients may also have symptoms including elevated heart rate, tremors and sweating. When the body is in the process of digesting foods it is common for postprandial hypoglycemia patients to suddenly experience anxiety, blurred vision and appear pale. This is why it is extremely important to maintain a strict hypoglycemic diet.