Hypoglycemia: A Better Approach!
Have you ever been prone to mood swings, headaches, foggy thinking, dizziness, allergies, tingling in your hands or feet, cold hands or feet, heart palpitations, insomnia, memory loss, depression, confusion, sugar or chocolate cravings, bursts of anger or sadness for no apparent reason, irritability, shyness or low sex drive? This is just a small list of the possible symptoms you may experience if you have hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia just may be the most underdiagnosed disease of the century! Since most of the above symptoms look just like other diseases, your doctor will often diagnose you with some other problem, while missing the overall diagnostic picture of hypoglycemia completely. But hypoglycemia is as real as the thousands upon thousands of people who have it. And not only that, it can be totally debilitating and create divorce, arguments on the job, anger towards children, road rage, criminal acts and other anti-social behavior.
The good news is that hypoglycemia is easily diagnosed and cured. You just need a doctor who will take the time to evaluate your symptoms and run the appropriate tests. The first step in evaluation is to list all of your symptoms. If you have many of the above symptoms, then the next step is to have a fasting blood glucose test run. If you have a low glucose reading, then the next step is to have either a hair analysis or saliva test run. The hair analysis will tell you if your adrenal glands are overstressed, and the saliva test will tell you the stage and severity of your adrenal burnout. Additionally, a blood chemistry panel will be able to evaluate the level of your electrolytes, which are key indicators of how much stress is being placed on your body.
A number of years ago, most doctors would run a 6-hour glucose tolerance blood test on you to determine if you were hypoglycemic. This test is very hard on the body, since you have to fast for a minimum of 12 hours and then drink 8 oz. of syrupy sugar water. Then your blood is drawn every hour for 6 hours to see how your body responds to the sugar water. If you are hypoglycemic, your blood sugar will go way up after drinking the sugar, and then go way down an hour or so later.
In reality, you probably already know if you’re hypoglycemic. If you crave caffeine, sugar or any other stimulants, and your mood and energy gets really good after consuming them, but then two hours later you feel really horrible, and need some chips or more sweets or coffee to pull you back up, this may indicate hypoglycemia. It’s especially easy to diagnose in women who are experiencing PMS, since it’s more common at that time.
Blood sugar is a term for how much glucose you have circulating in your bloodstream at any given time. If there is too much, then you have diabetes, and if there is too little, then you have hypoglycemia. Either way, your glucose is out of balance. Many people have what is called dysglycemia, which means that your blood sugar swings too quickly from high to low or low to high, causing just as many, if not more, problems as in hypoglycemia.
In terms of Chinese medicine, the main reasons for, or causes of hypoglycemia are either Stagnant Liver Chi, Weak Kidneys, or a weak Spleen. Therefore, in Chinese medicine we work to strengthen these organs by using acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Some of the formulas that will work very well for the Weak Kidneys are the Rehmannia 6 and Rehmannia 8 Formulas, and Dynamic Warrior. For the Liver, I like to use a formula called Relaxed Wanderer. In treatment of the Spleen, I prescribe Ginseng and Astragalus or Aucklandia and Cardamon.
Other supplements which will help a lot in balancing your blood sugar include the following: Chromium, P5P, Licorice Root, Dandelion Root, a good balanced B-vitamin complex and multi-vitamin, and vitamin C. There are also many homeopathic remedies which are very effective in treating hypoglycemia. But, in general, these need to be prescribed for the individual based on their specific symptom picture.
A media personality and an author, Dr. Randy W. Martin, OMD, PhD, CCH, QME, Lac, has been in private practice in Encino and West Los Angeles for over 19 years. His book “Optimal Health” discusses how to heal yourself using herbs, homeopathy, acupressure and nutrition. He specializes in treating women and children, with an emphasis on headaches, PMS, menopause, ADD, ADHD, fertility, childbirth, cysts, fibroids and endometriosis. He can be contacted through his website at: www.optimalhealth4u.com .