Hypoglycaemia is the term given to low blood sugar levels – it refers to a drop in the body’s level of blood glucose to a point where cells are being deprived of vital energy. When this occurs, a message is sent to the brain asking that glucose levels be restored, and a craving for sugar results.
Signs and symptoms of hypoglycaemia include hunger – with cravings for sugar, chocolate, sweets, cakes, coffee and alcohol; mood swings, irritability, depression or anxiety; weakness, disorientation, headaches, fainting spells, fatigue, sweating and shaking.
Hypoglycaemia may be caused by chronic dieting, irregular eating patterns or a diet rich in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and stimulants such as alcohol, tea and coffee. Stress and exercise can contribute to fluctuations in blood sugar levels by causing adrenal function problems, as can vitamin and mineral deficiencies and food allergies.
Adrenal fatigue will also be a cause behind hypoglycaemia, and all of the symptoms of low blood sugar levels.
The purpose of this eating plan is to stabilize and avoid rapid rises and falls in the body’s blood sugar levels, whilst maintaining energy levels using dietary measures. Changing how your body operates from inefficiently burning carbohydrates for fuel to burning fats for fuel will give you a lot more energy, without the crashes!
Many people feel like they can’t stop eating sugar and processed carbs, it can be an addiction …. if you can get through the first 2-3 weeks it does get easier, the cravings lessen and your energy levels go up. The longer you do it, the better you will feel so stay motivated!
There are some supplements like the herb Gymnema, nutrients like chromium, cinnamon, B vitamins and lipoic acid that can help balance blood sugar levels and help to get you over that first hurdle of sugar addiction.
Blood Sugar Support formulas can also be good to help maintain blood sugar levels, they usually contain Gymnema and lipoic acid but not in the higher dose like an individual supplement but for many people a formula like this is enough to get them on track.
If you need help with testing to identify the underlying cause of your energy, blood sugar issues, or simply need help with your diet, the best option is to schedule a consultation with Planet Naturopath. All consultations are done either via video or phone so you don’t have to travel to appointments and we can consult with people all over the world.
Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions. As Seen
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