The Dangers of High Blood Sugar
High Blood Sugar in Health People
Blood sugar dysregulation is one of the most common conditions I see in clinic. Diabetes is a serious condition that is becoming an epidemic. It is not the only health condition that hyperglycemia leads to. PCOS, cardiovascular disease, neuropathy, eye disease, memory loss, infections and skin problems are all associated with high blood sugar. Bone health and joint pain are also linked to hyperglycemia. In fact, chronic inflammatory response syndrome (meaning chronic pain) has a bidirectional relationship with digestion and stress.
1. You can’t digest when you are stressed.
2. If you’re stressed for too long you’ll be in pain. Cortisol has an important anti-inflammatory action in the body.
3. But trigger the rest and digest response often enough, you’ll be able to handle stress better.
Insulin is the blood sugar hormone and cortisol is the stress hormone. Cortisol gets triggered when blood sugar is too high or low. Insulin works hard to stabilize blood sugar but insulin resistance occurs when it just can’t do its job.
I have patients track their blood sugar at home using a glucometer to see how they respond to different foods. A number of blood markers help determine if blood sugar is a problem. In clinic I focus on prevention using diet and lifestyle modification.
If diabetes continues to increase at current rates 1/3 of people will be full-blown diabetic in then next couple decades. Traditional diets similar to hunter-gatherers show a complete absence of diabetes. What this indicates is environment plays a major role. Two of the biggest factors leading to diabetes are the typical North American diet combined with too much time sitting. Sleep deprivation, chronic stress, environmental toxins, and disrupted gut microbiota are secondary environmental causes.
Functional ranges for blood sugar are different from conventional ones which are far too high to do any work at preventing diabetes and other diseases associated. I’m always looking for the possibility of autoimmune disease leading to beta cell destruction in the pancreas which leads to diabetes. A lot can be done to reverse autoimmunity if it diagnosed and treated properly.