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Low Blood Sugar Blues


How do you know if you`ve got the low blood sugar blues? Low blood sugar, medically called hypoglycemia, has many different symptoms

How do you know if you've got the low blood sugar blues? Low blood sugar, medically called hypoglycemia, has many different symptoms. These range from feeling irritable upon missing a meal to drastic mood swings during premenstrual syndrome. It has such a variety of symptoms that it is often misdiagnosed and overlooked.

Low blood sugar causes people to feel hungry between meals. People will often crave foods that are both sweet and high in carbohydrates. However after eating these foods, patients still don't feel well and they become sluggish and tired.

Before making a comprehensive treatment plan for hypoglycemia, one must look at the functions and control of blood sugar. Sugar is transported in the blood and carried through the body's cells. It produces a compound called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This compound is needed for all cellular activity of the body, therefore it is absolutely essential that the blood can carry this fuel at a constant level. Without adequate blood sugar levels, the body cannot function.

The Big Three

There are three main organs that regulate the control of blood sugar: the pancreas, liver and adrenal glands. The pancreas produces insulin and glucagon. These hormones ensure that blood sugar levels are neither too low (glucagon) nor too high (insulin). The adrenal gland plays a key function in making sure blood sugar levels are high enough. There is also new research indicating that the liver helps with sugar metabolism by creating insulin receptor sites.

To maintain optimal blood sugar levels, it is imperative that each of these organs run smoothly. By strengthening the health of these organs, blood sugar metabolism will be much improved.

For 15 months, research has been conducted on the use of natural medicine and blood sugar metabolism. A formula containing five herbs was found to not only lower fasting blood sugar levels by 33 per cent in the majority of adult onset diabetics, but also raised blood sugar levels in patients with hypo-glycemia. Thus it was shown that many of the herbs that were used traditionally to treat diabetes were also effective in treating low blood sugar levels. This reinforces the theory that herbs have adaptogenic regulating effects.

The formula contains jambul, prickly pear cactus, devil's club, milk thistle, and globe artichoke. Jambul, also known as Java plant, is an evergreen tree that grows up to nine metres in height. This native of Southwestern Asia and Australia produces a fruit which tastes like an apricot. It is, however the seed which is considered to be one of the most powerful plants for diabetes in the Ayurvedic repertory. Modern research confirms these effects.

Prickly pear cactus, native in hot desert regions, produces a purple edible fruit. Recent clinical trials show that taking prickly pear not only helps with blood sugar control, but also lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Another plant known for its prickly nature is devil's club. Native to the Pacific Northwest, devil's club is prized for its tonifying and balancing effects on the body. It was one of the most powerful medicinal plants used by the aboriginal peoples of the North America West Coast.

The results of clinical trials involving 22 people indicated promising results in the treatment of blood sugar disorders. Hypoglycemia patients were able to lower the hypoglycemic score index by 67 percent after a six week administration of this formula. The hypoglycemic score was indicated by assigning a numerical value to the intensity and frequency of the following symptoms:

  1. Dizziness when standing up suddenly
  2. Loss of vision when standing suddenly
  3. Craving sweets
  4. Headaches relieved by eating sweets
  5. Feeling shaky or jittery
  6. Irritability if a meal is missed
  7. Heart palpitations after eating sweets
  8. Need to drink coffee to get started
  9. Impatient, moody, nervous
  10. Feeling faint
  11. Forgetfulness
  12. Calmer after eating
  13. Poor concentration

Since hypoglycemic patients often have a hard time coping with their hunger between meals when the blood sugar drops, people commonly eat often. Most of the hypoglycemic patients in the study had decreased appetite between meals, thus patients were also able to lose weight. Patients also noted that the effects were much more profound than previous treatments for hypoglycemia, including chromium and B vitamin supplementation.



Brain Storm

Brain Storm

Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNMMichelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM