Managing Blood Sugar for PCOS
PCOS may appear as a reproductive disorder. At its core, PCOS is an endocrine disorder. This means that we need to closely pay attention to blood sugar and insulin when managing PCOS.
Over and over again, I see unregulated blood sugar due to food choices. Once I help clients better manage this, big changes happen and ultimately we are better able to manage PCOS symptoms.
I was someone that always struggled with low blood sugar, fatigue, “hanger” cues and the shakes. So I know what this feels like (if you’re someone who struggles with low blood sugar). Then, if I ate something high in carbs or sugar, I felt shakier, sick to my stomach and ended up with a headache!
It was honestly a never ending battle. I also felt anxious and stressed if I had to go more than three hours without being near food. All because of my whacked out blood sugar.
Not to mention, my PCOS symptoms were in full swing during this time.
If this is also you, you’re not alone. You don’t have to feel like this!
I was able to break this cycle and prevent the harmful effects that the swings in blood sugar and insulin could have had on my body down the road. I did this just through nutrition and lifestyle changes! You can too, my friend!
Swings in Blood Sugar
Swings in blood sugar and especially high blood sugar can be harmful. Particularly if it goes unattended to for quite some time. Glucose or sugar enters the body through the consumption of foods rich in carbohydrates like grains, processed snack foods, fruit and even starchy vegetables.
When you overload your system with glucose, it signals the pancreas to release insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin helps carry the glucose into the cells so that you can use it as energy.
What you don’t want is extremely high levels of blood sugar for a long period of time.
It can lead to various complications pertaining to your health. Some things that can result from high blood sugar levels are weight gain, diabetes, stroke, eyesight issues, fatigue and intense sugar cravings.
Tools to Manage Your Blood Sugar
There are many natural approaches to managing your blood sugar and even get things back in check!
The idea is to eat nourishing foods that are low in sugar, good healthy fats and protein. Real, whole foods are always the best option.
Protein and healthy fats will help to stabilize blood sugar throughout the day. Trying to stick to 2-3 meals daily can also be beneficial.
Quick tip, letting your blood sugar get too low can be very stressful to the body. If you’re someone who typically skips a meal and is ravenous a few hours later, try something different!
Carry a protein rich snack for an on-the-go option like nuts or make a quick meal ahead of time to have on hand. The key is to avoid these rollercoasters throughout the day.
Sleep and Exercise
A combination of daily movement and a proper sleep schedule is the recipe for success when it comes to managing your blood sugar levels.
When you workout, it increases your ability to metabolize glucose and rid the blood stream of all that excess sugar that is hanging out in there.
In fact, a fasted walk before breakfast or walking after meals can balance blood sugar and insulin levels.
Likewise, adequate sleep will boost your tolerance of glucose and essentially increase glucose metabolism.
Did you know that when you are tired you don’t sleep enough you’re at a higher risk of swings in blood sugar, insulin and ultimately diabetes?
Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. One hour before bedtime, hit the switch! Shut off the computer and dim the lights. Recent studies show that blue light can likely impair glucose metabolism.
Check out some of these blood sugar friendly snacks below. For more information or to personally start your healing journey, reach out to me. I’d love to hear how I can help you!
Blood Sugar Friendly Snacks
- Celery Sticks with 1-2 TBS Nut Butter
- Olives and Sharp Goat Cheese Slices
- Half Avocado with Olive Oil and Sea Salt
- Mixed Raw Nuts
- Hard Boiled Egg
- Herbal Tea with 1-2 Scoop Collagen Powder
- 1 cup Bone Broth