Brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, headaches, irritability—these are just a few signs that your blood sugar levels are imbalanced.
Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to be diabetic for your blood sugar levels to adversely affect your health. In fact, keeping those levels in balance is essential for optimal hormone health, which in turn could provide a long list of health benefits.
Here are just a few of the ways that blood sugar balance impacts hormone health:
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It helps to transport glucose for energy and also tells the liver to store blood sugar for later use.
It’s a delicately balanced and finely-tuned system, and it can easily be thrown out of whack.
For instance, eating too much sugar signals the pancreas to create lots of insulin. Over time, cells will become less responsive to insulin, a condition known as “insulin resistance”.
Insulin resistance is a precursor for type 2 diabetes and it’s associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and metabolic syndrome. It’s also closely associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and is thought to be present in as many as 70% of women with PCOS.
Cortisol is commonly known as the “stress hormone”. If hormones had human forms, cortisol would be neck-vein bulging, restless, tightly-wound mother-of-5 always on the precipice of a meltdown.
When you’re stressed, cortisol is released and blood sugar levels increase. If the stress is constant, blood sugar levels remain imbalanced and it can also impact other hormones, including testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. It’s why stress has such a significant impact on mensuration.
Your thyroid produces several hormones, including triiodothyronine (T3) and tetraiodothyronine (T4), both of which increase the basal metabolic rate and thus play a vital role in regulating metabolism.
If blood sugar levels are consistently high, it can affect thyroid function, leading to reduced activity and even conditions like hypothyroidism, which causes weight gain and fatigue.
Sex Hormone Function
Keeping blood sugar levels in balance is also essential for the proper function of sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen.
A disruption in the production of these hormones can cause a long list of symptoms and health issues, including infertility, weight gain, fatigue, and irregular menstrual cycles.
How to Maintain Stable Blood Sugar Levels
We now know why it’s important to keep blood sugar levels balanced, but how can you do that?
Here are a few tips:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Include protein, fats, and complex carbs in every meal
- Reduce your intake of refined carbs (such as candy and white bread)
- Fill up on fiber, being sure to consume both soluble and insoluble fiber
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise frequently
- Drink lots of water throughout the day
Need some help improving your hormone health? Book a FREE 15-minute discovery call with me. We can discuss your needs, address your issues, and create a solution that is tailored to your lifestyle.
- Insulin Resistance—Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22206-insulin-resistance
- All Women With PCOS Should Be Treated For Insulin Resistance. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3277302/
- The Impact of Stress on the Menstrual Cycle. https://scholarworks.uark.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1102&context=nursuht
- How does the thyroid gland work? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279388/
- Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid). https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/hypothyroidism