by James Sloane 2002
Mountain Mist Botanicals
There are basically two forms of hypoglycemia, acute and chronic hypoglycemia.
Acute hypoglycemia, also known as reactive hypoglycemia, occurs after eating a meal. In this case the blood sugar goes up and the pancreas overreacts by secreting too much insulin. This leads to a sudden and drastic drop in blood sugar. This form of hypoglycemia is best treated with chromium polynicotinate (not picolinate). The recommended dose for chromium polynicotinate is 200mcg 3 times daily with meals. Green stevia leaf, and nettle leaf are also excellent sources of chromium.
Chronic hypoglycemia stems from improperly working adrenal glands. When a person does not eat the blood sugar drops, which is normal. The adrenal glands will respond to the drop in blood sugar by releasing a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol stimulates the release of the stored sugar molecule glycogen from the liver, which in turn restores proper blood sugar levels. If the adrenal glands are not working properly a sufficient level of cortisol is not released to elevate blood sugar back to proper levels. Treatment of this form of hypoglycemia involves building the adrenal glands, located on top of the kidneys.
Other symptoms that may indicate the adrenal glands are in a weakened state include allergies, asthma, autoimmune disorders, chronic pain, stress intolerance, hormone imbalances, and low blood pressure or orthostatic hypotension (fainting feeling upon moving from a lying or sitting position to a standing position).
The most important nutrient for the adrenal glands is vitamin C. The adrenal glands use more vitamin C than any part of the body followed by the eyes. My choice for vitamin C is amla berries, which are the highest herbal source for vitamin C. And unlike synthetic vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which is very unstable, the vitamin C in amla berries is stabilized by antioxidant polyphenols also found in the berries. Therefore the vitamin C in amla berries does not deteriorate from heat, light, and oxidation like synthetic vitamin C. Amla also helps in the treatment of hypoglycemia because it helps with protein metabolism.
The second most important nutrient for the adrenal glands is pantothenic acid. The highest herbal source of this nutrient is bee pollen, which helps to explain its use in the treatment of allergies as well. Pollens can come from different sources, and a person can be allergic to some pollens and not others. Therefore it is very important that you start out with only small amounts of pollen any time you change your pollen source, even if you have not had allergic reactions to bee pollen previously.
There is a group of herbs, known as adaptogens, which support adrenal function. My favorites are schisandra berry, licorice root, suma, Siberian ginseng, and ashwaganda. Finally I recommend avoiding steroidal medications such as prednisone, stimulants such as ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine all derived from ephedra, also known as ma huang, and sida cordifolia, caffeine, and nicotine, and reduce stress levels. Stress, stimulants and steroids all tear down the adrenal glands quickly. Sugars, including honey, should also be avoided because of their effects on the blood sugar and adrenal glands. Stevia is a good alternative to sugar since it has a more intense sweetness than sugar yet it is not absorbed by the body. Since it is not absorbed stevia does not increase blood sugar, or weight, and it does not interfere with the immune system the way regular dietary sugars do. Eating small, frequent, high protein snacks will also help maintain proper blood sugar levels.