Finding answers to your health issues – Part 2
Do you feel foggy headed, tired and anxious?
Catholic Natural Health Guide for Getting Healthy
by Rita Davidson
Do you feel shaky, lethargic, tired, and irritable? Shortness of breath, anxiety and panic? Foggy headed, depressed, headachey, and confused? Lightheaded, and sleepy, yet with a ravenous hunger, you try to hide from everyone?
Well, if this sounds like you even just a bit, and your hoping no one finds out about your ravenous hunger, no worries. Your secret is safe with me.
You see, that was me not too long ago. Anxiety plagued me for years starting about 10 years ago. Foggy headed and constant headaches were me too. Shaky was something I remembered watching in my own father when he had ravenous hunger at meal time and would dig into the butter or sugar with shaky hands.
So, what could possibly cause all these symptoms?
Low Blood Sugar
You see my dad was an insulin dependent diabetic. I grew up with diabetes all around me. When he would grab a spoon of sugar with shaky hands like he hadn't eaten in a week, his blood sugar was too low.
Years later, I didn't realize the connection of my symptoms were the same. When I had uncontrollable hunger, always craving breads, pizza, or a second plate, I didn't realize it was because my eating was so haphazard.
This is a key, in my next article, so I'll skip this for now. But December 2010 when I became so weak I couldn't peel potatoes, my low blood sugar had reached a peak. My anxiety had increased, and I just didn't feel strong anymore, but shaky. A good doctor that was working with my boys, clued me in.
So what is low blood sugar?
In simple terms, low blood sugar is when your insulin lowers your blood sugar too fast. You eat say, a pasta dish or oatmeal, and soon after you feel tired. In two hours, you feel hungry again. If you don't eat something then, your going to crash, and soon after that shaky feeling will take over. It becomes a cycle of up and down sugars. And it is often brought on by poor eating habits and food choices.
Digestion is not done just by your stomach, but by a partnering of your liver, and pancreas too (and adrenals, but that is for another article). When you eat, sugar is absorbed mostly by your liver, where a quarter of it is kept. The rest goes into your circulation. As it circulates, the pancreas puts out insulin to bring down the blood level sugars. But if the blood sugar is too high, it ends up making fat deposits instead of burning it off. (stay with me, those with weight to lose, good tips are coming!).
It's a delicate balance of hormones to keep our body in balance. With our busy lives, and as busy moms forgetting to eat is a common practice. How often do you get up grab a coffee and get started?
Coffee is a common drink that lowers blood sugar and will give you a crash in a few hours if you don't eat something to keep that from happening.
Keeping your blood sugar levels stable is the most important thing you can do for your weight as well as for getting through your day! New studies have now shown that high blood sugars can lead to cancers and heart disease. Knowing how low blood sugars can wreak havoc on your appetite (making you not able to control your eating!)and increase your instability in how you feel, you now have one tip on how to get back to a clear mind, and start getting control of your health and eventually your weight.
So, how do you keep your blood sugar levels stable?
Well, you may have already guessed, eating often is key. Moderation, moderation. Skipping meals and eating haphazard is not healthy. But there are a few other things to keep in mind.
As you seen in our discussion above, eating carbohydrates is really key here.
Breakfast starts with cereal, then lunch is a sandwich, then supper is pasta.
Do you see a pattern here? We are carb addicts!
The first step to getting control of low blood sugar is reduce your carbohydrates.
So start with this list:
1. Eliminate all sugars. Refined sweets, even natural sweeteners.
2. Keep a watch on caffeine beverages that lower blood sugar. Coffee, chocolate, cola, tea and alcohol.
3. Reduce or eliminate white flour products. (see our first post on this here)
In addition to reducing and eliminating the above, consider adding these new habits to your life:
1. Eat 3 meals a day- Do not skip meals
2. Plan for healthy snacks in between meals.
3. Get more rest. For busy moms, and new moms this is hard, but you must. (Hubby's consider this a top priority for your busy wife. ) It is the key to being able to cope with demands and is key to keeping weight off. (Yes! see our next article on this)
4. Eat more protein snacks.
5. Eat more good fats with your protein.
We live in a world that tells us Low fat this, cut out the fat! But, new studies have shown that we need fat. Good fats, not the deep fried kind, but good fats, like olive oil, coconut oil, and real butter. (not the plastic margarine kind).
Good fats, were the key for me being able control my low blood sugars. They help to slow down digestion of sugars so that they go through the bloodstream slower. My low blood sugar had got so bad, that I was constantly shaky, daily anxiety and panic attacks and general uneasiness all the time. Eating carbs did not do it for me as it would make me sleepy. So, I opted for higher protein choices like:
Adding good fats, like:
These choices made all the difference for me to heal. At first I had to eat every 2 hours. I literally was so full, that I barely had an appetite, but at first, I'm not kidding! I just could not go longer than 2 hours without getting shaky all over again. (my pancreas, and liver really needed some TLC) Keeping off the panic attacks were motivation for me so it wasn't hard. And it did get better.
Now I can almost go from meal to meal if I'm really careful. Eating higher protein and lots of good fats, and not letting my blood sugar get low, allowed my body to heal my out of whack blood sugars.
I now feel more stable, more clear headed and more able to deal with my daily life.
In general these symptoms could also be signs of something else, but if your in relatively in good health, just taking note of your eating habits, and being sure you are eating well, and often, might help you feel better right away. You have nothing to lose.
Quick and Easy breakfast: (Pick up The Catholic Health Letter Anthology for more great recipes.)
Handful of nuts
Tablespoon of butter
Mix it up in a bowl, sprinkle cinnamon if you like it (I didn't) and eat that for breakfast. It's high protein, good fat and fast and easy for busy mornings!
For me, I had to dig deeper to get my health back, but this was a first BIG step.
I'll cover another biggie for me, in next article.
Stay healthy, all for God's glory!
Let me know if this helps you? Have you tried this breakfast, and did you notice you felt better? Post below
©Copyright 2012 Rita Davidson All Rights Reserved.
Rita is a Catholic wife and mother of seven children. Mark is her ever patient husband. She reverted back to the faith when her oldest was making her First Communion. By then, she had completed degrees in Hairdressing and Make up artistry. She went on to receive a degree in Natural Health and another degree in Art. At age 26, Rita suffered a minor stroke. With no lasting effects, this dramatically changed her outlook on life. In 1996, Rita began ‘Little Flowers Family Apostolates’ to reach out to other families with her new found faith, by creating unique Catholic books and resources.. In 1999, she wrote the bestselling, ‘Immodesty; Satan’s Virtue’. She was editor of ‘The Catholic Health Letter’ for 7 years. She has been a homeschooling mom for 20+ years, and has written for various magazines. She is honored that families have trusted her with their questions, needs and concerns over the years. She continues to write and reach out to Catholic families with her husband, Mark and their 4 boys through http://www.LittleFlowersFamilyPress.com
Did you miss Part 1? Go now and read it here: