How to Control Blood Sugar when you have Fibromyalgia

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If it’s not one thing it’s something else. Many times, people who undergo from fibromyalgia also suffer from reactive hypoglycemia too. There is a very well-established connection between insulin sensitivity and fibromyalgia syndrome. Researchers are very well aware of the fact that most individuals suffering from fibromyalgia also suffer from hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.

Of course, this is made worse by the fact that individuals suffering from fibromyalgia feel like they must increase their energy by consuming more carbohydrates. This will, in turn, lead to a sugar crash. After all, as we all know, fatigue leads to sugary carbohydrate cravings- which then mean that the body simply can’t correctly process the high blood sugar that occurs as a result.

This, in turn, leads to weight gain. Carbohydrates work to stimulate the production of insulin by the body. Insulin is made to move the glucose from the carbohydrates into the cells where it can be used as fuel for energy. If an individual has fibromyalgia, they more than likely also have a hormonal imbalance that causes their body to produce too much insulin, which means that instead of the glucose being transferred to cells for energy, it is actually moved into the muscles and cells and stored by the body as fat.

Reactive hypoglycemia

Reactive hypoglycemia is not the same with hypoglycemia, which takes place after fasting. Fasting hypoglycemia is a low blood sugar that takes place as a result of not eating anything at all. On the other hand, reactive hypoglycemia is often overlooked because it does not manifest itself in the same way as fasting hypoglycemia.

It actually takes place within a few hours after eating a huge amount of carbs. The quick rush of the carbs getting into our small intestines can lead to the rapid absorption of glucose. This causes our pancreas to produce an extremely huge amount of insulin. Our body tries to compensate for the added insulin due to the flooding of carbohydrates by producing adrenaline.

This in turn causes blood sugar levels to plummet, and energy level in the individual reduces resulting in lethargy. The immediate response of the individual is to consume more sugar or carbs to gain energy. This vicious cycle repeats itself.

Symptom s that fibromyalgia and hypoglycemia have in common

Here just some of the symptoms that apply to both fibromyalgia and hypoglycemia Fatigue, Sugar, carbohydrate cravings, Heart palpitations, Anxiety, Sweating, Sensitivity to cold, Headaches and Lightheadedness. For the hypoglycemic, these symptoms are expected to settle in about two or three hours after eating a food that contains carbohydrates.

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Those carbs are a great source of energy for the brain and cells throughout the body. The human body naturally converts the food into glucose, and insulin is released from the pancreas in order to unlock the cells so that the glucose can enter. When an excess amount of glucose is present in the bloodstream, your body will store it as glycogen. If you don’t eat anything for a long period of time then the glucose in your blood stream drops for other reasons, your body will liberate stored glycogen and metabolize it for energy.

His is the process that keeps the optimal level of glucose in the bloodstream at all times, but it doesn’t work properly for those suffering from hypoglycemia. In this case, blood glucose levels drop too low, causing those symptoms listed above. The body may produce more insulin than is actually needed, removing too much glucose from the bloodstream. The adrenal glands are also over stimulated due to the rush of glucose, resulting in the overproduction of adrenaline to help with the surge of insulin.

Some people experience the symptoms of hypoglycemia if they go too long during the day without eating, but others may experience extreme symptoms as a response to consuming sugar and refined carbohydrates. This is frequently referred as “reactive hypoglycemia” and is the type of the condition repeatedly experienced by fibromyalgia sufferers.

Effect of sugar on chronic pain

What does all that sugar do to us? Well we already know that it’s unhealthy when consumed in excessive amounts. For those of us with chronic pain, sugar is even more dangerous. Though it’s appealing to eat sugar filled foods or drinks to give us energy, too much of the material can direct to accelerated weight gain. According to various studies published in the Journal of Pain, obesity has a direct affect in increasing the severity of symptoms including pain, function, mood and sleep.

Sugar also wreaks chaos on the nerves which can escort to razor-sharp pain, lack of feeling or scratchy feeling linked with nerve injury. When consumed in large amounts, sugar causes the nerves to absorb water. As the water is absorbed, the nerves swell. At the same time, sugar makes the nerves and their defensive outside layer (known as the myelin sheath), less flexible and more prone to cracking and damage.

Over the long term, this combination of less pliable nerves and repeated swelling can damage the nerves, resulting in neuropathy (whose symptoms include sharp, stabbing pains in the hands, legs, arms and feet).

How to overcome sugar addiction

Chromium supplement moves blood sugar from the bloodstream into cells to be used for energy and digest food as well. Chromium helps balance blood sugar levels and is often used by patients with type 2 diabetes to manage blood sugar.

It also helps the body burn fat. According to Dr. Axe, you should take 200 mcg three times daily, with meals. B-vitamins will help curb your sugar cravings by keeping us running. Their primary role is to help our bodies convert food into fuel to allow us to stay energized throughout the day.

B-vitamins can be particularly helpful in eliminating those afternoon crashes that can frequently make us want to reach for sugar.

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References:

  • Controlling Your Blood Sugar When You Have Fibromyalgia via Fibromyalgia Treating
  • Fibromyalgia and Hypoglycemia – What’s the Connection? via Living Smarter with Fibromyalgia

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