Before I start, I wanted to let you know there are only a few spots left in our Balance Your Blood Sugar Program! Now, on to today's article...
If you’ve ever been told you just have to live with your hormone challenges like PCOS or menopausal hot flashes and that there’s nothing you can do, I’m here to tell you it’s not true! There’s actually a significant connection between your blood sugar and your hormone health.
Let’s take PCOS for example. As you might remember from my last post about how to reduce cravings, increase energy and lose weight through CGM, when your blood sugar spikes, your body releases insulin. There will always be a small spike and insulin release, but when the spikes are chronically high, and happen consistently, your body has to release a lot of insulin, and often. Insulin is a fat storage hormone and as it relates to PCOS, high insulin can also signal to the ovaries to create testosterone and contribute to lack of ovulation (main symptoms of PCOS).
This is why I’m SO passionate about continuous glucose monitoring (or CGM). It’s the tool that can give you insights into how your body individually metabolizes food so that you can balance your blood sugar, and in turn reduce PCOS symptoms. In one small study, women who followed a ketogenic diet (which does reduce blood sugar massively but I actually don’t suggest going this extreme, ladies), there were significant reductions in body weight (-12%), percent of free testosterone (-22%), LH/FSH ratio (-36%), and fasting insulin (-54%). AND, two women who had previously had fertility problems got pregnant!
To expand on this, it might surprise you to learn that metformin, a medication used for diabetics and/or those with insulin resistance, is often given to women with PCOS. Why? Because it improves women's insulin sensitivity and therefore blood sugar, a key factor with PCOS. According to research in the National Library of Medicine, several effects have been shown with metformin in PCOS patients including restoring ovulation, reducing weight, reducing circulating androgen levels, reducing the risk of miscarriage and reducing the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). So, what if we got to the root cause and addressed the high blood sugar and insulin resistance, rather than using metformin? That is exactly what we're doing in the Balance Your Blood Sugar Program and why I'm so passionate about it.
Moving on to menopause, similar things are true: higher blood sugar is associated with more hot flash symptoms. Now this one is a bit more nuanced because the nature of menopause also alters blood sugar levels, but the main point here is that by better managing your blood sugar, you can improve your menopause experience. In fact, one study of 3000 women throughout their 40s and 50s found that frequency of hot flashes increased in women with higher blood sugar. Another showed that women with metabolic syndrome (one symptom being high blood sugar) were more likely to have hot flashes and sweating.
You get the point. Our body isn’t meant to have frequent high blood sugar and if it does, over time you can start to see hormone imbalances, like PCOS, and other pesky symptoms like weight gain, low energy, poor sleep, and the list goes on.
Your body is meant to heal.
If you are experiencing hormonal imbalances and would like to understand the impact the food you’re eating is having, I really encourage you to join the Balance Your Blood Sugar Program starting November 6th. It’s my group coaching program that is going to transform your understanding of how food affects your hormones, and equip you to make simple, life-long changes to balance your hormones and help you live your healthiest life. Click here to learn more about the program.