👉 Tip #1: Do You Have A Sugar Problem
Believe it or not almost 40% of us are either pre-diabetic or diabetic. I kid you not. That’s a real number. It may be even closer to 50% since writing that last sentence. Type 2 diabetes is VERY reversible, as long as you don’t get to the point where your pancreas has burned itself out and can no longer produce insulin. Don’t wait for a diabetes or even pre-diabetes diagnosis. What’s the saying? An ounce of prevention is worth two bird’s in the bush? Or a pound of medicine gathers no moss? Let’s go with “Prevention is a girl’s best friend.” That’s catchy!!!
Here are some signs that you may have a sugar problem
YOU CRAVE SWEETS, breads, pasta, bagels, chips, cakes, candy … oh wait….that’s my grocery list. Kidding!!! I don’t eat cake. On Tuesdays…..
YOU BECOME IRRITABLE AND HANGRY if you miss a meal or if you go “too long” without eating. You may feel weak, get nauseated and light-headed or jittery. Here’s a good clue: If you can’t go 3 or 4 hours without getting low blood sugar symptoms, you have a sugar problem. Another clue is people around you say “let’s get you something to it” to which you respond, “mind your own *expletive*business!!” So. That’s a clue!!! Fear not. You are not alone….
This used to be me in medical school. Back then I ate literally a pound of pasta every night for dinner as part of that horrifying low-fat high-carb eating style that has caused us to become a nation of obese diabetics and children with high cholesterol.
YOU NEED A CAFFEINE BOOST to get through the day. This may not seem so intuitive, but caffeine causes a release of cortisol, a stress hormone that mobilizes sugar into our bloodstream. So it’s a hack for getting a blood sugar bump when you are feeling a bit low. You may wish to consider how you use caffeine. And if you resist reducing the amount, you should call for help. Support lines are open!
Caffeine = sugar boost. End of story.
EATING CARBS MAKES YOU SLEEPY. So when you eat something with way more sugar or carb than your body can handle, you get sleepy. That’s often why desserts and wine can put people over the edge. But start looking out for this as a sign that you are not handling your sugar well and you may be insulin resistant. Plus laying down in the booth at a diner is no longer considered cute after the age of 8. And this morning I got very perplexed stares..
IT’S HARD TO LOSE WEIGHT. I see a lot of women around the age of 40-50 struggling to take off some excess weight. Weight used to just fall off if they skipped sodas and kicked the bread habit. When you are insulin resistant you have high levels of insulin circulating around in your blood. And because its a fat storage hormone it can make you fat. See how that works? So, reducing your insulin level is a big factor in losing weight.
YOU HAVE MORE OF APPLE THAN A PEAR SHAPE.
Apple shape is when your waist is equal to or larger than your hips. This also means you are probably high in insulin. Now a lot of this can be genetic, however, your genetics may predispose you to developing insulin resistance and diabetes. Now a melon is a whole other ball of wax….
YOU HAVE A LOW SEX DRIVE. There are so many reasons why sugar problems impact sex drive.
Most women believe that sex drive is all about their testosterone. And they are not wrong. Abnormal sugar levels have been shown to reduce testosterone levels in both men and women. A study published in Clinical Endocrinology, demonstrated that of 74 men who scored poorly on an oral sugar tolerance testing, most had significant reductions in both total and free testosterone levels.
Sex drive is VERY highly related to cortisol levels. When you are stressed out and tired with a million things on your to-do list, sex is the last thing on your mind. In fact, sex is on the top of your “to-DON’T” list. Anyone try to play dead in bed before their partner makes it up the stairs at night? When insulin is high and your sugar balance is messed up, your stress hormone balance also becomes disrupted. Stress and anxiety are a side effect of highs and lows of blood sugar due to crazy swings in your cortisol level.
Sugar makes you tired. Sugar and other kinds of carbohydrates increase your blood sugar, leading insulin to pull it back down. Insulin usually over-compensates, and drops your blood sugar down too low which leads to hunger, cravings, and fatigue. And really, who wants to have sex when a nap is so much more appealing?
If any of this sounds familiar to you, then continue reading for 5 ways to tackle your sugar problem.
👉 Tip #2: Prevention is a Girl’s Best Friend: 5 Ways To Fix Your Sugar Problem
Symptoms alone may not clue you in….
Just checking to see if you have symptoms of insulin resistance may not necessarily be the best way to figure out if you have a problem managing your sugar. Certainly if you DO notice that you have some of the symptoms we discussed, then you should really find out what the deal is. Here’s how…..
Test Don’t Guess
We functional medicine docs like the motto “test don’t guess.” It’s pretty easy to find out if you have sugar insulin issues if you do the right testing.
