Have you heard the term HANGRY? AKA: angry because you are so hungry. This is a real problem. I know I have experienced the feeling before, have you?
Here are the symptoms of low and high blood sugar:
Low blood sugar can cause:
- decreased focus/brain fog
- food cravings (especially high sugar foods)
High blood sugar can cause:
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Frequent urination
- Extreme thirst
- Dry skin
- Blurred vision
- Slow to heal wounds
- Trouble focusing
Maintaining a stable blood sugar level throughout the day will not only increase your productivity, mood, and energy but it will also prevent diseases from such as diabetes, insulin resistance, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and metabolic syndrome.
Pathophysiology: How is our blood sugar regulated?
There are two main hormones involved in blood glucose (sugar) regulation including insulin and glucagon. Insulin is produced by the beta cells in the pancreas whenever blood glucose levels are elevated. Insulin then travels through the bloodstream and helps glucose get into our cells for energy.
Glucagon is a hormone produced by the alpha cells in the pancreas. This hormone stimulates the conversion of glycogen (stored in the liver) into glucose which is released into the bloodstream when glucose levels get too low.
Tips to stabilize blood sugar:
- Avoid white, processed carbohydrates (breads, pasta, pastries, bagels)
- Choose complex carbs such as brown rice, steel-cut oats, quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth
- Make sure there is protein and healthy fat with each meal and snack. Examples: dip apples in almond butter, have turkey roll-up with avocado, plain greek yogurt with almonds and berries
- Add cinnamon to your food to help stabilize blood sugar
- Avoid sodas and high sugar content juices
- Avoid artificial sweeteners
- Eat at regular intervals throughout the day; avoid going more than 4 hours without eating
- Limit caffeine to 1 cup per day (excess stimulants can cause blood sugar instability)
- Add supplements that help with blood sugar regulation