top of page

Do Your Blood Sugars Vary Widely? - Part 2

In a consult with a diabetic, the person told me that their blood sugars varied from 280 (or even as high as 320) to 75. Also, this happened regularly. The A1C value was 9.5 for this person - who does clearly have a severe sugar problem.....

Glucose variability (changes - and even wide changes) in glucose levels in your blood is not the problem. Hyperglycemia (constantly high glucose levels) and hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels) are the problems. We all experience changes in our glucose levels hour-by-hour and even minute-by-minute as we consume food, exercise, fight infection, and sleep. This is true for diabetics AND non-diabetics.

Remember: "Diabetes" is a man-made term. The true disease or condition is insulin resistance. Diabetes just means "significant" insulin resistance. Where you are on the insulin resistance scale is best measured with your A1C value which is a 120 look-back at your blood glucose levels.

Insulin resistance is simply a measure of how hard your hormone insulin has to work to "push" sugar (glucose) into your cells. Your blood glucose levels vary based on the food you eat, your cellular need for fuel, and your level of insulin resistance. The more "resistant" you are, the more likely you glucose levels will swing because a very insulin resistant cell (person) has a harder time getting that sugar into a cell. When the demand for sugar (fuel, glucose) goes up, the insulin resistant person needs a much higher rise compared to the "insulin sensitive" person.

Also, an insulin resistant person will see potentially larger crashes in glucose levels (more prone to hypoglycemia) because they require a bigger rush of insulin to satisfy cellular needs. This excess insulin will often cause your glucose levels to overshoot - on the low end of glucose. The job of insulin is to clear glucose from your blood.

Did you know that your blood only has one teaspoon (4 grams) of glucose at any one time (on average)?


Things that LOWER your blood glucose - without fasting:

Anything that can raise your blood glucose can also cause it to crash as insulin rises to "push" the glucose out of your bloodstream - so look at the previous blog on this topic.

The list the follows are things that lower glucose in a good way - by helping you establish better control over insulin resistance.

1. Physical Activity:

Moving burns more calories (glucose - or hopefully ketone bodies if you own body is trained on burning fats). Exercise also increases your storage of "food in the refrigerator" called glycogen. When you can store more glycogen, you tend to be less hungry and thus are less likely to eat those foods that rapidly resupply sugar - that you know cause your insulin to spike and make you hungry again (a viscous cycle).

2. Probiotic Foods:

Foods that have healthy bacteria, such as many types of yogurt, are called probiotics. They can improve digestion and also may help you control your blood sugar. Some yogurts have added sugar and fruit, so be careful to count the carbs. Buy a high-fat (4%) yogurt and sweeten, if you must, with a low glycemic fruit like berries. Frozen berries are a good, low cost option.

3. More Vegetables:

Studies consistently show that people with type 2 diabetes who more vegetables to their diet had better blood sugar control and needed less insulin. A boost in fiber from vegetables and beans plays a role by slowing down the digestion, thus preventing those insulin "spikes."

4. Cinnamon

A sprinkle of this spice can add flavor without adding carbs or calories. Some studies suggest it also can help the body use insulin better and may lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon, and other spices are very high in "nutrient density." That is, they contain a lot of either vitamins, mineral, or other essential (