When you are fasting, like when you get up early in the morning and haven’t eaten since your evening meal, your blood glucose should be under 100. If you consume any kind of food, especially food high in sugar, that glucose level should rise.
If the blood glucose is low and if it doesn’t go up a lot after you eat, that suggests a healthy state. The person’s body is metabolizing the sugar well, and the tissues are able to take up the sugar easily.
Contrary, if your fasting blood glucose is higher that one hundred and if it shoots up after you eat, your body has become resistant to insulin. That means you are on a path toward type two diabetes, what used to be called “adult onset” diabetes.
Sadly, today it is not an adult disease. Even our children are at considerable risk. Our bodies become resistant to insulin by eating too much sugar and by not maintaining a high level of physical exercise. The pancreas is forced to pump out more and more insulin, which in turn, makes the tissues less and less responsive to insulin.
Ted Wilson and colleagues have shown that relaxation breathing, such as breathing in to a count of three and out to a count of six, emphasizing diaphragmatic breathing, reduces blood sugar. This could be a useful clinical tool to help people manage blood sugar. It wouldn’t allow us to eat sugary foods, and it doesn’t eliminate the need to exercise vigorously, but it is a help.
Here is the study abstract: http://tinyurl.com/mlmx852 This is one of those “subscribe to get the article” sites, but you can see Wilson’s email address and write to him for a reprint.
The majority of my readers are in the mental health field. The reason this blood glucose finding might be important to you is because Malcom Peet, a British psychiatry researcher, has shown that the more sugar a population consumes, the more depression and schizophrenia rises. That study is here: http://tinyurl.com/lsrsprk
That link takes you to the abstract. Unfortunately, the link to the full text is broken. The point is that blood sugar can apparently influence our mental health.
You see, inflammation can trigger symptoms in some people, and a high level of sugar intake raises your inflammatory response. In everyone, higher inflammatory states (high levels of c-reactive protein, cortisol, and other markers of inflammation) makes us more irritable and emotionally reactive.
Relaxation breathing also lowers blood pressure. As I am writing this, my blood pressure is 133 / 78, a bit on the high side. After two minutes of relaxation breathing, the blood pressure is 122 / 74. I am a bit distracted because Ruby The Dog is dropping tennis balls in my lap, and that may have boosted the BP a bit.
(We are dog-sitting. To learn more about the Amazing Ruby The Dog, please go to http://enjoylifebook.com and watch the video.)
Bottom line: Breathing in a meditative or mindful manner, what Wilson et al. call Relaxation Breathing, has many benefits. It doesn’t take long, and it easy to learn. Hard to see how you go wrong with that.