By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Did you know that blood sugar imbalances are one of the biggest stressors on your endocrine system?
If you are suffering from any type of hormonal imbalance, whether it be hypothyroidism, PMS, menopause or even fatigue and weight gain, your blood sugar needs to be addressed. Blood sugar issues are almost guaranteed to be a foundational part of the problem of any hormonal problem. Every time your blood sugar ebbs and flow up and down, your adrenals and pancreas have to come to the rescue. When your blood sugar goes up, your pancreas has to produce insulin to help lower your blood sugar. While at the opposite end, your adrenals have to spit out adrenaline and cortisol to bring your blood sugar back up. Oh, and did I mention, when cortisol goes out of balance, it causes belly fat!
The more your blood sugar handling system is stressed, it predisposes your body to hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue!
The typical pattern tends to be..
Eat a meal with excess refined carbohydrate, your blood sugar spikes very high. Your body responds by producing a whole bunch insulin to knock that blood sugar down! The pancreas overshot, and produced too much insulin. Now our blood sugar is super-low, we may start to feel anxious, jittery, and craving lots of sugar and sweets. The next thing we do is eat more find carbohydrate and start the cycle all over again. This is the cycle of death that is common with most patients that have hormonal issues. It may not quite be quite so blatant for most people, but at some level it is happening and it’s very addicting!
Low blood sugar really makes you stupid!
When blood sugar drops (hypoglycemia), your body also increases production of an excitotoxin called glutamate. The combination of low blood sugar and high levels of glutamate, decrease the activation of the frontal cortex. The frontal cortex is the part of our brain that allows us to have higher levels of thinking and brain function; It differentiates us from almost all other mammals. When we lose activation to our frontal cortex, it’s common for us to make stupid decisions, act irrational and eat more unhealthy food. When we eat poorly, we literally lose our brain, and it’s so easy for this vicious cycle to perpetuate itself again and again and again (1).
The same type of excitotoxin response can happen when you consume aspartame, food dyes and MSG. Avoiding these food additives can have a tremendous effect on lowering your glutamate levels and thus, not allowing you to use your frontal cortex as efficiently. If it’s your goal to perform at the highest level, you want to make sure you are using your head!
Excitotoxins also excite your brain neurons to death, another great reason why you want to avoid them.
If you’re having hormonal issues, one of the best things you can do is to stabilize your blood sugar. Eating high-quality protein and fat first thing in the morning, with in the first 30 to 60 minutes of waking is very helpful. The more your blood sugar stable, the more your endocrine glands can focus on helping you have energy and healthy sex hormone balance.