Hypoglycemia is a blood condition in which the body has too little blood glucose. This causes the body to respond to a high-carbohydrate diet by boosting its secretion of insulin. Excessive insulin in the bloodstream results in low blood sugar causing a “sugar crash.” Imagine the amount of sugar and carbs in all its forms, you consume in a day. You may be one of those people who, every time he/she experiences tiredness, go for more caffeine or carbs. The fact is, most Americans, have been on a constant hypoglycemic fluctuations for years.
Most Americans are suffering from blood sugar imbalances. They tend to consume more refined carbs and sugar in just a single week than people consumed in one year a couple of hundred years ago. This is one huge underlying factor for a majority of modern diseases in this century.
Doctors report that one of the most common complaints they get from patients is fatigue. This fact is backed by acupuncturists who regularly see patients who are severely fatigued. A lot of acupuncturists often see that these patients suffer from hypoglycemia symptoms: strong caffeine or sugar cravings to get them through the day; headaches; depression; insomnia; anxiety; energy fluctuations the whole day usually with extreme lows in the afternoon, concentration difficulties, and feeling shaky or irritable between meals.
People who are at high risk of insulin resistance and its severe effects (possible type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome) are usually those who do not exercise; constantly experience severe stress; consume lots of carbs and sugar, and frequently skips meals.
TCM or Traditional Chinese medicine stresses the value of healthy nutrition as the basis of health. Practitioners of TCM believe that the spleen draws nutrients from the drink and food you take in and converts them into the material basis for Blood and qi. They also think that each organ system has a unique flavor related to it. The organ is tonified with a tiny amount of this flavor, but if eaten in excess, this unique flavor will devitalize the function of that organ. With regards to the spleen, the sweet flavor is associated with it. The spleen can be tonified by the sweet flavor of root vegetables, apple or brown rice. One the other hand, the sweetness associated with refined of carbohydrates and sugar is extremely concentrated. These two products will undermine the function of the spleen, weakening the health of the whole system.
The head of the Merritt Wellness Center, Marlene Merritt, says that blood sugar imbalances can be seen in this way: a person has a specific amount of insulin-glucose activity in his/her cells in a lifetime. If the person uses it all up during the initial thirty or forty years of his/her life by consuming a lot refined sugar and carbohydrates, then the damage has been done. In order to prevent the rise of severe health problems as one gets older the need to eliminate or at least lessen the consumption of refined carbs or sugar to the point where one doesn’t crave them anymore is imperative. This causes the cells to start turning off the sugar reaction. For certain individuals, that will be below 72 grams of carbohydrates / day.
Steps to take to regulate blood sugar and exit your constant hypoglycemic flux:
1. Know the total carbohydrate count of typical foods by going online to www.calorieking.com. Also, when you buy foods, always read the labels!
2. Go for regular acupuncture treatment. Your acupuncturist will treat acupoints to fortify the stomach and spleen meridians. The practitioner will also use ear (auricular) acupuncture to aid with addictive activities. Bu shong yi tsi tan and other similar Chinese herbal formulas can strengthen the function of the spleen. Gymmema is an herb TCM practitioners can use to help suppress sugar cravings.
3. One of the most effective ways to boost blood glucose metabolism and lessen insulin resistance is exercise. This exercise need not even be consistent—just a half-hour of exercise four or five times a week will do. You can also hike, swim, or just walk for 30 minutes four to five times a week as your exercise.
4. Stick to a daily regular diet. Every two or three hours, consume something that is fat or protein based—before you become hungry. Don’t skip breakfast or any other meal. Stay away from refined sugar and carbs, and white foods (such as white rice). Eat organic foods and healthy fats as much as possible. For fats, you can derived them from coconut oils, sesame, flaxseeds, olive oil, seeds and nuts, dairy, butter, eggs, avocado, fish, and poultry. Consume a large amount of fresh veggies to balance the protein and fats.
Dr. Nelya de Brun, AP, DAOM
Classical Oriental Medicine, LLC
3459 Woolbright Rd
Boynton Beach, FL 33436