Little Known Effects of Blood Sugar Dysregulation by Functional Nutritionist Andrea Nicholson

What is blood sugar dysregulation? Blood sugar dysregulation is when your blood sugar levels are constantly fluctuating or staying elevated chronically. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, certain medications, and an unhealthy diet.

What are the effects of blood sugar dysregulation?

Most people think of Diabetes when they think about blood sugar imbalance – but it goes FAR beyond that. Studies have found that 88% of adults have metabolic dysfunction, of which blood sugar imbalances and insulin resistance are a big part. So it’s likely, you have blood sugar imbalances and don’t know it.

So what conditions are related to blood sugar dysregulation?

Fatigue, anxiety, depression, poor stress handling, chronic inflammation, sugar cravings, increased appetite, an inability to fast or skip meals (you get hangry), headaches, migraines, imbalanced gut (like yeast overgrowth), chronic infections, joint pain, muscle stiffness, poor memory, brain fog, gain weight, difficulty losing weight, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol or triglycerides, fatty liver, loss of muscle and bone, even sleep disturbances and hormone imbalances.

How do you know if you have blood sugar dysregulation?

Well, if you have any of those conditions I just ran through, you likely have blood sugar imbalances. If you want to know for sure there are a few great ways to find out.

1. Blood testing looking at a fasting glucose, fasting insulin and hemoglobin A1c. The first marker here to get imbalanced is generally the fasting insulin number. This means the body is having to produce more insulin to keep blood sugars in the safe zone. It can take decades for the A1c and fasting glucose to rise.

2. My personal favorite, is to use a continuous glucose monitor. This is a little device that is worn for about 2 weeks that continuously tests your blood sugars. This is the BEST way to know exactly what your numbers are doing all day and all night. Blood sugar imbalances don’t always give you outward symptoms, so this is the best way to know how your body is responding and handling certain foods and activities. You can also see blood sugar spikes associated with stress or poor-quality sleep – even if you didn’t eat anything!

How can you manage blood sugar dysregulation?

First, eating quality nutrition that prioritizes protein and healthy fats with lots of vegetables and minimal starch and carbohydrate. This does NOT have to be a full ketogenic diet (though it can) or even an exceedingly low carb diet – but being mindful of overall carbohydrate intake and sources will dramatically help. The average US adult is eating 200-300g of carb per day, most of which are highly refined and starchy. Cutting that down to 100-150 will go a long way toward balancing blood sugars.

Second, manage stress and prioritize sleep. Stress contributes to poor blood sugar management – and poor blood sugar management adds stress to the body. It’s a vicious cycle. Lack of sleep is also a stressor and contributes to blood sugar imbalances leading to poor food choices and over-indulging.

Third, move your body daily. One of the easiest ways to lower your blood sugar is to go for a walk after eating. This does NOT have to be a power walk or even a long walk. Even 10 minutes makes a huge difference in post-prandial (after eating) blood sugars. This is because when you’re moving your body, you’re shuttling the sugar from your blood into the muscles to make them move. This means you burn that sugar for energy instead of storing it as glycogen or fat!

So, there you have it – little known effects of blood sugar dysregulation – how to know, what to look for, and what you can do about it. Many studies have found that is it possible to reverse blood sugar imbalances – and it’s easier with help! Coaching increases accountability, confidence, and clarity on exactly what to do. This is what I do every day for my clients. We utilize testing and technology to guide your unique situation, then together, we formulate a plan that will work for you long term.


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