Climbing Off the Stress / Sugar Roller Coaster
It’s NOT Kid’s Play…
Roller coasters and thrill rides are fun for many people; and terrifying to many, too! When our lives begin to resemble a roller coaster and our internal chemistry follows suit, the results can be disastrous to our health and longer lasting than the stress that created it.
Both stress and adrenal fatigue can contribute to low blood sugar because of the key roles the adrenal hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol play in blood sugar (glucose) regulation. Stress, and the anticipation of stress signals your body to raise blood sugar levels in order to generate energy to respond to the stress. This makes sense for our survival: if you look up and see a mountain lion staring you down, your body anticipates your need to get out of danger and ramps up your blood sugar to feed those leg muscles!
Grouchy, Sleepy, Dopey…Definitely Not Happy!
If your body cannot meet this higher demand for blood glucose, hypoglycemia can result. When stress is ongoing blood sugar swings can have a cumulative effect on your body’s ability to maintain blood sugar balance, and aggravate hypoglycemic symptoms. In fact, some of the symptoms of low blood sugar, such as irritability and nervousness, may sometimes be the effects of high levels of stress hormones rather than of the low blood sugar itself. The two are so tied together in a call-and-response pattern like the ups and downs of a roller coaster.
When adrenal hormone levels are lower (adrenal fatigue), it becomes harder to maintain blood sugar balance, especially in response the increased demand from stress. It is common that people who are chronically hypoglycemic are often also experiencing adrenal fatigue, and that people going through adrenal fatigue almost always have some form of irregular blood sugar pattern. The low levels of adrenal hormones that can occur during adrenal fatigue may fail to raise blood glucose enough to meet the increased demand. As a result, the cells do not get the glucose and other nutrients they require, and you may crave sugar as well as feel tired, shaky and weak.
Your brain also requires increased energy during times of stress and is especially affected by a lack of glucose, its main fuel. The mechanisms involved in regulating blood sugar are designed to ensure that the brain always has adequate glucose with which to function. Many of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and most of the symptoms of hypoglycemia are the result of insufficient glucose available to brain tissues. Ironically, when you MOST need your brainpower to pull you out of this problem and make better choices, you’re hobbled by a foggy, groggy, fuel-starved brain!
Not “A Day in the Park”
Typically, people handle their adrenal fatigue related hypoglycemia symptoms with a double-edged sword – you eat something sweet with a coffee or cola. This is a short-term emergency remedy that temporarily increases blood sugar with nearly immediate impact. You can almost feel it hit the back of the brain as your blood sugar moves out of the basement and shoots for the stars, relieving your hypoglycemic symptoms for about 45-90 minutes. This is inevitably followed by a precipitous plunge back to even lower blood sugar levels than where you started. Doing this day in and day out, puts significant stress on your entire body, and especially on the adrenals. With each plunge your adrenal fatigue can increase and hypoglycemia can worsen.
Wired and Tired
To the body, hypoglycemia is an emergency call to action that can further drain already fatigued adrenals. “Treating” hypoglycemia with sweet snacks and caffeine puts you on a constant roller coaster ride throughout the day, your blood sugar erratically rising and then falling after each “sugar fix.” This throws not only adrenal hormone and insulin levels into turmoil, but may also affect your nervous system and the entire homeostasis of your body. Therefore, by the end of the day, you may feel nearly exhausted without having done anything. It might take an entire evening or weekend to recover from this daily/weekly roller coaster ride. Additionally, because of the imbalance to your hormones, you’re less likely to sleep deeply or well—and you need quality sleep to heal! It is as if you are driving with both the brakes and the accelerator pushed to the floor at the same time.
Diabesity – The Party’s Over
Hypoglycemia encourages overeating when food is available. This overeating can result in unwanted weight gain because the increased levels of insulin circulating in the blood usher that excess energy (glucose) from the extra food into the fat cells where it is stored as fat. Diabesity is a newly-coined word used to refer to a form of diabetes that typically develops in later life and is associated with being obese. We have become a nation of hypoglycemics. Sixty percent of people suffering from hypoglycemia go on to become diabetics, so is it any wonder that we also have a nation suffering from diabetes in epidemic proportions?
Ready to Exit?
If these symptoms sound familiar and you or someone you know is ready to climb off the Stress/Sugar Roller Coaster, contact us at Longevity Wellness. We can help with Applied Clinical Nutrition and Nutrition Response Testing. Applied Clinical Nutrition may be the fastest and most effective way to balance your bloodsugar and help your organs recover and heal, getting you lasting relief from the Stress/Sugar Roller Coaster. Hypoglycemia often has a food sensitivity or food allergy component. Consuming something that the body is sensitive or allergic to can set off a hypoglycemic reaction or make blood sugar levels more erratic. Nutrition Response Testing can discover which foods you’re sensitive to and give you the support you need to better tolerate them.
Acupuncture and Medi-Cupping are additional treatment methods we have at Longevity Wellness to reduce stress, soothe and balance your Nervous System, and speed detoxification from your organs.