Two strong reasons led me to write this in depth article on Blood Sugar. I’ll explain both reasons which might make you connect deeply with either one of them, before we even explore what are the signs of blood sugar imbalance, how your mind and your body are deeply connected and what the state of your blood sugar can tell you, or even what the state of your mind can tell you about the the state of your blood sugar, and a few takeaways to start resolving it.
Reason number one that I wrote this article is that so many people, especially women, share the pain of symptoms or conditions on social media and communities, with profound pain, frustration, helplessness or dejection. If you are someone who is traumatised by painful symptoms or conditions like period pains or migraines, stop believing that there is no way to resolve this. Community is nurturing and supportive, and is a powerful petal in healing. It does require many other petals as well. There is a way out, and you can find it. Blood sugar imbalance is the root of many painful conditions, and blood sugar balance is something that can be restored powerfully with the right way of eating.
Reason number two is that so many people do not even think of blood sugar imbalance, believing instead that it happens only to people who are diabetics. Nothing could be further from the truth! If you are someone who has never even thought that you might have blood sugar imbalance, or that it plays a powerful role in multiple other systems in your body, think again. It happens to most people who do not eat the right way, and it is a root cause of multiple other symptoms, which we will explore as well. So have you been someone in this category? Whichever set of people you belong to, and I’ll bet you belong to either one, read on as we first explore what are some of the signs to look out for, which are clues that your blood sugar is imbalanced.
Before I tell you about the signs that your blood sugar is imbalanced, I want to deviate for a moment and tell you what exactly is insulin resistance. When I was growing up in school, I lived in an apartment, and I so recall two little boys who would spend their entire evening running through the apartment, knocking on different doors everyday, and vanishing before anyone opened. Eventually it became a joke, and most people, in the spirit of community, just started ignoring doorbell rings between four and five pm. Why am I telling you this? Insulin is a lot like these two mischievous little boys. If you eat food which constantly raises your blood sugar, for a while insulin secretes stronger and stronger to catch up, but eventually it gives up and retires. So even if you keep raising your blood sugar, insulin does not know what to do next. This is called insulin resistance, and eventually you develop metabolic syndrome, type II Diabetes, or as many people are today, you are pre-diabetic, which in turn puts you at risk for multiple problems. I don’t want to scare you, but ignoring blood sugar imbalance and being in denial is downright dangerous. It might work for you today, to just ignore a migraine or anger or pain, but no pill is going to solve the problem forever. Eventually, you have to take take control by yourself, for yourself.
Signs that your blood sugar is imbalanced:
- You get hangry! This just means that you cannot go past an expected mealtime without you throwing a tantrum.
- You find it hard to lose weight. No matter what you do, no matter how heavily you exercise, you still struggle with weight loss.
- Your energy levels are like the Ferris wheel! You have moments when your energy just soars after eating, and then your energy just crashes. You find it hard to cope with working when it’s not at your time of energy peak. You are only able to work when you have eaten
- You have messed up sleep! This is a huge one! It’s simply frustrating to see the number of people with messed up sleep today. I see more and more women who wake up at night, claiming they need to empty their bladder, and ladies, this is just not true. Your body’s urinary system is designed to take you through the night. Waking up to urinate is not normal.
- You get dizzy. I see so many people who get dizzy. If you are someone who gets dizzy when you move from horizontal to vertical, if you get dizzy when you lift your eyes up or if you get dizzy when you tilt your head back, again, it is not normal!
- Your mood swings like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde! If you find yourself syrupy sweet at one moment and lashing out like the Hulk the next moment, your blood sugar is messed up. Trying to force yourself to sit down and breathe away your raging anger can only work so much. Of course breathwork and meditation ate wonderful tools as well, but it should not involve tremendous effort on your part to maintain emotional equilibrium!
- Chronic fatigue! If you require a drink, a soda, an energy drink or a strong coffee to get you through your day, it’s another sign that yur blood sugar is messed up. Energy is not the ability to do a hundred squats with your trainer, but the energy to get through a busy day without effort or mood changes.
- Acne! If everyone’s blood sugar was balanced, acne creams would probably pile up stock in the medical store counters. Before even looking at your body, your blood sugar or your hormones, are you putting yourself on acne medication, both topical and oral? Those can have so many detrimental effects as well, which I explored here.
