How Your Habits Impact Your Body’s Balance
June 29, 2022

How Your Habits Impact Your Body’s Balance

The body is always trying to remain in balance. Your habits like your food, exercise, sleep and stress are all connected and influence this balance. Measuring your glucose levels can help to bring awareness to this. Keep reading to learn more.

Everyday, your body performs a fine balancing act. This is the balance between adaptation and stability.

Homeostasis is the term given to the self-regulating process by which internal systems maintain stability by adapting to changing internal and external conditions. This includes things like your blood glucose balance, temperature control, water/salt balance and blood pressure. Homeostasis requires no cognition, and we have no conscious control over it.

Human beings are in a state of energy conservation or expenditure. Just like a bank balance: the more you spend, the less you have, the more you make, the more you can save.

Adaptation is vital for long term survival. The more energy we use to maintain stability, the less energy we have for adaptation.

What impacts the body’s balance?

Factors such as nutrient intake, sleep, exercise and stress are among the most common and modifiable behavioural variables when it comes to maintaining homeostasis and therefore energy reserve.

These modifiable factors, or habits, interplay with each other. For example, poor sleep affects energy levels, impacting exercise capacity, and poor food choices. Poor nutrition can lead to hormonal, immune and metabolic dysregulation, which can impact energy, sleep and stress responsiveness. Decreases in stress resilience, impacts sleeps, energy levels, optimal food choice and more.

As the human body is a complex whole system, a variation in part of the system will consistently affect the whole. This is why your daily habits are so important.

Why is measuring your blood glucose important?

Measuring your blood glucose levels throughout the day can help you to understand your body and how it responds to certain stimuli. This can be particularly important in conditions such as PCOS, where insulin resistance is involved.

For example, watching how you respond to food, exercise, visibly seeing the impact of your previous night’s sleep, and how stress affects the system. This can offer a previously invisible insight into the workings of the body’s homeostatic system and how your choices can impact this delicate balancing act.

By making changes to your dietary habits when you have a condition such as PCOS, such as lowering simple carbohydrates, adding high quality protein to a meal or even adding some almonds when eating a piece of chocolate can help the body maintain balance and support the internal system’s integrity. Seeing your post-meal glucose spike come down in real-time after a 20 minute walk is inspiring and empowering.

By supporting the micro-adaptations of the body, you can learn how to assist yourself in making better choices today, that helps to support the health of your body long-term. Speak to your lifestyle medicine practitioner to learn more about how this can help you and your PCOS.

Dr Michelle Woolhouse

Integrative GP and Vively Medical Director

Dr Michelle Woolhouse is an integrative GP, with over 20 years experience treating chronic conditions through lifestyle medicine