With 10% of our population suffering from diabetes and an additional two million new cases every year, it is the 7th leading cause of death in America. I should also mention the 86 million Americans are prediabetic and 5% suffer from food sensitivity. According to the CDC, heart disease and cancer are the top two leading causes of death. But did you know that diabetes has a direct correlation to heart disease and cancer? For every point, your A1C (a blood sugar marker) raises your chances of getting cancer increase by 20%! But is there also any link between food sensitivities and blood sugar levels?
Let’s talk a little about diabetes and the hormones involved. Your body has to keep its blood sugar in a certain range for optimal function. Your brain requires sugar to survive and operate properly, that’s why people who have low blood sugar can feel tired and foggy-headed. But on the other hand, sugar is very toxic to your brain and can actually kill brain cells. This is why people with uncontrolled diabetes have bad eyesight and peripheral neuropathies or Diabetic Neuropathy. Diabetic Neuropathy is when people can’t feel their feet because the sugar is killing the nerves required for sensation on the skin. Have you ever experienced this? If so, I recommend you CONTACT me for more support.
As you eat sugar or high glycemic foods, your blood sugar starts to go up. And as your blood sugar goes up, insulin will be secreted from your pancreas. Insulin is required to get sugar into your cells so they can utilize the sugar from your bloodstream, so it doesn’t exhaust your brain cells. And when your blood sugar goes down and you’re not eating anything, the adrenal gland secretes another hormone called cortisol which will make the liver release sugar. Remember, you have to have some sugar in the bloodstream for the brain to function, just not too much sugar.
The problem arises when your body is continuously subjected to high levels of sugar and it starts to take more and more insulin to lower your blood sugar. Insulin becomes less effective and you have to secrete more and more of it until your body can’t keep up. This is when diabetics go on insulin therapy. Insulin is a very harsh hormone for the body and screws up many pathways in the body. It makes men turn testosterone into estrogen. And the opposite in women, estrogen into testosterone. This is why many men can even grow small breasts with blood sugar issues or have very low testosterone. As well, women will grow black hair or peach fuzz on their faces.
So, in order to stabilize blood sugar, you have to focus on both of these hormones and not just insulin. If cortisol is secreted in excess, it can raise your blood sugar and add to the insulin demand (Not Good). Many people with blood glucose problems respond favorably to low glycemic index foods. But what if you have a food sensitivity to one of these low glycemic foods? Cortisol not only raises blood sugar but it’s also our stress hormone and is released in times of stress. Stress being emotional, chemical, and structural stress. Physical pain and stress can even elevate cortisol. This is where the importance of regular chiropractic care comes into play in keeping cortisol in check. The body isn’t supposed to be in pain, it’s telling you something is wrong. Also, old age is not an excuse for pain, and aspirin doesn’t correct pain either.
Food Sensitivity Case Study
Jim, a client, came in with an average fasting glucose of 130. He wanted to get off his medication and prevent any heart disease later in life. So, we ran blood work including an A1C, Homocysteine, HS-CRP, and a few other things. His Homocysteine was elevated, showing he had a Methyl-B12 and Methyl-Folate deficiency, and elevated cardiovascular risk. He also had an A1C of 7.5, which increased his risk of cancer by 40%. We implemented a personal nutritional plan based on food sensitivity testing and one supplement to increase insulin receptor sensitivity, and within two weeks his fasting glucose dropped to under 100.
So, what does food sensitivity have to do with this? Well, when you eat something that your body is sensitive to it creates stress and raises cortisol levels. Remember, cortisol is our stress hormone and we like how cortisol makes us feel. So, we can even get “addicted” to these foods. This is why, unfortunately, many food sensitivities are foods we really like to eat. Breads, cheeses, eggs, etc. Side note: a slice of bread will raise your blood sugar as high as a teaspoon of pure sugar. Food sensitivity or not, bread isn’t a good choice for stabilizing blood sugar. But things like dairy products, cheeses, and other meats are very low on the glycemic index and should be good for people who have blood sugar issues. Did you know that these foods could raise blood sugar through a different mechanism using cortisol?
Controlling Blood Sugar Naturally
When you have diabetes or prediabetes, you want to make sure that your blood sugar levels don’t get too high. There are several other natural ways you can help control your blood sugar and nudge your glucose levels towards a healthy range. Read on to discover how you can control blood sugar naturally with regular physical activity, stress management, and diet.
Glucose Numbers: Keep Them In Check With Regular Physical Activity & Exercise
Regular physical activity is a great way to keep your blood sugar under control—whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. That’s because exercise increases your body’s sensitivity to insulin, which means your cells take in more glucose (resulting in lower blood sugar levels). For people with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends a minimum of 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity or 60 minutes/week of vigorous-intensity physical activity—with no more than 2 days passing between each day you exercise. Moderate-intensity activities are those that require effort equal to that of a brisk walk. Vigorous-intensity activities usually involve large muscle groups (like the chest and hamstrings) and cause a noticeable increase in the heart rate, breathing depth, and sweating.
