- With Mayo Clinic endocrinologist
Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D.read biographyclose window
Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D.Todd Nippoldt, M.D.
Dr. Todd Nippoldt is a board-certified specialist in internal medicine and endocrinology and metabolism. He has special expertise in the area of hormone disorders affecting the pituitary and adrenal glands as well as the testes and ovaries. He has been a member of the Mayo Clinic staff since 1988.
He's a consultant in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition and works with patients who have disorders of the hormone-producing glands. Common disorders include diabetes, thyroid problems, osteoporosis and elevated cholesterol levels.
He's also involved in andrology, the study of male hormonal disorders, male infertility and male sexual dysfunction, and is an assistant professor of medicine at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Nippoldt, a St. Paul, Minn., native, has also contributed to "Mayo Clinic Health Letter," the "Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and a Mayo Clinic CD-ROM. He's a fellow in the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Society of Andrology, The Endocrine Society, The Pituitary Society and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
"I have found that those patients who have gone to the Internet and obtained accurate medical information come to their appointment with me very well informed, and the discussions regarding the evaluation and management of their condition are very productive and satisfying," he says.
"The key, however, is obtaining accurate medical information. As a medical editor, I hope to be able to ensure that accurate, relevant and up-to-date information is available for patients and their families."
Risk factors (1)
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Tests and diagnosis (1)
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- Diabetes: How do I help protect my liver?
Treatments and drugs (5)
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- Blood glucose monitors: What factors affect accuracy?
- Diabetes management: Does aspirin therapy prevent heart problems?
- see all in Treatments and drugs
Lifestyle and home remedies (11)
- Vegetarian diet: Can it help me control my diabetes?
- Diabetes: Are electric blankets off-limits?
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- see all in Lifestyle and home remedies
Alternative medicine (1)
- Diabetes treatment: Can cinnamon lower blood sugar?
- Healthy heart for life: Avoiding heart disease
- Sodium nitrate in meat: Heart disease risk factor?
Reactive hypoglycemia: What can I do?
I think I have reactive hypoglycemia. How can I address my symptoms?
from Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D.
Reactive hypoglycemia (postprandial hypoglycemia) is low blood sugar that occurs after a meal — usually within four hours after eating. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) usually occurs while fasting. Signs and symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia may include hunger, weakness, shakiness, sleepiness, sweating, lightheadedness, anxiety and confusion.
It's possible to have symptoms that are similar to reactive hypoglycemia without actually having low blood sugar. True reactive hypoglycemia symptoms that are caused by low blood sugar occurring after eating are uncommon. For the majority of people with postprandial symptoms, the actual cause of the symptoms is not clear but may relate to what food was eaten or variations in the timing of the food moving through the stomach and intestinal tract.
Generally, a medical evaluation is done to determine whether symptoms are caused by low blood sugar — and whether symptoms resolve once blood sugar returns to normal. Further evaluation of reactive hypoglycemia depends on the severity of signs and symptoms.
For the majority of people, reactive hypoglycemia usually doesn't require medical treatment. It may help to pay attention to the timing and composition of your meals:
- Eat several small meals and snacks throughout the day, no more than three hours apart during the waking hours.
- Eat a well-balanced diet, including lean and nonmeat sources of protein, and high-fiber foods, including whole grains, fruit and vegetables.
- Avoid or limit sugary foods, especially on an empty stomach.
- Be sure to eat food if you're consuming alcohol and avoid using sugary soft drinks as mixers.
For some, particularly those who have had intestinal surgery (gastric bypass or surgery for the management of ulcer disease) further evaluation by a doctor may be warranted, but dietary changes are still recommended.
It's also important to include physical activity in your daily routine.Next question
Hyperinsulinemia: Is it diabetes?
- Ferri FF. Practical Guide to the Care of the Medical Patient. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa. Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-07158-1..00003-1--s8700&isbn=978-0-323-07158-1&sid=1411661283&uniqId=403732597-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-07158-1..00003-1--s8715. Accessed Feb. 21, 2013.
- Service FJ. Postprandial (reactive) hypoglycemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 21, 2013.
- Papadakis MA, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2013. 52nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed Feb. 21, 2013.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 8, 2013.