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Blood sugar (low)

General characteristics

General characteristics

Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose falls below the optimum level and fails to provide adequate fuel and maintain healthy functioning of cells and delivery of energy to the body. When blood glucose is very low you will feel hungry, tired and irritable with sweating, anxiety and palpitations. Intense sugar cravings will likely be present also. Eating a snack of complex carbohydrate will quickly rectify the problem.
It is generally assumed to be caused by a poor diet rich in sugars and simple carbohydrates and low in fibre and protein. Thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism can lead to low blood sugar so check the thyroid gland is in good working order.
Stress and worry can also exacerbate the condition as the adrenal glands secrete adrenalin which causes blood sugar to drop. Look after your adrenal glands.
Many diabetics and people with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) can also suffer from low blood sugar. When insulin is taken it causes a drop in blood sugar levels as the sugar is ushered into the cells and some medications cause the secretion of too much insulin.
Blood sugar balance is quite a complicated process and a normal healthy body will cope with the normal ups and downs. Poor diet and irregular meals can begin to cause imbalances that are more difficult to fix if they are followed for long periods

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

See also the advice for blood sugar high for dietary advice.

Eat one large or two small apples after each meal for their beneficial and balancing effects on blood sugar.

Eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates like wholegrains and their products, fresh fruit and vegetables, seeds, nuts and the like.

Some suggest to eat smaller and regular meals, about 6 a day using nuts, seeds or dairy based snacks between meals if needed.

Eat foods rich in B vitamins, particularly niacin (B3) such as whole grains. See also vitamins for more foods rich in B vitamins.

Avoid processed food and all junk foods.

Coffee raises blood sugar but avoid too many caffeinated drinks as they cause an imbalance of blood sugar. Caffeine causes the liver to release stored glucose into the blood giving a temporary raise in blood sugar and a surge in energy levels. The pancreas releases insulin to deal with the rush of blood sugar and the energy rush subsides. The person may crave another coffee to feel the 'kick' again and the process is repeated. Over time (weeks and months) of this reliance on caffeine for energy, the pancreas becomes exhausted and can lead to severe swings in blood sugar levels. Caffeine also causes the release of adrenal hormones leading to feelings of shakiness and anxiety. Two cups of coffee a day is my personal limit, both in the morning.

 

* This is really interesting look at diet and blood sugar, an eye opening read and not at all what you might expect, a must read, and don't forget to check the references for further detailed info.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Ashwagandha, siberian ginseng and schizandra make an excellent combination to support all the endocrine (hormone secreting such as adrenals and pancreas) glands, the immune system and raise the body's ability to cope with stresses and natural fluctuations. Use equal parts as a tincture and take 1-2 teaspoons in water 3 times daily. Using this formula over several months will help bring the natural processes back into balance providing that the correct dietary changes are made and kept to.
Nettle tea will give a good supply of energy and many useful nutrients. Use as a 'pick-me-up' in between meals or during an afternoon energy slump.
Bitter herbs like mugwort, dandelion root, gentian, blue flag and barberry stimulate the liver and encourage more efficient digestion and create a more evenly balanced blood sugar when used overtime. Use equal parts of the tinctures and create a formula to use before meals. Take 10-15 drops 15 minutes or so before all meals up to 6 times daily.
Neem leaves are very effective at lowering blood sugar.
Make a tea of equal parts of hops, chamomile and holy thistle to raise blood sugar levels.
Celery seeds can also be taken as a tea to help raise/stabilise blood sugar levels.
Liqourice sticks or tea will give a lovely sweet taste without causing any blood sugar drama and imbalances.

Natural healing

Natural healing

A few pollen grains daily will provide vital nutrients and much needed energy while going through the blood sugar balancing act.
Consider taking a good quality supplement containing magnesium, chromium, zinc and potassium.
Avoid smoking as it causes the release of insulin and thus lowers blood sugar.
Take brewers yeast tablets daily to provide adequate chromium which assists with sugar metabolism.

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