Sugar Sensitivity and Your Blood Sugar
You have a more volatile blood sugar reaction to eating sweet foods than other people.
Your blood sugar rises more quickly and goes higher. To your body, this feels like a panic situation and it responds by signaling your adrenal glands to release a jolt of adrenaline in order to give you extra energy to cope with whatever dangers you are facing.
The adrenaline, in turn, signals the pancreas to release a lot of insulin -- more than is actually needed for the amount of food you have eaten. The task of the insulin is to get the sugar out of your blood and into your cells where (or so your body supposes) it is needed to sustain your response -- be it flight or fight -- to the emergency.
The payload of insulin does its job well and the sugar is taken into your cells. The result of this evolutionarily sensible chain reaction, as you might guess, is that you experience a very quick and very steep drop in your blood sugar level. This makes you extremely vulnerable to the symptoms of low blood sugar: exhaustion, restlessness, irritability, and foggy thinking. What's more, your body experiences these dramatic peaks and valleys -- and the resulting symptoms -- several times a day.
Here is a graph to illustrate what happens to your blood sugar when you have coffee and a muffin for breakfast.
What are the consequences of these wild fluctuations in your blood sugar level?
The first is simple.
Your moods, like your blood sugar, fluctuate all day.
Sometimes you feel high and sometimes you feel low. You may feel focused and alert for thirty minutes after eating, but then you go blank when you answer the phone. Your calm and competent approach to life deserts you. You get frustrated and angry easily. (Sometimes I wonder if the vial that Dr. Jekyll drank was filled with sugar.) If you chart these ups and downs during the day, they might look like this.
Here is a graph that shows the peaks and valleys which result from your eating sweet foods throughout the day. Your blood sugar rises rapidly after you eat the food. Try to imagine what the graph would look like if you plotted a day of your own eating.
Once you understand how your sugar sensitivity aggravates low blood sugar, you can see that the problem you are living with is not all in your mind.
It is not a matter of attitude, willpower or self-discipline.
Unless you stabilize your blood sugar, no amount of counseling or insight will help you feel better. That's the bad news.
The good news is that doing the steps totally solves the problem. Your blood sugar will stabilize and your moods will even out.