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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why Do I Need to Eat So Often?



Life is so busy today. It never slows down, and responsibilities keep piling up. Your day can go by and suddenly you look at the clock and you haven't eaten since breakfast. You may be shaky, irritable, have blurred vision, or be fatigued. When people are in this state, they tend to grab whatever they can as fast as they can. This typically is not a nice green salad loaded with fresh veggies and lean meat. The craving tends to be a simple carbohydrate meal or snack that will satisfy the overwhelming urge and craving because your body needs sugar. Often this urge is met with some sort of fast food, gas station candy bar, or the leftover donuts from the morning.
Blood sugar balance...
Our bodies are full of wonderful mechanisms. Our body systems all work together to achieve homeostasis, which is the ideal environment inside our body. Maintaining an optimal blood glucose (sugar) level is essential for a healthy metabolism (how efficiently we burn calories) and foundational for good health. We know high blood sugar can lead to diabetes, so it makes sense we would want a low blood sugar level, right? The answer to that question is sort of tricky.
Low blood sugar is a relative term... What is hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia is a low blood glucose level. This means that there is not enough glucose in your blood to properly deliver fuel throughout your body.
How low is too low?
That depends on who you ask. After a fasting blood glucose test your doctor sends your blood off to the lab they use for testing. It is important to know that during testing, each lab has its own set of lab reference ranges (numbers) that they use as a guideline. There is no universal standard. A low number in one lab in the US is 45 mg/dl while to another lab low is 60 mg/dl.
Do you have warning signs of Reactive Hypoglycemia?
Reactive hypoglycemia is a state where your fasting blood glucose level is within the 'normal' laboratory reference range but you still have typical low blood sugar symptoms. These symptoms include difficulty waking up in the morning, difficulty falling asleep at night, craving salty and sweet foods, "crashing" in the afternoon and craving caffeine.
Why should I be concerned?
If your blood glucose level is too low, then your brain and other vital organs are not getting the fuel they need in order to function correctly. This can manifest in many different ways. It can lead to poor cognitive function, confusion, tremors, blurred vision, etc. When your brain is not getting enough glucose, it initiates a stress response. This leads to the release of hormones in your body that release glucose from storage as well as from fat. While burning fat is usually a good thing, this is not the way to do it. If the hormones that cause the release of glucose are circulating in your blood too often, they have their own negative consequences on your health, including weight gain. While skipping meals may seem like the right thing to do to lose weight, you in fact are causing weight gain over time.
If you routinely have hard time losing weight, are irritable or shaky, have 'brain fog' after not eating, or have food cravings, you most likely have a blood sugar imbalance that needs to be addressed immediately. These signs and symptoms mean that your body and mind are suffering.
If this sounds familiar it is essential that you contact an expert to discover the actions you need to take today in order to get your health to the level that you deserve! Click here for a FREE phone consultation with a health and nutrition expert.
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