What is hypoglycemia and what causes it?
In a society where sugar is consumed at alarming rates, some people find
out from blood analysis that their blood sugar or glucose is low, that is,
in medical terms, they are "hypoglycemic" ('hypo' refers to low
and 'glycemia' means sugar). People that suffer from too much sugar in the
blood are referred to as being "hyperglycemic" or using the more
common terms, are prediabetic or diabetic.
There needs to be a certain level of sugar in the blood for normal body
functioning. The body regulates this sugar level by the secretion of
regulating hormones one of which is insulin produced by the pancreas. As
the level of insulin rises, the blood sugar level falls. Less insulin
results in increased blood sugar levels. For most people, this insulin
level fluctuation is a normal process but when the pancreas acts
abnormally, problems develop. Although hypoglycemia can be caused by many
complex factors such as emotional and physical stresses, large amounts of
alcohol consumed on a daily basis, coffee, smoking, nutritional and enzyme
deficiencies, and many other medical conditions, the large consumption of
refined carbohydrates, (especially sugars) in the diet, allergies and
hypothyroidism (low functioning thyroid gland) are among the most common
factors leading to hypoglycemia.
When refined sugar (sucrose) is ingested, a large percentage of it is
immediately absorbed into the blood putting a strain on the pancreas to
secrete insulin in abnormal amounts. Sugar consumption requires chromium
which helps the pancreas and body cells regulate sugar levels. Excess
sugars deplete our chromium and B Vitamin reserves. Caffeine, alcohol,
tobacco, and stress further weakens the pancreas.
Constant abuse of the pancreas can cause it to malfunction in a
"hair-trigger" like action secreting too much or too little
insulin erratically even when mild amounts of sugar enter the body. If the
sugar level drops too low, the brain and nervous system can be deprived of
their primary fuel, glucose, causing an array of unpleasant hypoglycemic
symptoms. If more sugar is consumed in an attempt to make up for the
decreased sugar level, symptoms will be temporarily relieved but the
pancreas will again secrete still more insulin making the symptoms (such
as those in Table 6) worse than ever.
What is the best way to ingest sugars?
The best way to supply the body with needed sugars is by eating unrefined
carbohydrate foods which the body can slowly metabolize into
glucose. Ideal foods include starchy vegetables and whole grains. Starches
are actually "chains" of sugars which are tightly bound. This
binding enables the body to release them slowly through digestion thereby
preventing an overwhelming dosage of sugar from hitting the pancreas all
This glucose can then be stored in the liver and be timed released, as
needed, into the blood stream. Eating a balanced diet which is right for your
system as well as eating smaller meals at more frequent intervals
are also very important.
How can I tell if I have hypoglycemia?
Recognizing the symptoms of hypoglycemia is difficult because these
symptoms can also be caused by other pathological conditions such as
malabsorption, hypothyroidism, sluggish liver, low adrenal function,
allergies, misaligned vertebrae, candida, poor bowel functioning and
For example, it is possible that a person with low blood sugar may in
fact be suffering from allergies. Hypoglycemia may be more of a symptom
of another underlying problem rather than the cause.
In studies on hypoglycemia, it has been noted that nearly 67% of those
suffering from it complained of exhaustion as one of the most common
symptoms. Sixty percent noted depression while 50% said they had insomnia
and/or anxieties accompanying the hypoglycemia.  Other complaints are
listed in Table 6.
How is hypoglycemia related to hypothyroidism?
In his research, Dr. Broda Barnes states that the incidence of
hypoglycemia is much lower during thyroid treatment. This would suggest
that hypoglycemia might be closely correlated with hypothyroidism. In
addition, the thyroid has a profound effect on the liver. A low
functioning thyroid is frequently accompanied by sluggish liver function.
This can cause lower insulin production, higher glucose levels in the
blood and urine, and higher cholesterol levels. Since sluggish liver
function is one of the most common causes of hypoglycemia, it therefore
follows that the hypothyroid patient could be highly susceptible to low
blood sugar. 
Other nutritional means of detoxifying and strengthening the liver
should be undertaken during thyroid treatment. Our clinic can help you set
up a specific therapeutic dietary program to help strengthen liver and
other organ functions.
What tests can reveal hypoglycemia?
Since there is a direct relationship between hypothyroidism and
hypoglycemia, one should test for low thyroid function. The most reliable
test for low thyroid is the simple, quick and inexpensive Barnes Basal
Temperature method described in this booklet. Research has found that
hypoglycemia is not only caused by an abundance of insulin in the blood
but also by the inability of the liver to furnish enough glucose to meet
the given stress. Low thyroid function  as well as insufficient
Vitamin C, constipation, toxins and nutrient imbalances may cause the
liver to become sluggish.
If you have actual, untreated functional hypoglycemia, the symptoms may
go away or change character but they will soon reappear. If you suspect
hypoglycemia, you should have a fasting blood glucose test, a urinalysis,
the Barnes Basal Temperature Test and other tests that your physician
deems necessary.  Other indicators of blood sugar problems are the
occurrence of many of the symptoms listed in Table 6, immediately after
eating a product high in sugar.
Twenty-five percent of airline pilots over 40 years
of age suffer from hypoglycemia! 
Hypoglycemia, like many other physical problems, can be greatly helped
through proper nutrition and diet. Naturopathic Physicians get at least
two years of clinical nutrition and one year of plant medicine as part of
their medical training and are thoroughly qualified to assess your
nutritional health needs. These services are of great benefit to people
who want to get the most out of their vitamin purchases.
We strongly urge people who are not familiar with the many different
choices to avoid the random purchase of vitamins. Not understanding what a
person is buying can result in the duplication the same vitamin and
minerals in different products and the selection of brands whose quality
is questionable. In addition, there exists a real risk of inadvertently
taking too much of some vitamins that accumulate in the body. This would
include oil soluble vitamins such as A and D which could result in painful
Some Possible Common Signs, Symptoms and Conditions Related to
Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)
(These symptoms, like others mentioned in this book, require the
expertise of a physician to diagnose their exact cause. It should be
emphasized that many illnesses and disease conditions have identical
Abdominal spasms Internal trembling
Allergies (both food Joint pain
and environmental) Lack of appetite (anorexia)
Blurred vision Mental confusion
Chronic indigestion Muscle pain and backache
Cold hands or feet Muscular twitching or cramps
Crying spells Phobias
Difficulty in concentration Restlessness
Drug abuse Ringing in ears
Fainting or blackouts Staggering
Fatigue Suicidal tendencies Suicidal tendencies
Headaches Temper tantrums
Heart palpitations Vertigo
Next Chapter 7 : STRESS...Turning
Stress Into Strengths