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Blood Sugar Conditions: Elevated Blood Sugar Versus Reduced Blood Sugar

Blood Sugar Conditions

Blood sugar problems can be potentially serious and lead to chronic diseases. High blood sugar is called hyperglycemia; low blood sugar is hypoglycemia. Both are usually caused by the intake of too many simple sugars, but in some people, the blood sugar remains high, while in others too much blood sugar goes into the body’s cells too quickly, and the blood sugar then dips too low. Symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) include: constant hunger and thirst, frequent urination, recurrent infections and/or poor would healing, blurred vision, male impotence, significant weight loss, and dry mouth or dry skin. Symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) include: nervousness, heart palpitations, excessive sweating, constant hunger (just as in hyperglycemia), weakness, and trembling.

When too many simple sugars are taken in, by either food or drink, blood sugar rises. The hormone insulin is then secreted in order to bring the blood sugar into the body’s cells, so that it can be used for energy. When the blood sugar remains high for long periods, the body’s cells often adapt to this situation by developing a tolerance to insulin. When this happens, there needs to be more insulin released to do the same job of putting sugar into the body’s cells as before. This is known as insulin resistance, or glucose intolerance. It also sets the stage for high blood sugar. Some people, however, have a very fast metabolism, and burn up sugar too quickly. Their insulin function is very strong, and the blood sugar from a recent meal is taken into the cells at a fast pace. This does not allow for the body to balance blood sugar levels and let the proper amount of sugar enter the cells, while keeping the rest in the bloodstream to keep the levels normal. This event is hypoglycemia, but interestingly, both high and low blood sugar can lead to diabetes in different ways.

Most doctors and researchers recommend complex carbohydrates to diabetics. Complex carbohydrates are usually foods like whole grains, which take longer to break down into simple sugars. However, there is clinical evidence that even complex carbohydrates can worsen diabetes. If the diet consists of more than 55% of complex carbohydrates, the result can be a worsening of blood sugar control, an increase of damaging fats in the blood, and a decrease of healthy fats in the blood. Unfortunately, the American Diabetic Association recommends that diabetics have about 60-70% of their food as carbohydrates. For many (if not most) diabetics, carbohydrates are part of the problem, not the solution. There are several different reasons why people can develop type II diabetes, and there are also many possible solutions. A 60-70% carbohydrate diet may help some diabetics with their condition, but may worsen the condition of other people. This is why a diabetic needs to find out what type of metabolism they have, in order to tailor their diet and supplements to their unique needs.

Diabetics need to limit their intake of fats as well as sugars. High blood sugar causes insulin to also raise the amount of fats in the blood. A high fat diet, more than 30% of total calories, can contribute to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. However, there needs to be some fat intake, since it is essential for life, and also because it’s one of the three energy sources for people, along with carbohydrates and protein. Fat and protein are usually found together in foods. Fat has a little over twice as many calories per weight as protein, and many foods are composed of roughly equal calorie amounts of fat and protein. So, if a diabetic chooses to limit carbohydrates to around 50% of their total calories, then they may end up taking in about 25% protein and 25% fat. For most people, it is probably wise to avoid getting more than 25% of their calories from protein, since too much protein can over-acidify certain parts of the body, as well as being hard on the kidneys. Some people choose to drink diet sodas in order to limit their sugar intake. Unfortunately, the aspartame sweetener in sugar substitutes such as Nutrasweet can also raise insulin levels, so this is not a good idea either. The best thing to drink is simply spring water. Overall, the best thing for stabilizing blood sugar levels is aerobic exercise. Increasing the heart rate significantly for extended periods of time will change the body’s metabolism, which then brings many different internal imbalances back to normal. Whether someone is healthy or not, they should always notify their physician that they intend to have an aerobic exercise plan. Dr. Jensen can provide more details about how to make aerobic exercise effective, simple, and even enjoyable. You can write to him using the Contact page, or call 1-800-390-5365.

Dr. Jensen provides science-based holistic health care and guidance. He can advise you on specific problems you are experiencing, or help you create a comprehensive health care plan for optimum health.

Dr. Jensen will provide you with a free initial consultation to discuss your situation and suggest a course of action.

Contact Dr. Jensen at 1-800-390-5365 or use the contact form.

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I am available to discuss the specific nutritional and lifestyle challenges faced by people with diabetes.

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