Blood sugar and insulin issues are among the most prevalent and physiologically damaging conditions today. The negative impacts of chronically elevated insulin, including transient insulin surges, cause damage to virtually every bodily system leading to everything from coronary and atherosclerotic damage, obesity and weight control issues, neurological symptoms, hormonal dysregulation, liver dysfunction, fatigue and mitochondrial issues, inflammation, and immune system dysfunction, to name a few.
Blood sugar (glucose) is the body’s preferred source of fuel. The brain, organs and muscles run off of glucose. At the deepest level, the cells of our body use glucose to manufacture adenosine triphosphase (ATP) or energy. So if our cells do not get the adequate amounts of glucose into them, we can’t produce energy to help run our body. Without ATP production, hormones are not produced optimally, brain function does not work properly and every system of our body suffers, including our ability to sleep, to loose weight, immune and stress response, etc.
When it comes to blood glucose levels, there are really only two places we can get it: from the food we eat (external source) or glucose that we make (internal source). The modern person’s blood sugar is either chronically low or high, and both are stepping stones to diabetes. Dysglycemia is a condition in which the body loses the ability to keep blood sugar stable. It has numerous negative health effects all throughout the body: it weakens and inflames the digestive tract, weakens the immune barriers of the gut, lungs and brain, drives the adrenal glands into exhaustion, sets the stage for hormonal imbalances, impairs detoxification, fatty acids metabolism, and fatigues metabolism.
When the pancreas pumps out too much insulin due to chronic spikes in blood sugar (determined mainly by high sugar processed foods), blood sugar levels swing from high to low.
A hypoglycemic person is prone to crashing, especially around 3-4 PM and experiences a drastic drop in blood sugar levels usually two to five hours after eating. This person has a constant craving for sweets, is grouchy in the morning, gets lightheaded and irritable when meals are missed, is dependent on coffee for energy, feels shaky, jittery, agitated and nervous, becomes upset easily, has poor memory and blurred vision.
Other people slip from hypoglycemia into high blood sugar. The chronic release of insulin to battle high blood sugar exhausts the cells until they start refusing entry to insulin. So the cells become insulin resistant. When cells become insulin resistant and the glucose can’t get in, it circulates round and round the bloodstream, damaging arterial walls and the brain. Because the body wants to normalize blood sugar levels as soon as possible, it converts the excess glucose into triglycerides to be stored as fat. This process demands so much energy that you become sleepy. Furthermore, insulin resistance decreases the body’s ability to use stored fat for energy. This process also raises serotonin levels, a brain chemical that can induce drowsiness.
Insulin resistant people mostly feel fatigued during the day and after meals, have a constant hunger, a craving for sweets that is not relieved after eating them, larger or equal waist girth than hip girth, urinate frequently, have increased appetite and thirst, difficulty loosing weight. Insulin resistance creates a serious risk for heart disease and diabetes, as well as low thyroid activity. It is a contributing factor to sleep apnea, hormone metabolism disorders, obesity and certain types of cancer.
How To Permanently Solve Your Blood Sugar Problems.
1. Replace sweets and junk food.
Cleaning up the pantry is the very first step I address when I work with my clients, but not without offering them first easy, quick and healthy alternatives to their previous processed foods. Every person is different and requires specific methods to incorporate a new diet in her/ his existent lifestyle. Working with a specialist in this case can be highly beneficial and save a lot of time and money in the long run, not to mention avoiding the risk of getting wrong nutritional information.
But as a main, general rule, I usually recommend buying fresh vegetables and high quality meat and using a crock pot for slow cooking. Even non-experienced people can’t go wrong with this. There are many easy recipes for slow cookers, it saves a whole lot of time and doesn’t destroy nutrients in the cooking process. It’s definitely a good start to consider.
It’s very important to reduce sweets and limit yourself to eating fruits in moderation. Eating sugary foods before bed for example is one of the worst things a hypoglycemic person can do. Your blood sugar can crash during the night, long before your next meal is due. Chances are your adrenals will kick into action, creating restless sleep or that 3 AM wake up with anxiety.
If you ever want to have a dessert or high-sugar foods, never eat them without a source of protein or fat. This will slow down the rate at which glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream and help prevent insulin shock.
Even too much starch from carbohydrates in a meal (which still transforms into sugar in your body) can generate the same negative symptoms. Grains, legumes, starchy vegetables like potatoes and peas can all contribute to your blood sugar dysregulation if eaten in high amounts. In general, if you feel sleepy or crave sugar after you eat, you have eaten too much starch.
Blood sugar regulation calls upon more metabolic processes than any other function in the body. And any one (or more) of those processes could be dysfunctional. The imbalances, inefficiencies or dysfunctions in any one or more of your body’s control systems can arise from failure to meet genetically-based requirements for nutrition, and/or the presence of one or more stressors and blocking factors.
