Symptom of Low Blood Sugar
Insulin Resistance and Diabetes cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate. When you eat something that causes your blood sugar levels to spike quickly, your body releases insulin to take the blood sugar out of the bloodstream and into your cells.
When you have diabetes or insulin resistance, the insulin doesn't work properly to move the blood glucose into your cells which means that your body has to continually pump out insulin which then moves the blood sugar after the bloodstream very quickly causing hypoglycemia or the common symptom of low blood sugar levels.
Researchers are not exactly sure what causes Insulin Resistance, but one of the suppositions put forth is that Insulin Resistance is a genetically inherited tendency; therefore, if you have a family history of Insulin Resistance or Diabetes, the chances are good that you have inherited the genetic tendency to develop Insulin Resistance or Diabetes as well.
Of course, even if you have inherited the tendency to develop it, if you follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly, then you would probably never develop it, as this condition is strongly rooted in lifestyle habits. It is when a person becomes overweight and out of shape that the body often develops a resistance to insulin, and ultimately Type II Diabetes.
During the digestive process, digestive juices in the stomach and mouth break down food. Starch is broken down into sugar, which the liver then converts to glucose. The glucose is carried to the body’s cells by the bloodstream. When the blood passes through the pancreas, the pancreas notes that there is glucose in the blood and releases insulin, whose job it is to clear the glucose out of the blood and into the body’s cells.
When blood sugar rises, insulin is secreted in order to admit glucose into cells, which allows the blood sugar level to drop again. The insulin opens a glucose channel allowing glucose to enter the cell (fat cell or muscle cell). Insulin also activates proteins or enzymes in the cell, which determine whether the glucose will be stored or burned for energy. This is what happens when a person’s body is in perfect balance and insulin is working properly.
Insulin resistance causes glucose intolerance, which means your body does not clear glucose out of your bloodstream fast enough after eating starch or carbohydrates. Insulin resistance also causes the cells to resist allowing the insulin to open the door that allows glucose to enter.
This results in blood sugar staying in the bloodstream for longer periods of time after eating, thereby increasing the incidence of Diabetes. The body’s cells become more and more resistant to insulin, which means less glucose gets cleared out of the bloodstream and into the body’s cells. This results in the body releasing more insulin to try to clear out the glucose. These high levels of glucose and insulin traveling in the bloodstream have very damaging effects on various systems throughout the body and if left untreated, often diabetes will develop.
When the unfit muscle cells reject the glucose, it is picked up by the fat cells and converted to stored fat. When this happens, the body’s cells become more and more predisposed to storing fat and less to releasing fat.
People who are insulin resistant do produce insulin, but the problem is that their body has developed a resistance to using the insulin properly. Because the cells resist admitting the insulin, the glucose cannot be cleared out of the bloodstream. Since there is too much glucose circulating, the pancreas assumes it has to release more insulin.
This causes high blood-insulin levels and when the insulin is finally admitted into the cells, a large rush of glucose is also admitted. The result is that too much glucose gets cleared out of the bloodstream leaving a level of glucose that is too low to serve the needs of the brain and central nervous system. Since the brain needs a constant supply of glucose, it sends out a low fuel warning resulting in food cravings. This sets off a vicious cycle.
A sharp drop in the blood glucose level also triggers the adrenal glands to secrete hormones in order to facilitate the release of stored glucose in the form of glycogen. This survival mechanism is essential in preventing coma or death caused by blood sugar levels too low to serve the needs of the brain and central nervous system.
When this happens over the long term, adrenal exhaustion occurs, which impairs our stress-coping abilities. Adrenal exhaustion is a common problem for people who are insulin resistant. Excess secretion of stress hormones caused by long-term stress also affects our levels of DHEA, which is a hormone produced in our adrenal glands.
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is a common condition that goes hand in hand with insulin resistance. There are different levels of hypoglycemia. Diabetics who are on medication are at risk of going into a hypoglycemic coma when blood sugar drops too low.
People who are not on medication rarely have their blood sugar drop so low as to induce coma, however, insulin resistance causes their blood sugar to constantly rise too high or drop too low. These continual blood sugar fluctuations trigger many symptoms of low blood sugar such as:
So how do you know if you have hypoglycaemia, insulin resistance or diabetes?
Image courtesy of Gualberto 107 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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