The Continuous Glucose Monitor
Welcome back! Berman Health and Wellness continues to help hundreds of patients each month reach the highest quality of life imaginable. One of the most common ways we are approaching this is by improving blood sugar stability for each and every patient.
We mentioned back in Blog 3 the importance of blood sugar stability. We discussed that it is life altering. Blood sugar instability, meaning the blood sugar goes up and down (outside of normal variation) can cause systemic effects - this means it affects the whole entire body, inside and out. To summarize, blood sugar instability (which affects more than 100 million Americans) can lead to weight gain, headaches, vision changes, fatigue, hunger and cravings, interrupted sleep, hot flashes, night sweats, low testosterone, and more. It affects our whole body - inside and out - head to toe.
WHAT IS BLOOD SUGAR?
Blood sugar, or glucose, is the main sugar found in your blood. It is important to evaluate in terms of diagnosing Type I or Type II Diabetes Mellitus, but also plays a role in many metabolic dysfunctions. A normal blood sugar is 70-100 on average. Blood sugar, or glucose levels, are utilized to determine the Hemoglobin A1c, which is a 90 day average of your Blood Sugar.
Our goal at Berman Health and Wellness is that clients are averaging a blood sugar between 70-100 on a daily basis and that their 90-day average glucose is below 5.4%. This will optimize the metabolism to help with weight, energy, and hormones.
WHAT EFFECT DOES BLOOD SUGAR HAVE ON ME?
As mentioned, blood sugar affects our whole entire body. If the blood sugar is fluctuating during the day - rising up and falling - it is going to continue that pattern through the evening time. This pattern affects our hunger, cravings, energy, brain function, sleep, inflammation, and vitamin levels.
Sugar is inflammatory. High blood sugar levels can slow healing times, increase pain, arthritis, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), sleep apnea, insomnia, and hormone imbalance risk. Your body is at higher risk for these diseases because of the inflammatory component of sugar (and blood sugar).
WHY DOES THE BLOOD SUGAR BECOME UNSTABLE?
This is a great question and it is multifactorial. There are many causes for unstable blood sugar. Unstable blood sugar, meaning it is high or it is rising and falling, is oftentimes related to diet. It doesn’t mean that you are eating fast food three times per day… but is related to the amounts and types of foods you are eating. Blood sugar can be abnormal if you are not eating enough during the day, not eating often enough, consuming too high of carbohydrates or sugar, consuming too little of protein, or eating foods your body is sensitive to. Many individuals do not recognize that they are very protein deficient each day which has huge impacts on the blood sugar.
Blood sugar can become unstable from stress and anxiety. Our stress hormone, Cortisol, greatly impacts blood sugar levels. Food sensitivities (foods our body is sensitive to) can actually cause blood sugar levels to become unstable. Medications can also impact our blood sugar levels. Exercise, Sleep Apnea, Insomnia, and Vitamin deficiencies (like Vitamin D) can affect our blood sugar.
We have to evaluate individuals completely to truly identify the cause of blood sugar instability. It is a very individualized evaluation and treatment process!
If your doctor is checking your blood work and telling you, “go to the gym every day and quit eating fast food” this may not be the full answer to truly make a difference for you.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT MY BLOOD SUGAR IS?
Blood sugar is tested via blood test. At Berman Health and Wellness we look for 5 different factors via blood which show signs of blood sugar instability - Glucose Level, Triglyceride Level, Hemoglobin A1c, Serum Insulin level, and LOW HDL level. The triglycerides are part of the cholesterol panel affected by carbohydrates, sugar, and alcohol. The Hemoglobin A1c is the average of your blood sugar over 90 days. Insulin is a hormone secreted from the pancreas in response to high blood sugar levels and is important to evaluate blood sugar fully. The HDL is the good cholesterol level - a low level of HDL is a risk factor for blood sugar instability, too! These are all tests that can be evaluated via blood by your physician or by our office!
After we fully evaluate our clients, perform a medical evaluation, and blood testing we may recommend a monitor called a Continuous Glucose Monitor! A Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) is a monitor which contains a sensor that is placed under the skin and is applied for a full 10 days. This monitor will show blood sugar readings every minute, 24 hours per day, for 10 days. This is cutting edge technology which shows true relationships between food, stress, sleep, exercise, and blood sugar. It is helping Berman Health and Wellness to individualize dietary programs even more with this objective data.
Berman Health and Wellness works with clients weekly while they are making a complete transformation using the Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor Program. We utilize the glucose monitors and analyze the client’s blood sugar data over the 10 days. We are able to make modifications and adjustments to their lifestyle based on this objective data. The clients wear a monitor for 10 days, take 2 weeks to make modifications, wear a new monitor for 10 days, continue to make modifications, and see the improvement in data. We have seen clients improve average blood sugar readings from 115 down to 87.
Even Better… We had a client who came in with Type II Diabetes, on several medications, recent back surgery, significant fatigue, headaches daily. We worked with him weekly on making dietary adjustments, vitamin optimization, and accountability. The client could not exercise throughout his time at Berman Health and Wellness due to the recent back surgery. We treated him solely with dietary modifications. He lost 40 pounds, improved his average blood sugar readings by 45 points, and his Hemoglobin A1c reduced from 8% down to 5.5% which is just an absolutely incredible transformation!! He has been headache free, has had a great increase of energy, and is sleeping through the night!!
This continuous glucose monitor has really helped us to fully translate all areas of health and fully optimize blood sugar levels which is making everlasting results!
Are you eating enough protein? Are you hydrating? Are you eating enough fiber? These are just some things to think about as you start approaching your blood sugar journey. It is life changing.