Fluctuation in blood sugar levels may cause food cravings. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can be caused from not getting enough calories or not eating at regular intervals. Hypoglycemia's affect on the body can be food cravings as the body feels as though it is starving.
Food cravings tend to lessen if we eat regular balanced meals and get all the vitamins and minerals that we need in our diets. Exercise may also help control food cravings by keeping the body in a more relaxed and fit state. Regular exercise has been shown to increase endorphins in the blood and this often leads to a feeling of well being and lowered tension in the body.
People with diabetes should check their blood sugar frequently in order to differentiate between low glucose and a craving. Be sure to always carry your glucose meter with you and test when you can’t tell if your craving is actually low blood glucose.
What are cravings, and why do we have them?
The word “cravings” is not code for lack of willpower.
In many women, cravings are signs of hormonal issues, which are often tied to inadequate nutrition. But cravings can also be related to attempts to lose weight, especially if you have metabolic or physiological imbalances that make it very difficult to drop excess pounds. Some of these imbalances even involve the neurotransmitters in your brain. A third option traces cravings to issues with adrenal function.
Cravings mean that the body has its signals mixed up.
When you are tired or sad, you will have low blood sugar and/or low serotonin (a “feel-good” brain neurotransmitter). Hormonal imbalance or weak digestion can lead to low serotonin. Low blood sugar or low serotonin sends a signal to the brain that it needs a pick-me-up. It is this signal — which you don’t consciously control — that causes a craving for sugar or carbohydrates.
Sugar or simple carbohydrates help release a burst of serotonin, so you feel good for a little while. But almost as quickly, you “crash” and return to your low-serotonin state, and the cycle starts all over again. Ironically, the more sugar you eat, the more you crave it because over-consumption of sugar can lead to insulin resistance.
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