Postprandial Reactive Hypoglycemia

Sisli Etfal Hastan Tip Bul. 2019 Aug 28;53(3):215-220. doi: 10.14744/SEMB.2019.59455. eCollection 2019.


Reactive hypoglycemia (RH) is the condition of postprandially hypoglycemia occurring 2-5 hours after food intake. RH is clinically seen in three different forms as follows: idiopathic RH (at 180 min), alimentary (within 120 min), and late RH (at 240-300 min). When the first-phase insulin response decreases, firstly, blood glucose starts to rise after the meal. This leads to late but excessive secretion of the second-phase insulin secretion. Thus, late reactive hypoglycemia occurs. Elevated insulin levels also cause down-regulation of the insulin post-receptor on the muscle and fat cells, thus decreasing insulin sensitivity. The cause of the increase in insulin sensitivity in IRH at 3 h is not completely clear. However, there is a decrease in insulin sensitivity in late reactive hypoglycaemia at 4 or 5 hours. Thus, patients with hypoglycemia at 4 or 5 h who have a family history of diabetes and obesity may be more susceptible to diabetes than patients with hypoglycemia at 3 h. We believe that some cases with normal glucose tolerance in OGTT should be considered as prediabetes at <55 or 60 mg/dl after 4-5 hours after OGTT. Metformin and AGI therapy may be recommended if there is late RH with IFG. Also Metformin, AGİ, TZD, DPP-IVInhibitors, GLP1RA therapy may be recommended if there is late RH with IGT. As a result, postprandial RH (<55 or 60 mg/dl), especially after 4 hours may predict diabetes. Therefore, people with RH along with weight gain and with diabetes history in the family will benefit from a lifestyle modification as well as the appropriate antidiabetic approach in the prevention of diabetes.

Keywords: AGİ; DPP-IVInhibitors; TZD; metformin; microbiota; postprandially hypoglycemia; prediabetes; reactive hypoglycaemia.

Publication types

  • Review