There’s a lot of chat about blood sugar balance, but what does it actually mean? Well, if your blood sugar is out of whack you may be experiencing the following symptoms:
You can’t go for more than three hours without eating something
If you’re hungry, you get irritable, moody or anxious
You find it hard to concentrate
You feel weak or dizzy
You experience trembling or shakiness
You often crave caffeine and need your coffee fix
You have a mid-afternoon slump where you find yourself reaching for the biscuits
You sometimes wake up unexpectedly in the middle of the night
These might be signs that you are suffering with blood sugar imbalance. In today’s busy world, our diets often comprise an array of refined carbohydrates, such as bread, breakfast cereals, pasta, cakes and biscuits, but we may not have enough protein or good fats with each meal. How does this affect us?
Well, this style of Western diet tends to be high in sugar and low in fibre, meaning foods are rapidly digested, converted into sugar and absorbed, and can therefore cause blood sugar spikes. A blood sugar spike can result in a large compensatory release of insulin, as insulin is a hormone which is produced in response to blood sugar levels, allowing it to be taken into cells for energy production. However, a large amount of insulin may temporarily lower blood sugar levels too far, resulting in blood sugar levels falling below normal.
This may cause you to want to eat more food, in turn possibly causing you to overeat leading to possible weight gain. Equally, the brain needs a constant supply of energy for optimal performance, therefore a drop in blood sugar levels may affect brain function leading to symptoms such as lack of concentration, fatigue, racing thoughts, and a need to grab those crisps right away.
If this happens on a regular basis, your body starts to think something has gone awry and see these episodes as a form of stress. So in steps the stress hormone cortisol, as one of its roles is to maintain blood sugar balance to allow enough fuel for the body to fight or flee. Remember getting away from that tiger? By coming to the rescue, cortisol causes the body to generate more energy supplies, as a fuel to escape the stressor (that sabre-toothed tiger again), which may in turn continue the blood sugar imbalance causing a vicious cycle. Regular episodes like this may result in a blood sugar rollercoaster. It is this rollercoaster that leads to many of the symptoms mentioned above.
So how can you step off this unwanted fairground ride, and balance your blood sugar? Check out my free eBook - 5 Steps to Blood Sugar Balance for more information. This is a free gift when you sign up to the newsletter.
Reference: Szablewski L (2020) Blood Glucose Levels Intechopen
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