The proper practice of Metabolic Typing addresses every one of those elements which is why it is so successful and so powerful. Food has the power to heal. But it also has the power to make you ill if it is wrong for your metabolism. It is not only what you eat, it is also in what proportions you consume your macro-nutrients ( proteins, fats, and carbohydrates ) that will allow you to maximize your energy, control cravings, eliminate hunger between meals, control your weight, balance mood and blood sugar levels.
If you follow a diet which is right for your metabolism, but take generic, one-size-fits-all supplements, it would be like running at the same time in two different directions. Nutritional supplements potentially have a lot to offer – they supply a concentrated form of nutrients which can easily compensate for the lacks in our food supply, when used as an adjunct to a proper metabolic type diet.
Different Metabolic Types are dominated by different Fundamental Homeostatic Control Systems (FHCS) which dictate how nutrients behave in one person’s metabolism as opposed to someone else?s metabolism. And, of course, this is why it’s critical for people to obtain the quantities and balances of nutrients that are right for their Metabolic Types.
The primary goal of nutritional supplementation in the case of dysglycemia is to improve insulin receptor function. Blood sugar causes damage to the body but the reason it usually cannot get into cells is due to dysfunction in insulin production and/or insulin receptors. Many pharmaceutical drugs, and even some natural compounds, lower blood sugar by increasing insulin production from the pancreas. Because elevated insulin levels likely caused the resistance issue in the first place, further elevating insulin levels will likely serve to create more dysfunction. Therefore, the goal is to improve insulin receptor function and signaling, and not simply to lower blood sugar. It’s also very important to highly customize each nutrient to each person’s unique nutritional requirements and imbalances.
3. Don’t skip meals.
I often see in my practice how people became the slaves of their daily routines, where taking a break to eat some decent food is out of the question! It is indeed a hectic, busy life we are living and there is no one easy, universal solution here to make the necessary changes in one’s life style, in order to offer the body the right food at the right time, on a daily basis. But I can assure you it IS possible and I witness it more and more each day, since more and more people are simply too sick of being sick! So they are willing to change. Receiving the right support and information is quite important here as well.
When you can’t keep your regular meals and/or need a snack, eat a small amount of protein every two to three hours. Going for long stretches without eating when you have dysglycemia exacerbates your blood sugar issues, affecting other multiple metabolic processes in your body. Nuts, seeds, a boiled egg, cheese or meat, or a low carbohydrate protein shake are some examples of protein snacks. As your dysglycemia improves, you’ll find you can go longer between snacks.
4. Use functional lab markers for an accurate picture.
Many people have been to the doctor, had their blood tested and were later told they were fine, because all of their values fell within the laboratory reference range. This range is designed to identify disease and pathology, not health.
To accurately evaluate health, you must have your blood work analyzed using a functional or optimal reference range to help identify subtle shifts in physiology that are contributing to negative or unwanted symptoms.
Important markers that need to be analyzed using a functional approach are: glucose, triglycerides, LDL, HDL, insulin, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, LDH, hemoglobin A1C.
Laboratory reference ranges are statistical averages, not optimum levels. These are created using a bell curve model, where your result is compared to the average for that lab. Average does not mean healthy. Additionally, the reference range is very broad and different labs may use completely different reference ranges. So you might be considered diabetic in one state, but not in another! The standard in medicine is to establish the mean and then set two deviations, one above and one below the mean. These reference ranges will continue to get wider and wider as patients get sicker and sicker.
5. Solve Your Blocking Factors.
Suppose you test for parasites and it comes back positive. You do an anti-parasite protocol. The blood sugar drops significantly. Yes, you succeeded in (temporarily) lowering blood sugar. But if the cause of the parasite presence was due to leaky gut, precipitated by food reactivities, brought on in great part due to deficient hydrochloric acid production, caused by heavy metals or petrochemical toxicity, how much true healing and real help have you provided to your body? By treating (just) the parasites and leaving the other stressors and blocking factors in place, you risk the development of much more serious degenerative conditions down the line, particularly the autoimmune and neurodegenerative conditions that are sky-rocketing. (William Wolcott, Founder of Healthexcel System of Metabolic Typing)
So, if you…
are not sleepy or drowsy after your meals,
are not irritable, dizzy, shaky, weak, or anxious if you don?t eat for 2-3 hours,
feel energized after your meal (but not hyper!) and could actually be fit for walking,
experience better mental clarity after your meals,
don’t crave any sweets after your meal or during the day,
don’t feel hungry all the time or that something was missing from the menu,
and are not overweight or underweight,
then you’re among those living in modern society, who don’t suffer from blood sugar dysregulation. And these people are less and less each day!