blood sugar focus faqs

Your Blood Sugar FAQs

Written by JJ Smith, certified weight management specialist (NESTA) and nutritionist (ANA)

Posted July 16th, 2020 under Diet/Weight Loss, Health and Wellness

Get answers to your questions about blood sugar and your health, weight and energy

So many of you are contacting me with your questions about blood sugar and how it impacts your health. Thank you for staying curious and being invested in your health and wellness. Knowledge truly is power – the more you understand about the connection between blood sugar and your weight, health, and energy levels – the better.

My goal with this blood sugar FAQ is to give you one resource for all of your questions about high blood sugar symptoms, how to lower your blood sugar, and how your blood sugar levels affect your ability to lose weight and keep it off. To stay up to date with the latest on blood sugar and your health, subscribe to my mailing list.

What is blood sugar?

Blood sugar is a key energy source and it helps deliver nutrients to your organs, muscles, and nervous system. Blood sugar is often referred to as glucose.

The foods and beverages you consume are your blood sugar source. Your blood sugar levels fluctuate based on the types of foods and drinks you consume. Foods that are high in fast-acting carbohydrates or sugar cause your blood sugar levels to spike, giving you a temporary energy boost.

Why are my blood sugar levels important?

Your blood sugar levels are important because they impact your health, energy levels, and ability to lose weight and keep it off. When your blood sugar levels are too high or low, you are at risk for a range of serious health complications.

The consequences of a blood sugar level that is outside the normal range for adults, include type 2 diabetes, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), obesity, heart disease, immune system impairment, seizures, nerve damage, blood vessel and kidney issues, and vision problems.

Maintaining normal blood sugar levels makes it easier for your body to:

  • Reduce your risk of disease and illness
  • Properly absorb nutrients from food
  • Lose stored body fat and maintain a healthy weight
  • Maintain consistent energy levels.

What causes my blood sugar levels to fluctuate?

There are three primary causes for fluctuating blood sugar levels:

  1. Food. Your body breaks down everything you eat and absorbs it in different ways. Carbohydrates are converted to blood sugar, impacting your energy levels and stored body fat. Carbohydrates from drinks like soda or energy drinks are absorbed more quickly than the carbohydrates in oatmeal or bread. Eating high carbohydrate and sugary foods causes your blood sugar to spike, encouraging your body to store fat.
  2. Exercise. Because your body uses blood sugar for energy, the amount of exercise you do causes your blood sugar levels to fluctuate. If you exercise regularly, your body slowly adjusts the way it uses insulin, this can help you keep your blood sugar levels inside the normal range for adults.
  3. Insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas and is essential to blood sugar level regulation. Insulin helps you absorb blood sugar into your bloodstream. People with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin and have to inject it daily to ensure correct blood sugar absorption. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body produces insulin, but is not able to use it properly, causing an excess blood sugar in your bloodstream.

What is the connection between blood sugar and energy?

The foods and drinks you consume are converted to blood sugar and this is what gives you energy. The American Diabetes Association explains the connection between blood sugar, energy, and body fat:

When you eat, your body breaks food down into sugar and sends it into the blood. Insulin then helps move the sugar from the blood into your cells. When sugar enters your cells, it is either used as fuel for energy right away or stored for later use.

When you eat high carbohydrate or sugary foods, you cause your blood sugar levels to spike. This gives you very short bursts of energy followed by a feeling of fatigue or sleepiness. If you eat too many foods high in carbohydrates, it is difficult for your body to absorb and use this excess sugar. Instead of using this excess sugar for energy, your body converts it to stored body fat.

What are high blood sugar symptoms?

Do not ignore high blood sugar symptoms and signs, these can be an indicator of a serious health problem. If you are experiencing high blood sugar symptoms, please discuss them with your doctor.

Mild high blood sugar signs and symptoms include:

  • Frequent peeing: to help remove excess blood sugar, your kidneys work overtime, forcing you to pee frequently.
  • Constant thirst: because you’re peeing so much, you become dehydrated and very thirsty.
  • Very low energy: high blood sugar makes it difficult for your body to process insulin correctly, making it difficult to get the energy you need.
  • Increased hunger: when you’re low on energy, your body wants more blood sugar so it can create the energy you need, and the only way to get this is from food. This hunger triggers a secondary response tricking your body into converting blood sugar into fat and storing it for future use, making it very difficult for you to lose weight.

Please do not ignore these signs and symptoms of moderate to severely high blood sugar. Contact your doctor immediately if you or someone you know has these signs and symptoms:

  • Blurry vision
  • Excessive thirst
  • Light-headedness
  • Hot, dry, flushed skin
  • Drowsiness, restlessness, or struggles to stay awake
  • High heart rate and weak pulse
  • Deep and rapid breathing
  • Stomach pain, vomiting, or no appetite
  • Very strong, fruity breath.

What will lower my blood sugar?

We all struggle with stress eating, the mid-afternoon snack attack, and blood sugar spikes that leave us lethargic and low. When you can maintain consistent blood sugar levels, you have more energy throughout the day, can more easily release stored body fat, and prevent the onset of serious health conditions.

To lower your blood sugar and keep it within a normal range for adults, follow these blood sugar level tips:

  1. Cut down on the amount of fast-acting carbohydrates you eat. Fast-acting carbohydrates are the foods that spike blood sugar, such as white bread, soda, candy, baked goods, and white rice or pasta. Instead of these fast-acting carbohydrates, eat more slow-acting carbohydrates like whole wheat bread, brown rice, large flake oats, sweet potatoes, couscous, bananas, lentils, and butternut squash for a steady energy release during the day and stable blood sugar levels.
  2. Exercise regularly. Exercise helps you relieve stress, build muscle, burn calories, and regulate your insulin levels. Regular exercise trains your body and muscles to use blood sugar for energy and fuel, preventing the storage of excess body fat and insulin resistance.
  3. Focus on fiber. Fiber is essential for good digestion, easy pooping, and slowing blood sugar absorption. So many people miss out on fiber because they are not eating fruits, vegetables, and slow-acting carbohydrates. A high-fiber diet helps you regulate your blood sugar levels and makes you feel full, preventing you from overeating.
  4. Stay hydrated. When you pee, you flush extra blood sugar from your body. When you’re dehydrated, you stop peeing, causing a buildup of blood sugar and the trickle-over impacts of high blood sugar spikes and weight gain.
  5. Manage your stress. All of us stress eat. When we stress eat, we turn to our favorite carbohydrate- and sugar-rich foods. This causes a blood sugar spike, low energy, an increased appetite, more eating, and weight gain.
  6. Take a supplement proven to promote healthy blood sugar levels. Blood Sugar Focus naturally reduces glucose absorption and production. This proprietary blend of herbs and minerals supports healthy blood sugar levels, helping you to lose weight, maintain consistent energy levels, and provides specific support for pre-diabetes and diabetes.

I hope this blood sugar FAQ answers your questions about the connections between high blood sugar and your health, weight, and energy levels. Make sure you subscribe to my mailing list so you can keep up with my latest articles, books, and products to help you stay slim, feel great, and live your best life.

Remember high blood sugar levels can lead to serious health consequences – please talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any high blood sugar symptoms.