Blood Sugar Imbalances Affects Nutrition
By Dr. Laura Thompson
This week's tip is about how "Blood Sugar Imbalances" affect mental and emotional health. It is the second of ten newsletters that discuss the various causes and effects of the body-mind connection.
As we said last week, there are the eight major nutritional and biochemical imbalances that lead to mental, emotional, behavior and learning problems:
- Blood Sugar Imbalances
- Nutrient Deficiencies
- Allergies and Sensitivities
- Toxicity or "Body Overload"
- Metabolic Imbalances
- Hormone Imbalances
- Neurotransmitter Imbalances
Today, we begin with Blood Sugar Imbalances, Part One because it is the most common.
BLOOD SUGAR IMBALANCE
High or low, blood sugar imbalance is often undiagnosed. Therefore, it is not considered to be a medical problem. But it is a nutritional problem and it can lead to serious disruptions in brain chemistry, stress hormone regulation, energy and metabolism.
Blood sugar imbalances are so widespread, with adults as well as children. Usually they are in the realm of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. This is totally correctable with diet. However, there is greater incidence today of high blood sugar, insulin resistance and diabetes than ever before. In this week’s newsletter we will examine low blood sugar.
Low Blood Sugar - Hypoglycemia
Low blood sugar is prevalent among people with fatigue, headaches, moods swings, depression and "brain fog". In children, if often starts with symptoms of ADD, ADHD, dyslexia and learning disabilities. It can develop into mental disorders: schizophrenia, manic depression, bi-polar disorder and clinical depression.
Some behaviors characteristic of hypoglycemia are mood swings, "acting out", erratic behavior, "foggy" thinking, indecision and "dreaminess". The food culprits are refined and white flour carbohydrates, sugars, sodas, fruit drinks and nutrient-depleted food. In other words, these foods have empty calories. They do not provide the quality of fuel needed to sustain energy for the body or the brain.
The biological explanation:
- Refined and sugar foods cause a swift release of insulin from the pancreas.
- This results in a speedy delivery of glucose to the brain and muscles, creating an energy surge or "high".
- However, when the glucose leaves the bloodstream so fast, the body then "crashes" with a "low". Such is the balance of nature.
- These "lows" can result in fatigue, headaches, irritability and cravings. Hyperactivity, irritability, grumpiness, depression and inattention may also result.
- This "roller coaster" activity can cause a child or an adult to be unpredictable, flighty, unstable and unhappy.
The mind is a crazy thing. It can go into so many crevasses - some happy, some not, especially when it is not fueled properly. But the good news is – we have control over our fuel. We can choose good food and good nutritional supplements to turn a low blood sugar condition around, or prevent it altogether.
To Fuel the Body and Brain:
- Eat high nutrient foods -- vegetables and fruits (no juices).
- Eat high fiber foods: beans and legumes, whole grains, raw fruits and vegetables.
- Eat a low-glycemic diet with very little sugar, white flour, or juices.
- Eat 4-5 small meals throughout the day, evenly spaced.
- Eliminate hydrogenated fats and oils in margarine, fast food and processed food, and utilize good fats and oils such as avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, unheated flax oil, raw
nuts and seeds.
Suggestions for Supplementing Brain Fuel:
- Brainstorm – my favorite all ‘round brain nutrient supplement
- Stress B Nanoplex – my other favorite brain fuel product
- Ultra D liquid – good tasting cod liver oil with Vitamins A, D and Omega 3’s
- Or Cod Liver Oil capsules if you prefer that form.
Dr. Laura Thompson, Family Nutritionist and Naturopathic Endocrinologist has a nationwide practice by phone, and locally in Carlsbad, California. For further information about her services, call 800-608-5602.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products suggested, are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please check with your health care practitioner for your best health options.
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