Hypoglycemia, also called low blood sugar, occurs when your blood glucose (blood sugar) level drops too low to provide enough energy for your bodyís activities.
Glucose, a form of sugar, is an important fuel for your body. Carbohydrates are the main dietary sources of glucose. Beer, barley, rice, corn, potatoes, bread, tortillas, cereal, milk, fruit and sweets are all carbohydrate-rich foods. After a meal, glucose molecules are absorbed into your bloodstream and carried to the cells, where they are used for energy. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps glucose enter cells. If you take in more glucose than your body needs at the time, your body stores the extra glucose in your liver and muscles in a form called glycogen. Your body can use the stored glucose whenever it is needed for energy between meals. Extra glucose can also be converted to fat and stored in fat cells.
When blood glucose begins to fall, glucagons, another hormone produced by the pancreas, signals the liver to break down glycogen and release glucose. This causes blood glucose levels to rise toward a normal level. If you have diabetes, this glucagons response to hypoglycemia may be impaired, making it more difficult for your glucose levels to return to the normal range.
Most of us are in a constant state of both hyper or hypoglycemia throughout the day. Why? Because we donít eat often enough. When we go too long between meals (four to six hours or more), the body goes into a hypoglycemic state. In this state, we experience all the symptoms of hypoglycemia (including carb cravings). While hypoglycemic, the metabolism slows down and we begin to convert unused glucose to fat for storage because our bodies donít know when or from where our next meal is coming. This is a hold-over from our hunting and gathering days when we went for days without food. In other words, itís geneticÖ survival of the fittest (fattest). When we finally do eat, we tend to over-consume all the wrong carbohydrate-rich foods. Our bodies insulin and glucagons levels shoot through the roof and stimulate our systems to convert glycogen back to glucose in a hurry. This sends us into a hyperglycemic state and we end up storing unused glucose as fat. Itís a vicious cycle. This simple diagram<A HREF=/images/features/Beer-&-Health-sized.jpg> illustrates the hypoglycemic cycle
Beer, syrups, watermelon, white potatoes, cereals (except all-bran), juices, anything high in sugar and low in fiber, white breads, pastas, cakes and pies.
1. Eat every two to three hours
2. Donít skip meals
3. East breakfast as soon as you wake up
4. Eat balanced meals
5. Drink a lot of water (at least 64 to eighty ounces per dayÖ more if you are consuming alcohol, a diuretic)
6. Eat at least 35 grams of fiber per day
7. Make sure you are getting enough rest
If you have any questions about, diet, exercise or beer (as it relates to both), feel free to beer-mail me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next month, as always, everything in moderationÖ including moderation.
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Glucose, a form of sugar, is an important fuel for your body. Carbohydrates are the main dietary sources of glucose. Beer, barley, rice, corn, potatoes, bread, tortillas, cereal, milk, fruit and sweets are all carbohydrate-rich rich foods.