Diabetes, as you know is a complex situation in which the body has reduced ability to remove sugar from the blood into cells. Most of the sugar is removed with the help of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to the body's blood sugar level.
Diabetic control is multi factorial, a combination of food and exercise, stress management and newer research showing how gut microbiome (gut bacteria) influences diabetic control (Dore, 2013). There are a number roles gut microbe plays are role and is dependent on the type of microbiome present:
Dore, J., 2013. Hot topics in gut microbiota. UEG Journal, 1(5), pp. 311-318.
Potgieter, M. B. J. K. D. P. E., 2015. The dormant blood microbiome in chronic, inflammatory diseases. FEMS Microbiology Reviews, 39(13), pp. 567-591.
Turnbaugh, P. e. a., 2007. The human microbiome project: exploring the microbial part of ourselves in a changing world. Nature, 449(7164), pp. 804-810.
Vitatta, L. A. H., 2013. The pharmacrobitoic potential of the gastrointestinal tract micro -biometabolome-probiotic connect: A brief commentary.. Drug Development Research , Volume 74, pp. 353-359.
Blood sugars are the primary focus of diabetes management, and as health care practitioners, we take great care in knowing what our clients are eating, and doing that create the client's blood sugars. It isn't because we are sadistic, though some clients may think this, it is because we know the smallest changes can have some of the biggest positive impacts on our clients' health.
Let me put this into a bit more of a perspective. A person with diabetes is less able to remove the sugar from the blood as easily or efficiently than a person without diabetes. This is a given. We also know from the research there are many factors that both increase blood sugar levels, and many that also take the sugar out of the blood to help maintain safe levels. Blood sugar that is more in the safe range more often than not makes a big difference to the body's well being. So, lets quickly look at what puts sugars up, and what brings them back down again. Remember this is a simplistic view of a complex set of actions.
At any time of change, it is important to know what the impact the change is having, in this case on your blood sugar levels. So, burrow or purchase a blood glucose monitor and starting testing both before and 2 hours after eating food. Your health carer to guide through more tailored steps of change.
Sugar going up
All carbohydrates which include:
Stress either emotional, or physical stresses secretes adrenaline or cortisol, both of which increases blood supply into the blood. For some people it increases sugar cravings
Some Medications - speak with your doctor to clarify.
Tummy weight - fat accumulating around the tummy acts as a hormone producing mass, which increases insulin resistance, and acts as a glucose holding stimulant. The result increased storage of fat and the perpetual cycle of this.
Hormone imbalances - this can be many and varied depending on the hormone affected. For instance, thyroid, sex hormones, adrenals.
Gut Imbalance, nutrient deficiency and immune reactivity -
While this is a newer concept, it is quickly being noted how food, medication, stress, and our choices are influencing our microbiome. The microbiome is the environment and the types of bugs that are living in our gut, and on our body. These little critters communicate with our body systems, and in many ways dictate to us what we do and eat. Some cravings - sugar and alcohols may be attributed to the type of bugs in our gut.
The down side of these guys, the one's that are pathogenic is they can disrupt our immune, and nervous changing the way we think, feel, and our body's defence/protection. Depending on the pathogen, can also damage our gut wall which in turn can allow things into the body that shouldn't change our digestion and absorption ability and create 'leaks' from which some nutrients can be lost in increased mucous production, blood loss, and improper nutrient activation and processing.
Making the Sugar go down
This is the good bit, knowing you can alter your blood sugar levels being doing any or all of the following points.
Choose foods that give you nutrient rich carbohydrates, and not empty. These include fruit, whole grains, unprocessed foods that are also low GI. Limit adding sugar to foods, and include lots of free vegetables, healthy fats and proteins. The actual amounts of the various types of foods depends on your age, activity levels and gender.
Rule of thumb - least processed the better. Real food is super important, it feeds the body the building blocks so the body can do what it needs to do. The fibre feeds the good bacteria, and the best bit, all these things combined, reduce inflammation, one of the driving factors of diabetes.
We all know diabetes is a serious condition. The media is quick to point out the condition is growing in number, and the side conditions are potentially life threatening. Fortunately, there is hope. There are simple things that can be done to make your life easier in the long term. No doubt, for the short time, they can literally be a pain to do, but I ask you, what new habits are always easy to implement?
Ok, this is only a start. There are several things that can really make a difference to your well being.
To know what is better for you, and your lifestyle, be sure to book yourself in for a consult.