Stress Management In Diabetes May Help With Blood Sugar Control (And Food Sensitivity)
It might seem like everyone these days recommends stress management as a way to control different health issues. There’s a good reason for it. Chronic stress can produce all kinds of undesirable changes in the body—like inflammation and anxiety. So, it might not come as a surprise that diabetes and stress can also cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Not only that, but being stressed out can make it harder to meet the goals of your diabetes treatment plan. How does stress cause your glucose levels to go up?
- When you’re stressed, your body is preparing for a threat of some kind. As part of this process, your body tries to make sure you have enough energy (fueled by sugar) available to “fight or flight.”
- Your insulin levels drop, your adrenaline increases, and your liver releases more glucose. Additionally, your cortisol levels go up, which makes your body less sensitive to insulin. This causes more glucose to circulate in your bloodstream.
Best Fiber For Blood Sugar Control
You likely know that it’s important to eat a well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet. But what specific dietary strategies can help control blood sugar?
Include more soluble fiber in your diet: Soluble fiber is the type of fiber found in beans, dried peas, fruits, oats, and various other foods. Studies show that eating this type of fiber improves insulin sensitivity, which can lower blood sugar and minimize blood sugar swings. However, there is one caveat: make sure that the sources of soluble fiber you choose aren’t too high in sugar. Good sources of fiber include black beans, lima beans, avocados, broccoli, turnips, oats, and barley. Would you like me to walk you through the processes of creating a fiber-filled meal plan? Don’t hesitate to CONTACT me to schedule a FREE 20-minute phone consultation.
Daily Carb Intake For Diabetics
Tracking your daily carb intake can be a great tool for controlling blood glucose levels. That’s because carbohydrates (or “carbs”) are a kind of nutrient that especially affects blood sugar levels. But that doesn’t mean carbohydrates are bad. In fact, you need carbs to keep your body functioning normally. However, foods packed with “simple carbs” like added sugar aren’t as nutrient-rich which can make it harder to keep blood sugar levels within your target range. On the other hand, foods filled with “complex carbs” (like fiber-packed foods) tend to be more nutrient-rich and may help better regulate your blood sugar level.
To track how many carbs your daily meals give you, start by looking at the nutrition labels of the food you eat. Nutrition labels tell you a lot about what you are eating. Always start with the serving size, as this tells you how much you can eat to equal a serving. Then, check how many carbohydrates are in a serving of the food under consideration. Some foods, like many fresh fruits and vegetables, don’t come with nutrition labels—so go online or use a book to find an estimate of their carbohydrate content.
How much carbohydrate should you be getting from your diet? That depends on many factors—including your age and weight.
Drink Plenty Of Water (Best Way To Hydrate)
Water can also help get your blood sugar under control. Although it might be tempting to drink soda, juice, or alcohol, water is the king of the beverages when it comes to health. When you have high blood sugar levels, your body tries to flush the excess glucose out of your blood through your urine. This means you need to keep rehydrating yourself to get the blood sugar spike under control. Drinking water can help with this flushing process. However, remember that you can have too much of a good thing. It might sound strange, but water intoxication is real. It rarely happens because you’d need to drink liters of water in a short time, but it’s still worth mentioning.
How Do You Know If You’re Experiencing High Blood Sugar?
If your blood sugar is too high, you may notice some signs. Some possible symptoms include:
- Dry mouth
- Extra thirst
- Frequent urination
Final Thoughts On Food Sensitivity And Blood Sugar
Keep in mind that a food sensitivity is different than a food allergy which would send you into shock – like a peanut allergy. Traditional food allergies are immediate allergic reactions that are life threatening. The food sensitivities we are talking about are what we call delayed sensitivity reactions. Instead of reacting all at once, it happens over a delayed period. These sensitivities are not necessarily life threatening, but they can cause a lot of issues as we have discussed. So, if you’re trying to get your blood sugar under control, I would highly recommend getting food sensitivity testing.
Take The Next Step and Schedule Today
Are you tired of masking your symptoms with harsh medications and want to get to the root cause of high blood sugar? You could take charge of your health today with a FREE 20-minute phone consultation. We will identify the key areas that need support and provide the necessary support to show you what needs to be done for your unique case. Please CONTACT me to schedule a FREE 20-minute phone consultation if you or your loved ones are seeking support for high blood sugar.
Chen Ben Asher will give you her best care recommendations based on what’s happening inside your body on a cellular level, in a bid to achieve optimum results. Be rest assured that no stone will be left unturned as we look for the root cause!