The terms “glycemic index”, “blood sugar imbalance” and “insulin resistance” are often thrown around on the internet, but what the heck do they actually mean? And furthermore, how do they impact my period, hormones and fertility?
I see this question a lot.
The answer depends on a number of factors: Diet, lifestyle, where you live, your relationships, etc etc etc.
The one thing that I have had incredible success with for my clients is blood sugar regulation.
What Is Blood Sugar Regulation?
Blood sugar regulation is the same as blood sugar balancing. It means eating in a way that allows you to step off the blood sugar roller coaster (where your blood sugar and insulin spikes and crashes continuously), and onto a level playing field where your blood sugar and insulin stay stable (at least most of the time).
Symptoms of Unbalanced Blood Sugar
- Crazy energy highs and crashes
- Sugar & caffeine cravings
- Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
- Trouble waking up in the morning
- Moodiness – you’re happy one moment then melting down for no apparent reason
- Anxiety or panic
Symptoms of Balanced Blood Sugar
- Consistent energy throughout the day
- Minimal to no cravings for the “sugar”
- Ability to fall asleep and actually stay asleep
- Wake up with energy for the day ahead
- Stable moods
- Less or no physical pain – especially period cramps
To address the issues above it is important to balance blood sugar
How Does Blood Sugar Affect Our Hormones?
It all starts with eating foods that cause a big fat spike in your blood sugar. Y’all know the culprits but here they are again – all kinds of sugary treats), bread, pasta, and even some high sugar fruit like mango and pineapple.
Your blood sugar goes up and your pancreas responds by releasing insulin to move that sugar into your cells so you have energy to do all you do.
A consistent excess of insulin in your body is where the problems begin. Insulin is a powerful hormone that’s not to be messed with, and if it is out of whack, other hormones will be out of whack too.
When insulin levels go up, so do cortisol (the stress hormone) levels. Cortisol competes with progesterone for the same receptors. Unfortunately cortisol always wins this fight. So, progesterone often goes down, eventually leaving you in a state of progesterone deficiency or estrogen dominance – think PMS, PCOS, Endometriosis, Fibroids, heavy and painful periods, migraines, depression, anxiety, acne…and the list goes on.
As if that’s not bad enough, there are insulin receptors on the ovaries so excess insulin causes the ovaries to produce more testosterone rather than the normal estradiol and estrone they usually make.
This excess testosterone can cause your ovaries to malfunction, which can lead to sporadic ovulation or lack of ovulation. Think PCOS and all the symptoms that come with it, irregular periods, and Amenorrhea (no period for three or more months).
High insulin also lowers Sex Hormone Binding Globulin. SHBG binds up testosterone so that it’s not all available at once. When SHBG goes down, it allows more free testosterone into the bloodstream and this can trigger even more issues.
So as you can see, just about every cell in your body is affected by too much insulin. This link between too much insulin and your sex hormones, is why hormonal imbalances always improve when you eat to stabilize your blood sugar.
If you want to test your hormone levels, my go-to test is a HTMA, coupled with a specific blood test.
By the way, it’s not just your hormones, but your overall health too!
Research suggests that your immune system is depressed for a full 5 hours after consumption of refined sugar. I used to wonder why I was sick all the time – eventually I figured out my diet had something to do with it!
Eating to stabilize your blood sugar is the #1 step to balancing your hormones naturally
Eating to stabilize your blood sugar is where it’s at and if you’re ready to start feeling good in your body again, then I recommend you considerthe following steps each morning to set you up for balanced blood sugar throughout the day.
Easy Steps To Balance Your Blood Sugar
Wake up –
- Do drink 8-10oz of water (preferably filtered). You can squeeze some fresh lemon juice into it if you want.
- Don’t drink caffeine before breakfast!
Within 60 minutes of waking up –
- Do eat a protein-rich breakfast to set you up for stable blood sugar throughout the day. Think eggs, greens, chicken sausage, sweet potatoes, oatmeal with nuts and seeds, a smoothie with protein powder and healthy fats (avocado, coconut butter).
- Don’t eat high-carb foods like bagels, bread, cereal or anything sugary, including juice.
Other helpful tips:
Make sure you include protein, complex carbs, healthy fats and fiber in each meal you consume.
Eat in a calm environment – sit down and chew your food well
You should feel full and satisfied for about 4-6 hours after you’ve eaten.
If you feel hungry sooner, then have a small snack immediately to avoid any blood sugar crashes.
You should not crave sweets or sugar after you have eaten and you should feel energized, not tired.
With a HTMA & blood test we’ll assess how your body is handling blood sugar at a cellular level and also your hormones, inflammatory process and it’s root cause.
For more information contact me at the clinic @ 086 1623683 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
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