If your blood sugar bottoms out, so do you.
Blood sugar regulation is a roller coaster for many, and it greatly impacts the quality of your life. With energy dips and spikes during the day, you are “wired but tired,” and hypoglycemic episodes can leave you feeling weak, jittery, and exhausted. You may have lingering fatigue during the day and then are wide awake at night and cannot fall asleep, despite being completely exhausted. With lack of sleep, blood sugar problems become worse and all other symptoms, too.
There is also the familiar midafternoon slump that can really affect your ability to concentrate on tasks. You can feel overwhelmed when doing the smallest of tasks or feel pressured. The resilience and stamina reserves needed to go to battle daily are not available when you are experiencing blood sugar swings.
If you wake up between 1:00 and 3:00 a.m., this can be related to hypoglycemia, and it can be difficult to fall asleep again—especially if the mind is active with stressful thoughts or worries that keep you up. Fevers and night sweats from Babesia can keep you up, or the heart palpiptations from Bartonella might kick in when you are trying to sleep. It is during these times, in the darkness of the night, that you can lose hope and wonder if you will ever get better. You might not be able to get to sleep until the early morning. No wonder you feel tired from the moment you get up in the morning.
Sugar cravings are not uncommon when stress is too high and an energy crisis is present. When the body is in stress mode, glucose (sugar) is the preferred source of energy because it can be converted quickly into energy. With ongoing stress the body creates a new software program that runs on sugar, as it needs quick energy, instead of using the more complex primal mechanism of burning fat as a fuel source. Glucose will provide a lot less total energy than fat and the body will soon run out of energy, craving more sugar. In comparison, the body does well when fat can be used for energy, because it provides much longer-lasting energy without slumps or hypoglycemia.
Blood sugar balance is very much affected by what, how much and when we eat. Besides too much sugar in the diet, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can also be related to dehydration, low mineral status, thyroid dysfunction, cortisol deficiencies and medications.
To get a better understanding of how to manage blood sugar imbalances, it is also important to consider that blood sugar control is very much affected by how we respond, and adapt, to any perceived stress in our lives. Social stress, work difficulties, family arguments, and other nervous system stimulants including Wi-Fi will also adversely affect blood sugar balance.
It is important to see the big picture when living with chronic Lyme or any other chronic illness. Sleep matters greatly as a restless night can induce carb cravings, and a larger insulin response to starchy or sugary carbohydrates eaten in the morning.
Any perceived threat will induce a rise in blood sugar as the body gears up in survival mode, and that is a primal protecive mode. High blood sugar is followed by a spike in insulin that results in a dramatic blood sugar drop, and then you do not feel very well. Over time, chronic spikes and dips contribute to metabolic and hormonal problems. This is part of the complex picture of insulin resistance, weight gain, blood pressure problems, diabetes type 2, estrogen dominance and leptin resistance. A common drug prescription for insulin resistance and PCOS is Metformin™, which depletes vitamin B12 and thus can contribute to neuropathy and memory problems.
Besides dietary, lifestyle, EMF and mental stress reducing therapies, effective blood sugar support can include herbal supplements such as berberine (avoid with severe hypoglycemia), bitter melon, gymnema, and Korean red ginseng, all of which support kidney and liver function in addition to blood sugar balance and insulin sensitivity. (Korean white and black ginsengs are the same plant as the red, Panax ginseng; they are processed differently for different uses.) Minerals that are needed to regulate blood sugar and insulin include chromium, magnesium, copper, vanadium, manganese and zinc, and these are deficient in our soils and foods today. Adrenal support is essential with all blood sugar concerns.
How we start our day matters greatly. If you skip breakfast and grab a coffee on the run, that sets you up for a rollercoaster day of blood sugar spikes and dips. The body is is an energy crisis and throughout the day it will have a tough time to recalibrate after the lack of fueling-up in the morning.Here are a few action steps to assist you in balancing your blood sugar and insulin response.
TOP TEN ACTION STEPS
1. Nourish every three to four hours to support a steady blood sugar.
2. Avoid all simple sugars, starchy foods and fruit juices, besides sugary coffee drinks.
3. Protein and fat at every meal are essential to support blood sugar balance, but do include a source of carbs too such as quinoa or vegetables.
4. During the day, limit your fruit consumption to one serving only, and instead choose high fiber vegetables.
5. Fiber slows down the breakdown of sugar sand helps to maintain better blood sugar levels.
6. Restrict caffeine consumption to one cup per day, with a meal.
7. Consider supplementation with a B-Complex and adrenal gland support for better energy.
8. Get to bed by 10.30pm. Sleep is important as you will have less carb cravings when you are less exhausted.
9. When you do eat sweeter treats, add them on to a protein rich meal to buffer the insulin response that leads to weigh gain.
10. Alcohol consumption, especially on an empty stomach, will spike the blood sugar. Besides weight gain, gastric irritation and headaches, it will also interrupt your sleep – and will contribute to hypoglycemia during the night.
Talk to you soon,
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NOURISH< HEAL< THRIVE A Comprehensive and Holistic guide when living with Lyme http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2557071/