Hypoglycaemia is a condition in which the body’s blood sugar levels drop too low. It is also known as insulin reaction. When the concentration of glucose in the blood is too low, it can not meet the requirements of key organs (especially the brain). When this happens, symptoms are related to mental ability and energy levels.

An analogy of this is a wood fired stove. If we want constant, effective energy levels then we must feed our stove quality fuel in the form of complex carbohydrates and fibre. This ensures the wood stove to burn evenly and at the right consumption rate. If, however, the body is supplied with refined carbohydrates, stripped of fibre and protein then the situation becomes similar to burning paper in the stove. This will inevitably create a fast burning, high heat fire which will only burn for a small amount of time.

Hypoglycaemia is the opposite of diabetes, which is high blood sugar levels. Even though these two disorders are the opposite of each other, they are both closely related due to the fact that they are caused by the body’s inability to use sugar from the diet effectively.

Usually the body will crave sweet foods as these increase the blood sugar level and reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of hypoglycaemia. When sweet foods are consumed this causes a spike in blood sugar levels, higher energy levels and increased mental energy. However this has a negative effect on the pancreas as it produces a higher amount of insulin which is needed to transport the sugar in to the cells. An increase in insulin helps to balance the blood sugar levels and this creates a vicious circle as too much insulin causes a drop in blood sugar as all the sugar enters the cell, we experience a sugar high and then 30 minutes after we then experience a drop in energy and hit the wall with typical symptoms of weakness, drowsiness and emotional distress.

Many people experience hypoglycaemia around 11am and 3pm as the sugar eaten at breakfast and lunch wears off around these times. This is the time when we start thinking about eating chocolate and craving sweet foods to help increase our energy and stamina and get us through our day.


  • fatigue, weakness, slump in energy levels
  • depression, mood swings, anxiety, light headedness
  • hunger, craving for sweet foods
  • blurred vision
  • sweating


There are two types of hypoglycaemia (reactive hypoglycaemia and fasting hypoglycaemia):

  • Reactive Hypoglycaemia involves sugar hitting or an unhealthy diet. This occurs when the pancreas is reacting to a poor diet of concentrated simple sugars with an overproduction of insulin to compensate
  • Fasting Hypoglycaemia occurs due to starvation or fasting, excessive exercise, cancer of the pancreas, anorexia or bulimia


A six hour oral glucose tolerance test is usually the test given to help to determine whether there is a hypoglycaemia problem. The patient fasts overnight and is then asked to consume glucose added to water. Blood measurements are then made and the information is recorded to determine the severity of blood sugar disorder.


Foods to avoid

  • High sugar content foods, be aware that a lot of foods contain hidden sugars such as in tinned foods, breakfast cereals, chocolate, processed foods, soft drinks, dried fruit, fruit juices, orange juice, sweetened yoghurt, breads, sauces, condiments and salad dressings
  • Simple sugars can be in the form of sugar, fructose, sucrose, glucose, honey, corn syrup, sweetose and anything ending in -ose on the label
  • Alcohol contains simple sugars
  • Avoid tea and coffee
  • Avoid white flour, refined carbohydrates and refined wheat products
  • Avoid sweet foods and sugar hitting
  • Sweet fruits should be consumed in small amounts and fruit juice drinks should be 80% water and only 20% juice. Fruits to avoid are grapes, recommended fruits are papaya, apple, grapefruits, oranges or berries

Foods to consume more

  • Complex carbohydrates
  • Vegetables, nuts, seeds, wholegrains, pasta and brown rice
  • High fibre foods
  • Healthy forms of protein (eggs, fish, organic free range chicken and meats, nuts, seeds and tempeh


  • B Complex as B Vitamins are involved in sugar metabolism as the help to normalise sugar levels in the blood
  • Dietary Fibre helps to reduce spikes in blood sugar levels
  • Vitamin C as it increases the body’s tolerance to sugars and helps to normalise sugar metabolism
  • Chromium is an essential mineral in regulating blood sugar levels and supporting pancreatic function
  • Minerals such as Zinc, Manganese and Magnesium are important in the role of metabolism and blood sugar regulation in association with the pancreas
  • Amino Acids such as Glutathione, Methionine, Arginine and Alanine are important to establish better liver and pancreatic function
  • Digestive enzymes to promote better digestion and absorption of carbohydrates from the diet to help to convert them into stable energy for the body and brain


  • Consume regular foods, aim for 5-6 smaller meals so that your blood sugar meals remain more constant.
  • Try not to skip meals
  • Eat calmly and slowly, never eat if you are stressed
  • Always have a small amount of protein in your meal, for example if you decide to have a fruit salad try adding yoghurt and nuts as the protein helps to balance blood sugar levels so the body doesn’t experience a spike in blood sugar levels
  • Concentrate on a diet which consists of complex carbohydrates (70%), protein (20%) and quality fats (10%)
  • Ensure that you keep a regular exercise regime as this helps to regulate the metabolism and control sugar cravings
  • Support liver function
  • Support pancreatic function
  • Support digestion



  • Unsweetened granola
  • Cooked wholegrain cereal such as oatmeal, millet or quinoa
  • 2 poached eggs, 1 slice of quality wholegrain bread, avocado, grilled tomato and haloumi cheese
  • Fruit salad with added yoghurt, cottage cheese, nuts and seeds and LSA or wheat germ and brewers yeast
  • Coconut pancakes made with coconut flour and almond meal
  • A green smoothie with kale, cucumber, yoghurt, spirulina, mint, parsley, papaya, banana and nut milk, kefir and brewers yeast

Mid-morning and Mid-afternoon snacks

  • Almond milk, lecithin, a little apple juice and brewers yeast
  • Unsweetened herbal tea
  • Handful of raw nuts
  • A wholegrain cracker or bread with cottage cheese and avocado
  • 1 teaspoon of Spirulina in a small glass of warm water and apple juice


  • Fresh raw salad with a yoghurt or miso dressing as at least 80% of the meal and then add any of the following – avocado, tuna, brown rice, millet or quinoa, cottage cheese, haloumi, boiled egg, organic chicken, cheese or lean meat


  • Choose 4-5 cooked (never boiled or fried) vegetables with a protein option
  • Wholegrain rice or pasta
  • Protein – organic lean meat or organic free range chicken
  • A vegetarian protein option – tempeh, tofu or cheese