But what is poor blood sugar control and what other clues might you have that it’s a problem for you?
The main cause of poor blood sugar control is Insulin Resistance. Here’s how it works:
When we eat a food that contains a carbohydrate (except insoluble fiber) our digestion breaks it down into glucose (blood sugar) to be used as fuel for our cells.
Blood sugar is best kept within a Goldilocks range – not too high, not too low, but just right – so as to avoid a whole host of problems with our health. Our body produces insulin to carry the glucose to our cells. Most cells just take what they need but liver and muscle cells store extra glucose as glycogen. The liver also converts excess amounts to fat for storage.
Particularly when you continually ingest more carbohydrates than your body needs, your cells start to become resistant to the insulin. This leaves glucose and insulin backed up in the blood stream and out of that Goldilocks range, wreaking havoc on your health.
Why is this happening?
- Genetics can play a part. Some of us have cells that are more naturally resistant to insulin. People who store fat around the middle or who have a family history of diabetes are more prone.
- Some pharmaceuticals can cause the body to become more insulin resistant.
- Micronutrient deficiencies can play a part. When your body is low in certain key nutrients (and it is certainly likely if you haven’t been focusing on a healthy diet) then insulin resistance can either be a consequence or can be aggravated. For example:
- Carnitine improves insulin sensitivity by increasing glucose uptake and storage.
- Chromium helps insulin attach to the cell’s receptors increasing glucose uptake into the cell.
- Deficiency in Magnesium reduces insulin sensitivity.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid enhances glucose uptake into skeletal muscle tissue.
- And more…
- Toxins in our food supply (pesticides, herbicides, plastic packaging), water, cosmetics and personal care products, cleaning supplies, cigarettes, smoked and charred foods and more can cause insulin sensitivity and some also impact the pancreases ability to produce insulin (another component in blood sugar control).
- Chronic stress raises our blood sugar, ready for fight or flight activity, but typically we do neither and the stresses we deal with don't go away. This contributes to the problem of too much blood glucose.
Do I have poor Blood Sugar Control?
If you’re a carboholic then there’s a good chance your blood sugar control is not good, but what else could be happening that would indicate a potential problem?
- Eating sweets doesn’t relieve your sugar cravings…You just want more!
- You become irritable or light headed if you miss a meal.
- You rely on caffeine to get through the day or feel fatigued a lot.
- Eating can make you feel exhausted.
- You feel weak, shaky, or jittery pretty frequently.
- You get agitated, easily upset, or nervous.
- It's difficult for you to lose weight.
- Your waist is equal to or larger than your hips.
- Your vision is blurry.
- You have a low sex drive.
- You're always hungry or thirsty.
- You have to pee a lot.
- You have skin tags.
If you think you may have poor blood sugar control then please reach out for help. There are many ways to improve the situation and we’d love to support you. We work with clients on their food behaviors with our Food Relationship Reset Program and on establishing a strong nutrient status through improving their food intake and targeting nutrient deficiencies identified through blood testing or otherwise. We’ve put together a new range of service offerings around our testing of nutrient status to make it more affordable for more people, so take a look here for more information.