Avoid Hypoglycemia When Fasting in the Following Ways!

Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs when a person's blood glucose level drops below the normal limit, which is less than 70 mg/dL. This condition is closely related to fasting, especially in people with diabetes or other health problems related to blood sugar levels. This can happen when fasting due to a lack of supply of glucose obtained from food and drink.

This condition needs attention and prevention, bearing in mind that glucose is the main source of energy for the body and also for the brain. Thus, hypoglycemia can cause various symptoms and even serious health problems, including seizures, loss of consciousness, even coma and death.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia while fasting
There are several symptoms commonly experienced by hypoglycemia sufferers when fasting, including:

  1. Dizziness and pain in the head
  2. Feeling tired and lethargic
  3. A cold sweat
  4. Dizzy eyes or visual disturbances
  5. Body shaking or convulsions
  6. Confusion or difficulty in thinking and speaking
  7. Increased appetite
  8. Fast and irregular heartbeat
  9. Mood changes such as restlessness, anxiety, or irritability

How to prevent hypoglycemia while fasting
There are several ways you can do to prevent hypoglycemia while fasting, such as:

  1. Consult with a doctor
    If you have diabetes or other health problems that affect blood sugar levels, consult your doctor before deciding to fast. Your doctor can help you create a fasting plan that's safe for your body and give you advice about dosages of your diabetes medications and timing of meals.
  2. Choose the right fasting time
    Choose a fasting time that suits your health. Avoid fasting if you are sick, stressed, or physically weak.
  3. Eat the right foods when breaking the fast
    Choose foods rich in complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, potatoes and vegetables to help the body maintain stable blood sugar levels. Avoid foods that are high in sugar, such as candy or sugary drinks.
  4. Drink enough water
    Drinking enough water while fasting can prevent dehydration which can affect blood sugar levels.
  5. Routinely monitor blood sugar levels
    Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly while fasting. If you feel sick or symptoms of hypoglycemia appear, immediately check your blood sugar level and immediately drink water or eat foods that contain complex carbohydrates.
  6. Avoid strenuous exercise
    Avoid strenuous exercise while fasting, as this can accelerate the decrease in blood sugar levels. Exercise is recommended to be done at the time of breaking the fast or after dinner.

Those are some of the symptoms to how to prevent hypoglycemia while fasting. If you or your closest relative feel these symptoms while fasting, immediately consult a trusted doctor to get further treatment.

Article written by dr. Steffie Simpinano Solin, Sp.PD (Internal Medicine Specialist at EMC Cibitung Hospital).