I am sometimes really shaky first thing in the morning and then periodically throughout the day. Do you think I am hypoglycemic? How should I treat this?

Hypoglycemia is another name for low blood sugar. It happens when your blood sugar levels fall to a level outside of the normal range. Symptoms of low blood sugar include: confusion, blurred vision, seizures, tremors, anxiety, sweating, irregular heart beating and hunger. It is recommended that you see your doctor if you have the above symptoms. The physician can perform a variety of tests to check to see if you are hypoglycemic. A number of things can cause hypoglycemia, the most notable being diabetes. Other possible causes include: excessive alcohol intake, certain medications, tumors, critical illnesses like anorexia or hepatitis, and endocrine deficiencies.

There are two basic things that can help fix hypoglycemia: immediate treatment and treatment for the underlying ailment. Immediate treatment would include consuming glucose or sugar to immediately raise blood sugar levels (drinking 4 oz. of juice, 3 glucose tablets, 5-6 pieces of candy). Treatment for the underlying ailment may include surgery on the tumor or an adjustment in any medication that may be causing the low blood sugar.

If you are found to have diabetes, following a proper diet will be essential to the management of blood sugar. It is recommended that you consume smaller and more frequent meals. Try to include a protein source (meat, dairy, peanut butter, eggs) with your meal and be sure to consume plenty of complex carbohydrates (high fiber bread, cereal, rice, pasta, fruits/vegetables). I would make sure you are eating a snack if you choose to drink an alcoholic beverage also. It is important to have hard candy or juice in case of emergent treatment for low blood sugar, but I urge people to limit every day intake (or at least reduce portion sizes) of candy, cookies, cake, table sugar, regular soda, fruit punch etc.

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