What does sugar cravings have to do with fertility?
The truth is sugar can have a huge impact on all areas of our health, especially our hormones. Craving sugar can also give us some insight into what might be potentially going on hormonally that may be causing some trouble conceiving.
Insulin is a hormone in our body responsible for helping glucose enter our cells for fuel. We need this response to happen efficiently after meals so that we aren’t left with a whole bunch of glucose floating around causing problems.
Insulin resistance can be genetic or happen with age, but it there are also some lifestyle choices that may be putting you at a greater risk of insulin resistance. Things like excess weight, smoking, poor sleep, high stress, food choices, or lack of exercise can all lead to developing insulin resistance.
As your body stops responding, it also starts to try and “fix the situation”. If the cells can’t take in glucose – your body won’t have access to its main fuel source. It will then signal up to the brain that more fuel, or glucose, is needed.
Sugar and carbs are the quickest way to glucose for our body to use. So if your cells need fuel NOW, your body is smart. It’s going to take the path of least resistance to get you more fuel now. The problem here is, with insulin resistance, more glucose does not equal more glucose in the cells – because your cells aren’t doing their job properly.
So more glucose in means more glucose in the bloodstream. Your body won’t let that just float around forever, so it demands more insulin to be released from your pancreas to try and deal with the extra glucose. It also starts storing that glucose as fat.
You may recall, I said earlier that excess weight is a risk factor for insulin resistance. Now, insulin resistance can cause excess weight. It’s a vicious rollercoaster ride that nobody wants to be on!
First things first, assessing for insulin resistance is an important step in fertility care. You will want to have your fasting insulin and fasting blood sugar done.
Secondly, treating insulin resistance depends on how resistance are you.
If you’ve been struggling to get pregnant, but also are dealing with stubborn weight gain, especially around the middle, sugar cravings, fatigue, or brain fog, these might be all signs pointing to insulin resistance.
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