Best Foods For Hypoglycemia

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oranges used for hypoglycemia

Oranges are great for hypoglycemia

We’ve tried lots of different foods when our son suffers from low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia).  Depending on how low he is and what activities he’s about to undertake we’ve gotten comfortable with a good variety of different choices.

The obvious goal when treating hypoglycemia is to get some food into the body that will quickly turn into glucose and raise those levels.  If you’re really low (typically below a reading of 60) you want to act quickly and so you’ll go for something with a faster-acting sugar.

If you’re just a little low and you know you’re going to be exercising soon (and so likely to go lower) you may choose to eat a more complex carbohydrate that will digest and turn into glucose over a longer period.  Managing diabetes and sports is complex and this will help sustain you through your exercise.

Old school diabetes treatment was to pop some kind of candy into your mouth and chew.  Obviously, our son loves this.  Post Halloween we caught our son out running on our treadmill (which he’s not allowed to do).  When asked “why?”, his response was that he wanted to get low so he could enjoy one of his candybars.  Pretty saavy for an eight year-old, but we obviously gave him a bit of a scolding and explained to him why that was a bad idea.

We do try to monitor his intake of sugars (including high fructose foods) and so tend to stay away from using the traditional candy and fruit juices to combat lows.  Here are a few of our favorite foods to use:

  • Natural Orange Juice – 4-8 oz.  Great for when he is really low and we need to raise his levels quickly.
  • Apple – Also good for a relatively quick rise.
  • Tangerine – Natural sugars work great.
  • Dried Apricots – Good natural sugars.
  • Dex 4 Glucose Tablets – 2-3 tablets.  These act quickly and perfect though for a kid they’re not as ‘fun’.
  • Whole Wheat Toast – 1/2 slice.  Better for a bit of a longer digestive cycle.  We’ll use this when he’s not too low and is still active in the day.
  • Milk – 8 oz.  This is good when he’s not too low but also hungry.  Helps to fill the stomach and is a bit slower acting.

We’re always trying new foods though as we’re eager to have our son enjoy the variety of what the world has to offer.

Tell us about the foods you use…

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