Let me start off this post by saying, if you are someone with blood sugar dysregulation then this will not be ideal for you just yet. Blood sugar can be normalized with diet and other healing protocols. Here is what you may be experiencing with Hypoglycemia:
-Awaken a few hours after falling asleep, hard to get back to sleep
-Binge or uncontrolled eating
-Crave coffee or sugar in the afternoon
-Fatigue that is relieved by eating
-Headache if meals are skipped or delayed
-Irritable before meals
-Shaky if meals are delayed
-Family members with diabetes
People with Hypoglycemia need to eat frequent, high quality meals during the day until the organs involved in blood sugar regulation are healed. I would go more deeply into this but it's not the subject I was hoping to cover today! On to Ghrelin.
What is Ghrelin?
Ghrelin is a hormone that is produced in the stomach during hunger, this means it is only present when the stomach is fully empty. Usually, when we experience stomach grumbling, we are producing Ghrelin. (If you're like any normal person you'd be opening your refrigerator right about now.) But if we squelch Ghrelin we are losing some amazing benefits that this hormone has to offer.
What does it do?
Ghrelin increases growth hormone levels in the body. People usually take supplements for this when they are working out, trying to lose weight and gain muscle. But it's not all physical, Ghrelin also has positive effects on learning, memory, depression and anxiety from stress. Working out and learning are best done when Ghrelin levels are high.
It makes sense historically: Our hunter gatherer ancestors weren't able to walk up to their fridge any time they wanted for food, why do we think we need to? Like I said, blood sugar dysregulation can be the exception, but we only have blood sugar dysregulation because of eating poor quality food high in refined sugars, which our ancestors were not doing. When going out to hunt they were able to have more acute thinking and movement on an empty stomach. It also makes sense with people who desire to fast and pray when you think about the mental implications of Ghrelin.
I won't go into detail about this way of eating, there are a lot of resources online. Here is a good one:
Basically, Ghrelin is an extremely beneficial hormone that we rarely get the advantages from because a lot of us eat constantly, unless we are asleep. I try and have at least 12 hours between my dinner and my breakfast. If I eat late at night I'll eat later in the morning for breakfast. Also, learn how to listen to your body, don't just eat out of habit, eat when you're hungry and don't eat if you're not. There are exceptions to this rule, loss of appetite completely is something to look into. This way of eating works with a nutrient dense diet full of lots of good fats, protein and carbs in the form of veggies and some fruit. Even if you don't want to try intermittent fasting, or maybe you are unable to for some reason, at least allow your stomach to be fully empty a few times throughout the week so you can gain some of the benefits of Ghrelin.
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David