Why is it important to have healthy blood sugar levels?

Do you feel 'hangry', tired, have low energy or have trouble sleeping or can't concentrate on a regular basis? Did you know your blood sugar levels could be out of whack?

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Balancing your blood sugar levels is crucial for your overall health, and working with my clients, especially my perimenopausal clients, over the years I emphasize this for many reasons as it is important for:-

  1.  Energy Regulation: Balanced blood sugar levels help regulate energy levels throughout the day. When blood sugar is stable, the body can efficiently convert glucose into energy, providing a steady and consistent source of fuel for the cells.
  2. Mood Stability: Fluctuations in blood sugar levels can impact mood. Rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar may lead to irritability, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating. Maintaining stable blood sugar can contribute to emotional well-being and cognitive function.
  3. Weight Management: Balanced blood sugar levels play a role in appetite regulation and can help prevent overeating. When blood sugar levels are stable, it's easier to manage cravings and make healthier food choices, supporting weight management efforts.
  4. Hormonal Balance: Blood sugar levels influence the release of hormones, including insulin. Insulin helps regulate blood sugar by facilitating the uptake of glucose into cells. Chronic imbalances can lead to insulin resistance, which is associated with various health issues, including type 2 diabetes.
  5. Prevention of Insulin Resistance and Diabetes: Chronic elevation of blood sugar levels can lead to insulin resistance, a condition where the cells become less responsive to insulin. This can eventually progress to type 2 diabetes. Balancing blood sugar is a key strategy in preventing and managing these conditions.
  6. Cardiovascular Health: Unstable blood sugar levels are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. High blood sugar can contribute to inflammation, damage blood vessels, and raise the risk of conditions like atherosclerosis.
  7. Stable Energy for Exercise: For individuals engaging in physical activity, maintaining stable blood sugar levels is essential. It ensures a steady supply of energy for muscles during exercise and promotes optimal performance and recovery.
  8. Improved Sleep Quality: Blood sugar fluctuations, especially elevated levels before bedtime, can disrupt sleep patterns. Balancing blood sugar in the evening can contribute to better sleep quality.
  9. Support for Hormonal Health: Imbalances in blood sugar levels can affect the endocrine system, including hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Chronic stress and blood sugar imbalances can contribute to hormonal disruptions.
  10. Prevention of Metabolic Syndrome: Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions, including high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Balancing blood sugar is a key component in preventing and managing metabolic syndrome.
  11. Digestive Health: Stable blood sugar levels can positively influence digestive health. Fluctuations in blood sugar may contribute to digestive issues, and a balanced diet can support a healthy gut microbiome.

Tip: Did you know that apples contain polyphenols which are found in their skin and assist in stimulating your pancreas to release insulin to help your cells to take in sugar. This is one of the reasons why I suggest you have an apple on hand (in your handbag) to stop those afternoon sugar cravings!

 metabolic balance, insulin, blood sugar, digestive health, katrina froome naturopathy

As a naturopath I do emphasis on how good a whole-foods-based, balanced diet is. This includes a combination of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and micronutrients (chromium, zinc and magnesium.) This approach helps maintain blood sugar stability and supports overall health. Lifestyle factors such as regular physical activity, stress management, and adequate sleep also play a role in blood sugar regulation.

Here are some foods that are required for a healthy glucose metabolism and blood sugar regulation:-

  • Whole Grains: Choose whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, oats, and barley. These grains contain fibre, which slows down the absorption of sugars and helps maintain stable blood sugar levels.
  • Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of protein and fibre. They have a low glycaemic index and can contribute to sustained energy levels.
  • Non-Starchy Vegetables: Include a variety of colourful, non-starchy vegetables in your diet. Vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers are rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Berries: Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, are low in sugar and high in antioxidants. They provide a sweet taste without causing significant spikes in blood sugar.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are good sources of healthy fats, protein, and fibre. These can be great snacks that help stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Healthy Fats: Include sources of healthy fats in your diet, such as avocados, olive oil, and fatty fish (like salmon). Healthy fats can help regulate insulin sensitivity.
  • Cinnamon: Some studies suggest that cinnamon bark (cassia cinnamon) may have a positive impact on blood sugar regulation. Consider adding a sprinkle of cinnamon to your meals or beverages.
  • Chromium-Rich Foods: Chromium is a mineral that plays a role in insulin function. Foods rich in chromium include broccoli, whole grains, and certain nuts.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Some research suggests that apple cider vinegar may help improve insulin sensitivity. Incorporate it into your diet by using it as a salad dressing or diluting it in water.
  • Protein-Rich Foods: Include lean protein sources such as poultry, fish, red meat, tofu, and legumes into your meals. Protein can help stabilise blood sugar levels and promote a feeling of fullness.
  • High-Fibre Foods: Foods high in soluble fibre, such as psyllium husk, flaxseeds, and certain fruits (like apples and pears), can slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, helping to manage blood sugar.
  • Low-Glycaemic Index Foods: Choose foods with a low glycaemic index (GI), as they have a smaller impact on blood sugar levels. Examples include sweet potatoes, quinoa, and most non-starchy vegetables.

