Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a condition in which there is an abnormally low level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. This most often results from the over-secretion of insulin by the pancreas.

Sugar and refined carbohydrates make your blood sugar rise. This signals the pancreas to produce insulin. Too much insulin leads to hypoglycemia. Normal carbohydrate metabolism is impossible if the pancreas is not functioning properly.

Hypoglycemia can be inherited, but more often it is precipitated by an inadequate diet. Other bodily disorders can cause hypoglycemic problems as well; such as, adrenal insufficiency, kidney disease, pancreatitis, pituitary disorders, and thyroid disorders. Candidiasis and immune deficiency are strongly linked to hypoglycemia.

Other common causes are smoking and the consumption of large amounts of caffeine - found in chocolate, coffee and colas. Although it may seem contradictory, low blood sugar can also be an early sign of diabetes (high blood sugar).

More and more people today may have this condition due to poor dietary habits that include eating large quantities of simple carbohydrates, alcohol, caffeine, soft drinks and sugars, and insufficient amounts of complex carbohydrates. In addition, high stress levels are believed to be a contributing factor in the increasing incidence of hypoglycemia.

People suffering from low blood sugar may display one or all of the following symptoms: blurred vision, anxiety, dizziness, light headedness, depression, fainting spells, fatigue, headache, irritability, mood swings, cravings for sweets, night sweats, constant hunger, swollen feet, confusion, weakness in the legs, nervous habits, insomnia, pain in various parts of the body (especially the eyes), mental disturbances and a feeling of tightness in the chest.

One or all of these symptoms may occur a few hours after eating sweets or fats. The onset and severity of symptoms are directly related to the type of foods that the meal contained and to the length of time since the last meal was eaten.

Diagnosis of hypoglycemia can be difficult because symptoms often imitate those of other disorders; which include, nutritional deficiencies, mal-absorption syndrome, eating disorders, allergies, asthma, digestive or intestinal disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, mental disorders, neurological problems and weight problems.

The stress reaction triggered each time blood sugar plummets increases the body's need for nutrients and can create deficiencies that further impair carbohydrate metabolization.

A health care provider may perform a glucose tolerance test to diagnose hypoglycemia. However, a person may have symptoms of low blood sugar even though the test results are within normal limits. A useful diagnostic test may be to follow the nutritional supplement program outlined below and see if your symptoms improve.

Nutritional Supplements

Brewer's yeast aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels. It is a valuable source of chromium. Take as directed on label. Suggested dosage: Two teaspoons in juice or water twice a day.

Chromium picolinate is vital in glucose metabolism and is essential for optimal insulin activity. Take 150 to 200 micrograms daily. Foods that contain chromium include lean meats and whole grain breads.

Pancreatin for proper protein digestion. Use a high potency formula. Take as directed on label with meals.

Proteolytic enzymes - Those with this condition often fail to digest protein properly, resulting in leaky gut syndrome and allergies. CAUTION: Do not give this supplement to a child. Take as directed on label between meals.

Vitamin B complex plus extra vitamins B1, B3, B5, and B12.
* Vitamin B complex is important in carbohydrate and protein metabolism, proper digestion and absorption of foods. It helps the body tolerate foods that produce low blood sugar reactions. It also helps counteract the effects of mal-absorption disorders, common in those with hypoglycemia. Take 50 to 100 milligrams daily.
* Vitamin B1 (thiamine) aids in the production of hydrochloric acid, needed for proper digestion. Take 100 milligrams daily.
* Vitamin B3 (niacin) aids in the functioning of the nervous system and in proper digestion. Take 100 milligrams daily. Do not exceed this amount.
* Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is important in adrenal gland function and conversion of glucose to energy. Take 1,000 milligrams daily in divided doses.
* Vitamin B12 is crucial for prevention of anemia, common because mal-absorption disorders result in deficiency. Take 300 micrograms twice daily on an empty stomach.

Vitamin C with bioflavonoids for adrenal insufficiency, common in those with low blood sugar. Take 3,000 to 8,000 milligrams daily in divided doses.

Vitamin E improves energy, circulation and sugar storage in the liver. Take 100 to 600 IU daily.

Magnesium plus calcium.
* Magnesium is important in carbohydrate (sugar) metabolism. Take 1500 milligrams daily in divided doses after meals and at bedtime.
* Calcium works with magnesium and aids in preventing colon cancer. Take 1500 milligrams daily in divided doses after meals and at bedtime.

Manganese is important for the maintenance of blood glucose levels. Most people with hypoglycemia have low levels of this dietary mineral in their blood. Take as directed on label. Take separately from calcium.

Potassium. An excess of ingested salt or the internal stress created by low blood sugar can cause loss of potassium and trigger hypoglycemia symptoms. For hypoglycemic headaches, muscle cramps, or shakiness, some authorities recommend 200 milligrams daily in divided doses with meals, but continual supplementation should be medically supervised.

Zinc is needed for proper release of insulin. People with hypoglycemia are often zinc deficient. Use zinc gluconate lozenges for best absorption. Take 50 milligrams daily. Do not exceed 100 milligrams daily from all supplements.

L-carnitine plus L-cysteine and L-glutamine.
* L-carnitine converts stored body fat into energy. Take as directed on label.
* L-cysteine blocks the action of insulin, which lowers blood sugar. Take as directed on label.
* L-glutamine reduces cravings for sugar. Take 1,000 milligrams daily. Take with water or juice. Do not take with milk.

Herbal Nutrition Supplements

The herbs astragalus, black cohosh, ginseng and red raspberry have hypoglycemic actions (reduce sugar in the blood).

The herbs bilberry and wild yam aid in controlling insulin levels.

Dandelion root is an excellent source of calcium and supports the pancreas and liver.

Fenugreek seeds helps support healthy blood sugar and insulin levels when used as part of your diet

Licorice nourishes the adrenal glands and may be beneficial for hypoglycemia. CAUTION: Do not use this herb on a daily basis for more than seven days in a row. Avoid altogether if have high blood pressure.

Psyllium husks aids in slowing down blood sugar reactions and in keeping the colon clean.

Author's Bio: 

Edith Lingenfelter-webmaster of Age-old Herbs shows how "self defense" is natures oldest law on how to prevent your health concerns by means of natural healing herbs with herbal and dietary supplements. Learn how to protect your health by visiting www.age-oldherbs.com