It is a vague term that is currently considered to be too imprecise to be useful by doctors interested in hypoglycemia, though it may have historical value.
- In some contexts it refers to hypoglycemia that is not induced by exogenous insulin (i.e., diabetic hypoglycemia).
- In other contexts it is equivalent to idiopathic hypoglycemia (i.e., of unknown cause).
- And some people use it to encompass idiopathic hypoglycemia with measured low blood glucose, reactive hypoglycemia with measured low glucose,
- And it may refer to idiopathic postprandial syndrome.
When Seale Harris was writing about hypoglycemia, the only two kinds that were well understood were diabetic hypoglycemia and hypoglycemia resulting from insulinoma. He asserted that there were likely other types as well. His assertion was widely enough accepted that the diagnosis was assigned to, or claimed by, a large number of patients with otherwise unexplained adrenergic symptoms.
His contemporary, a surgeon named Allen Oldfather Whipple, formulated the Whipple criteria as a sieve to sort out those who might have an insulinoma requiring surgery from those with symptoms but not measured low blood glucose. They are still in use for exactly that purpose.
- Whipple's triad also called: Whipple's criteria.
- Diabetic hypoglycemia
- Reactive hypoglycemia
- Idiopathic hypoglycemia
- Idiopathic postprandial syndrome
- Ketotic hypoglycemia