The importance of correct blood sugar levels
Insulin and glucagon are pancreatic hormones. In order for ingested glucose to be stored or used by the cells of the body, insulin is required. In order for stored glucose to be utilised, glucagon is necessary to get glucose out of storage, and insulin is needed for the cells that need glucose to utilise it.
Insulin activates the enzyme that causes the cells to make cholesterol internally, which means high levels of insulin stimulate the continuous production of cholesterol.
Glucagon does exactly the opposite, glucagon inhibits the enzyme that causes cholesterol production inside the cells, which results in the cell sending messengers to gather the needed cholesterol directly out of the blood, thereby reducing blood cholesterol levels.
When the diet contains carbohydrates, fats and proteins, these foods are broken down into sugars, fats and amino acids by the digestive tract. These molecules are then carried by the blood to the cells which need the sugars for current energy demands, or stored as excess sugar (glycogen) or fat. The fats are synthesised or are stored for later use while new proteins are made from the amino acids.
If no sugars are being added to the blood from the digestive tract, the glycogen storage cells, primarily in the liver, convert their stored glycogen into the sugar glucose. This glucose passes into the blood stream to all parts of the body. Normally, the body regulates this concentration of blood glucose within narrow limits.
If you reduce the carbs you reduce the insulin, if you reduce the insulin you increase the glucagon, and if you increase the glucagon you burn up fat, lower your triglycerides and lower your total cholesterol.Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
It's important for people with blood sugar problems to be careful with sugar, caffeine and alcohol. All of these cause large changes in blood sugar levels.
A short time after the ingestion of carbohydrates or sugar, a high concentration of simple sugars is present in the blood, then the pancreas releases insulin into the blood stream to instigate the storage of excess sugar by influencing the transport of glucose from the blood into the storage cells where it is converted into glycogen. It is at this point when hypoglycaemia can be created.
If the sugar levels in the blood rise too quickly (caused by a hypersensitive person, or a high sugar intake), the response from the pancreas can be excessive, dumping too much insulin into the blood stream. The result is that too much sugar is put into storage, then low blood sugar follows (hypoglycaemia), but the effects may not appear until up to five hours later.
An interesting point to note here is that insulin has an effect on the blood levels of the circulating amino acids. Insulin effectively encourages the clearance of all the amino acids into the cells and tissues from the blood except one, tryptophan.
The abundance of tryptophan in the blood stream means higher levels of serotonin and its derivatives can be manufactured. Excessive serotonin and hypoglycaemic symptoms coupled together would be a mood disaster. On the other hand, excessive sugar intake can also lead to pancreas exhaustion and insulin depletion, and in the long term low serotonin.
When a low blood glucose condition exists, the body recognises this condition as stress and initiates the stress response, that is, the brain signals the pituitary to stimulate the adrenal glands to mobilise adrenalin. The pituitary accomplishes this effect by releasing the hormone ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone).
This hormone stimulates the cells of the adrenal glands to release a hormone called hydroxycortisone.
The presence of hydroxycortisone triggers the adrenal glands to release adrenalin. Adrenalin increases the conversion of glycogen to glucose, thereby raising the blood sugar concentration, although this process doesn't always go smoothly.
When the adrenal glands, steroid and adrenalin release systems of the body are insufficient, the blood sugar level will remain low. Fatigue, nervousness, irritability, insomnia and emotional depression are common with this type of hypoglycaemia. When the body's systems which convert glucose to glycogen are defective there will be no storage of glycogen. In this situation, despite large amounts of adrenalin circulating in the blood stream, the blood sugar level will remain low.
The excessive amounts of adrenalin can result in hunger pangs, headaches, increased tension, anxiety, mental confusion, depression and abnormal social behaviour. Hypoglycaemia is also associated with obesity, alcoholism, headaches, ulcers and some psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia.
Simply mixing fats and or protein with carbohydrates or sugars can help greatly in avoiding bouts of hypoglycaemia. This method works well in slowing down digestion and insulin release.
Symptoms associated with hypoglycaemia
Abnormal weight - blurred vision - cold hands - feel better when fighting something - headaches Irritability - late afternoon blues - low DHEA levels (precursor for hormones) - low sex drive - muscle cramps - noise and light intolerance - poor concentration - poor memory - poor sleeping and early waking - rubbery legs - sugar, carbohydrate or alcohol craving - tinnitus - tiredness.
Diabetes is caused by insufficient levels (or the inability) of insulin to store glucose. Insulin regulates the speed with which glucose enters the cells. With a low insulin level, cells may be starved of fuel and glucose builds up in the bloodstream, this is then removed by the kidneys and dumped into the urine. Left unchecked this can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys and other areas of the body.
Sometimes glucose cannot be used and builds up in the bloodstream because the conversion of pyruvic acid into oxaloacetic acid is blocked or too slow. This conversion requires manganese, biotin and nicotinamide (B3).
The liver can metabolise glucose without the help of insulin, and high levels of glucose flooding the liver can cause a large buildup of lactic acid. Thus a large intake of sweet food contributes to general overacidity.Supplements that help to stabilize blood sugar levels
L-Cysteine (raises blood sugar by blocking the action of insulin so not to be used by diabetics),GTF-chromium, manganese (blood sugar stabiliser), zinc (needed for proper release of insulin), calcium magnesium, biotin, vitamins B3, B6 and C.
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