Tracy Cook, NP-C
Can you tell exactly what time of day it is without looking at the clock because of how you feel? Do you wake up in the middle of the night at the same time every night? Do you or someone you know, turn into an angry beast and disrupt the family unit because of this new metro term we like to call “HANGRY”?
The world today chuckles and calls it HANGRY, but for all too long I have known this phenomenon that is otherwise known as hypoglycemia or “low blood sugar” and NO, a Snickers bar is not the solution.
The most common causes of hypoglycemia are:
Stress: physical (overwork, lack of rest, illnesses, injuries) and emotional (fear, hatred. insecurity. hostility, etc.)
Nutritional: (too much sugar and coffee, highly processed carbohydrate food from which factors needed for proper liver function are removed, nutritional imbalance)
Chemical: (poisons, alcohol. smoking. drugs, preservatives, sweeteners, softeners, alkalizers, acidifiers, hormones, dyes, antioxidants, hydrogenated oils).
Hypoglycemia relates to nutritional imbalances in most of the cases and treated mostly by the proper diet. Therefore, it is very important to understand the sugar control of our body. Sugar is the fuel of the body and is needed both for energy and heating. It is most important for the functioning of our brain. A prolonged lack of sugar may cause irreparable brain damage. Generally, we suffer faster from lack of sugar than from the abundance of it in our blood.
Sugar is obtained from the food we eat. Every kind of food can be transformed into a special type of sugar: glucose that is carried by the blood to the different parts of the body. Some food is converted into glucose very fast (alcohol. sugars. starches), others slowly (proteins, fats). If we eat too much readily convertible food, the level of the blood sugar goes up fast and insulin is secreted. This helps to store the excess sugar in the liver and in the muscles. The surplus is converted into fat. But the sugar converted into fat is not readily available. Only 10% of it can be reconverted into blood sugar.
The solution is that instead of relying on the malfunctioning regulating mechanism, you take over the control of your blood sugar level. This can be done by eating those foods which are either low in carbohydrates or are slowly converted into blood sugar (proteins and fats).
According to a medical research 9 out of 10 overweight persons have reactive hypoglycemia. This explains their craving for food and especially for sweets. To overcome this, they need to balance their macronutrients at every meal and avoid high carbohydrate and sugary foods. You should have a balanced nutritional intake of lean meats, healthy fats, seeds and nuts and lots and lots of non-starchy vegetables.
So, the next time you notice being “HANGRY”, stop and look at what you are eating. If you need help, talk to your health care provider for more education and tools.
Tracy Cook is an Adult Nurse Practitioner who owns and operates a private medical practice: Adult Health Services and Argyle Medspa and Wellness Center, is a resident of Robson Ranch and a Living Well committee member. For any questions or more information please visit her website: www.Argylemedspa.com.
Tracy Cook, NP-C