According to many authorities today, blood sugar problems, especially low blood sugar, are near epidemic proportions. At times most people have vulnerability to a blood sugar swing. With the incredible increase in refined sugars, chemical additives, drugs (both legal and illegal), alcohol and fast foods in today's fast paced society, it is quite easy to understand why blood sugar problems are on the rise.
Couple this with the fact that most doctors today do not address, the blood sugar imbalance, either through proper testing or treatment, but rather, treat the symptoms caused by the imbalance. The symptoms are mostly treated with medications, which adds a greater stress on the body. The true cause, blood sugar imbalance, becomes even more imbalanced. Secondly, as long as the symptoms are hidden by medications, the condition continues to worsen without the patient being aware of it.
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There are a vast array of symptoms caused by blood sugar imbalances, which demonstrates the importance of blood sugar balance to all parts of the body. Some of the most obvious symptoms that occur are:
- Lightheadedness when standing
- Ringing in the ears
- Mood swings
- Craving of sweets
- Mid-day fatigue
- Difficulty sleeping at night
- General lethargy
- Heart palpitations
- Upper respiratory infections
These symptoms are rather common but are, more often than not, misdiagnosed and treated with medication, adding to the number of disgruntled patients with a medical story to tell.
The blood sugar system is a highly intricate system that is well integrated with the nervous system and the hormonal system. The purpose of this section is to provide useful and relevant information to readers to better understand the why's and what to do's. This section is in no way intended to be a complete and thorough explanation of the detailed blood sugar system in action.
The PancreasThere are primary organs involved with keeping a balanced blood sugar level. The first, and probably most important organ, is the pancreas. The pancreas has a job of keeping the blood sugar levels from going too high. As you ingest foods that break down into sugar and the blood sugar levels begin to increase, the pancreas slowly releases insulin, which helps to bring the sugar levels back to normal levels. This action begins within the first half hour of eating, with the highest level of blood sugar taking place at about the 2nd or 3rd hour after eating.
The LiverThe next organ that is involved in sugar levels is the liver. The liver has literally hundreds of functions that take place throughout the day. One of them is to store sugar so that the body doesn't have to manufacture sugar every time there is a need, but can call on the sugar storage centers to withdraw whatever is needed. Along with the muscles, the liver controls sugar storage and periodic release to keep sugar levels where they belong. As a person ages, eats foods that are congestive and chemically laced, and practices poor lifestyle habits the liver function worsens, and all systems of the body that require proper liver participation are compromised.
The Adrenal GlandsThe next important set of glands is the adrenal glands. For anyone who is not aware of the adrenal glands, they are the glands that handle much of the stresses in your body. Whenever the body undergoes higher levels of stress, the adrenals produce the necessary hormones and releases them into the system to strengthen the system whenever necessary.
A person's constitutional health is determined during their mother's 9 months of pregnancy. The adrenal glands are probably most vulnerable to the stresses a mother may experience while pregnant. It is not uncommon for a pregnant mother to go through the first, second and even third stage of exhaustion while pregnant, totally exhausting her adrenal glands. Full grown fetal adrenal glands, which reach full maturity before any other organs or glands, can also provide support to the exhausted mother if needed, but can leave the fetus in the 1st, 2nd or even 3rd stage of exhaustion when born. This is one reason a child may be so susceptible to fevers, upper respiratory infections, earaches, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, etc. while growing up.
While these kids are treated with antibiotics, ritalin, tubes in the ears and a myriad of other chemicals and surgeries, the "establishment" is missing the true cause of the condition--an adrenal gland weakness syndrome in the child.
Blood Sugar Stages | Blood Sugar Ranges
There are varying opinions as to what the normal blood sugar ranges are. There are conservative ranges and not-so conservative ranges. By using the conservative ranges, a person can only improve more, as liberal ranges will sometimes allow an individual to not feel the same motivation with regard to lifestyle and dietary improvements. For that reason, we will use the conservative ranges.
- Fasting Blood Sugar (75-125)
- 3 Hours after Sugar Intake (120-160)
- 5 Hours after Sugar Intake (75-120)
There are basically 4 stages of blood sugar involvement:
- Normal Normal blood sugar 75 -130
- Hypoglycemia Low Blood Sugar below 65
- Dysinsulinism Low and High Blood Sugar Above 160 and below 65
- Diabetes High Blood Sugar Above 160
Normal Blood Sugar
A normal fasting blood sugar level is usually somewhere between 75 mg and 80 mg per 100 ml. Under the assumption that the typical individual eats 3 meals per day at 8 AM, 12 PM and 6PM, the normal cycle consists of the following:
Upon arising, the body is in need of replenishing the sugar storage centers, and a person will eat breakfast. Once eaten, the sugar levels immediately begin to rise, up to as much as 140-160 mg. per 100 ml. within the first 3 hours. At this point, the pancreas has released appropriate levels of insulin, lowering the blood sugar levels. As the levels begin to drop, the adrenal glands are on standby, as sometimes the levels drop too quickly, or the individual is late at eating the next meal, and a hormone is released which will trigger a release of sugar from the sugar storage centers (primarily the liver) to keep the levels from going below the normal low level. At this point, the body begins to require more food consumption, and this is just about as the clock is striking 12:00 noon. The cycle then repeats itself, and so on. Ideally, this would happen for about 100 years, but, unfortunately, that's not the way it happens for most.
