In the last century, North Americans increased their consumption of sugar from 3-4 pounds per year to 150 pounds per year. Since the 1970’s, consumption of refined carbohydrates increased by 30 percent. These dramatic changes in our diet have directly contributed to the increased incidence of numerous diseases, including diabetes and obesity, which are now at epidemic proportions.
Understanding Hormonal Control of Blood Sugar
Glucose, also known as blood sugar, is the major fuel source of every cell in the body. It is liberated from carbohydrates during digestion and moves from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. Excessive glucose levels causes premature aging, reduced immune function, and contributes to heart and kidney disease. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas to lower blood sugar, is necessary for the cells of the body to absorb and use glucose once it reaches the bloodstream. Ideally, glucose and insulin fluctuate gradually during the day and levels stay within a limited range. If blood sugar spikes up quickly or is continually elevated by diet choices, the pancreas must work hard to release large amounts of insulin to regulate glucose levels. Over time, an overworked pancreas loses its ability to produce enough insulin causing blood sugar to surge out of control wreaking havoc throughout the body (insulin resistance).
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Han to find out what diet/lifestyle strategy is most beneficial to you to get your blood sugar level back into balance.