Daily Nutrition Blog
Understanding Blood Sugar
Here is a quick and simple reference to understanding blood sugar:
- Every type of carbohydrate that we eat turns into glucose in the body, either directly in the gut or after passing through the liver. Glucose is a fuel our body uses as energy, but is toxic in excessive amounts unless it is being burned inside our cells.
- The body works to get the extra glucose out of the bloodstream quickly and into our cells by having the liver and muscle store some of it as glycogen. Glycogen is muscle fuel.
- Beta cells in the pancreas start working to decrease the plethora of glucose in the bloodstream by secreting the hormone, insulin. Insulin allows for glucose, as well as fats and amino acids, to enter into the interior of liver and muscle cells. Once those cells are full, the rest of the glucose is stored as fat.
- With those cells full of glycogen, the pancreas still senses too much glucose in the bloodstream and continues to secrete insulin causing a problem where the cells become insulin resistant. This causes a continuous reaction where insulin receptors are weakened, allowing the body to maintain not only toxic levels of glucose, but also now toxic levels of insulin.
- Both toxic levels of glucose and insulin can clog arteries, cause systematic inflammation –off setting many other processes in the body, in addition to raising triglycerides and increasing the risk of heart disease as well as increasing possible cancer growth.
- With muscle cells now insulin resistant, glucose is no longer getting through to their interior, nor are amino acids getting in. This stops the body from growing or maintaining muscles, and also leads the body to believe there isn’t enough stored sugar to use as energy. The body then begins metabolizing our precious muscle tissue to make more glucose. This whole process causes us to lose muscle while becoming fatter.
- To add insult onto injury, once the liver becomes insulin resistant it can no longer convert thyroid hormone T4 into T3 causing thyroid problems which wreak havoc on our metabolism and moods, among many other things.
- Maintaining balanced levels of blood sugar are crucial for optimal health. Try supplementing with coconut oil, fish oil or moringa every day for additional support in stabilizing the glucose/ insulin production in your body. Especially as we enter into the holiday season which encompass many delicious treats and dishes, keeping excessive glucose out of our body can help us keep extra inches of our waists.