Balancing Blood Sugar. with Rachel Schaefer L.Ac, M.S. Objective: Maximize Balance. . WHAT DOES NORMAL LOOK LIKE?
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Rachel Schaefer L.Ac, M.S
WHAT DOES NORMAL LOOK LIKE?
Glucose from food is disposed via insulin in (primarily) muscle tissue and stored as glycogen. The other 10% will go to the liver and 5% will go to adipose tissue and other organs.
Our muscles and liver use glycogen to protect in periods of starvation. If blood sugar drops low, the pancreas will produce glucagon. This hormone instructs the liver and muscle to convert the stored glycogen into glucose and return blood sugar to normal.
Take home TIP: Use small portions of longer burning molecules (protein, raw fats) thru-out the day to avoid blood sugar drops and spikes. Exercise to build muscle to increase glycogen storage. Muscle cells are by far the most sensitive to insulin.
at the waist region, called centrifugal obesity.
Take home TIP: Increasing muscle mass will up-regulate responsiveness. Glycemically regulate diet to stimulate less insulin production and fat cell production
-Thirst and dry mouth
-Excessive appetite, esp for sweets
-Fatigue after meals
-Hypoglycemic episodes: urgency for food and sweating palms, frustration when hungry
-Excessive urination, especially at night
-Frequent dental infections
-Anovulation in female with centrifugal obesity
-Aromatization (estrogen trending) in males
-Fleeting anxiety, insomnia, depression. Often concomitant to bipolar and manic disorders
Etiology of Type 2 Diabetes
Insulin signaling may actually shorten lifespan
So if stress is a culprit in blood sugar instabililty, how to mitigate it?
Intentional RELAXATION—meditation, yoga, guided visualization, walking following meals, technology breaks, assurance of proper sleep, pursuit of joy and sense of “safety” in relationship and environment.
Lifestyle Practice: Elevated knees at 90 degrees for ½ hr between 2 and 6 pm
Herbal medicines in the ADAPTAGEN class– Retrain the body to adapt to stress without cortisol surging
(ie Rhodiola, Ashwangdha, American Ginseng, Astragalus)
HOW to BALANCE: Start the day with protein based breakfast of high quality. Don’t exercise in the morning without some caloric imput to stabilize sugars. Follow exercise with fruit and protein to rebuild muscle. Create rituals around mealtimes.
HOW To BALANCE:
“Carb blocker” products usually contain legumes.
To strengthen pancreas/spleen function, eat warm foods— pre-digested, such that the body does not have to effort.
HOW to BALANCE: Root vegetables and Soups. Miso broth, Long cooked grains and grasses (millet, quinoa, wild rice). Fluids and Minerals– Seaweed. These strengthen the pancreas function and digestion.
In heavy training periods, be sure to up protein intake and use “bone stocks” from organic meats to cook vegetables. Typical female should have a minimum of 60 gr protein daily. Athletes would need 20 more per hour of activity.
The typical patient: 40 yr old female, overworked, fatigued with sugar cravings and excessive urination. Tends to gas and bloating with meals. Anovulatory cycles and infertility
HOW to BALANCE: Acupuncture treatment to retrain nervous system, strengthen digestion and endocrine signaling. Dietary intervention to make empowered choices for energy production and glycemic support.
What’s available to you?
-Herbal formula written constitutionally
-Acupuncture to modify stress response and treat imbalance
-Holistic lab assessment: assessing physiological FUNCTION—thyroid, adrenal fatigue.
-Digestive assessment: what do you assimilate, what to avoid, how to maximize absorption. Blood typing.
-Detoxification program development
-Wellness coaching: Step by step modifications as you go
Books to get you started:
The Practical Paleo Cookbook
The Paleo Diet for Athletes
Elana’s Pantry (blog)
Food prep and delivery:
Three Stone Hearth (Based in berkeley)
Begin with a three day Food/Mood Log
*This includes what you’ve eaten and how you “felt” with intake (digestion, energy, mood)
*Note other things that alter your blood sugar, like exercise, stress, lack of sleep, changes in menses, colds etc. Note pitfalls/challenges in meeting your objective.
*Use a glucometer if you’d find it useful to test different meals or conditions against one another
Take home TIP: accounting makes assessment easy!