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An abnormal decrease of sugar in the blood, hypoglycaemia exists in two forms: fasting and reactive. A rare disease, fasting hypoglycaemia, occurs during periods of prolonged fasting (such as before breakfast). The blood glucose level, which usually remains relatively constant due to pancreatic hormones, reaches dangerously low levels during the fasting state. In reactive hypoglycaemia, blood glucose levels drop immediately following a meal.
Hypoglycaemic patients feel symptoms similar to an Anxiety attack - Fatigue, dizziness, hunger pangs, accelerated heartbeat, Nervousness, perspiration, and palpitations caused by adrenalin secretion. Because these symptoms occur in many conditions, diagnosis usually requires an analysis of blood tests.
There are many subcategories of hypoglycaemia, some of which can be quite serious, reflecting liver disease or pancreatic tumours.
1. Anderson RA et al. Chromium supplementation of humans with hypoglycemia. Fed Proc 1984;43:471.