When you think of blood sugar imbalances, diabetes is probably the first thing that comes to mind. The truth is that blood sugar dysregulation can negatively affect our health in a lot of ways. Pre-diabetes and diabetes are some of the common effects of this disease, but sugar dysregulation in our bodies can also contribute to heart disease, cancer, and diseases associated with aging, like cataracts. Blood sugar imbalances can also contribute to hormone imbalances and cause PCOS and other hormonal challenges.
Learn more about blood sugar dysregulation, what causes it, symptoms and treatment options.
What is Blood Sugar Dysregulation?
Blood sugar dysregulation is when you have too high or too low blood sugar. This encompasses a continuum from “pre-pre-diabetes” to pre-diabetes to outright diabetes. This is important because more often than not this issue is not addressed by many primary care doctors or specialists early on, especially when a patient is headed from pre-diabetes to outright diabetes.
Blood sugar dysregulation is a cause or risk factor for many diseases including increase in LDL (bad cholesterol). Many physicians still do not know that elevated glucose levels contribute to bad cholesterol. Heart attacks are the #1 cause of death for men and women.
Having a slight imbalance can cause mild symptoms, while having more severe imbalances over a prolonged period of time can cause serious health complications. There are certain factors that can make it more difficult for your body to balance blood sugar levels. These include being overweight, eating a lot of processed foods, prolonged stress, nutrient deficiencies, sedentary lifestyle, and poor sleep habits.
What is Glucose?
Glucose is a sugar that is naturally produced by our bodies and it also comes from the food we eat. This sugar is regulated by insulin. When we eat a lot of sugar or carbs, our bodies produce too much insulin to counteract the rising blood sugar.
Prediabetes and outright diabetes result in excess glucose levels which is the fuel for most diseases including:
- Cancer: Cancer are rapidly growing cells and need fuel
- Inflammatory processes: Glucose is a high fuel consuming process
- Infections: Bacterial and viral; again glucose is the fuel for these organisms
- Obesity: Abdominal fat is essentially stored sugar
- Cataracts: Cataracts are a result of what are called Glycation End Products, again caused by excess glucose in the circulation
Blood Sugar Imbalance Symptoms
When your blood sugar is too high (hyperglycemia) you may experience the following symptoms:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Blurred vision
- Unexplained weight loss
When your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) you may experience the following symptoms:
- Poor sleep
- Mood swings
- Feeling weak or dizzy
- Sugar cravings
At Vida, we take an integrative approach to treating health. Dr. Michael Lee is an integrative medicine doctor in Miami. After extensive lab testing, if we see that a patient has elevated blood glucose levels or levels that are on the way to prediabetes or outright diabetes, we really focus in on this. Even if the patient has normal levels, if we see an upward trend in their sugar regulation as evidenced by a fasting glucose level or an increasing Hemoglobin A1C, we really focus on giving treatment plans to help mitigate this.
There are some things you can do to keep your blood sugar regulated throughout the day. For those who experience minor fluctuations, eating healthier and exercising can alleviate symptoms. Try eating smaller, healthy meals to avoid excessive swings in glucose. Behavioral changes are always recommended first.
- Dietary changes which include low glycemic index (“non sugar spiker” diet)
- Regular exercise
- Nutraceuticals (Chromium Picolinate, Alpha lipoic acid, Cinnamon, Resistant Starch)
- Sometimes pharmaceuticals such as Metformin are necessary but always a last option
Importance of Balanced Hormones and Digestive Health
Most patients find it difficult to do the work involved like changing diet and exercising if they don’t have the energy.
If hormone levels are off, we will work with you to help restore them to balance through proper monitoring and prescriptions. It is very difficult to do the work involved to get healthy if you are not hormonally balanced. When hormone levels are low, you will not have the energy or desire.
Another component of overall health is the digestive system. Patients whose digestive system is not supported or healthy do not feel well. People who don’t feel well will not do the necessary steps to get healthy. Vida Hormone Health & Integrative Health in Miami works to support gut health with diet and supplement treatments.
Integrative Approach to Health
Our unique integrative approach to health focuses on:
- Hormone Balancing
- Blood Sugar Regulation
- Digestive Health
We find that all three of these need to be focused on in order to truly be healthy. Many clinics focus in on hormones only, which are an important part of your health. Patients may feel better for a while but will ultimately not get healthy with just this or only one issue addressed.
At Vida Hormone Health & Integrative Medicine in Miami, we are on a mission to end blood sugar dysregulation. Dr. Lee is passionate about taking an integrative approach to hormone health and helping you get to optimal health and wellness. Contact our office to schedule your appointment. We look forward to seeing you.