Understanding Blood Sugar – the basics

Unregulated blood sugar levels can wreak havoc within our bodies. Left unchecked and uncontrolled you can find yourself dealing with a myriad of conditions ranging from; insulin resistance and type two diabetes to metabolic syndrome and hyperinsulinemia. All of these are conditions that over time progressively worsen, they are also all conditions that can be controlled with something as simple as the right diet. (1,2)

Your body requires glucose (the simplest form of sugar) to function, it also requires it to be delivered at a constant level in your bloodstream – roughly one to two teaspoons at any given time. To maintain a constant level of glucose your body employs the help of two hormones glucagon and insulin. These two opposing hormones are regulated by your pancreas which plays the role of gatekeeper, constantly monitoring your blood sugar levels. (1,2)

When you eat your blood sugar levels rise. The pancreas kicks in releasing insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin acts like a key, unlocking muscles, fat and liver cells so that the body can, via a complex process, safely remove the excess glucose and store it as fat until your body requires it again.

If you haven’t eaten for a few hours and your body has used the glucose circulating in your blood, the pancreas kicks in once again to release glucagon. Glucagon breaks the fat down, releasing the stored glucose back into the bloodstream, allowing your body to make use of it until you eat again, which effectively starts the process over.

Blood sugar dysregulation also known as dysglycemia is the result of the body’s inability to effectively manage this process. (3)

 Signs and Symptoms

Indicators that your body is struggling with blood sugar regulation: (5-7)


  • Darkened skin along your jawline / neck
  • Extra abdominal fat
  • Fat pad at the base of your neck
  • Enlarged breasts (men)
  • Skin tags
  • Wounds that don’t heal easily


  • Craving for sweets
  • Feeling super charged after eating
  • Poor attention span/ focus
  • Brain fog and irritability
  • Low to no appetite for breakfast
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness and headaches
  • Shakiness, blurred or double vision
  • Hormonal imbalances


The most common cause of blood sugar imbalances comes from eating a diet high in simple sugars, refined carbohydrates and processed foods. Your stress levels also play a key role as stress affects the levels of insulin and glucagon available to your body. (2-4)

When poor diet choices are combined with elevated stress levels your body effectively lands on a merry-go-round, raised blood sugar increases insulin, insulin increases the stress hormone cortisol and cortisol increases blood sugar. Round and around you go. (4)

You don’t have to be “stressed” as in work, life, relationship etc stress for your blood sugar to be imbalanced, your body may be dealing with things that you don’t even know about, parasitic infections, food allergies, inflammation etc. All of these can play a role in how your body regulates blood sugar.

Regulating your blood sugar levels is not as hard as you may think, it does however require some guidance and an assessment of what’s causing your levels to be out of whack in the first place.

Read How to Control your Blood Sugar Levels or contact me for personalised individual assistance with controlling your blood sugar levels.