Do you feel hungry within 2-3 hours of eating a meal?
If you don’t eat quickly, does it make you feel unwell?
The relationship between adrenal fatigue and low blood sugar is a very close one.
As the effects of stress on the body become more and more advanced, there is a potential for an effect of low blood sugar which can come on really suddenly, often within just 2-3 hours after eating a meal. I certainly discovered this first hand.
As the body becomes more and more stressed, normal cortisol levels can go out the window. One of the jobs of cortisol is blood sugar regulation, so it is no surprise that if you are stressed, your blood sugar levels may be compromised.
My Blood Sugar Levels Became More Unstable.
As my body had over time become more and more stressed, my ability to keep constant levels with my blood sugars became increasingly more and more challenging.
I couldn’t go anywhere without a snack on me, even if I had just eaten a substantial meal. The very perturbing thing for me was just how quickly my blood sugar would drop as well. Literally one minute I would be feeling fine and all of a sudden I would feel the effects of low blood sugar which were quite debilitating.
The Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar or Hypoglycemia
It would bring on symptoms like
1) intense fatigue, where I felt the need to lie down straight away,
2) moodiness and irritability, even when I wasn’t pre-menstrual, aaarrrghh,
3) a feeling of light-headedness like I wasn’t quite in my body and
4) sometimes a feeling of nausea and cold sweats.
I did find however that these symptoms were pretty much alleviated once I ate something, but I was still often left feeling very worn out from the episode. The adrenals don’t always want to bounce back straight away when they are already worn out, and having the blood sugars crash puts a lot of strain on an already compromised system.
Dr Lam in his book, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome refers to situations like this as an “adrenal crash”. This is when the strain or stress of a situation or symptom causes you to feel intense fatigue and a worsening of symptoms. The effect of this can last anywhere from several hours to several days afterwards, and sometimes even weeks and months, depending on the severity of the adrenal fatigue.
My Visit to the Doctor Was Not Helpful and Not Well Diagnosed
My visits to the doctor in the initial stages were extremely disappointing as I realised that their knowledge of adrenal fatigue symptoms was non-existant and the ones I saw kept wanting to look at the symptoms I was having, rather than looking at the overall picture of what was at the root of it.
It was only through my own investigation and research over the following years that I was able to establish that low blood sugar or hypoglycemia was in fact a very common symptom of adrenal fatigue and that it would indeed get worse as the adrenals became more fatigued.
My doctor wanted to test me for signs of diabetes, which didn’t show up. This is not to say that these tests may not be useful, for diabetes may in fact be an issue for some of you, but to have someone understand other possible reasons at this stage would have been very helpful.
Blood Sugar Balance Can Improve as Cortisol Levels Regulate
The good news is that as your adrenals begin to heal and replenish, your ability to sustain your blood sugars definitely lasts longer. 2 years on from my lowest point where blood sugars could potentially crash within 2-3 hours of eating, I was easily able to sustain 4-5 hours if needed, although I generally didn’t go that long without eating as I preferred to have regular snacks throughout the day.
So, if this is you, be prepared with a healthy snack, best comprised of protein, fats and complex carbohydrates (not simple carbohydrates which will spike your blood sugar and drop you back down).
I use protein shakes with avocado, nuts and a little fruit (with low gylcemic index)and hommus and celery. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, find foods that suit your body and that feel good for you. There is no one right way for all of us. The most important thing is to eat regularly and sustain stable blood sugars.
IT WILL GET BETTER 🙂 Take incredible care of yourself. Give yourself the rest you need, the nutrition you need, and eliminate those emotional, mental and physical stressors in your life.
Our bodies have an incredibly ability to heal and your body is already in the healing process!!! Trust and know that you have the ability to regenerate and enjoy a healthy and energised life once again.