If you're like me, you have a sweet tooth. And if not a sweet tooth, a love of starches, like pasta or chips. And even if you're trying really hard to avoid carbs, you might still be taking your blood sugar for a ride with stress, coffee or lack of sleep.
When I first started to learn about functional medicine, I didn't get how shifts in blood sugar levels were a stress on my hormones. Sure, I knew devouring a giant cookie wasn't a good choice, but I didn't get how it was a bad choice.
For me, knowing how and why are important. This knowledge helps me say no to giant cookies. And when I make healthy choices, my skin is clear and not greasy, my period is not painful, my mood is more even, and my weight is easy to manage.
I'm going to give you a quick summary of the blood sugar roller coaster, and then give you a helpful eBook so you can take action to manage your blood sugar, and tame your hormonal symptoms.
Your body likes a steady supply of glucose (sugar). It uses this glucose as energy for thinking, walking, breathing...pretty important stuff. If you don't have a steady supply of glucose, you can develop symptoms. Some of these can be immediate, like a headache or feeling irritable. Some of these are more long-term, like a lack of hormone production.
So why would you not have a steady supply of glucose? There are two main reasons: low blood sugar and high blood sugar. These two reasons may appear to be opposites, but they are more often connected.
When you raise your blood sugar by having alcohol, a cupcake, a nice chunk of bread, etc., you often take your blood sugar too high, and your cells block any more sugar from coming inside. That sugar that got shut out will usually be stored as fat, and extra fat makes excess estrogen. Meanwhile your cells, which have blocked sugar, won't have their fuel, and you'll feel fatigued, brain dead, etc.
So now you are gaining weight and dragging ass, and you just want a cookie to pick yourself up...but then the cycle starts all over. And your hormonal system, once again, is getting an unsteady fuel supply for its functioning.
Ok, but what if you have good eating habits? Well coffee and stress spike your blood sugar, and excess protein will turn to glucose too. Chronic stress can lead to a long-term state of low blood sugar, as the adrenal glands (your stress/energy glands) also regulate blood sugar and turned stored energy into real-time energy.
In summary, all this blood sugar wonkiness can prevent your body from making hormones, or can produce excess estrogen, leading to symptoms like heavy periods, acne, low sex drive or brain fog.
Does this issue affect you if you're menopausal? Yes! Steady blood sugar is especially important for you as you weather hormonal changes.
Here's that resource I mentioned, my How To Balance Your Blood Sugar eBook:
Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP