Hypoglycemia is defined as a blood glucose concentration of 2.2 mmol l-1 (plasma glucose concentration of 2.5mmolT1) or less. Its definition is necessarily arbitrary and owes its importance to the fact that hypoglycemia (literally low blood glucose) of this severity produces brain dysfunction by depriving its neurons of glucose.
Hypoglycemia is not a disease but a manifestation of it. It has, however, come to have a totally different meaning amongst certain sections of the population that has very little to do with blood glucose concentration but a lot to do with their feelings of well being, discomfort, and attitudes to life but, above all, with the role of diet in the achievement and maintenance of good health. And whilst no discussion of the dietary treatment of hypoglycemia can be meaningful without reference to this concept - referred to, for want of a better term, as nonhypoglycemia, - hypoglycemia will, throughout this article, be used only to describe a measured low blood glucose concentration.
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