Eating Straight Sugar Or Carbs
This probably goes without saying, but regularly eating candy, processed sugar-laden cereals, or other foods consisting essentially of straight sugar with little nutrients are a big no-no, according to Dana Ellis Hunnes, a senior registered dietitian at UCLA medical center and author of Recipe for Survival.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
For instance, it’s much better to have an egg and avocado on toast rather than just jam, or a bowl of oatmeal with banana and peanut butter rather than just a plain banana. The latter options will increase your blood sugar very rapidly, whereas the former has key macronutrients like fiber, protein, and fat, to ensure a slower and more gradual release of glucose.
“When we eat high amounts of carbs or sugars, high amounts of glucose get dumped into the bloodstream,” says Arensberg. “Blood sugar levels will shoot up and are much higher than your body can handle. Then, your pancreas has to pump out a lot of insulin to help manage the glucose spike. This will then cause the high blood sugar levels to crash, causing an energy slump.”
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Whats Considered Low Blood Sugar
Your blood sugar tends to fluctuate throughout the day. Itll be lower when you first wake up, especially if you havent eaten for the past 8 to 10 hours.
Your blood sugar will go up once you eat. Depending on when you last ate, heres whats considered to be a normal blood sugar range:
|2 hours after a meal
|Less than 140 mg/dL
Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, is when your blood sugar levels fall below 70 mg/dL.
The point at which low blood sugar symptoms become noticeable is different from one person to the next.
Some people may feel jittery, irritable, or lightheaded when their blood sugar level falls to 70 mg/dL. Other people may not feel any symptoms until well below that mark.
A quick, simple blood test can measure your blood sugar level. If you have diabetes or another medical condition that sometimes causes episodes of low blood sugar, its important to regularly check your blood sugar with a home test.
If a test shows that your blood sugar is below normal, you can take steps to adjust it quickly.
Symptoms of low blood sugar vary from person to person and can even be different from one episode to the next. You may experience specific symptoms the first time your blood sugar dips, and different symptoms the next time.
The most common mild to moderate symptoms of low blood sugar include:
- jitters or shaking
More severe symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
- inability to eat or drink
Its Strange That Blood Sugar In A Diabetic Can Rise Despite Not Having Eaten Anything Since Typically Eating Causes Blood Sugar To Go Up
But its no uncommon occurrence that in diabetes, glucose or blood sugar levels can actually rise in the absence of eating.
When we dont take food into our body for energy, our liver will try to help us by releasing glucose into our blood so we have the energy we need to stay alive, says Lucille Hughes, RN, CDE, director of diabetes education at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, NY.
For people with diabetes, the liver may release too much glucose, causing blood sugar to go up.
This is why its so important for diabetics to regularly take blood sugar readings, even if they feel fine.
The liver has hundreds of jobs. One of those jobs is to release glucose into the bloodstream for energy because the body requires energy to function, even when at rest.
Basic bodily functions require energy and glucose provides that energy.
In diabetes, things are out of whack in the body. The liver in the diabetic may sometimes overestimate how much sugar to release into the bloodstream.
Or, to put it another way, the liver over-corrects the problem.
The only way that a diabetic can stay ahead of this curve is to monitor their glucose levels on a regular basis throughout the day to make sure that the sugar level doesnt sneak its way into getting into a dangerously high range.
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Monitoring Sugars Is Vital
When youre ill or just dont feel like eating much, its important to monitor your blood sugar levels more closely than ever. How often depends on whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and what medications you take.
For Type 1 diabetes: Be sure to monitor your blood sugar before meals and before bedtime, typically four times per day, says Garvey.
Beyond that, check your blood sugars if you notice symptoms of low blood sugar. Those symptoms include:
For Type 2 diabetes: If youre taking a sulfonylurea medication, check your blood sugars at least twice a day in the morning and at bedtime.
Its important to keep in mind that sulfonylureas may cause your blood sugar to drop during the day if you dont eat anything after taking your medication, Garvey says.
If your only treatment is metformin, you may not need to check your blood sugar more than once a day. This medication doesnt typically cause hypoglycemia.
