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October 24, 1978 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-10-24

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, October 22, 1978-Page 5
Hypoglycemia: What's itabout

QUESTION: I hear the word hypogly-
cemia being used a lot. From its
various parts I can make out that it has
something to do with a low amount of
sugar in the blood. Can you give me in-
formation on its specific meaning?
What causes it? Can it be cured?
ANSWER: Hypoglycemia is, as you
have correctly determined, a condition
of low blood sugar (glucose) in the cir-
culating blood. Since glucose is the
main provider of energy to the b'ody's
cells, a Jack of .this can cause a feeling
of weakness and fatigue, as well as a
number of other symptoms, including
faintness, headache, excessive per-
spiration, salivation, increased heart
rate, nervousness, and difficulty with
concentration. (More severe sym-
ptoms, such as loss of consciousness,
spasms, and deep coma, occur with ex-
tremely low levels of blood sugar.)
Another symptom may be hunger, and,
if the, person, reacts to this sensation by
eating, a resulting problem may be
Hypoglycemia is a signal that there is
something wrong. with the system that
regulates the amount of sugar in the

blood. This regulatory system can be
briefly explained as follows: In order
for the body to utilize the sugars that
have been ingested in the form of food,
they must be absorbed from the
stomach, across the intestinal wall, and
into the circulation. The intestinal wall
can regulate the amount of glucose in
the blood by changing its rate of absor-
ption from the stomach. Once the
glucose is in the circulation, it must be
transported. from the blood into the
body cells. This is one of the roles of the
hormone insulin, which is manufac-
tured in the pancreas. The pancreas
begins to pour out insulin if there is a
large amount of glucose in the intestine
that needs to be transported or other-
wise removed. If, for some reason, the
right amount of glucose is not ingested
to meet the energy demands of the
body, the liver helps regulate the
amount, either by converting protein
into glucose, or by transferring glucose,
stored in the liver in the form of
glycogen, into actual glucose. Insulin
also helps maintain the proper balance
by counteracting these conversion
processes so that the proper amount
results. If, after all these regulatory

processes have occurred and the cir-
culating glucose level is too high, .the
excess glucose will spill over into the
urine to be removed from the body.
If something goes wrong with any one
of these regulatory organs or glands,
too much (hyperglycemia) or too little
(hypoglycemia) blood sugar may
result. Following are two examples of
how this latter result can happen.
(Keep in mind these examples are not
the most common causes of
hypoglycemia, but will be used here for
ease of discussion.)
If there is a certain kind of tumor in
the pancreas it may cause the release
of an overabundance of insulin. This
excess insulin works too ambitiously on
preventing the conversion of glycogen
and protein into glucose, resulting in
too low a level of this important energy-
provider. Or, if part of one's stomach
has been removed (perhaps due to
ulcers), there is an increased rate of
absorption of glucose from the stomach
into the intestine. Due to this sudden
rise in glucose level, the pancreas is
over-stimulated and pours out too much
insulin. Here, too, the result is low blood

The pancreatic tumor problem is an
example of what is called fasting
hypoglycemia. There is a low level of
blood sugar whether or not one has been
eating. Its cure would be the removal of
the tumor that caused the excess in-
sulin production. the second example
(the partial stomach removal) is called
reactive hypoglycemia because the
reaction occurs after the ingestion of
food. This kind of hypoglycemia is the
one you've probably heard people talk
about lately, although in the majority of
cases the cause is not as extreme as a
partial stomach removal. Its usual
treatment is dietary.
The diet recommended is one low in
carbohydrate, high in protein, and
moderate in fat. The reason for this is
that carbohydrate gets absorbed very
quickly from the stomach (triggering
that insulin overproduction), while
protein gets absorbed much more
slowly. In addition, eating four-to-six
small meals with protein and car-
bohydrate proportions divided equally
among the feedings, is suggested. The
habit of eating on an empty stomach a
breakfast of cereal and toast (which
are high in carbohydrate), should be

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Egypt questions
issue in pact

Fire damages
suite at Baits

(Continued from Page 1)
"synchronized"timetable for Israeli
withdrawal ; from both the Sinai and
those territories - could draw other
Arabstates into the U.S.-sponsored
peace process begun at Camp David.
IT WOULD ALSO help cool some of
the Arab criticism aimed at Sadat since
he launched his unilateral peace drive
11 months ago.
President Carter is scheduled to have
lunch Friday at the White House with
Saudi Arabia's King Khaled, whose
wealthy kingdom has considerable in-
fluence over other Arab governments.
Khaled underwent open-heart surgery
at the Cleveland Clinic earlier this mon-
th and will be returning home.,
When he returned to' Israel from
Washington Sunday, Dayan said the
Spact was "niot yet ready for signature"
and some items were not covered in the
text "because we haven't agreed about
THE ISRAELI cabinet, conceivably,
also could order its negotiators to seek
further changes in the draft when they,
return to Washington to resume the
Dayan and Defense Minister Ezer
Weizman, Israel's other top negotiator,
were %expected to face tough
questioning from more conservative
members of the 16-member Cabinet.
Right-wing members of Parliament in
Begin's ruling coalition have expressed
concern in recent days that Israel was
being pressured into making further
concessions beyond the Camp David
framework agreements.
The other major issue that U.S. sour-
ces reported settled over the weekend
was the timetable for establishing full
diplomatic relations between Egypt
and Israel, an item that was not

covered by the Camp David accords.
The Egyptian-Israeli treaty will deal
primarily with Israeli withdrawal from
conquered areas of Egypt's Sinai
Peninsula and the establishment of
normal relations between the two
Cairo's authoritative Al Ahram
newspaper reported yesterday that
four 'annexes will be attached to the
treaty dealing with military,
diplomatic, economic and cultural ties.
No date has been set for signing the
treaty, but both sides have discussed
the possibility of a joint ceremony in
Cairo and Jerusalem on Nov. 19, the fir-
st anniversary of the visit Sadat made
to Jerusalem to open his peace

Fire guted a Baits-Stanley House
bedroom and extensively damaged ad-
joining rooms in the triple suite Sunday.
The residents were safely evacuated.
An overloaded electrical cord is being
blamed for the blaze.
"Too much current through the wire"
caused the fire, said Resident Director
Anne Adams, who helped relocate the
three male occupants into other rooms
in Baits.
THE FIRE started in the single
bedroom and spread to the adjoining
study. A closed door between the study
and the double bedroom saved the
bedroom from extensive flame
damage, but not from heat and smoke.
One occupant, who declined to give
his name, was sleeping in the double

bedroom and smelled smoke when he
"At first I thought someone was
cooking," he said. But, he added, he
realized there was a fire when he
opened the door to the study and saw
the clouds of smoke. He quickly met
Resident Advisor Leila Vicente in the
corridor and pulled the fire alarm.
The Center For Afroamerican
and African Studies.
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 1978
12:00 noon to 1:39 p.m.
Center for Afroamerican and
African Studies
All Welcome! Refreshments

continues the
with a lecture by
Professor of Genetics and Internal Medicine
Friday, October 27-8 P.M.
at the
Ecumenical Campus Center
921 Church St.
The public is invited


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