When we hear blood sugar we (or most of us at least) immediately think, “I don’t have Diabetes,” or “My doctor said my sugar is fine,” or “I don’t eat a lot of candy or sugar.”
These are not my top concerns for individuals and their blood sugar. You don’t need to have diabetes to have a metabolic problem. You don’t need to eat “candy” to have a metabolic dysfunction. You don’t need to have a high fasting blood sugar to have concerns with your metabolism.
Blood sugar needs to be evaluated deeper
Blood sugar instability: Blood Sugar fluctuating high and low throughout the day and night - but you may not catch this on one blood test.
Signs of Blood Sugar Instability:
Effects of Blood Sugar Instability:
Blood Sugar instability can lead to a metabolic dysfunction called Insulin Resistance. Insulin Resistance is a dysfunction of the metabolism in which your body is not metabolizing food, specifically carbohydrates and sugar efficiently. This inefficiency leads to the body storing food as sugar on the outside of our cells, which commonly turns to fat in the abdominal area. The process of Insulin Resistance leads to the systemic or full body symptoms, prediabetes, and diabetes if left untreated.
What causes blood sugar instability and Insulin Resistance?
I am so glad you asked.
Medications, Stress, High Cortisol (stress hormone) levels, Vitamin Deficiencies (like Vitamin D for instance), lack of exercise, poor muscle mass, Dehydration, Sleep Apnea, Poor Sleep Patterns, and Autoimmune Diseases are some causes of blood sugar instability. (I know, I know - WHAT?! I will come back to this)
Furthermore, blood sugar instability can start in our teens and 20s - with our food. Meal plans high in carbohydrates and sugars as early as our teenage years and for many years after than can set up this cellular dysfunction where our cells are not metabolizing efficiently. We mention “carbohydrates and sugar”, but what does that mean -
Meal plans high in these food groups and lacking protein, cardiovascular exercise, proper hydration, and sleep pattern can increase the risk of insulin resistance. Compund this with other factors mentioned above, environmenal factors, and genetics – and your risk increases even more.
Speaking of Genetics
Just because your dad, grandfather, and Aunt have Diabetes does not mean you are destined to have this. We actually have the ability to turn genes on and off. Did you know that? If not, stay tuned for the Epigenetics Podcast which will discuss this further. For now, just trust me - you can reverse insulin resistance, you can prevent it, and you can avoid it. You have to do the right things for your body.
I said that poor sleep, sleep apnea, and Autoimmune Diseases can cause blood sugar instability, but then I also said that blood sugar instability can cause poor sleep, sleep apnea, and Autoimmune Disease – so what in the heck do we do?!
We have to evaluate our body from the inside-out
We have to intervene. We have to break the cycles. We have to support our body in the right areas with the right nutrition and/or supplements.
Evaluating blood sugar instability is more than looking at a fasting blood sugar (glucose) level. It is evaluating your body and your blood work deeply: Good Cholesterol value, Triglyceride Value, Hemoglobin A1c (average of your blood sugar over 90 days), Serum Insulin Level, and Waist Circumference. By the way - there are “normal” ranges and there are “optimal” ranges.
For the Berman Way: Insulin Resistance Blood Evaluation Includes:
For another time:
Blood Sugar Instability, Prediabetes, and Diabetes are reversible.
For now, understand these things: Generally speaking, protein is the most important thing to start stabilizing blood sugar. Carbohydrate balance is necessary. Vitamin replacements are necessary. Proper hydration is key.
Treatment should be individualized and one should always consult with a medical provider prior to changing diet, exercise, vitamins, or medications.
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