Both low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) are stepping stones toward diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that for those children born after 2000, 1 in 3 will become diabetic.
Although frightening, hope comes with the fact that most cases of diabetes can be prevented through healthy diet and movement (…you know – exercise!)
I’m starting here with education on hypoglycemia. When the pancreas pumps out too much insulin due to eating foods high in sugar, white flour products, drinking caffeine in order to function, and skipping meals (a-HEM…breakfast!), the blood sugar can swing from high to low. This causes what we call a reactive hypoglycemia; reactive because it happens several hours after eating. The person who experiences this tends to space out easy, have a poor short-term memory, can get irritable and grouchy between meals, and has afternoon energy crashes, usually between 2 – 4 pm.
Reactive hypoglycemia is a beginning stage of diabetes and can be fully corrected through eating a low glycemic index diet. Symptoms that suggest hypoglycemia include:
- Sugar cravings and carb binges
- Irritability, grouchiness or anger when going periods without eating
- Depending on caffeine for energy
- Experiencing light-headedness when skipping meals
- Needing to eat to relieve fatigue
- Feeling shaky, jittery, anxious or agitated between meals
- Having a poor memory, lack of concentration or focus
- Blurry vision
When you recognize yourself in the above list of symptoms, steps should be taken immediately to work towards controlling your blood sugar – I use a lifestyle program with my patients called First Line Therapy which focuses on low glycemic index eating, medical food, exercise, and stress reduction to prevent diabetes and heart disease