Hangry… hypoglycemia… lacking energy… seasonal allergies… adrenal issues … adrenal problems… these are all issues that can be tied into your blood sugar regulation!
Hey I have been there. I used to be HANGRY too! Yes it’s a real social term today- and what that refers to is the drop/change/alteration of our mood (often angry) when we have a sudden drop in blood sugar before or between meals. I am here to tell you – there is another way and you no longer have to be hangry. Not only that, but it’s not “normal” to be hangry. Now, are a lot of people this way today – you BETCHA! There is a reason.
How Blood Sugar Works
We need blood sugar for energy for our cells. There is no way around it. HOWEVER, we need just the right amount (not too high and not too low) in order to have the BEST function all day. And that means no swings. That means you don’t spike way up on sugar and you don’t drop too low.
Your blood sugar comes from your diet. It comes from all macronutrients you eat (either directly or via conversions). However, some nutrients increase the blood sugar much more quickly. This spike is not healthy or an efficient way to handle sugar. It creates stress and overwork in other organs and parts of the body that shouldn’t be assisting in everyday meal circumstances.
When you eat, nutrients are used as glucose through food conversion, and is taken into the cells, stored in the liver and the muscles, or converted into triglycerides (fats) and stored in the fat tissue for later use. When all storage facilities are full up, it needs to be removed by insulin (put into the facilities for storage) or used then for energy. When there is no need for the energy, and no storage, you get into a situation where there just isn’t enough insulin or sensitivity. Insulin is constantly there asking the cells to please take the glucose, but they just don’t work anymore. It’s a flood of sugar your body can’t keep up with all the time. Your adrenal system has to step in to add more push to get the job done (which is usually left for a serious situation like flight or fight not just processing food). This fatigues this system (as that isn’t what it is truly meant for every meal every day), and this creates a bigger negative cycle.
3 Tips to Start Balancing Blood Sugar Now
1- Balance Out Your Food at Each Meal
Take a look at your plate. Is your food primarily bread, pasta, processed foods (packages or boxed items), refined flours, cereals, sugar, soda? Let’s start by adding in a vegetable (carb) at the meal, adding in some healthy fats, and some healthy proteins. Start with breakfast. Ditch that cereal for whole food balanced breakfast. That could be something simple like a cup of mixed fresh fruit, a few pasture-raised eggs with some goat cheese and spinach mixed in, and a small piece of a grain-free or organic whole grain bread with a pat of grass-fed butter. The ratio on that plate of carbs to fat and protein is much more balanced.
It is possible to get better sugar regulation in your diet. Focusing on foods that have even macronutrients, as well as healthier version of macronutrients is the first step. When providing all types of energy sources, (healthy fats, healthy proteins and healthy carbs) the body is not over taxed and has a way to store and use each type without fatiguing itself and systems.
The fatigue of the system sets in when the body is provided a non stop supply of sugar itself, or carbohydrates in excess. These provide faster blood sugar spikes, thus making it more challenging for your body to bring that back down. When each meal and snack is focused on sugar or carbohydrates (simple, refined specifically) the system is overloaded.
2- Eat Whole Foods
This step alone moves you in the right direction to balancing blood sugar. By choosing fresh whole foods you eliminated all those refined sugars and flours that immediately add to that blood sugar rise and the burden on your system. By eliminating packages and boxes from your diet you get whole nutrients and they are much more balanced in nature than from a box. At dinner, instead of that box of pasta, sauté up some vegetables, or a turnip you slice and cook as a “french fry.” It’s all about the switch. Start with the most refined, and sugar-laden foods you consume.
Vegetable carbs, some minimal fruit carbs, as well as some whole grains (in balance) helps balance this out. Using healthy fats as well as proteins also provides alternative energy sources and less sugar in the blood, therefore, less stress on the body.
3- Drink water and not other beverages
Many of us on the sugar roller coaster use things like energy drinks, sports drinks, and sodas to “boost energy.” But what you are really doing is boosting your blood sugar. It creates that temporary energy buzz to get you through right that moment, but you will pay for that later. Over time it will cause you to have serious health issues. Focusing on water, and then nourishing your body with whole nutrients, will eliminate your need for those beverages. For example, adding a homemade smoothie (filled with healthy fats, proteins, and carbs) you nourish and list your energy level in a way that doesn’t cause stress on your system or your blood sugar.
What do all those conditions/symptoms have to do with blood sugar?Believe it or not, your lack of morning energy, your need for coffee, your afternoon energy dump, and huge slumps in your day can likely be tied to blood sugar regulation issues. If you are thinking about what you eat at each meal right now (go ahead – think about that for a minute), how much of that food is carbohydrate based? On top of that – what types of carbs are those? Vegetables AOK! Refined breads, sodas, sugar cereal, simple carb cereals, pastas, how about snacks? Each and every time you eat or consume one of those it spikes way up, losing that even place you want for sugar.
Hypoglycemia is sudden drop and low blood sugar. This is often a reactive state for more people coming from a spike in the sugar earlier. Insulin floods to minimize that sugar and you get the sudden drop.
The adrenal system can also be overworked in this due to their reactive role to lack of insulin sensitivity and their need to step in to control that “stress” on the body. Blood sugar rising quickly and being out of range is a “stress” situation for your body. When insulin can’t get control, it’s just too much, they need to help. They also help regulate the response to get insulin out there and if they are having to constantly send that signal – it is overwhelming on the system.
Energy dumping – you know that after a slump and you need yet ANOTHER cup of coffee with cream and sugar to get that pick me up. This is from a surge and then drop again in the sugar levels. By balancing out healthy fats, decreasing those carbs a bit, and adding in some protein you avoid this slump and stay more even in your day.
Seasonal allergies – yes this can be tied in as well. All of this creates a pro-inflammatory response, and it alters your immune system. That means you are left MORE susceptible to seasonal or food and other allergies. By evening out your blood sugar, your immune system will not be fatigued and your digestion will improve. This will create a better protection system for allergens around you!
Do you think you might have some blood sugar balance issues? Tell me about it by replying here.