Diabetes has been steadily on the rise in America for quite some time. It has reached an all-time-high, and is even beginning to show prevalence among our youth. The American Diabetes Association says that as many as one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050. There are many factors that affect your weight and blood glucose levels, but there are factors that affect these things that many of us aren’t considering.
According to an article titled “15 Easy Ways to Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally” published by Authority Nutrition, if you aren’t getting enough sleep then your blood sugar levels are likely suffering. Sleep deprivation is something that is extremely common throughout our country, and many don’t link it to low blood sugar. The article says, “Poor sleeping habits and a lack of rest also affect blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. They can increase appetite and promote weight gain. Sleep deprivation decreases the release of growth hormones and increases cortisol levels. Both of these play an important role in blood sugar control.”
Another unexpected cause of low blood sugar is stress. Again, this is something that many of us are dealing with on a daily basis, and not correlating with low blood sugar. So many of us turn to a prescription pill bottle for both of these problems rather than tackling the source of the problem head-on (which is usually such a simple answer that we don’t even consider it in the first place).
An article titled “Blood Sugar and Stress” published by Diabetes Education Online says, “When stressed, the body prepares itself by ensuring that enough sugar or energy is readily available. Insulin levels fall, glucagon and epinephrine (adrenaline) levels rise and more glucose is released from the liver. At the same time, growth hormone and cortisol levels rise, which causes body tissues (muscle and fat) to be less sensitive to insulin. As a result, more glucose is available in the blood stream.”
So whether you are pre-diabetic, or have been diagnosed with diabetes, consider these options for lowering your blood sugar. Ensure that you take time to decompress and blow off steam, and get a good night’s sleep and you may see some of your symptoms begin to subside.