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What your breakfast says about you


You’ve probably heard before that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yes, this is true. It sets the tone for your blood sugar regulation for your entire day. Why is that so important? Blood sugar maintenanace is important for all aspects of physiology. When blood sugar drops or is erratic during the day the brain kicks into survival mode, calling on your adrenal glands (glands on top of kidneys) to secrete cortisol to bring up your blood sugar.

Dysglycemia is a term used to describe irregular blood sugar patterns. There are two main types of dysglycemia related to diet and lifestyle: reactive hypoglycemia and insulin resistance.   

Reactive Hypoglycemia happens when your eating has been so sporadic that your blood sugar is dropping, then you are craving high sugar carbohydrates to bring the blood sugar up, and then it spikes your blood sugar again and then the cycle continues.  If this continues for a long period of time it will eventually lead towards insulin resistance and diabetes.  

Insulin resistance  occurs when you are eating carbohydrate rich foods and sugar causing high levels of glucose to be in the bloodstream for extended periods of time which in turn causes your insulin receptors to become resistant. This  means there is not enough insulin to transport glucose from the blood stream into the cell.  When glucose is unable to enter the cell it will become oxidized into free radical compounds called glycolated end products.  These compounds exhibit inflammatory responses in the body.

So how does this all relate to breakfast? People with reactive hypoglycemia can have a difficult time waking up, are often times nauseous, and don’t usually eat breakfast. Their only “breakfast” is the cup of Starbucks on the way to work. Because of the long period of fasting between their dinner the night before and their first meal (usually a mid-morning snack), their blood sugar is too low and they lose energy quickly.

People with insulin resistance will typically wake up not feeling rested and have cravings for sugar. They consume a high-carb/high-sugar breakfast, but their sugar cravings do not go away. Because of the over consumption of carbs, they become fatigued after meals. This results in making an afternoon trip to Starbucks in hopes that the caffiene will prevent that fatigue feeling.

Do either of these scenarios sound like you? Do you want to know for sure? Be sure to ask how runing a few simple blood tests and making some simple dietary and lifestyle modifications can lead to better regulation of your blood sugar.