September 28th 2015 - ANXIETY & HYPOGLYCEMIA
WHAT'S THE CONNECTION?
by Prof. Joel H. Levitt
As founder of "The Anxiety and Hypoglycemia Relief Institute" I'm frequently asked if there's a connection between anxiety and hypoglycemia. I'll try to explain in non-technical language how hypoglycemia (low blood-sugar) actually causes anxiety.
The following remarkable list of symptoms: headache, nervousness, restlessness, unusually fast or pounding heartbeat, dizziness or light-headedness, flushing or paleness of face or skin, nausea, trembling, trouble in sleeping, trouble in breathing, unusual increase in sweating, weakness, and in rare cases chest pain, irregular heartbeat, can be found in the standard PDR (Physician's Desk Reference) as the typical expected side effects for a NORMAL HEALTHY person given an injection of adrenaline (alternate name epinephrine).
Why should anyone not injected with adrenaline have such symptoms? To understand what is going on, we have to understand how humans have been designed to survive emergencies. Suppose you meet a tiger on the road. What happens? Immediately an emergency situation is detected & the adrenal gland dumps adrenaline. The adrenaline prepares you for vigorous muscular activity. It brings sugar out of storage for muscular action. It raises the heart rate so your blood circulates faster, and turns off digestion. You are now prepared for FIGHT or FLIGHT.
Some people will fight, their adrenaline response will be ANGER, most people will run, their adrenaline response is felt as FEAR. In most cases, the simplest working definition of anxiety is the way you perceive high adrenaline. If adrenaline is moderately high for too long a time, people feel anxious and wonder why - this is called "free-floating " anxiety. If, on the other hand, adrenaline shoots up to a very high value rapidly, and then decreases rapidly, the anxiety is brief but intense. This is called a "panic attack". If you regularly pick a particular thing to tie the anxiety to, such as high places, that's called a "phobia". What's the problem? What's wrong with the life-saving response to a tiger on the road?
The human body, because it's a wonderful self-adjusting system has a mechanism called ADAPTATION. If you repeatedly have emergencies the body learns to dump larger & larger amounts of adrenaline at the slightest hint of an emergency. The adrenal gland puts out about 60 different hormones- repeated requests for adrenaline dumps will affect all the others. A hair-trigger adrenaline response is not what you want in modern life. What happens in modern life is that several times a day many people have low-blood-sugar emergencies. This leads to adrenaline dumping & ANXIETY, it also leads to hormonal imbalances.
NORMAL SUGAR PROCESSING: Eat food including sugar; Pancreas releases insulin; Insulin puts excess sugar into storage for use later.
"REACTIVE HYPOGLYCEMIC" PROCESSING: Consume excessive sugar food or beverage; Pancreas dumps excess insulin (remember ADAPTION); About 2 hrs later blood sugar crashes to emergency level; Adrenal gland dumps excess adrenaline (remember ADAPTION); RESULT=ANXIETY & HORMONAL IMBALANCE.
In addition to the high-adrenaline symptoms, hypoglycemics may get a multitude of symptoms from the low blood sugar itself (such as physical weakness-fatigue, or brain fog) and from the high-insulin (e.g. tinnitus-ringing in the ears).
[as published in Holistic Energy Magazine, used by permission of the author]
Prof. J.H. Levitt, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York.
Prof. J.H. Levitt
Brooklyn, NY 11235