Man oh man, here we go! Blood sugar is a tricky subject and it’s stabilization is so crucial for optimal health. Digestion is where health begins, but, I have many clients start on blood sugar protocols before addressing other foundations to simply calm their body first. They say you can’t have good digestion if you’re always stressed. Well, cortisol is the stress hormone we excrete at large from our adrenal glands when blood sugar is dysregulated. This forces us to cope with chronic stress levels each day, but don’t worry, we can fix that!
Glucose, a simple sugar, is a form of energy that every living thing on earth utilizes. When our bodies are happy, and our blood sugar is balanced, we have our three main blood sugar organs working together nicely; our pancreas, adrenal glands, and liver. The pancreas’ job in blood sugar is to produce insulin which regulates the amount of glucose in the blood, and ultimately ‘opens the door’ to allow glucose into our cells. The adrenal glands have a very important job of producing aldosterone, sex hormones, and cortisol. Among the many roles of our liver, it also stores glucose as glycogen for later use, and produces ketones, a byproduct, that is utilized by our muscles, brain, and heart. That’s right! Your body is workin’ hard for you!
There is a lot that can go well with blood sugar when you feed your body correctly, as well as a lot that can go wrong when you don’t. Never before in the history of mankind, have we had an emergency need to lower blood sugar. This is a scary thought, and it is all thanks to our society’s extremely high consumption levels of refined carbohydrates and sugar.
I will use an example that I am sadly sure most of you are familiar with.. Diabetes. There are two types. Type 1 is often referred to as “juvenile diabetes” because you are born with it. This is when your pancreas produces little to no insulin. Type 2 is when the body develops insulin resistance, and affects the way your body processes glucose as it can no longer make it’s way into your cells. Both are unfortunately very common and their commonality is growing rapidly. According to the CDC, in 2011, 25.8 million Americans were living with diabetes, 18.8 million were diagnosed with diabetes, 7 million were left undiagnosed, and 79 million were living with prediabetes. Six short years later, in 2017, 30.3 million Americans were living with diabetes, 23.1 million were diagnosed with diabetes, 7.2 million were left undiagnosed, and 84.1 million were living with prediabetes. Just typing this out, onto this blog, is genuinely heartbreaking.
Is there a bright side? Can you do anything to reverse what the SAD (standard American diet) has potentially done to your health? YES, yes there is. Step 1, listen to your body. Nothing is more proactive than taking the warning signs your body gives you seriously.
Two common blood sugar abnormalities that are good to be familiar with are:
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Common client complaints include: fatigue, insomnia, depression, infertility, slow metabolism, weight issues, endocrine issues, and so on. Signs and symptoms may look like: feeling irritable/light headed if meals are missed, dependency on caffeine, jittery/shaky, easily upset/nervous, memory issues, blurred vision, etc.
Insulin resistance (high contributor to type 2 diabetes). Common client complaints include: fatigue, can’t lose weight, joint issues, depression/mood disorders, thyroid issues, slow healing time, memory failing, and so on. Signs and symptoms may look like: fatigue after meals (especially high carbohydrate meals), craving sweets, weight gain + difficulty losing weight, must have dessert after eating, etc.
Step 2, talk to me! Becoming a client of mine allows me to dig deeper into your eating, mood, digestive, and sleep habits. It allows me to see what is triggering your body to act/feel a certain way, and creating achievable action plans for you to follow in order to start taking your health back!
I have awesome ways of allowing you to better understand what is going on with your body. Who wants to go home with action plans when they don’t fully understand why they’re feeling a certain way? One exercise I would have you do, to open your eyes to your health, is a daily evaluation table. This allows you to go through your day, while circling how you feel, to get a better understanding of why. For instance, with blood sugar, I’d have us go through your morning energy, morning appetite, appetite throughout the day, energy after meals, and your sleep to see if your body is demonstrating a natural glucose response, hypoglycemia response, or an insulin resistance response. This helps me better understand where to start your protocol, and helps you better understand why.
Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor and I do not diagnose. If you show symptoms of blood sugar dysregulation, and your symptoms look concerning, I may also recommend you see a licensed medical health care provider, so we can tackle your health from all angles. We would then work hand in hand to see where I can help support your health via your diet, along with your doctor’s recommendations. We are in this together!
BONUS: Are sugary ingredients sneaking past you on food labels?
Did you know sugary ingredients tend to end in ‘ose’? Such as ingredients like fructose, sucrose, dextrose, glucose, lactose, maltose, etc.
Keep in mind that if a sugary ingredient is one of the first three ingredients on a label, you can pretty much guarantee the food item is loaded with sugar.
15 quick examples of other sneaky sugary names you may not be familiar with: disaccharides, succanat, polysaccharides, sorbitol, mannitol, malt, malt extract, diastatic malt, ethyl maltol, dextrin, maltodextrin, rice extract, golden syrup, brown rice syrup, and corn syrup solids. There are plenty more where those came from as well!