How to avoid the dangers of blood sugar imbalance

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), more than 29 million Americans suffer from serious blood sugar imbalances such as diabetes.  However, most of these people have no idea how serious an imbalance can be for their health.

Insulin is your metabolism’s “master hormone” and is responsible for delivering sugar to your body’s cells to be used for energy. Insulin also controls blood sugar levels, helps burn fat and aides in breaking down complex carbohydrates. But if the body cannot produce balanced levels of insulin—then too much sugar remains in the body, which can be harmful.

Excess sugar in the body can cause health problems such as extreme thirst, fatigue, energy loss, frequent urination and weight gain. And this excess sugar circulating in the bloodstream can cause damage in the heart, kidneys, eyes and brain.

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Another cause for alarm is the rising number of people who are headed for a blood sugar disaster. The ADA states that as of 2012, more than 86 million people age 20 or older are “pre-diabetics”. This is an increasingly common condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal—but not yet at more chronic levels associated with diabetes.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services research shows pre-diabetics are more likely to develop chronic blood sugar abnormalities. It is imperative that people examine their lifestyle and develop a healthy diet and exercise plan to help reduce the risk of developing blood sugar imbalance.

One way to help control blood sugar levels is by choosing foods with low glycemic numbers. The Glycemic Index (GI) measures the amount of sugar in food.  Foods with low glycemic numbers like whole grain bread, vegetables and fruits, help normalize your blood sugar. They can also help stabilize your metabolism so you burn body fat and keep your appetite in check.

Foods with very high GIs send blood sugar and insulin levels off the charts. The extra insulin eventually causes blood sugar to drop quickly—and leaves you feeling dizzy, shaky, tired and hungry for more sugar.

Regular exercise can help you control your weight and normalize blood sugar levels. As your muscles contract during exercise, they use sugar for energy. This can help rid your body of excess sugar before it can damage your health.

In addition to boosting your exercise program and eating low GI foods, there are natural alternatives to help balance blood sugar. Cinnamon provides another natural blood sugar balancer. Research shows that the spice cinnamon has properties that help to stabilize your blood sugar.

To get a dose of cinnamon, sprinkle it into oatmeal or add it to hot tea or cider. You can also take natural supplements that include cinnamon for an added boost to your health.

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Peyton Kennedy

By Peyton Kennedy

Peyton Kennedy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications from Auburn University. Her varied experience includes journalism, marketing, public relations and social media. She currently lives in Birmingham, Ala., with her husband Tom and dog Mosby. In her spare time, Kennedy enjoys movies, reading and Auburn football.