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If you found this article after exploring elsewhere on our site, you may already have seen references to balancing blood sugar with diet in articles specifically about migraines, irritability, and controlling PMS food cravings. There's a very good reason for this—the PMS Balance Diet with an emphasis on balancing your blood sugar can balance your mood and energy level, decrease your stress level, and help control the cause of many migraines and headaches.
We use several terms in this article that all basically mean the same thing: unstable blood sugar, hypoglycemia, and reactive hypoglycemia are often referred to elsewhere as "low blood sugar." Blood sugar problems are one of the most common causes of many PMS symptoms, including physical, emotional, and thinking symptoms. Hypoglycemia is also a very common problem in people without PMS, causing fatigue, depression, and many other symptoms.
Important note: We are not referring to diabetes. In diabetes, blood sugar is too high, and only falls too low as a result of medication. People with reactive hypoglycemia experience both steep peaks and deep valleys of blood sugar, but without the diabetic disease condition.
Different Reactions to the Same Breakfast. A story illustrates this quite well. Two friends go out for breakfast, and both order the house special, a fresh waffle with fruit and home-made whipped cream dusted with chopped nuts. Enjoying their splurge, they decide to get the fresh-squeezed orange juice and coffee as well.
These two friends are different in some important ways. The first, whom we'll call Anna, is a slender woman and a long-time vegan, meaning she never eats animal products, not even milk or fish. After a meal such as this one she feels fine; in fact, she only finishes half of what is on her plate, having scraped aside the whipped cream, saying she feels too full to have more. As soon as the check is paid and they get up to go, she is looking forward to their plan to attend a local charity event, making a mental note that she can probably skip lunch that day.
Her breakfast companion, Bethany, is quite different. She follows no particular diet, but constantly struggles with her weight. She enjoys the meal, but finds it doesn't fill her up, and after finishing every morsel on her plate and every last drop of juice, she secretly wishes she could finish what's left on Anna's plate. By the time they get up to go, she feels lethargic and sleepy, and makes an excuse for not keeping their plans, so she can go home and nap, even though she'd been looking forward to the event and felt fine when they arrived at the café.
Perhaps you've guessed already that Anna is not hypoglycemic, and has no problem maintaining stable blood sugar. She feels fine after a meal of starch and fruit and sugar. It can sustain her for hours. Missing a meal or a snack is not usually a problem for her—she's one of those people who can easily skip a meal or a snack and is often just plain not hungry. Bethany, on the other hand, finds her energy and mood often dip precipitously for no apparent reason, and her appetite and cravings are difficult if not impossible to regulate.
Most of the Bethanies we've met don't know they are hypoglycemic. When they finally discover the correct way to eat to suit their body and their metabolism, it is a real revelation—they feel so much better. Conversely, when someone tells an Anna that she needs to eat more protein—in spite of experience to the contrary—she usually figures out pretty quickly that she prefers the diet she had already adopted for herself. On balance, though, there are more Bethanies who try to eat like Anna, and suffer for it, than vice versa.
Breakfast should include some protein. This could be eggs, yogurt, cheese, fish, nuts, nut butter, soy protein, or even protein powder in a smoothie.Never have sweets or refined sugars before 1 PM, or until after lunch.
Round-the-clock cravings?Many hypoglycemics crave refined sugar and sweets, but find that craving goes away after two to three days of abstaining from them altogether. If you're craving sweets, there's a good chance you ate sweets within the past 24 hours.All your meals and snacks should mix protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates. When you look at your plate or bowl, 1/4 to 1/3 of it by volume should be protein.
- This includes muffins, pastry, fruit juice, and dried fruit like dates or apricots, fruit leathers.
- The best solution is to have them as little as possible, no matter the hour. Whole fruit is good for you, and doesn't count as sugar.
Why the problem with caffeine and alcohol?
Caffeine keeps your body from closely regulating your blood sugar. As a result, you'll spike higher, and fall lower. You can dampen this effect by eating the blood sugar balance diet and not having coffee on an empty stomach, but some women are so sensitive that only cutting out caffeine completely works
Alcohol takes a toll on the liver, even in perfectly healthy women who drink in moderation. Because blood sugar balance is completely dependent on your liver, even small amounts of alcohol can cause topsy-turvy blood sugar regulation in susceptible women.
Blood Sugar Balance Meals for a Day
This is an example of one day's diet. The variations are limitless, so feel free to experiment and go beyond the details described here.
It's as simple as it sounds. Balance your protein, carbs, and fat throughout your day, and discover how great balanced blood sugar, energy, and mood feels.
Real, Natural Relief—You Can Feel Great
PMS and PMDD misery aren't always taken seriously enough by doctors, family, and friends. At PMS Comfort, our purpose is to empower and educate you, and to provide real, natural relief so that you can feel great all month long. Our all-natural doctor-designed PMS Comfort is based on decades of experience helping thousands of women recover from what you've been going through.
We’re here to support and want to help. Start feeling better for as little as 87 cents per day. Give us a call at 1-800-731-6327, drop us an e-mail, or send us your question.