By: Dr. Michael Morsillo, H.B.Sc., N.D.
I always discuss diet with my patients because I think this is the foundation upon which your health stands. When discussing diet, one of the things I’m always paying attention to is whether their diet is sufficiently controlling their blood sugar levels.
Most patients are very health conscious and they know how to make positive dietary choices to prevent elevated blood sugar levels or diabetes. Instead, it’s actually much more common for me to spot the opposite, which is low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.
I can usually tell if low blood sugar levels are affecting your health by examining various symptoms. The following is a list of common symptoms, which I like to call “the seven dwarfs of hypoglycemia”:
What’s interesting is that many people will confuse these symptoms for other conditions. For example, it’s easy to confuse palpitations, shaking, worry, and rapid heart rate with an anxiety attack. It’s also easy to confuse dizziness and fatigue for other conditions or to attribute sweating and irritability to menopause.
For someone with hypoglycemia, we will often send them for a few different blood tests. You can take action on the following simple steps consistently to improve your blood sugar control.
1) Eat smaller meals more frequently. This is not something I recommend to everyone, but for those with low blood sugar levels, this might be the only way to control their symptoms initially.
2) Reduce or eliminate high sugar foods. This means reducing or eliminating all junk foods, sweets, chocolate, pastries, processed foods with high sugar content, and it especially means no adding sugar to your foods or beverages.
3) Don’t delay or skip meals. This is important because, for those with low blood sugar, this will be the main trigger for the symptoms mentioned above.
If your blood sugar levels are a roller coaster of ups and downs, it’s very important to get this under control. Not only will this cause a variety of symptoms, it can also mark the early stages of developing diabetes.