Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is a modern epidemic. In 2018, 34.2 million Americans, or 10.5% of the population, had diabetes and 21% were pre-diabetic. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and is the #1 cause of kidney failure and adult blindness. In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled.
It is important to note that getting a diagnosis of diabetes or even pre-diabetes is very different, as compared to coming down with a cold one day. You don’t just wake up with diabetes, like you do with a cold. Diabetes is a process and goes something like this
malfunction ⇨ disease process ⇨ symptoms
Before your blood sugar was 139, it was 135. Before it was 135, it was 130, etc. I hope you would agree that it is wise to intervene as early as possible in the progression toward diabetic blood sugar levels, in order to prevent it from happening in the first place. Sadly, the American Diabetes Association does not agree. They prefer to wait until you are almost beyond the point of no return to suggest there is a problem.
Here is what happens - when we eat excess sugar (glucose) ⇨ we need insulin to move the glucose into the cell. This is the role of insulin, it transports blood sugar into the cells to provide us with energy to fuel our bodies. With the excess of sugar and simple carbohydrates that are so prevalent in today’s diet, the pancreas has to work harder to produce enough insulin to assimilate the overwhelming load. Over time, the cells simply can not absorb the excess sugar and they shut down - becoming Insulin Resistant. With high levels of insulin constantly coursing through our blood stream we are likely to develop insulin resistance, which makes us prediabetic and can eventually become diabetes.
Once our body becomes insulin resistant, and the cells do not accept the excess sugar, it is forced to clear the glucose from the blood by sending it to the liver where it will be converted to fat and stored for later use - which we typically see around the waistline.
So what can we do about this? We need to control our insulin output and we can do this by changing/addressing the diet and lifestyle habits. These include:
industrialized/highly processed diet;
lack of physical activity in particular, sitting too much;
sleep deprivation or just sleep issues;
a disrupted gut microbiota.
Use these tips to help get you on the right path:
Start with your diet first which should include a whole food, nutrient dense diet that contains adequate proteins, quality fats and vegetables.
Eliminate ALL refined sugar and flour
Best never to eat carbohydrates alone, as the carbs are what increases your body’s insulin and starts you back on the insulin roller coaster
Make sure you are adequately hydrated
Support liver function as this is a helper organ in supporting blood sugar and energy production in the form of glucagon
Exercise on most days
Get up and move from your desk every hour
Work on sleep hygiene
Reduce your stressors
Reduce your toxic exposure by evaluating where they may be creeping into your life - fluoride, chlorine, plastics, pesticides, GMO foods, industrial seed oils, etc.
A disrupted microbiome can also lead to blood sugar issues. Studies have shown that many with type 2 diabetes have lost beneficial bacterial strains that help digest dietary fiber and produce butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid which plays a key role in the body’s natural ability to signal insulin production and helps to stabilize blood glucose levels in the body.