By now, everybody knows that ditching sugary drinks (even “diet” drinks) and high-carb foods is a good idea to keep your blood sugar under control. But did you know there are actually other factors that may silently be wrecking your efforts?
When you are stressed, your body dumps stress hormones in your blood stream, which release sugar to give you energy to run away from whatever danger you are faced with. Unfortunately, our bodies are still wired to flee from predators such as sabre-tooth tigers and can’t tell the difference between a physical stressor or a mental one.
This is where self-care steps in – find some alone-time to do something that relaxes you, whether it’s talking a walk or meditating, but also make sure you take active steps to reduce the sources of stress in your life (toxic relationships are a good example of this).
2. Exposure to WiFi
We often don’t give our WiFi gadgets a second thought but whether we feel the effect of the electrosmog we live in or not, it always has a detrimental effect on the body at a cellular level. Indeed, mobile phones and routers emit microwave radiation that make us feel tired all the time and raise our blood sugar, amongst other effects.
Position your router as far away from your living area, turn it off night, put your mobile phone on airplane mode whenever possible and put as much distance between your phone and your body when it is on.
3. Lack of deep sleep
Lack of sleep blunts your body’s ability to process blood sugar and will make it very difficult for you to lose weight. Take steps to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep by sleeping in a cool, dark room, not exposing your eyes to blue light emitted by phones or tablets one hour before bedtime, trying to go to bed at the same time each day and going easy on the alcohol and coffee in the afternoons.
4. Too little or too much exercise
You probably know that walking or even just moving around can lower your blood sugar and make you more insulin-sensitive. But equally, tough exercise such as heavy weight-lifting and running marathons can cause it to rise. That’s not to say you should avoid these activities, it just means you have to ramp up your exercise intensity more carefully and monitor your blood sugar regularly if you want to take part in these activities.
5. Some medication
Corticosteroids, diuretics, some drugs for high blood pressure and depression can keep your blood sugar high even when your lifestyle and diet are on point. Talk to your doctor if you take any of these.
Even if your diabetes is well under control, any illness or infection can cause your blood glucose to rise. This is because illness is a stress on the body, and is associated with increased levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which counter the effects of insulin.
It makes it harder for your body to control your insulin levels, therefore pushing your blood sugar up. If you smoke, you need to take steps towards quitting.
8. Lack of vitamin D
Vitamin D has many functions in the body, including maintaining calcium levels and phosphorus, blood pressure regulation, immunity and insulin balance. Getting 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight per day without sunscreen is recommended to get sufficient levels of vitamin D3. Failing that, you need to either get a UVB lamp, or supplement with vitamin D3.
9. Exposure to environmental pollutants
Heavy metals like mercury (in dental fillings) and aluminium (in vaccines and deodorants) can accumulate in the pituitary gland, disrupting hormone production, one of them being insulin. They also increase your chances of developing degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism and diabetes. Then we have glyphosate in our food, chlorine and fluoride in our drinking water and parabens in our toiletries, which all contribute to disrupting your hormones.
A good start would be to limit your exposure by filtering your drinking water, buying organic food whenever possible and removing anti-bacterial hand-wash from your house.
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