Lunch & Learn Webinar

Blood Sugar Awareness for Optimal Hormonal Health with Dr. Sarah Oulahen Turner ND and Dr. Aliyah Alibhai ND

Guest Speaker:
Dr. Sarah Oulahen Turner ND and Dr. Aliyah Alibhai ND

Dr. Breanne Kallonen, ND

Webinar Date and Time:
24/05/2023 12:00 pm

Dr Aliyah and Dr Sarah have been working together for ten years. Together, they enjoy inspiring patients to achieve their highest potential. Using continuous glucose monitors has been a game changer for their patients. They have a goal to change the world by promoting blood sugar awareness.

Q. Why is blood sugar so important, and why have you chosen to really dive into this with your patients?

A. Blood sugar is an important layer of health that people have access to and can understand. People are really unaware of the kind of impact it has on their health. Blood sugar has an impact on inflammation, anti-ageing, cardiovascular disease and hormonal health. All hormones are regulated better when we have proper blood sugar control. We have a crisis of metabolic health, so it is key to overall immune health, mental health and healthy ageing.

Q. Do you often find that individuals come to you for one symptom and are completely oblivious that they have blood sugar issues?

A. I find it fascinating that lots of doctors are dismissive of the pre-diabetic phase. That’s really the place where we can do a lot of education and a lot of taking control of our health. It’s a lot easier to reverse it when you’re in that at-risk category.

Q. What are some of the symptoms that suggest concerns with blood sugar?

A. We’re looking at metabolic things that people are feeling. The biggest one is when you’re trying to lose weight and are stuck. We’ve also found that energy and hormone levels are impacted.

We often talk about big symptoms that people think are normal, like brain fog, headaches, a roller coaster of energy or cravings. I learned that cravings are a huge part of improper blood sugar regulation. When you regulate your blood sugar properly, you shouldn’t be having these highs and lows of energy or cravings. Everything should be a lot more steady in terms of energy levels.

Q. In what ways does blood sugar play a role in hormonal health?

A. It’s a two-way street with blood sugar and hormones. Having that low-level inflammation can affect your hormones and vice versa. If there are hormonal imbalances, it’s going to drive inflammation. We’re constantly honing in and targeting where that lies.

In terms of hormones, when people are in estrogen deficiency, perimenopause, or PMS when estrogen levels are the lowest, they’re not as insulin sensitive. This makes it harder for your body to deal with the glucose load in your system.

Knowing where you are in that spectrum and strategically working with that through diet and lifestyle can make a big difference. Estrogen gets touted as bad a lot of times but is great in terms of regulating insulin sensitivity.

Q. Apart from diet, lifestyle and hormone fluctuations, what else impacts blood sugar?

A. We noticed sleep is huge. Even a single night’s sleep can throw off your blood sugar for the rest of the day. Stress levels, too. Cortisol, your body’s long-term stress hormone, makes you more insulin resistant. Cortisol is highest in the morning. If you get a big dump of cortisol, your blood sugar will stay high longer.

Exercise is huge and really beneficial. With low-intensity exercise, blood sugar levels will level out or come down slightly. But if you’re doing high-intensity workouts, it will spike and then fall. However, that’s not a spike that you should be worrying about because exercise actually helps improve insulin sensitivity. Seeing spikes from exercise is beneficial.

We also find the time of day is really important. We find that you are more insulin sensitive earlier in the day versus later in the day. Once melatonin starts being produced at around 8 pm, that will impair your insulin sensitivity as well.

Finally, the gut microbiome. Healthy gut flora can benefit your blood sugar and how you metabolise your glucose.

Q. How can individuals take control and monitor their blood sugar for themselves?

A. We have created a group treatment program where we take on 10 people at a time and walk them through two sensors. We use the FreeStyle Libre tool which is a continuous glucose monitor. It tests your blood sugar in real-time, every minute of the day.

This gives you way much more information than any kind of one-time finger stick can. You’re seeing your whole day over two weeks. We’re a big believer in using that information along with a practitioner to really get insight in terms of what all of that information means. We don’t want people to necessarily change things right away; we want them to understand and feel how things affect them.

For the second sensor, which comes in during the second two weeks, we have them really learn how to flatline and have fewer fluctuations in their blood sugar. We don’t want it to be a stressful or restrictive thing. In our program, we talk about the order of eating and how to have the foods you love and decrease their impact. If you change the order, move after eating, or do other things, it can give you that awareness to make a big difference.

Q. This is a really great tool for individuals who are diabetic or pre-diabetic. But for people who are not pre-diabetic, can they also benefit from going through this process?

A. Absolutely. This is another learning tool to optimise your health. As I said, blood sugar can push inflammation. If someone’s working to optimise their overall health, this is touching so many factors. It’s not just what you’re eating but other things that impact your blood sugar, like stress, sleep and exercise.

Q. How can individuals find you to learn more about the program and register?

A. Our website has all of our information.

Sarah & Aliyah have been working together for 10 years. Together they enjoy inspiring and motivating patients to achieve their highest potential. Using continuous glucose monitors has been a game changer for their patients. Sarah & Aliyah’s ultimate goal is to change the world by promoting blood sugar awareness. This approach is going to revolutionize how you view your health.

About Dr. Sarah

Sarah has a personal history of Gestational Diabetes (x3). Being diagnosed in her first pregnancy was devastating but the silver lining was that she bossed it through dietary and lifestyle changes. She advocated for herself and had 3 healthy, unmedicated home births!

About Dr. Aliyah

Aliyah has a strong family history of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Knowing this she has taken a proactive approach to learn her own blood sugar triggers and investigate them with her patients and family.

Outside of the clinic you can find these besties bossing life together!

About Dr. Sarah Oulahen Turner ND and Dr. Aliyah Alibhai ND
Dr. Sarah & Dr Aliyah graduated CCNM together in 2009. They practice together at Sow Health in North York, Toronto. They have a general family practice but have a keen interest in both women’s health & digestive/skin health. They have a passion to help you understand your blood sugar for optimal wellness – especially through the female milestones: puberty, fertility & menopause.

Dr. Breanne Kallonen, ND

About Our Host

Dr. Breanne Kallonen, ND

I’m a high achieving woman. I want more, I want it all. I want to feel good, I want to look good, I want to achieve greatness. I want to be a leader for my family, for my community. This is what I want. My story is, I started young. I started my family and earned my Doctor of Naturopathy Degree by age 25… About Breanne Kallonen