Glucose is virtually the sole fuel for the human brain, except during prolonged starvation. Hypoglycemia is a medical condition wherein the blood glucose levels are low. This article provides information on the vitamins that can be taken by individuals affected by this condition.
Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by abnormally low blood sugar level in the body. In general, a person is said to be affected by this condition when the blood glucose level consistently falls below 70 mg/dl. It commonly occurs as a complication of diabetes treatment with external insulin or other medications. Hence, the condition of low blood sugar is also referred to as insulin reaction.
The insulin reaction is caused due to the effects of drugs and medications, starvation, hormonal deficiency, metabolic disorders, hyperinsulinism (endogenous insulin), organ failure, pancreatic tumors, and critical illness. The symptoms might differ, depending upon the severity and the underlying cause. However, the main problem arises due to the poor supply of glucose to the brain. Some of the symptoms are headaches, nausea, weakness, palpitation, sweating, hunger, faintness, nervousness, vomiting, fatigue, etc. In severe cases, this condition could become life-threatening.
This condition is diagnosed based on the physical examination, medical history, and blood glucose tests. This condition is treated by medications that raise the blood glucose levels. Immediate recovery for a low blood sugar attack is achieved after consuming sugar-rich diets. Another important treatment for this condition is the use of vitamins. Certain types of vitamins are used effectively for maintaining the sugar level and boosting the metabolism of the body.
Chromium is one of the most important vitamins that has been used in the treatment of insulin reactions and diabetes. Since chromium is a cofactor of insulin, it plays a major role in regulating the sugar level of the body. It activates the insulin receptors and increases the insulin transduction. Studies show that the supplementation of chromium in the diet of a person affected by this condition helps in controlling blood glucose and improves insulin sensitivity of the body. Foods rich in chromium include nuts, whole grains, wheat, legumes, seafood, and mushrooms.
Vitamin B is most commonly used for treating this condition. It helps in the digestion of carbohydrates, which ultimately results in sugar. Among the many types of vitamin B, B3 (niacin), and B6 (pyridoxine) are mostly used for this treatment.
Adequate amount of niacin speeds up the metabolism of food and increases the insulin sensitivity of the body. Most of the protein-rich foods have high content of niacin. Sources of niacin include pulses, fish, eggs, meat, and milk. Pyridoxine maintains the glucose level by regulating the carbohydrate metabolism of the body. Some of the foods that contain pyridoxine include soybeans, wheat germ, whole-grain cereals, and meat. One should also take magnesium supplements, as they help in activation of vitamin B for the metabolism of sugar and maintaining the energy levels.
The regular intake of vitamin C helps in overcoming this condition. Vitamin C neutralizes insulin and helps balance the glucose levels of the body. Food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, tomatoes, and potatoes. Another important vitamin that is used in the treatment of low blood sugar is vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant. It helps in processing and regulating glucose in the body. Vitamin E is found in green leafy vegetables, egg yolks, whole-grain cereals, and nuts and seeds.
Dimethylglycine (DMG), one of the active ingredients of vitamin B15, plays an important role in the sugar metabolism of the body. It enhances blood supply to the brain and helps in boosting the immune system and energy metabolism. DMG is a derivative of glycine (amino acid), and it is mostly found in foods rich in glycine such as brown rice and seafood.
Diabetics should regularly monitor their blood glucose levels. Also, it is recommended to seek advice from a physician before taking up any treatment. Including dietary sources of the aforementioned vitamins in one’s diet or taking the supplements can help regulate the sugar level of the body.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.