Have you been on the blood glucose roller coaster?
Have you ever felt foggy in the afternoon?
Do you wake up in the middle of the night?
Do you crave something sweet after a meal?
Are you looking to optimize your health in a simple way?
In the video below, I go over an amazing new device that has functional medicine practitioners and health enthusiasts all over the world excited – continuous blood glucose monitoring! Before shooting this video, I ate 4 dates to demonstrate the utility of the device and the valuable insight it can provide.
Some might think that blood glucose monitoring is reserved only for diabetics but nothing could be further from the truth. Blood sugar is one of the most important (and accessible) markers to measure your overall health. Now you can do it in real time!
Typically when you see your doctor, you’d have to be fasting for 12 hours to get a reading. Sadly, this is not a good indicator of your overall blood sugar management since the average person spends 70% of their day in a postprandial state (which means they just ate in the last few hours).
Fasting for 12 hours and getting your blood drawn while you’re simultaneously late for work is not the ideal condition to measure your blood glucose since it’s impacted by stress (stress increases cortisol, which increased blood glucose).
Keeping this in mind, it’s worth noting that checking your blood sugar 1-2 times a year is not a good reflection of how you manage it throughout the day/week/month/year and does not reflect real world or real-time conditions, thus diminishing its potential value as a meaningful data point.
Blood sugar regulation impacts 2 hormones that we have (full) control over – insulin and cortisol. Both of these hormones create a cascade of effects throughout the body and impact virtually every cell/organ/system.
Poor blood sugar regulation is the basis of many chronic diseases or contributes to them. If your blood sugar is not properly controlled, healing will not occur efficiently. When you work with a functional medicine practitioner, blood sugar regulation is one of the most important aspects of your health that we try to regular. For the most part, we were flying blind and relying on symptoms to know well this marker was being managed. Thankfully, we can rely on objective data instead of subjective reporting from patients.
Here are some signs/symptoms/diseases associated with poor blood sugar control:
- worsening of autoimmunity
- brain fog
- low energy
- waking up at night or poor sleep
- cravings for sugar
- needing something sweet after a meal
- feeling tired after a meal
- poor memory
- poor concentration
- need for caffeine
- skin tags
- “liver spots” on skin
- fatty liver
- high triglycerides
- high cholesterol
- cardiovascular disease
- dementia and Alzheimer’s
- adrenal issues
- weight gain around the midsection, weight loss
- anger when hungry
- kidney failure
Until now, your only option was to prick your finger when you wanted a reading. This would give spotty data at best and compliance, as you can imagine, is quite low.
Why should I use a Continuous Blood Glucose Monitor?
Great question! First off, the device is very easy and painless to use. It provides data on demand with the press of a button. As someone who is trying to optimize health, it makes sense for me to regulate my blood sugar as it has such a widespread impact on the rest of my hormones, metabolism, and brain function.
It’s also super interesting to see how different foods and stressors impact your blood sugar. When your blood sugar goes up, it can indirectly indicate an increase in the stress hormone cortisol which will create a corresponding impact on insulin. Insulin is a “mitogenic” hormone that has a whole host of nasty effects on the body, such as:
- weight gain around the mid-section
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- hormonal imbalances
I’ve been having some fun monitoring my blood glucose and my response to daily events such as meals, exercise, phone calls, and meetings. Check out the image below that shows you how I responded with eating 4 dates (and doing the video above), an annoying sales call, and some issues with our website. It’s really fascinating to see how my brain and body create this internal response from external stimuli.
This data should make it easier for me to say “NO” to foods and situations I find myself in.
If you’d like to purchase your own unit and start experimenting with this novel device by Abbott, go here: https://myfreestyle.ca/en/products/libre
This is a device that we hope to introduce to our patients as an effective way of managing their health and wellness initiatives. If one cannot control blood sugar, all the other work will go to the wayside.