Balancing our blood sugar levels is essential in preventing the onset of Type 2 diabetes, a debilitating condition that is all too prevalent today. Diabetes is a serious and sometimes fatal disease.
But like most forms of dis-ease it can be prevented.
When blood sugar levels in the body are imbalanced, we become more and more insulin resistant.
This eventually leads to ‘Syndrome X’ diseases, otherwise know as ‘Metabolic Syndrome’, which includes heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and belly fat.
Tired, moody, craving carbs, problems sleeping?
Tell-tale signs of the syndrome include being tired, moody, craving carbs and problems sleeping. Unfortunately, some people feel like this all the time…and they don’t know why!
In fact, studies from the University of Southampton in England, have found as many as 26% of people in the UK suffer from “Syndrome X” diseases and most don’t know they have it until they are diagnosed with diabetes.
These conditions are created over a long period of time.
The pancreas secretes so much insulin into the bloodstream that the body becomes less and less sensitive to the insulin entering our muscles.
The extreme case of this is Type 2 diabetes.
The Journal of American Medical Association claims that out of all the children born in 2010 in the U.S, one-third will become diabetic at some stage in their life!
Type 2 diabetes and other ‘Syndrome X’ diseases are lifestyle conditions that take a long time to manifest in the body from unintentionally being unhealthy.
It’s not just nutrition that affects our blood sugar levels. Our autonomous nervous system, made up of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches, are also equally as important.
When blood sugar is out of balance, whether it’s too high or too low, it creates a catabolic environment. Most of us are in a catabolic state anyway and this causes the body to break down rather than build up.
Excess blood sugar stores as fat and also develops advanced glycation end products, known as AGE’s. This is very fitting as it accelerates how fast we age by destroying the structural protein of our tissue.
This is why diabetes sufferers can lose their eyesight as the AGE’s destroy the retina in the eye. It’s not uncommon to lose limbs too.
What to Eat
From a nutritional perspective, we need to make sure we eat whole foods, eat right for our Metabolic Type and eat every 3-4 hours.
This causes prolonged stress on the body, which is abnormal and elevates cortisol. Cortisol isn’t only a stress hormone but it’s also a blood sugar elevating hormone.
We need to keep stress levels in control as when we’re stressed, our nutritional tendencies go out of control and we raid the fridge or hunt down processed foods.
Or it’s the complete opposite and we eat infrequently or don’t have any appetite at all!
It does however go beyond a nutritional approach.
We need to be more parasympathetic by learning how to breathe diaphragmatically, performing energising exercises like yoga or Qi Gong and even seeking out an emotional coach to help reduce the stressors in our life.
Even just breathing diaphragmatically will go a long way to balancing your blood sugar.
The faster we breathe, the more we stimulate our sympathetic nervous system and you guessed it…the more cortisol that is pumped out.
18-22 breaths per minute is regarded as ‘normal’ whereas 6-10 breaths per minute is ‘healthy’.
Breathing in and out through your nose and taking two-thirds of your breath from the abdomen and the last third through from chest will help slow your breathing rate down and ensure you are filling up your lungs.
Exercise is also a significant contributor.
The more we exercise, the hungrier our muscles become for sugar. By regularly working our muscles they become more sensitive to insulin, so we don’t need as much insulin for the blood sugar to drop.
But if we go to the gym with low blood sugar we are starting our workout in a catabolic state so the anabolic effect we get from the workout won’t be as effective.
That’s why exercising on a empty stomach makes no sense physiologically.
We need to rebalance our blood sugar levels before we exercise so the workout is working for us and not against us.
Lastly, we want to make sure we sleep well.
Research at the University of Chicago studied people sleeping for only 5.2 hours per night for 8 nights. After 8 nights, they ate a high carb meal and in response, these sleep deprived volunteers pumped out 40% more insulin and it took 50% longer for blood sugar levels to drop.
This shows that after only 8 days of lack of sleep we become insulin resistant!
So remember, it not all about nutrition. We must of course, eat right but reducing the stress in our life, exercising properly and sleeping well are just as significant in keeping our blood sugar in balance.
Do you feel tired, moody, crave carbs or have problems sleeping? If not, do you know anyone who does?
Tell us about it in the comment box below.