29 July 2021
Why is balancing blood sugar levels essential for health, especially in Hashimoto’s disease?
Balancing blood sugar with Hashiona app
Balancing blood sugar is not always easy. One way to control Hashimoto’s disease is regulating your blood sugar levels, as fluctuations in blood sugar can affect thyroid function and therefore your wellbeing. Insulin resistance is a condition that co-occurs with Hashimoto’s disease. To find out more, read the article.
What does blood sugar level imbalance mean?
Glucose is a source of energy for cells, which is transported through the blood. It comes from the food that is absorbed in the small intestine after being digested. The appearance of glucose in the blood stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that transports glucose to the cells that need it. A diet high in calories and sugar can lead to excessive insulin secretion, which can result in the development of blood sugar imbalances. These include insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. It is manifested in fatigue and lethargy especially after the meal, difficulties in reducing excessive body mass or impaired concentration. The lack of characteristic symptoms makes the diagnosis of blood sugar imbalance difficult.
How does it affect Hashimoto’s disease?
People with Hashimoto’s disease are more likely to have impaired carbohydrate tolerance. A diet full of processed products containing sugar, leads to increased secretion of insulin. In the long term this may result in developing insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. Both these conditions manifest themselves in inflammation, which may intensify Hashimoto’s disease symptoms.
Balancing blood sugar in an effective way
Blood sugar imbalances usually accompany Hashimoto’s disease. Signs of high blood sugar include: frequent bouts of hunger, swelling, frequent urination, constant cravings and difficulty in reducing body weight. Symptoms of low blood sugar levels or so called hypoglycemia may be dizziness, irritability, brain fog, impaired concentration, and the desire to snack constantly to raise blood sugar levels.
Conditions accompanied by abnormal blood sugar levels Type 2 diabetes
This disease develops as a result of long-term tissue resistance to insulin. It is cured with medications reducing the glucose concentration in the blood and sensitizing cells to insulin.
The symptoms characteristic of metabolic syndrome include: obesity, hypertension, elevated triglycerides, low LDL and insulin resistance. This increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.
PCOS in women:
Symptoms of PCOS include excessive hair loss (so-called male pattern baldness), acne, irregular menstrual periods, ovulation disorders (only some cycles are ovulatory or no ovulatory cycles) or polycystic ovaries on ultrasound. The co-occurrence of some of these indicates the development of polycystic ovary syndrome.
How can lifestyle changes improve blood sugar regulation?
Some changes in your lifestyle can help to maintain normal blood sugar levels. One of them is implementing more physical activity of moderate intensity. It sensitises the cells to insulin, which is present in too high concentrations in the blood when carbohydrate metabolism is disordered. What is more, physical activity will also have a positive effect on the work of the thyroid gland, accelerating the rate of metabolism.
However, too intense physical activity will not affect your health positively. Intense training overloads your organism which is manifested by the release of cortisol – one of the stress hormones. This leads to an increase in the concentration of sugar in the blood, thus disrupting its physiological concentration. Excessive physical activity will also be a stressor for our thyroid gland functioning.
That’s why, moderate physical activity of up to 30 minutes a day, at a pace enabling a conversation and an adequate regeneration after workout will help to prevent the negative effect of increased exertion. This will improve your health.
Follow a proper diet to balance sugar levels
It’s a good idea to start learning about the glycemic index of the food. This will help you determine how fast the glucose from your food will be released into your blood. Choose foods with a GI below 55, such as meat, nuts, non-starchy vegetables, seeds and whole grain cereals.
How to follow a diet that balances blood sugar levels?
One of the most important rules is the regular meals, maximum every 3-4 hours. What’s important, each snack is a meal to our organism as it increases insulin levels in the blood. That’s why it is best to focus on balanced and well composed meals.
You don’t have to eliminate carbohydrates in the diet that helps to stabilise blood sugar levels. You just need to compose them properly along with sources of protein or fats.
What products can help? It may be berberine, which has a similar effect to metformin, sensitising the cells to insulin and thus lowering its levels in the blood. Vitamin C, found in red pepper or green leafy vegetables. What is more, it is worth taking care of vitamin D supplementation, especially during autumn and winter.
Foods perfect for balancing sugars
When composing meals with carbohydrate intolerance disorders, consider choosing sources of carbohydrates with a low and medium glycemic index. Include sources of protein and good sources of fat.
Want to achieve an optimal blood sugar level?
In conclusion the first thing to concentrate on is consuming products with a low glycaemic index. Include it permanently in your menu, keeping in mind the nutrients as well. As a result you will get the best results.
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- Wilcox G., Insulin and Insulin resistance, Clin Biochem Rev. 2005 May; 26(2): 19–39