- Temperature fluctuations! Do you sometimes feel too cold and sometimes feel too hot? If you find yourself wrapped up in heavy blankets when everyone around you is fine, or if you find yourself requiring the airconditioner, when everyone around you feels fine, that’s another sign that you’ve got messed up blood sugar.
- Chronic health conditions! If you have any chronic condition, which leaves you physically and emotionally in pain, be it migraines, fibromyalgia, anxiety, hormonal imbalance or any other condition that is chronic and lasting, then your blood sugar is imbalanced for sure.
- When you crave caffeine, sugar or alcohol. If you find yourself waiting all day long breathlessly for that moment in the day when your cravings are satisfied, be it from honey, jaggery, cake, wine or coffee, or if you find yourself angry and irritable when something happens that prevents you from getting your daily fix, watch out, for your blood sugar is messed up! If your blood sugar was balanced, you would not crave.
- Your waist is almost as wide as your hips! Sorry people, if you are trying to kill yourself with a hundred sit ups or crunches, or if someone os telling you that if you do more crunches you’ll tone that thick waist, they’re absolutely wrong. If you have insulin resistance, until you gain control of it, that fat is going to sit on your waist.
- You love bread! If you think that bread is ancestral, memories or nurturing, and find ways to eat it as often as possible, your blood sugar is probably needing some support.
- You have constant teeth and gum problems. If your blood sugar is elevated a lot, you will end up needing work on your teeth a lot!
I’m pretty sure that you’ve guiltily identified yourself in one of all these situations. Remember that accepting pain, sleeplessness, inflammation and headaches is not normal and is quite unnecessary. It’s remarkable how much change can happen just through the right way of eating, with the right kind of food. Learning to balance your blood sugar is an art. It requires keen understanding of who you are as an individual, your needs, and tuning into ways to nurture your needs without making you feel that you are in a state of deprivation. Here are some of the ways to begin trying to balance your blood sugar.
How to begin balancing your blood sugar:
- Eat Fat Fibre and Protein. I took it for granted that everyone ate this way, until I started individual client counselling, and found so many people, especially women, eating meals flooded in carbohydrates. If you are someone who eats dosa and chutney, or idly and watery sambar, or poha with tadka, roti and potato, think of whether you get fat, fibre and protein. Getting protein in one meal of the day is not blood sugar balancing. If you start your day with dosa and coriander chutney, your blood sugar is going to be messed up all day long. Similarly if you go to bed eating just boiled vegetables or soup, your blood sugar is going to messed up all night long, raising your nighttime cortisol and waking you up as well.
- Repair your gut. Blood sugar balance and damaged gut lining are interconnected deeply. A high sugar diet or high blood glucose markers can increase Candida or yeast in your gut, tipping the scale of microbial balance towards one that is detrimental to you in every way, and it can be a cause of intestinal permeability or leaky gut, which then becomes the cause of practically every chronic condition out there. Stop adding pills and start working on yourself to heal instead!
- Make sure that you have optimum Vitamin D levels. In a situation where practically every person out there is deficient, vitamin D deficiency is correlated with metabolic syndrome.
- Watch out for Omega-3 deficiency! In a world where Omega-3 is a sensitive topic in the neverending battle between vegans and omnivores, optimum levels of Omega-3 are connected to prevention of diabetes. You might want to ask yourself if you might be deficient.
- Adequate fats! Alzheimer’s is rightly being called Type III Diabetes in the modern world, as high blood sugar levels from blood sugar imbalance has been found to detrimentally impact your brain, especially in the areas of your brain which are impacted in Alzheimer’s! If you have fallen for the fad that coconut oil and ghee are bad, and it’s remarkable how many people do, and if you have stocked up your house with refined oils, you might require a fat reframe.
These are some ways to begin trying to balance your blood sugar. Understanding that you do have blood sugar imbalance is the first step towards resolving it. Remember that apart from the balance between the macronutrients of fat, fibre and protein, your body also requires micronutrients of vitamins and minerals to support you. To understand how each vitamin and mineral supports your body, and which foods can supply each of them, download my free e-book Vibrant Vitamins Mighty Minerals, if you haven’t already. You can download it by clicking the image below. Print yourself a copy and keep it on your kitchen table as a guide! And, if you require deeper individual nutritional work, reach out to us on [email protected]!