Blood sugar regulation
You may not know this but a few years ago I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. What does that mean? Essentially pre-diabetes means that my body was not able to handle the sugar I was eating. This was scary but it was really a wake up call for me to take better care of my body.
I had gained a lot of weight in nursing school, and I realized that what I had been doing wasn’t working. I’d wanted to lose weight, but I had been unsuccessful in my previous attempts. Ironically I was working with a nurse practitioner that specialized in diabetes. The more I learned about blood sugar regulation in the body the more I realized that blood sugar plays a critical role in multiple systems in the body including our skin.
Have you ever noticed that when you eat certain things your skin reacts? When we eat food our body immediately gets to work breaking it down. On a basic level the food we eat is broken down into glucose (sugar), amino acids, fatty acids and glycerol (triglycerides). Every nutrient is used to repair, rebuild, and nourish the body.
However, if we have too much sugar our body has to compensate in order to keep our levels stable. This creates a stress on the body, as it has to produce more insulin to bring down the high sugar levels. Insulin is vital hormone that allows our cells to utilize the sugar we eat. Think of it like a lock and key mechanism. Insulin is the key that allows sugar to get into the door of our cells and nourish our body. We could not survive without insulin. However, overtime if we have too much insulin in our body that can have a negative impact on our health as well. Too much insulin leads to inflammation and a variety of other health problems. This changes our hormone levels, which can contribute to problems with our skin.
Potential problems from high blood sugar:
- Acanthosis nigricans– this is a thick or dark patch of skin that results from having too much insulin in your blood. It is a sign of pre-diabetes.
- Acne- hormone fluctuation caused by insulin spikes can cause inflammation, which can lead to the development of acne.
- Numerous skin tags- skin tags are often harmless. However, when you have multiple skin tags it could be a sign that you have too much insulin in your blood.
Check out this awesome visual from Katie at http://www.healendo.com/blog/2017/5/4/tame-your-blood-sugar-calm-your-endo
We will talk more about how to balance our blood sugar and hormones in the next post! Stay tuned!