Pre Diabetes #1
Blood sugar is something I don’t have to worry about until I’m older…
Unless I have diabetes, I don’t need to worry about my insulin levels…
I can eat sweet foods and feel fine, so I can’t have diabetes…
Are you guilty of believing any of these myths?
These are all common (and potentially deadly!) assumptions people just like you commonly make about their health. But the reality is, receiving a diabetes diagnosis is the end of what was a very long road of missed warning signs.
Naturally designed to heal, our bodies are able to disguise the ill effects of blood sugar imbalances for quite a while before you decide a Doctor’s visit is in order.
These “no-big-deal” symptoms can look like:
- Feeling more thirsty than normal (leading to more frequent trips to the bathroom)
- Brain fog (and even memory loss!)
- Blood pressure dysfunction
- Imbalanced cholesterol
Because they don’t seem like the stereotypical symptoms of a diabetic episode (feeling weak, passing out, etc), they can easily be incorrectly associated with many other conditions. This is how you can suffer for months (and even years!) with a blood sugar imbalance and not even know it.
What is diabetes?
Glucose (aka sugar) is the main fuel source our cells need to function properly. We receive glucose from the foods that we eat (with some having a much higher sugar content than others).
Too much sugar in the blood is toxic for the body, so to account for this, our bodies produce a hormone in the pancreas called insulin to help control the amount of sugar flowing in and out of our cells.
Unfortunately, we consume more refined sugars than ever before, and have become more sedentary than any other time in history. This means that we are not only pumping our bodies with more glucose than it can handle, but we are not providing ourselves with enough opportunities to burn it off either. Our bodies have to put this excess energy somewhere, so it ends up getting stored in our livers and in our fat cells, stockpiling until it can’t anymore.
Once our bodies get to this point, our insulin levels are all over the place trying to overcompensate. The cells get so confused and burnt out, insulin production will start to slow (or eventually stop altogether), which is when the real damage is done.
You can live with insulin resistance for many years before the problem starts to escalate. You’ll be stuck on a blood sugar roller coaster, but your body is able to compensate (and disguise it well). If untreated however, your blood sugar levels will start to rise (and not come back down again). When your blood sugar is consistently in the higher range month over month, you’ve entered the pre-diabetic range and need to make changes FAST in order to avoid full-blown diabetes.
You can check out the video I did on this topic as well below.
Is your current lifestyle setting you up for diabetes?
Blood sugar imbalances range across a spectrum of severity. Insulin resistance (meaning your cells are not utilizing energy from carbohydrates correctly) is typically the first sign of blood sugar problems. Pre-diabetes is the second serious indicator changes need to be made FAST. A diabetes diagnosis means you are experiencing full blown dysfunction.
Could you be putting your body at risk of developing a blood sugar imbalance?:
- The majority of your diet (over 60%) is carbohydrates.
- The majority of your carbohydrates come from bread and other processed foods, not fruits and vegetables.
- You exercise less than 2 times per week.
- Diabetes runs in your family.
- You consume more than 2-3 alcoholic beverages per week.
If you answered yes to even one of the above, your current lifestyle is promoting the eventual development of a blood sugar imbalance.
The way forward
The good news is the human body is able to naturally heal itself from a blood sugar imbalance with some nutrition and lifestyle changes.
Ready to rebalance?
- Analyze what you’re eating every day. You will need to train your body to start burning fat and protein (instead of carbs) as its fuel source, so you will need to decrease your overall carbohydrate intake. Aim to ultimately fill your diet with 30% carbohydrates, 30-40% protein, and 20-30% fat. This ratio may be difficult to maintain at first, so incrementally decrease your carb intake over time.
- Consider intermittent fasting, working up to a 14-16 hour fast. Intermittent fasting gives your digestive system a break and conditions your body to use fat stores as fuel. Try refraining from a bedtime snack, and don’t eat from 6-7 PM to 10 AM daily.
- Focus on getting regular exercise to burn excess glucose, incorporating a combination of lighter and higher intensity workouts.
A functional medical practitioner can perform a test called a Hemoglobin A1C to get a three-month, detailed analysis of your body’s blood sugar levels.
Managing your blood sugar is always a good idea, regardless if your body is experiencing symptoms or not. Partner with your functional medical practitioner and start feeling better today!
Call our office and we’ll get you set up with a one-on-one consultation, run the necessary tests, and provide you with the healthcare you need!