Blood Sugar Regulation

85% of Americans have hypoglycemia also known as low blood sugar. In a study of normal weight women between the ages of 15 and 49, 20% had some sort of dysglycemia meaning unregulated blood sugar.

Blood sugar is a key indicator of risk of cardiovascular disease and risk of stroke, and one of the most important indicators in health.

If you can’t regulate your blood sugar effectively, you are going to have a very hard time stabilizing your symptoms. Your weight, mood, energy levels, sleep, hormone balance, immune system, thyroid function, and many others issues will not resolve without stable blood sugar.

Do you ever experience “hanger”, shakiness between meals or if meals are delayed, difficulty losing weight, trouble falling asleep, waking up at 3 or 4 am for no reason, fatigue, sugar cravings, needing coffee to get through the day, fatigue after meals, headaches, constant hunger? All of these symptoms are signs of blood sugar dysregulation. Now contrary to what you may think, a lot of people with blood sugar dysregulation aren’t necessarily overweight. Many times these people are also fairly healthy eaters. Sometimes it’s a matter of high stress, skipping meals or waiting too long between meals, and/or skipping food for coffee. High sugar, high carbohydrate and highly processed diets are another cause. The good news is that you can fix this naturally. By changing the way eat and supplementing with herbs that help regulate your blood sugar.  

I’m going to give you a very simplified overview of how blood sugar regulation works. Two of the major regulators of blood sugar are insulin and cortisol. Both are hormones. Insulin is released by your pancreas and helps make sure you absorb glucose into your cells for energy. Cortisol is one of the hormones that when blood sugar levels drop too low, tells your body to release that stored glucose into the bloodstream. Now cortisol, mind you, is also a stress hormone. Meaning it is released in times of stress. In a perfect world where we experience no stress, this has no significance. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and experience record high levels of stress making it incredibly significant. 

when you get stressed, your body releases cortisol into your bloodstream and ultimately releases some glucose, raising your blood sugar.

Thus stimulating the release of more insulin. It just so happens that cortisol actually makes your cells less responsive to insulin, creating a need for more insulin. Ever heard of insulin resistance? This means your cells start ignoring insulin. Typically, the liver and muscle cells become resistant, meaning fat cells almost always respond as a protective mechanism to prevent your blood sugar from getting so high that you die. Meaning your fat cells are growing. You are also increasing your risk for diabetes and heart disease. 

Many women commonly yo-yo diet. By this I mean we tend to go on very strict diets, drop a couple of pounds and proceed to regain the weight and then some. Ultimately making dieting harder and harder each time. In practice I see many women feel like they are failures or that they lack willpower. The problem isn’t “willpower”. The problem is that we are creating hormonal imbalances. 

We also look and detect if the patient is in sugar burning or carbohydrate burning.  This distinction makes a huge difference on how easy it is for a patient to stabilize blood sugar, increase athletic performance, stabilize mood, and gain/lose weight.

Blood sugar is an easy fix with lifestyle modifications and short term supplementation.

Ann Barter

Dr. Ann Barter & Dr. Jennifer Christian

Dr. Barter and Dr. Christian are passionate about
how Chiropractic combined with Functional Medicine can change lives.

Chat with them today or reserve an appointment at one of our offices in Denver and Longmont to find out how Chiropractic + Functional Medicine can change your life.