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Diabetes Metab. 2000 Nov;26(5):337-51.

Postprandial reactive hypoglycemia.

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Service Central de Physiologie Clinique, Centre d'Exploration et de Réadaptation des Anomalies Métaboliques et Musculaires (CERAMM), Lapeyronie Hospital Montpellier, France.


Postprandial reactive hypoglycemia (PRH) can be diagnosed if sympathetic and neuroglucopenic symptoms develop concurrently with low blood sugar (<3.3 mmol). Neither the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) nor mixed meals are suitable for this diagnosis, due to respectively false positive and false negative results. They should be replaced by ambulatory glycemic control or, as recently proposed, an hyperglucidic breakfast test. PRH patients often suffer from an associated adrenergic hormone postprandial syndrome, with potential pathologic consequences such as cardiac arrhythmia. PRH could result from (a) an exaggerated insulin response, either related to insulin resistance or to increased glucagon-like-peptide 1; (b) renal glycosuria; (c) defects in glucagon response; (d) high insulin sensitivity, probably the most frequent cause (50-70%), which is not adequately compensated by hypoinsulinemia and thus cannot be measured by indices of insulin sensitivity such as the homeostatic model assessment. Such situations are frequent in very lean people, or after massive weight reduction, or in women with moderate lower body overweight. PRH is influenced by patient's alimentary habits (high carbohydrate-low fat diet, alcohol intake). Thus, diet remains the main treatment, although alpha-glucosidase inhibitors and some other drugs may be helpful.

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