Blood Sugar Imbalance:
Blood sugar imbalance (dysglycaemia) is a condition in which your body does not handle glucose effectively. Throughout the day blood glucose levels may fluctuate outside of the body’s desired blood glucose range going from too low (hypoglycaemia) to too high (hyperglycaemia). Such fluctuations in blood sugar can lead to diabetes and metabolic syndrome if not controlled using dietary and lifestyle changes.
Common Signs and Symptoms
- Need more than 8 hours sleep
- Feeling thirsty
- Need coffee or tea to get you going
- Frequent urination
- Night time urination
- Heavy perspiration (especially during exercise)
- Fatigue, particularly mid afternoon
- Dizziness, particularly if standing up quickly
- Mood swings
- Cravings for sweet or starchy foods
- Dizziness, weakness or irritability if you do not eat regularly
- Inability to lose weight
- Excess weight around the middle
- Waking in the night (usually around 4 or 5 am)
- Poor concentration
Possible Causes and Contributing Factors
- Diet high in saturated and trans fat, sugar, refined carbohydrates
- Diet low in fibre, high quality protein, essential fats and micronutrients
- Diet high in stimulants such as tea, coffee, colas, chocolate, alcohol
- Infrequent meals
- Chronic stress
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Overweight and obesity
- Family history of diabetes type II
- Social drugs
- Some pharmaceutical drugs
- Excessive exercise
Dietary and Lifestyle Advice
- In general aim to eat low to medium GL foods and high GL foods in
- Aim to eat complex carbohydrates as part of your main meals. These include
whole-wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, millet, kamut, lentils, beans, etc.
- Include some protein/fat in all your meals and snacks as this will help to slow the release of glucose from the gut into the blood stream. For example; lean meat, fish, pulses, nuts, seeds and dairy.
- Aim to eat 3 portions of oily fish per week and snack daily on a handful of unsalted nuts and/or seeds.
- Drink at least 1.5 litres of water per day.
- Exercise has been shown to have a significant blood glucose balancing effect.
- Start an aerobic exercise programme to be followed at least three days a week.
- It is very important to consider a weight loss strategy if overweight.
Foods to Avoid or Eat in Moderation
Don’t eat sugar or the foods that it is found in.
For those with serious blood sugar imbalances grains may need to be avoided or restricted in your diet (under supervision).
Reduce stimulants such as coffee, tea, chocolate, smoking and canned drinks containing caffeine e.g. Red Bull
Avoid Trans Fats found in processed foods (These are fats produced during the process of hydrogenation, or partial hydrogenation, which are associated with increased cardiovascular disease and cancer. Always check labels.)
- ½ cup julienne sweet red peppers
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup of fresh spinach or ½ package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Pinch of unrefined sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.
In a frying pan, sauté the red pepper and onion in oil until tender. In a bowl beat the eggs and milk. Stir in the spinach, mozzarella, garlic, salt & pepper. Add to pan. Cover and cook over medium heat for 7-10 minutes or until the bottom has set. Then remove and place under a medium pre-heated grill for 3-4 minutes or until the top has set. Cut into wedges and serve. Can be served hot or cold.