The impact of glucose spikes on our health

Do you suffer from cravings, chronic fatigue or sugar addiction? Do you sometimes wake up in the morning feeling less than 100%? The majority of the population is stuck on a glucose rollercoaster, and most of us don't know it.

Glucose is so central to our body’s functioning that an excess of it has repercussions for virtually every aspect of our physical and mental health. 

Jessie Inchauspe is a biochemist, author and founder of the Glucose Goddess movement. With her first book Glucose Revolution, a #1 international bestseller, she started teaching everyone about the importance of blood sugar and easy hacks to manage it. She’s now taken it one step further by  introducing a four-week, step-by-step plan to integrate simple, science-proven strategies for steadying your blood sugar into your everyday life.

Jessie has shared with us some of the symptoms and conditions linked to glucose spikes that you might recognise in your own life. 

Mood

Did you know that your glucose levels could influence your personality and your interactions with other people? In recent studies, scientists have been discovering fascinating connections: when our glucose levels are irregular, we are more likely to be irritated by our partner, and to punish those around us when they make a mistake. This is because glucose rollercoasters can influence certain molecules in our brain affecting our mood: big spikes lead to lower tyrosine levels. Tyrosine is a neurotransmitter that is said to improve mood. And if you’ve ever experienced the feeling of being hangry (angry when hungry), there again, it is more common in people who have big glucose spikes and drops.

Poor sleep 

Sleep and glucose are very tightly linked: the more spikes we have, the worse our sleep is, and, if we are on a glucose rollercoaster, we’ll experience less restorative deep sleep. Going to bed with high glucose levels or right after a big glucose spike has also been shown to be associated with insomnia in postmenopausal women, and sleep apnoea in a segment of the male population. Finally, a common symptom of dysregulated glucose is waking up suddenly in the middle of the night with a pounding heart. That can be the result of a glucose crash while we’re asleep. And this is not all: after a bad night’s sleep, we are more likely to have big glucose spikes after breakfast the next day. It’s a vicious cycle. To put an end to it, start by flattening your curves.

Mental health

Your brain doesn’t have sensory nerves, so when something is wrong, it can’t alert you with pain as other organs do. Instead, you feel mental disturbances – such as anxiety and poor mood. When people eat a diet that leads to erratic glucose levels, they report more depressive symptoms compared to those on a diet that leads to steadier glucose levels. And the symptoms get worse as the spikes get more extreme, so any effort to flatten the curve, even moderately, could help you feel better.

Wrinkles and ageing 

Depending on your diet, you may have spiked your glucose thousands more times than your neighbour has by the time you reach 80. This will influence not only how old you look externally, but how old you are internally. Glycation and inflammation are responsible for the slow degradation of our cells: what we call ageing. These processes damage collagen, causing sagging skin and wrinkles and potentially leading to inflammation in joints, rheumatoid arthritis, and the degradation of cartilage and osteoarthritis. The more often we spike, the faster we age.

Other conditions include:

  • Digestion problems
  • Brain fog
  • Skin conditions
  • Hormonal issues
  • Diabetes 

This is an abridged extract from The Glucose Goddess Method: The 4-Week Guide to Cutting Cravings, Getting Your Energy Back, and Feeling Amazing, by Jessie Inchauspé. RRP $36.99

In the book, Jessie tackles some practical ways to flatten our glucose curves and improve our overall well-being.

Is the Glucose Goddess Method for you? 

These are just some of the questions you can ask yourself to find out if you are experiencing glucose spikes, and if the Glucose Goddess Method can help you.

● Do you crave sweet foods?

● Are you ‘addicted to sugar’? 

● Do you get tired throughout the day? 

● Do you find it difficult to find the energy to do what you’d like to do? 

● Do you need caffeine to keep you going through the day? 

● Do you experience brain fog? 

● Do you get a ‘food coma’ after eating? 

● Do you need to eat every few hours? 

● Do you feel agitated or angry when you are hungry, aka hangry? 

● Do you have extreme hunger pangs during the day? 

● Do you feel shaky, lightheaded or dizzy if meals are delayed? 

● Do you have acne? 

● Do you have eczema? 

● Do you have psoriasis? 

● Do you suffer from inflammation? 

● Do you have endometriosis?

And perhaps most importantly… 

● Do you think you could feel better than you currently do?

What’s glucose again?

Glucose is our body’s preferred source of energy. Every cell in our body uses glucose to perform its function: our lung cells to breathe, our brain cells to think, our heart cells to pump blood, our eye cells to see, and so on. Glucose is important. And the main way we provide our bodies with glucose is by eating it.

Penguin, RRP $36.99

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