This is a stage that occurs in many, many younger people, but is unfortunately misdiagnosed too often. The diets of today, which are high in refined sugar and drugs, predispose people to weaknesses in their blood sugar systems, with the first signs and symptoms falling under the heading of hypoglycemia.
In this country, the average American consumes approximately 140 pounds of refined sugar per year. This averages out to about 22 pounds per month or 5 pounds per week. If you could imagine eating a 5 pound bag of Domino sugar, every week of your life, you might begin to get the picture that your body is consuming an awful lot of sugar. The human body is capable of digesting sugars, but "sugars" refers to those sugars which appear naturally in society. Fruits, vegetables and grains are the refined carbohydrates mother nature was referring to. But, somewhere along the way, white sugar and all of the chemicals snuck into our diets. And, you remember--"You can't fool Mother Nature!". Well, that's where hypoglycemia comes in.
With the increased ingestion of white sugars, the pancreas' have become more sensitive, since it is being called on to work too frequently. This sensitivity produces a gradual weakening of the pancreas and causes an elevation of concentration of the insulin that is released. This elevation forces a greater "drop" in blood sugar, and calls upon the adrenal glands to work harder to prevent the sugar levels from dropping below the normal low levels. As the adrenals begin to fatigue, the low levels become gradually lower, and the symptomatic picture becomes more and more involved. As the symptoms become more obvious, the average individual will seek help medically, and in most cases, will receive symptomatic treatment. Unfortunately, this solves the short term but adds fuel to the fire for the long term, as drugs add to adrenal fatigue, which promotes the symptoms.
This stage of the condition can drive people to the brink of depression, as most doctors won't look for, therefore, won't find, this drop in blood sugar. In most cases, the proper testing is never done, therefore, the true problem is never found. In order to accurately diagnose this condition, a 5 hour Glucose Tolerance Test is needed. Doctors will not routinely do this test, as the correction is basically nutritional, and most doctors are not trained to treat nutritional problems. The most common tests, if done at all, will be a 2 hour post prandial, which will only show an elevation in blood sugar, and is not relevant in this stage.
When going through this test, it is not uncommon for a person to experience the same symptoms that brought them to be tested at about the 3rd or 4th hour. If this is the case, you can stop the testing, as this is a clear indicator what the problem is. Always be prepared with orange juice or some fruit just in case the symptoms become overbearing. Once a person has taken any form of nutrition, the test is over. But, more importantly, the patient lived. And the conclusion is that the blood sugar system has a weakness that must be addressed.
This is that stage of the condition that is most disturbing to the treating doctor, as the patient has stages of hypoglycemia (low sugar) and hyperglycemia (high sugar). The symptoms are different during both stages, and unless the doc is experienced, he or she will usually refer the patient out, as it's too complex a situation to deal with.
As the pancreas is continually overworked, the blood sugar levels have to elevate higher and higher before insulin is released into the system. As the levels of blood sugar rise, the patient many times will rise into the diabetic stage, but the pancreas is still working. It just requires a higher blood sugar level to stimulate it to release insulin. But then, when it does release insulin, it's a concentrated form, and with weak adrenal glands, the blood sugar levels now drop to all time lows during the 4th and 5th hours. What a mess. But, believe it or not, there's still hope for the person willing to "pay the price".
What adds severe insult to injury is when the treating doctor sees high blood sugar symptoms, sends the patient in for a 2 hour post-prandial or 3 hour Glucose Tolerance Test, and sees high blood sugar as the cause. (If they had done the 5 hour test, they would have also seen the severe plummet of blood sugar in the 4th and 5th hours, recognizing the dysinsulinism).
The treatment then becomes either insulin by injection, or an oral medication, which lowers blood sugar. But, what happens when this patient takes a medication to lower the blood sugar, and the body happens to be going into a low blood sugar stage on its own? You can probably guess--Insulin shock, or some derivative of it. Believe me, it's not good. This is one more reason that the 5 hour GTT is recommended.
This is the stage that occurs when the true cause has been totally ignored. The pancreas has become totally fatigued (dead), and the blood sugar rises and there is no way for it to come down. This is when insulin injections usually are recommended. Despite the fact that nutritional recommendations should definitely still be made at this time, the condition has truly worsened to a point beyond total repair.
In 1900, before the industrial revolution, Diabetes was the 37th leading cause of death in this country. Today, it's the third leading cause of death, 2nd leading cause of blindness and 2nd leading cause of amputations. Modern medicine claims to have a total handle on the condition, but statistics prove otherwise. Why wait until it's too late? Stage 4 is too late! Begin now to make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes.
Remember, pay now or pay later. The one constant is--you will pay before it's all said and done.
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