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Diabetes

Hypoglycemia in non-diabetic

03/10/2008

Question:

I am a non-diabetic who has been suffering from syptoms that appear to be hypoglycemia over the past six years. Symtpoms occur during the day, anywhere betwenn 2 1/2 - 3 hrs after eating. (They usually start with hand tremor, feeling weak and excessively edgy/irritable and can inlcude feelings of excessive hunger/stomach pain and/or hot flashes with sweating.) Five years ago was given a 2 hour fasting blood glucose test; results were in the low normal range. Doctor at the time gave a probable diagnosis of reactive hypo and suggested a higher protein/complex carb diet. Recently my 8 -year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. On 2 occasion, I have used his monitor when feeling the onset of syptoms (about 2 1/2 hrs after meal. Numbers read 72 and 75. I know these #s are considered normal - but do you feel these symptoms might still suggest reactive hypoglycemia - and further contact with my new physician?

Answer:

It is not that uncommon for people to experience the sort of symptoms that you describe after a meal - this pattern of reactive hypoglycemia can sometimes be demonstrated and frequently can be relieved by some alteration in eating habits.  It is rare that it is due to a disease process, either an abnormality in intestinal tract function or something like a tumor over-producing insulin.  It sounds like it would be helpful for you to see a physician knowledgeable about these kinds of symptoms to assist you in finding a solution - again, the greatest chance is that this can be relieved by an alteration in eating pattern but that needs to be worked through in the individual.

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Response by:

Robert M Cohen, MD Robert M Cohen, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati