Glucose, better known as sugar, is one of the most highly-favored fuel sources for the body and brain. Although its primary role is to provide energy, your body also uses it to create neurotransmitters that are essential for pleasure, contentment and happiness. However, as necessary as glucose is, it is possible to have too much or too little. Improper consumption of carbohydrates tends to cause unstable blood sugar levels, which can lead to a wide variety of problems in your everyday life. What’s worse is that you might not even realize what’s going on.
Symptoms Blood Sugar Imbalance
The most common form of blood sugar imbalance is hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. However, it is also possible to suffer from high blood sugar levels. Here’s how you can tell when there’s a problem.
What Causes Unstable Blood Sugar Levels?
The chief cause of unstable blood sugar is poor diet. What you eat, when you eat and how you eat all factor into what happens with your blood glucose levels. When you consume an excessive amount of carbohydrates, especially refined ones, they tend to enter your bloodstream very rapidly. This leads to an enormous spike in blood glucose, which in turn causes an equally massive release of insulin. Sometimes, this insulin rush can be large enough to drive blood sugar too low. Here are some of the things that are most likely to upset your blood sugar.
Do you regularly consume soft drinks, sweetened coffee or tea, pastries or other foods that are loaded with sugar and white flour? Then you are at a high risk for blood sugar problems. According to statistics, the average person consumes at least 156 pounds of sugar annually. That’s a little under half a pound per day! This has lead to the widespread epidemic of obesity, as well as diabetes and its accompanying medical complications.
Even if they’re whole grain, carbohydrates are carbohydrates and they are still easily absorbed into your body unless you have eaten something more substantial to buffer them. For that reason, it’s important to only eat carbs with protein-rich foods. Because protein is more slowly digested, the carb-dense foods will also take longer, resulting in a much more controlled release into the bloodstream.
Certain drugs, such as alcohol and marijuana, can severely upset the delicate balance of your blood glucose levels. Researchers now believe that the increase in appetite that is so common with marijuana use is actually caused by a dive in blood sugar. Alcohol is a bit more complicated. Although it can initially help prevent the blood sugar spikes caused by eating carbohydrate-rich foods, the subsequent hangover and withdrawal causes blood glucose levels to crash.
Many people skip meals, whether it’s from trying save time in the mornings, a lack of energy to prepare meals, attempting to cram more work into a day or just trying to watch their figure. Unfortunately, there is never a truly good reason to skip meals. Eating regularly is part of what keeps blood sugar in balance, so skipping meals can lead to dips in glucose levels.
Clearly, keeping your blood sugar levels in check is an important part of staying healthy. To achieve this, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet. Don’t abuse drugs and alcohol, always consume carbohydrate-rich foods with protein sources and don’t skip meals for any reason. In addition, it is strongly recommended that you avoid refined carbohydrates in all of their forms if you want to prevent potentially serious problems in the future.
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