Is Your (Anxiety/Weight Gain/Hormone Imbalance) a Blood Sugar Issue?
Blood sugar balance is important for everyone – not just diabetics. I talk about blood sugar balance with pretty much every single one of my clients because it’s one of the number 1 ways to restore your health – from hormone health to mental health to disease prevention, this is one of the things at the center. Let’s cut to the chase:
When you consume a carbohydrate in the form of sugar or starch, you immediately begin the process of digestion to break it down into single molecules of glucose. Once it’s broken down, it gets released into the bloodstream where the hormone insulin will come and push it into cells to decide whether it wants to use it for immediate energy or store it for later. The thing is, your body wants to get the glucose out of the bloodstream as quickly as possible – if it hangs around too much, it can cause damage to the blood vessel walls and cause plaque to accumulate (the beginnings of atherosclerosis, a factor in heart disease). The quicker glucose is dumped into the bloodstream, the more insulin the body will secrete to deal with it.
What to know about insulin: this hormone is a “goldilocks” hormone in the sense that you want not too much, not too little. Excess insulin is at the root of metabolic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. So we want to prevent large amounts/surges of insulin from being released into the body as well as large spikes/drops in blood sugar (what we refer to as “blood sugar imbalance” that comes with it. Here’s why:
Here’s where diet comes in: what you eat will influence how much AND how fast or slow glucose is emptied into your bloodstream, and therefore how much insulin is secreted. How often you eat will also dictate how much you are having to pump insulin into the body. Thus, here are the principles to eating a blood sugar balanced diet:
Here’s a few examples of measured blood sugar from certain foods:
(image source: Rebecca Bitzer & Associates, iHealth Labs)
There are other factors that can drive blood sugar imbalance, like stress or lack of sleep. It’s helpful to work with a practitioner when trying to ensure a healthy blood sugar since they are trained to see imbalances that could be holding you back and recommend personalized diet and lifestyle changes.
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