Diabetes & Blood Sugar Management
The CDC reports that over 84 million people (1/3 of all Americans) have pre-diabetes, also known as insulin resistance, and 90% don’t know that they have it.
Blood sugars rise any time we eat. In response, the body secretes a hormone called insulin. Insulin’s job is to lower blood sugar levels by “unlocking the gate” in each cell of the body, thus allowing the cell to take in glucose as fuel.
This process is critical for having enough physical and mental energy to fuel your day. Insulin resistance occurs when the muscles and tissues of the body are less “responsive” to insulin, causing blood sugar levels to stay higher for longer, which in turn causes the body to work harder to secrete more insulin.
Diabetes occurs when the ability of the cell to respond to insulin is greatly diminished, and blood sugars stay significantly elevated, most or all of the time. Chronically elevated blood sugars can damage blood cells, blood vessels, nervous tissue and organs.
Blood sugar irregularities may present as:
- Fatigue/low energy
- Difficult focusing or concentrating
- Feeling hungry “all the time” or “never”
- Poor sleep
- Changes to body composition
Risk factors for developing Type 2 Diabetes include:
- Being age 45 or older
- Being physically active less than 3 times per week
- Have a family member with diabetes
- Had gestational diabetes
- Are of African American, Hispanic, Native American, or Pacific Islander descent. Some Asian American populations as also at increased risk of developing diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Complications of diabetes include blindness, neuropathy and kidney damage. Long term blood sugar dysregulation can impact neurological health (including cognition and dementia), heart health and risk of stroke, digestive disorder, and chronic inflammation.
The good news about diabetes and blood sugar management is that they are very responsive to diet and lifestyle changes!
Our nutritionists will help you find the right combination of factors (diet, exercise, stress management, sleep support, supplements), to impact your blood sugar management in a way that feels sustainable to you. Our approach isn’t as much about prescribing rules to follow, as it is to explore your lifestyle and support you in making changes that you feel confident about. Changing habits can take more than one try, and we’re committed to helping you not only get to your health goals, but feel empowered by the process.
Call us today at 206.853.0534 and schedule an appointment with one of our diabetes and blood sugar management nutrition specialists below.