Hypoglycemia & Sugar-handling stress
Blood sugar is basically the fuel that runs the body. The nerves and the brain depend upon normal sugar levels to function properly. When blood sugar is out of normal balance, many types of symptoms develop.
There are two conditions of abnormal blood sugar levels that interfere with normal health and can even be life threatening. Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the blood sugar level is too high; hypoglycemia is a condition in which the blood sugar level is too low. The pancreas secretes insulin to lower and use blood sugar; the adrenal glands and pancreas produce hormones to raise the blood sugar level.
Aside from these extremes, abnormal sugar handling means that the blood sugar is not in the serious states just mentioned; nevertheless, it may not be at an optimal level for ideal function.
Your blood sugar level fluctuates throughout the day with your eating and physical activities. As you take in nourishment, especially sugars, the blood sugar level rises; insulin keeps it from going too high and prevents you from becoming a diabetic. As the sugar in the bloodstream is used during physical and mental activity, sugar is released from storage by hormones of the adrenal glands and pancreas. If still more sugar is needed, some other adrenal gland hormones convert fat and protein to sugar. These mechanisms should keep your blood sugar at an ideal functioning level throughout the day and night. Failure to maintain optimal blood sugar levels for the body’s needs may cause many types of symptoms, although a disease process is not present. A person may simply have periods of fatigue, feel weak and shaky, or experience a myriad of other symptoms. Remember that most body tissues depend on blood sugar for their energy, especially the nerves and the brain. Poor blood sugar regulation has many causes. We will discuss the more common ones.
Hyperinsulinism is a condition wherein too much insulin is secreted for the body’s needs; thus the blood sugar level is lowered too far. Foods with high sugar concentration, such as soda pop, candy, pies, and cake, may cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. Some people are sensitive to this rapid change, and excessive insulin is secreted that lowers the blood sugar too far. Unfortunately, the individual then wants more sugar to bring the blood sugar level up again. A vicious circle is started with another insulin response. The proper treatment for hyperinsulinism is to simply avoid eating foods with high concentrations of refined white sugar, and starchy carbohydrates such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta, which rapidly convert into sugar.
Functional hypoadrenia. The adrenal glands are partially responsible for raising the blood sugar level when it is too low. If the blood sugar level is frequently lowered by a condition such as hyperinsulism, the adrenal glands may eventually become depleted and the blood sugar remains low. The adrenal glands can become exhausted for many reasons; primary among them is stress. The adrenal glands are very important in handling stress, and may become overworked.
Malabsorption. A type of hypoglycemia that is caused by lack of normal digestive activity in which food is not absorbed and used properly.
Dietary Inadequacy. Often hypoglycemia is simply the result of inadequate dietary intake. This may happen in weight reduction programs.
The first step is to properly evaluate the body for sugar handling problems. Laboratory tests are used to determine if there is a condition of diabetes or disease-caused hypoglycemia. The more common condition is one of sugar-handling stress. Here laboratory tests are again of value in evaluating the condition. The six-hour glucose tolerance test, used to determine how the body is controlling sugar levels, is a time-honored one; however, it has its limitations. Applied Kinesiology methods evaluate how your muscles function in relation to sugar stimulation in the mouth. Studies have shown immediate physiologic response when the nerve receptors of the mouth are stimulated with sugar. A final diagnosis and determination of optimal treatment are provided by combining all aspects of a patient’s history, diet evaluation, and appropriate physical and laboratory examination.
Sugar handling problems are becoming more and more common because of the refining of foods – especially the high concentration of sugars in different types of food. The use of refined (white) sugar has increased dramatically just in this century. As the use of sugar has increased, diabetes mellitus and hypoglycemia have also increased.
Hypoglycemia and sugar-handling stress are responsible for a wide range of symptoms. Common symptoms are fatigue, headaches, visual disturbances, shortness of breath, dizziness, light bothering the eyes, rheumatoid-type pains, backache, digestive disturbances, loss of libido, allergies, shakiness, and numbness in the arms and legs. Because the nervous system – including the brain – is very dependent on adequate sugar levels, many “nerve” conditions develop. Among these are the inability to think clearly, poor memory, depression, anxiety, moodiness, and even a tendency toward suicide.
Because the symptom complex is so wide and varied among people with hypoglycemia for sugar-handling problems, many doctors do not understand the condition and tend to label the patient “hypochondriac” or “nervous.’ The suffering individual is given tranquilizers, or he is given no answer. Occasionally when hypoglycemia is recognized, a diet to include a larger sugar intake is prescribed. Although this temporarily relieves the symptoms, it ultimately makes the condition worse.
Applied Kinesiology provides an additional dimension to standard diagnostic methods and treatment procedures for hypoglycemia and sugar-handling problems. The doctor knowledgeable in this approach will evaluate the glandular and energy patterns of the body, including the nervous system, using muscle tests. The combination of diagnostic methods helps determine how the body is regulating sugar levels and provides information regarding the treatment needed.
Diet and nutritional support are often used in treating hypoglycemia, and they generally produce good results. It should be remembered, however, that this is only part of the picture. Structural, neurologic, and other energy patterns should be evaluated and treated when indicated.
Some people, because of heredity, are more susceptible to sugar-handling problems than others. When this susceptibility is present, a more rigid dietary regimen and nutritional support may be necessary throughout life. Because of the hereditary nature of these conditions, relatives of those who have hypoglycemia and other sugar-handling problems should also be evaluated.