Can Insulin Spikes and Glucose Levels Cause Infertility and PCOS? is taken from Week One of The Fertility Formula - an easy, six-step online program that can help boost your fertility naturally & make your DREAMS of growing your family, come true. This post has affiliate links.
Glucose monitoring could be a great tool when discovering the perfect fertility diet for you and how you can use food to maximise your chances of getting and staying pregnant - especially when you're dealing with infertility and/or have insulin resistance PCOS.
Let's first understand why lower the amount of glucose spikes you have is important for your fertility in the first place!
When you have a lot of glucose spikes, you'll secrete a lot of insulin, which can lead to noticeable everyday issues like increased cravings, mood swings, and weight changes. Chronically elevated insulin level in the bloodstream can cause cells in your body to absorb too much glucose (sugar) from your blood, causes the liver to release less glucose, and reduces your levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). After a while, your SHBG levels can become low enough, that you'll end up with elevated sex hormones which can affect important ovulation hormones like luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicular stimulating hormone (FSH).
If you don't know already, insulin is a hormone created by your pancreas that controls the amount of glucose in your bloodstream at any given moment. If you don't have diabetes, insulin helps:
It's not just your diet that can contribute to high glucose and insulin. Excess sugar intake, poor sleep, chronic stress, lack of physical activity, environmental toxins, and genetic factors can all contribute to the issue which, over time, render cells “numb” to the effects of insulin. This process is referred to as insulin resistance - glucose is less able to get into cells, thus more insulin is produced to help drive the excess glucose out of the bloodstream. Many women dealing with PCOS insulin resistance are three to ten times more at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
When you track your blood sugar levels you can help
Your fasting blood glucose should be around ≤90 mg/dl and when you want to maximise your fertility by improving your metabolic health, is to monitor how much your blood sugar spikes after a meal.
You'll want to aim for post-meal glucose of no more than 130 mg/dl, with <120 being the ideal range for most. Also, blood sugar shouldn’t spike more than30 mg/dl from your pre-meal glucose reading – otherwise, you’ll release too much insulin for your body to properly handle.
If you’ve been eating healthy foods and working out but still struggling with maintaining a stable mood, weight, and energy throughout the day or even if you're borderline insulin resistant, your glucose levels may be causing havoc.
CGM is part of a personalised health plan because everyone’s body responds differently to foods.
When you monitor your glucose, you can see how pairing foods impact your glucose spike. You can see how eating a plain banana affects your blood sugar levels compared to when you pair a banana with almond butter and chia seeds sprinkled on top. Or when you drink a little apple cider vinegar before a meal.
A CGM is a small device that sits on the back of your arm and measures blood sugar 'round the clock. It's barely noticeable, totally pain-free. If you chose to track your glucose, I would do it for around 2 months to give yourself a good picture of what's going on and adjust your diet and lifestyle accordingly.
You can also use a Glucose Meter Kit like this one from amazon
More information about glucose monitoring from Dr Hyman
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Anything written or said about health and diet are my opinions, that I have formed over the years, through trial and error, study, reading, listening and observing. What worked for me may not work for you. I am not a doctor, nutritionist or dietician and all medical advice should be gotten from a qualified professional. Product recommendations are based on what I used during my infertility journey or wish I had.
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