(low blood sugar)
If you have an energy dip most days in the afternoon, you might be hypoglycemic. Most people are acquainted with diabetes (high blood sugar) but few are educated about hypoglycemia. Even the medical profession does not seem to understand or give this condition the attention that it demands.
For example, about 10 months ago a woman brought her 13 year old daughter who was complaining of morning headaches, sluggishness and depression. The medical answer was Prozac a mind and mood altering drug.
Within 1 week the child's symptoms totally disappeared. It angers me to think that if it were not for an alternative health regimen, this child's fate would have been to take a chemical into her system which can be addictive and in my opinion dangerous.
Many different factors can contribute to hypoglycemia (hypo means "low" and glycemia means "sugar"). The symptoms, too, can be diverse.
Usually when someone eats food composed of sugars (including simple sugars as in carbohydrates) a properly functioning adrenal gland interacts with the pancreas, which then secretes insulin to balance the sugar level in the blood.
If the adrenal gland is sluggish, the pancreas will be in a hyper state which then produces too much insulin causing the blood sugar level to be too low.
Many hypoglycemic's suffer from a roller coaster energy level throughout the day. The cycle usually starts in the morning when they wake up feeling sluggish (possibly draggin' butt) accompanied possibly by headache or depression. This happens in the morning to them because they haven't eaten all night and the sugar level is low.
Shortly after they eat, they feel better and get an energy spurt then the pancreas kicks in and overproduces insulin which causes a dip right before they eat lunch.
Again after lunch they get a small spurt of energy which then is squelched by the overcompensating of the pancreas which causes an mid afternoon dip. After supper, however, they get a second wind. When the sugar levels start to go down, they then go to sleep usually very late at night and the whole cycle starts over again the next morning.
Since the brain and nervous system needs a constant level of sugar to function properly, symptoms of hypoglycemia usually affects these two areas first.
Most common symptoms
Less common symptoms:
Chronic low blood sugar can contribute to permanent brain dysfunction and should not be taken lightly.
Although the pancreas is associated with this condition, many contributing factors can come into play.
The thyroid hormone, thyroxin, stimulates the liver to slowly release sugar into the blood stream. If there is a demand for more energy, the adrenal glands stimulate the liver to release sugar for fuel. Any weakness in the chain can cause an abnormal blood sugar level.
When there is a high level of sugar in the blood, the pancreas is to release a proportionate amount of insulin to normalize the sugar level. If the pancreas is stressed, it will over release insulin causing the sugar level to dip too low.
There are things to avoid to help prevent this viscous cycle. Caffeine, stress, milk, alcohol, medications, steroids, hormones in meats, processed foods, etc.
Many people think they are doing themselves a favor by using artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, but they aren't.
Sugar should also be avoided because it only temporarily and artificially raises the blood's sugar levels. This causes the pancreas to produce too much insulin which in effect drastically drops the blood's sugar level.
Chromium is essential for glucose transportation from blood to cells and in the utilization of insulin. GTF Chromium is suggested for maximum absorption because it is chelated to a more stable part of niacin.
Many people also include pantothenic acid (B-5) especially if they tend to stay up late at night, but find it hard to get up out of bed in the morning. Another symptom of B-5 deficiency is a mid-afternoon energy dip.
Licorice root or HY-A or HY-C are suggested for hypoglycemia because it raises the blood's sugar level without stimulating the production of insulin.
I suggest eating a small amount of protein for breakfast and avoid carbohydrates. Proteins are digested and released more slowly into the bloodstream which helps the roller coaster blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates are digested quickly put high levels of sugar in the body which can cause hyper-insulinism
The energy dips of a hypoglycemic can be quite dramatic. As a matter of fact one study showed that 80 to 85% of all criminals are hypoglycemic. And don't let us forget the twinkie defense. Most hypoglycemic's will not turn to violence but most of them ,if not put under control, will feel lousy and can develop adrenal diseases of diabetes.
There is an excellent booklet that I highly recommend called "HYPOGLYCEMIA: A NUTRITIONAL APPROACH" by Louise Tenny. I believe anyone who has low blood sugar will find it helpful.
Since the time I wrote this article, I have learned more about and worked more with this condition. I have noticed that at least half and probably closer to 3/4 of all people with hypoglycemia have major liver involvement.
The reason is that when your blood sugar drops, the adrenal glands should tell the liver to release the sugar that is stored (one of the functions of the liver), a weak or toxic liver, it appears does not release the needed sugar.
If you have any accompanying symptoms mentioned, I would also work on the liver.
If you experience any of these I suggest you do a liver flush and taking an herbal combination called Liver Cleanse (Formally LIV-A) with the above mentioned herbs.
To illustrate what a profound difference this can be. I know of 3 people getting off insulin after they worked on the health of their liver.
I also took a class where the gentleman says that 75% of diabetes and hypoglycemia is caused by the liver.
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