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Perimenopause and menopause are transitional phases in a woman's life characterised by hormonal changes, particularly a decline in estrogen levels. These hormonal shifts can contribute to changes in metabolism and insulin sensitivity, which may, in turn, lead to higher blood sugar imbalances. Here are some factors that can contribute to increased blood sugar levels during perimenopause and menopause:

  • Hormonal Changes: Estrogen plays a role in insulin sensitivity, and its decline during perimenopause and menopause can affect how the body regulates blood sugar. Reduced estrogen levels may contribute to insulin resistance, where the body's cells become less responsive to insulin.
  • Metabolic Changes: The hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause and menopause can influence metabolism. Some women may experience changes in fat distribution, with an increased tendency to store fat around the abdomen. Abdominal fat which is commonly know as 'the muffin top' is associated with insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduced Physical Activity: Women may experience changes in energy levels and metabolism during perimenopause and menopause, leading to a potential reduction in physical activity. Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining insulin sensitivity and managing blood sugar levels.
  • Weight Gain: Many women experience weight gain during perimenopause and menopause, particularly around the abdominal area. Increased body weight, especially if accompanied by a sedentary lifestyle, can contribute to insulin resistance and higher blood sugar levels.
  • Stress and Sleep Disturbances: Hormonal changes can also impact stress levels and sleep patterns during perimenopause and menopause. Chronic stress and inadequate sleep can contribute to elevated cortisol levels, which, in turn, may affect insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation.
  • Genetic Factors: Individual genetic factors can influence how a woman's body responds to hormonal changes and may contribute to a predisposition to insulin resistance and blood sugar imbalances.
  • Dietary Choices: Changes in metabolism and hormonal fluctuations may affect the body's response to certain foods. Some women may experience increased cravings for sugary or high-carbohydrate foods during perimenopause and menopause, which can contribute to blood sugar imbalances.
  • Insulin Resistance: The decline in estrogen levels may be associated with an increased risk of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when the body's cells don't respond effectively to insulin, leading to higher levels of glucose in the blood.

It's important for women entering perimenopause and menopause to prioritise their overall health, including maintaining a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activity, managing stress, and getting adequate sleep. These lifestyle factors can help mitigate the impact of hormonal changes on blood sugar regulation.

Functional medicine testing can be a valuable tool to assess various factors that may impact blood sugar levels. Functional medicine takes a holistic approach to healthcare, addressing the underlying causes of health issues rather than just treating symptoms. When it comes to supporting healthy blood sugar levels, several functional medicine tests may be considered. Here are some examples:

  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP): This blood test assesses various markers, including glucose levels, to evaluate overall metabolic function. It provides insights into blood sugar regulation and can help identify potential issues such as insulin resistance.
  • Haemoglobin A1c Test: This test measures average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. It is commonly used to assess long-term blood sugar control and detect the risk of diabetes.
  • Insulin Sensitivity Testing: Tests such as the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) or the Insulin Tolerance Test (ITT) can be used to assess how the body responds to glucose and insulin. These tests provide information about insulin sensitivity and can identify early signs of insulin resistance.
  • Cortisol Testing: Chronic stress can contribute to blood sugar imbalances. Cortisol, the stress hormone, plays a role in blood sugar regulation. Salivary cortisol testing throughout the day can provide insights into the body's stress response.
  • Inflammatory Markers: Chronic inflammation is associated with insulin resistance and impaired blood sugar control. Tests that measure markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), can be informative.
  • Nutrient Status Testing: Deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can impact blood sugar regulation. Tests that assess nutrient status, including vitamin D, magnesium, and chromium, can help identify potential imbalances.
  • Food Sensitivity Testing: Identifying and addressing food sensitivities can be crucial for blood sugar management. Inflammatory responses to specific foods can contribute to insulin resistance. The Hair Bio-Compatibility Food and Product Test is one of my popular ones with my clients as it takes the guesswork out of what you can eat and drink over a six month periods. 
  • Gut Health Assessments: The gut microbiome plays a role in metabolism and inflammation. Tests such as stool analysis can provide insights into the health of the digestive system, which can impact blood sugar levels.
  • Genetic Testing: Genetic factors can influence an individual's predisposition to insulin resistance and diabetes. Genetic testing can provide information about specific genetic markers related to blood sugar regulation.

Have you or know someone who ticks a few of the boxes above? Are you ready to reach out and find out if your blood sugar levels are causing your health concerns?

katrina froome naturopathy, gut health, ibs, sibo, perimenopause, naturopath near me, brisbane, toowoomba

As a Naturopath I can assess your individual health status, provide guidance on lifestyle interventions, and, if necessary, recommend specific tests or treatments to support healthy blood sugar levels. This allows me to create a comprehensive and personalised plan to support healthy blood sugar levels based on your test results and your unique health profile.

If so, please book in for a consultation with me, I work with clients both face to face and online. I am taking bookings up until Saturday 16th December and them for January 2024, I'm back in clinic from Monday 8th January. 


Work With Me – Katrina Froome Naturopathy



Yours in health and wellness,



Katrina (BHSc - Naturopathy)

katrina froome naturopathy, gut health, perimenopause, insulin resistance, healthy, hormone imbalance


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