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“I was irritated, so I ate sweets” – did it cause hypoglycemia?


Many people grab sweets when they are a little hungry during work or between household chores, when they feel a bit irritated or want to relieve their fatigue.
However, this is called “reactive hypoglycemia,” and following a short period of time after ingesting sweets (sugars), the body falls into a hypoglycemic state, causing irritation and
What should we do to prevent snacks that heal the mind and body from causing frustration and fatigue instead? This time, I will explain reactive hypoglycemia.

Eating sweets raises blood sugar levels

When you eat sweets (carbohydrates), they are broken down into glucose (monosaccharides) in your body, absorbed, and circulated in the blood, causing your blood sugar level (the amount of sugar in your blood) to rise.
A sudden rise in blood sugar level is not a favorable situation for the body because it promotes the generation of active oxygen and damages the inside of blood vessels.
Therefore, our body has to work to keep the blood sugar level constant.
Specifically, the pancreas secretes a hormone called “insulin,” which takes sugar (blood sugar) from the blood into the cells and works to lower blood sugar levels.

Why does my blood sugar drop?

Now, in reactive hypoglycemia, why does hypoglycemia occur after eating sweets?
This is because excessive insulin is secreted in order to lower blood sugar levels that have risen sharply, causing blood sugar levels to drop too much. This can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, drowsiness, hunger, headaches, nausea, and anxiety.

Causes of reactive hypoglycemia

Eating sweets in moderation does not cause reactive hypoglycemia.
Also, even if the blood sugar level rises, insulin will be secreted immediately, and if the sugar is properly processed, hypoglycemia will not occur.
Reactive hypoglycemia is caused by “too much sugar intake” and “timing lag between rise in blood sugar level and insulin secretion”.
When the blood sugar level rises, insulin is secreted, but if the effect of insulin is poor (such as in the early stages of type 2 diabetes), the blood sugar level does not fall immediately, and insulin is profusely secreted due to the demand for it. As a result, more insulin is produced than is necessary, causing blood sugar levels to drop too low.

Check, if you are concerned

Therefore, reactive hypoglycemia is often seen in people with early stage type 2 diabetes who have poor insulin efficacy, or in people who have had their stomach removed (carbohydrates are absorbed quickly and hyperglycemia after meals tends to occur).
If you feel extremely sleepy after eating or feel hungry 2-3 hours after eating, you should suspect reactive hypoglycemia.
For those people, when you are hungry, consciously choose snacks that don’t raise blood sugar levels, such as nuts, cheese, and high cacao chocolate.
Reactive hypoglycemia may be a sign that insulin isn’t working as well. If you’re concerned, you can look into it.
At the Kagayaki Internal Medicine/Diabetes Clinic on the 6th floor of Medical Prime Takanawa, various tests for diabetes are performed. Please feel free to contact us.

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