Most docs will test you for fasting glucose and a Hemoglobin A1c on a routine panel. But those numbers will not bump until your insulin levels are very high.
Blood Tests I Recommend
The five tests below can screen for insulin resistance before you are in pre-diabetic or diabetic range. Notice that I write down optimal ranges, not abnormal ranges. By the time these guys are in the abnormal range, you are now prediabetic or worse. Don’t wait for that. Nip that *stuff* in the bud
- Serum insulin: Optimal Range: < 5 ulU/mL
- Fasting blood sugar: Optimal Range: <92 mg/dL
- Hgb A1C: Optimal Range: < 5.5 percent
- Triglycerides: Optimal Range: <100 mg/dL
- HDL: Optimal Range: 59 to 100 mg/dL
FIX YOUR SUGAR ISSUES: Check Your Carbs at the Door…..
PROCESSED CARBS AND SUGARS WILL INCREASE YOUR RISK OF INSULIN RESISTANCE.
Take a look at this list of high glycemic foods. If you open the link, you will see that it is a very judgmental list. I don’t necessarily agree with calling foods “good” or “bad.” Well, I actually do, but it makes me super unpopular with at cocktail parties. That or my criticism of serving “pigs in a blanket” otherwise known as “nitrates in a gluten bomb.” This list gives you a pretty strict look at foods that are not great for your sugar load. Give her a gander and see what loveliness you are including on your day to day meal plan.
HERE ARE TWO SHORTCUTS to getting rid of the processed, high glycemic, high sugar foods:
- The ONE Ingredient Rule: If the food you are about to eat has MORE than ONE ingredient in it, put it back down. It is likely a processed carb or is a food high in carbs and sugar.
- The “Read The Label” Rule: If you have to read a label, then it may not be food. It’s processed, cancer-causing, diabetes-making, get you fat and miserable, imposter food. It’s like Velveeta. That is NOT cheese. Its food-ISH. Or food-ESQU. Ever see a label on a leg of lamb? Or a head of lettuce? On a mango? No, you have not.
To Eat or Not to Eat. That is the question.
Using my above 2 rules, figure out if you should eat the food listed
- salmon — one ingredient, no label –> eat
- vodka — one ingredient, but has a label –> . wah-waaaaahhhhhh don’t eat
- pasta — more than one ingredient, has a label –> don’t eat
- blueberries — one ingredient, no label –> eat
- oatmeal — one ingredient, but has a label –> eat on occasion and in small amounts
- rice crackers — two ingredients, and has a label –> this is technically a no, but you could eat it sparingly, But it’s a no.
- olives — one ingredient, no label –> eat
- pop tart — more than one ingredient, has a label, but it’s so conveniently sized to fit into your toaster!!! –> Ugh, don’t eat. Okay, I hate this game.
Drink some green tea
The anti-oxidant in green tea, ECGC, has been shown to stabilize sugar levels. Not only is this great for sugar balance, but green tea is associated with decreased breast cancer risk, decreased cancer recurrence and is great for liver detoxification. It is also available for bar-mitzvah’s and wedding parties.
Action Step: 2 to 4 cups a day (small cups 6-8 ounces worth) will do the trick
Add some Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Another anti-oxidant that improves your body’s sensitivity to insulin is ALA or Alpha Lipoic Acid. This is often found in combination formulas for sugar insulin support. I’m a fan of a combo formula called Gluco-Adapt by Pure Encapsulations. ALA is also a palindrome. So, that’s super useful.
Action Step: Take 200mg 3 times a day, with meals
Take extra Magnesium
This is one of my all time favorite minerals. I give this to everyone. I don’t even have to give people a reason anymore. It’s just standard issue. Studies show that having adequate magnesium levels improve insulin sensitivity. It also helps reduce high blood pressure and triglyceride levels. It is great for sleep and relaxation. It helps with constipation. It reduces anxiety and depression.
If only I had had another child, they would be named “Magnesia the Magnificent.” It’s Biblical.
Action Step: Add 200 to 400mg of magnesium at bedtime. Titrate to bowel tolerance. (AKA: don’t take to the point of diarrhea)
Boost your Chromium
This is an all time favorite of mine for improving insulin levels.
Action Step: Between 200 to 1000 micrograms of chromium a day have been shown to improve blood sugar levels
Give it a whirl. Get ahead of any sugar problems. Don’t wait to be diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes. Prevention matters!!!!
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For more information about my wellness programs and my practice, check out my website www.drsadaty.com. Look! You are already here. Ready for the legal disclaimer? Information offered here is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. As with any health recommendation, please contact your doctor to be sure any changes you wish to consider are safe for you!