Are you hypoglycaemic?

Use these simple questions to assess your blood sugar control:
Do you crave sweets?
Irritable if a meal is missed?
Feel tired or weak if a meal is missed?
Dizziness when standing quickly?
Frequent headaches?
Poor memory (forgetful) or concentration?
Feel tired an hour or so after eating?
Heart palpitations?
Feel shaky at times?
Afternoon fatigue?
Vision blurs on occasion?
Depression or mood swings?
Frequently anxious or nervous?
If you have answered yes to more than 5 of the above questions, you may benefit from making some changes to your foods or lifestyle.
Your body requires the blood glucose level to be kept in constant balance. Refined foods, such as white bread, pasta and rice, and stimulants like coffee and alcohol, release glucose quickly in to the bloodstream.  These foods give a burst of energy but it’s short-lived as the body will very promptly release insulin to lower the blood sugar level. As blood sugar levels drop, you will experience an energy low which will have you reaching for the coffee or chocolate – thereby promoting the roller coaster of energy highs and lows associated with a blood sugar imbalance. This is linked with mood swings, headaches or migraines, feeling tired, dizziness, weight gain, PMS and could eventually lead to insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and ultimately type 2 diabetes.
Hypoglycaemia is not a disease, it’s a complex set of symptoms caused by faulty carbohydrate metabolism – brought about by an inappropriate diet.
To help control blood sugar levels, my dietary recommendations would include eating regularly, choose whole grain brown rice, whole meal bread and whole wheat pasta. Increase veggies, lentils and pulses in your daily food intake – they are rich in fibre which helps balance blood sugar (as well as keeping your bowels healthy!) and choose fruit options of apples, pears, plums and berries as they are lower in sugar than tropical fruits. Eat oily fish (mackerel, sardines, salmon) at least 3 times a week – the essential fats in the fish may help prevent insulin resistance.  Eat some good quality protein with each meal – lean chicken/turkey, white fish, oily fish, eggs, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, feta, nuts and seeds – protein is difficult to digest so slows the release of glucose from the meal in to the bloodstream. Drink 2 litres of filtered water dailyor for variety, drink diluted fruit or veg juice and herbal teas.
Lifestyle recommendations would include reducing stress and making time to relax – stress hormones promote the release of glucose.  Exercisehas been shown to have significant blood glucose balancing effects – try moderate exercise 3 times a week – a brisk 30 minute walk would count!
Lastly, avoid all simple, processed carbs (white bread, pasta, rice, etc) and alcohol.
If you would like to find out more, or have any specific concerns about your health, feel free to contact me.

Written by

Claudia Williamson Registered Nutritional Therapist DipION, FdSc, mBANT, mCHNC Tunbridge Wells, Kent