NaturalNewsBlogs Stop riding the hormonal roller coaster
The hormonal roller coasterride,
otherwise known as hypoglycemia is probably one of the most widespread
disorders in America and the civilized nations today.
It is not a disease as such,
but rather a symptom that arises from a wide range of hormonal abnormalities
and imbalances reflecting the irregular function of many glands and organs.
Unfortunately, it often goes
undiagnosed and its multitude of symptoms are frequently labeled as emotional
or psychological in origin. The symptoms are usually episodic, being related to
the time and content of the previous meal and are usually improved by eating.
Symptoms include nervousness,
irritability, emotional problems, fatigue, depression, craving sweets,
inability to concentrate, cold sweats, shakes, palpitations, tingling of the
skin and scalp, dizziness, trembling, fainting, blurred vision, cold
extremities, nausea, midmorning and mid-to-late afternoon tiredness, anxiety,
indecisiveness, crying spells, allergies, convulsions, and hyperactivity, for
To understand hypoglycemia a
bit better a little psychological background is essential.
The body needs a steady
supply of readily available energy to function. This energy is derived from
food primarily in the form of complex carbohydrates, which are converted into
their simplest common denominator, glucose, in the process of digestion.
Glucose is essential for all
bodily activity and is especially necessary for the function of the nervous
system and brain, which responds drastically to abnormal variations of the
blood glucose level (BGL).
Normally, the BGL is kept
within a very narrow range variation by various hormones, which respond rapidly
to slightest of changes. Insulin from the pancreas is released when glucose
enters the blood from digested food, lowering the BGL to its normal range. The
sugar is then stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen, or
converted to fat for later use. Cortisol and growth hormone counterbalance the
insulin action. If any of these hormones are secreted too rapidly or too slowly
an imbalance of the BGL can occur.
If the blood glucose level
rises above normal, or if glucose is delivered to the blood too rapidly, as it
is following a meal of refined carbohydrates and/or excess sweets, the body
deals with the excess in two ways.
One, it initiates a sudden
burst of insulin to counteract what the body perceives as a very dangerous
imbalance, and two, it also begins to convert the excess glucose in certain
“glucose-insensitive cells” that are found in the eye, kidney, myelinated
nerves, and red blood cells, first into fructose and then sorbitol.
Why this is important is
since both fructose and sorbitol are relatively insoluble within the cell and
tend to crystallize out, leading to cataract formation in the eye, bottom
membrane thickening in the kidney, damage to nerves, and altered
oxygen-carrying capacity in red blood cells. This sorbitol pathway is initiated
each time the blood glucose levels rise rapidly on the glucose rollercoaster
ride that hypoglycemics ride every day.
In some cases of hypoglycemia
insulin is often secreted in excess, lowering the BGL too far and too fast.
This is often called hyperinsulinism.
The most commonly involved
glands are the adrenals, pancreas, and liver. In some cases of hyperinsulinism,
normal levels of insulin will appear but a reduced sensitivity to insulin will
manifest. The result will be a pre-diabetes type of glucose metabolism where sugar
levels remain elevated for a prolonged period and then fall below normal
The two most significant
factors of hypoglycemia in the Western world are diet and stress. The SAD
(Standard American Diet) is literally a prescription for hypoglycemia, with its
common foods like white bread, refined grains, liquid fat, chicken’s periods, sugar,
soda, and coffee.
Sugar and refined carbs are
absorbed very quickly into the bloodstream, as they require little digestion
due to the stripping of their protein and fiber in the refining process.
This rapid increase in the
BGL causes the pancreas to become hypersensitive to sugar. In time the pancreas
learns to secrete very large amounts of insulin in response to the rise of the
BGL, causing a rapid lowering of insulin in response to the rise in BGL. This
then causes a speedy lowering, below normal, of the BGL.
During this low period the
symptoms of hypoglycemia manifest due to the deficiency of glucose supply to
the brain and the resulting adrenal shock response. The adrenals recognize the
low sugar level as an acute danger and effect an immediate and appropriate
response. In time the adrenals become overstressed by these up-down emergencies
and lose their ability to adequately cope with the situation.
One problem is that most
people are clueless about excess white sugar, not only being a refined
carbohydrate that can cause disinsulinism leading to hypoglycemia, but excess
honey, maple syrup, fruit, fruit juice, dried fruit, and even vegetable juice
will create such a quick rise in BGL, that pancreatic hypersensitivity will
Stress also plays a major
role via the adrenals since stress is also recognized by the adrenals as an
emergency situation triggering similar responses, once again overburdening the
To further aggravate the situation,
stress depletes vitamin B complex, which is essential for metabolism of
carbohydrates, and vitamin C, both of which are necessary for proper adrenal
function. With the carbs being stripped of vitamin B complex, now we need a
vitamin b complex for utilization.
So, now we go from the
rollercoaster to the merry-go-round because coffee stimulates the adrenals,
mobilizing the body’s energy reserves in the liver and muscles removing the
body’s fail-safe mechanism to keep the BGl in balance by further abusing the
To get out of the amusement
park the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment of hypoglycemia should
never be underestimated.
Way back when, hypoglycemia
was always considered a non-disease. Some MDs said that the label “hypoglycemia”
was too often used for any emotional problems that walked into their office.
As times changed and brains
began to work, hypoglycemia has clearly been associated with physical, mental,
and emotional disorders, including hyperactivity, schizophrenia, anti-social
behavior, criminal personalities, drug addiction, impotency, alcoholism,
epilepsy, asthma, allergies, ulcers, and arthritis.
In fact, there should be as
much attention placed on preventing and treating hypoglycemia as has been
placed on diabetes because the two disorders are often manifestations of a
similar endocrine imbalance, due to the same causes.
Back in the 60s, the
seriousness of hypoglycemia was pooh-poohed. Often an MD would recommend a
candy bar when someone complained of weakness. Welcome to the rollercoaster.
The short-term solution for the cause of the problem in the first place.
Basically, the solution is to
remove the initial causes and reestablish the normal hormonal controlling
mechanisms. Problem: once the pancreas has been hypersensitive to sugar over a
long period of time, complete recovery is not always possible. But, it can be
kept under control with a change in diet and lifestyle keeping the symptoms
under control and repressed. But, go back and back come the aggravating
What is needed is a diet of
high-fiber complex carbohydrates – whole wheat bread free of sugar and high-
fructose-corn-syrup, quinoa (a complete protein grain), brown rice, buckwheat,
millet, etc., adding legumes or organic soy products for protein. With this,
digestion will be slower.
Dried fruit, fruit, fruit
juices, and fresh vegetable juices are all rapidly absorbable but should be
consumed in moderation. When eating fruit, it’s best to be taken with some
protein in the form of nuts or seeds.
Other great foods are non-GMO
oatmeal (if you can find it), unsweetened granola, brewer’s yeast (B complex),
rice milk, spirulina, avocado, fresh raw salads, baked potatoes, baked sweet
potatoes, steamed cruciferous vegetables, or lightly sautéed, bran, chia seeds,
onions, organic coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and apple cider vinegar.
Recommended fruits are
papaya, apples, grapefruit, oranges, bananas in moderation and fresh berries.
Stay away from alcohol,
coffee and cigarettes. Also, avoid dates, figs, plums, and grapes as they are
just too sweet.