Improve relationships by avoiding low glucose levels

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relationship issue(NaturalHealth365) Are you feeling overly sensitive or do you tend to easily “fly off the handle”? Notice yourself quarreling with your spouse or children all too often? If you find yourself experiencing frequent mood fluctuations that affect your relationships and emotional wellbeing throughout the day, low glucose levels could be to blame.

Instead of getting angry, researchers suggest you get eating!

Low blood sugar, known as hypoglycemia should not be taken lightly. Published recently in Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, Florida University researchers reported that hypoglycemia leads to greater aggression in married couples.

In addition, studies indicate that preventing childhood diseases such as mental health issues, diabetes and obesity is directly related to optimizing blood sugar levels from infancy.

Chronic stress and adrenal ‘burnout’ can be caused by blood sugar imbalances

For those of us that burn the candle at both ends or are on the go without taking time for meals and snacks, the optimal insulin to cortisol ratio that keeps us even-keeled and feeling energized is often tapped out. This extreme shift in neuro-hormonal homeostasis can result in anxiety, frustration, anger and sadness making it difficult to maintain both personal and professional relationships.

Some of you may be thinking, “but I snack all day and still experience those fluctuations, why?” This can even happen to people who choose healthy, nutrient-dense foods, but may not be ingesting them at optimal times. If high sugar-rich foods (even natural varieties) such as fruits are selected without following up with proteins and fats – blood sugar can quickly drop, causing you to feel a sudden change in mood.

Are you having a problem with your child due to low glucose levels?

Monitoring blood sugar is especially important for children of all ages – they too may experience difficulty with relationships at home and at school if hypoglycemic episodes become a regular occurrence. My colleagues specializing in pediatric health emphasize that a “cranky” child is not necessarily just going through “terrible twos” or a “moody teenager”, but may not be ingesting enough glycemic-index optimizing foods throughout the day. You may notice intermittent crying, wining, lethargy and fatigue or conversely, anxiety, anger or frustration as a result of hypoglycemia.

Because learning and development depend on the right balance of fats, carbohydrates and proteins it’s important to keep children on a meal and snack schedule to fuel them throughout the day. Children are also very susceptible to reactive hypoglycemia. This results when two or three doughnuts for example or foods rich in simple sugars are eaten closely together causing blood sugar to skyrocket, but then quickly plummet.

Be careful: Certain drugs can cause low blood sugar

Antidepressants including SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants have been shown to negatively influence blood sugar resulting in hypoglycemia. While antidepressants may not directly cause low glucose levels, they do cause appetite suppression making it difficult for some patients to maintain an ideal glycemic index. If you take an antidepressant or are considering one, talk to an integrative health professional about regulating blood sugar.

While optimizing blood sugar through dietary awareness is frontline “treatment”, current research is aimed at observing genetic markers that influence the severity of hypoglycemia and related metabolic syndromes to help prevent its multi-systemic effects.

About the author: Christine M. Dionese L.Ac, MSTOM is an integrative health expert, medical journalist and food writer. She’s dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health. Christine practices, writes and speaks on environmental functional medicine, epigenetics, food therapy and sustainable living.

References:
http://www.pnas.org/content/111/17/6254.abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3001239
http://www.ojrd.com/content/7/1/26
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18302302
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0093821

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  • Matha Cox

    Who doesn’t know someone who’s mood is effected by going too long without food. I see it in family members and even myself. I think this problem is prevalent due to the types of foods we eat.

    Processed foods are loaded with sugar and can cause sugar spikes, which are then followed by low sugar. As more people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, we may see some very unhappy people walking around.

  • Tony

    Perhaps this is why students are having behavior problems. Their diet is made up of mostly junk food. The erratic behavior comes from the standard American diet of processed sugary foods.

  • Cory Anderson

    This is a problem of industrial nations. The stress plays havoc with sugar levels along with the highly processed sugary foods. There are many people who have trouble handling their emotions and the fact is it is related to their lifestyle.

    Many of the mood disorders along with some of the major mental illnesses are tied to diet. There is nothing new about this. It is a fact that vitamin and mineral deficiencies are many times the cause of mental illnesses. Sugar depletes the vitamin and mineral reserves.