Its important to be aware of the symptoms associated with low blood sugars, says Garvey. Be ready to check your blood sugar and eat or drink 15 grams of simple sugar such as glucose tablets or 4 ounces of juice to correct a low blood sugar if needed. This treatment is also recommended for Type 1 diabetes, she says.
Why Does My Blood Sugar Shoot Up When I Dont Eat
You have no nutritional need for added sugar like sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup. They are, in effect, just empty calories. Your body breaks these simple sugars down very easily, causing an almost immediate spike in blood sugar. Studies show that consuming sugars is associated with developing insulin resistance.
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How To Prevent Hyperglycaemia And Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
Testing your blood sugar levels regularly can help you spot the signs of hyperglycaemia. But there are some steps you can take to either prevent a hyper from happening or to bring down your blood sugar levels.
You can start by making sure you are aware of your carbohydrate portions and how they may be affecting your blood sugar levels after eating. Carb countingis one of the ways you can manage this. Avoid foods that have a high glycemic index and choose low GI foods that can help manage your blood sugar levels more effectively. Increase the fibre in your diet. This can help slow down carbohydrate digestion, which can help limit the rise in your blood sugars.
Try to maintain a healthy weight as this promotes regular blood sugar levels in the body. Be as active as possible, regular exercise can help your body process more of the sugar.
Remember to take your insulin and other diabetes medication, and always take them correctly. Continue to take your diabetes medication even if you are ill and not eating.
Concentrate on your emotional wellbeing, get a quality nights sleep and find ways to manage your stress. Stress can cause hormones to be released, which keep your blood sugar levels high.
If your blood sugar levels continue to be high, or youre unsure of what to do, contact your doctor for further guidance.
Roller Coaster: Female Hormones
When a woman’s hormones change, so does their blood sugar. Keep a monthly record of your levels to get a better idea of how your menstrual cycle affects you. Hormone changes during menopause may make blood sugar even harder to control. Talk to your doctor about whether hormone replacement therapy is a good idea.
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What Is The Somogyi Effect
A second possible cause of high blood sugar levels in the morning is the Somogyi effect, sometimes also called rebound hyperglycemia. It was named after the doctor who first wrote about it.
If your blood sugar drops too low in the middle of the night while you are sleeping, your body will release hormones in an attempt to rescue you from the dangerously low blood sugar. The hormones do this by prompting your liver to release stored glucose in larger amounts than usual. But this system isnt perfect in a person with diabetes, so the liver releases more sugar than needed which leads to a high blood sugar level in the morning. This is the Somogyi effect.
Why Does Blood Sugar Go Up At Night
There are many factors that can cause your blood sugar to increase at night. For example: what food you ate during the day, how much and when you exercised, whether you ate snacks before bed, the timing of your insulin doses, and your stress level. You can experience different patterns of high blood sugar at night. You may start with high glucose when you go to bed, start the night in range but go high several hours later, or spend most of the night in range until the hours just before you wake up. By identifying your bodys patterns, you can figure out what is causing your high blood sugar and how to address it.
Common causes of a glucose increase at night include:
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Increasing Blood Sugar When Fasting
Why does my blood sugar level increase from 86 to 112 mg/dl when I do a 20-hour fast? Is that normal? Im on an LCHF diet.
Thank you doctor,Alvaro
Answer:This is a normal process. When you fast, insulin levels start to drop and this triggers a surge of counter-regulatory hormones, including noradrenalin and growth hormone. This is normal, and meant to pull some of the stored sugar from the liver into the blood. If your liver is full of sugar, it may release lots of sugar into the blood, causing the blood sugar to rise.
So, yes, blood sugar may rise during fasting. The most important question to consider, though, is where this sugar came from. If you are not eating, the rise in blood sugar may only come from your own body. You are simply moving sugar from the liver to the blood. It means that there is too much sugar stored inside your body and you need to empty it out, either with LCHF diet or intermittent fasting
Dr. Jason Fung
Caution: Birth Control Pills
Types that have estrogen can affect the way your body handles insulin. Still, oral contraceptives are safe for women with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association suggests a combination pill with norgestimate and synthetic estrogen. The group also says birth control shots and implants are safe for women with the condition, though they can affect your blood sugar levels.
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Watching For Symptoms Isnt Enough
Although you may think youll know from experience when your blood sugar is out of whack, regular monitoring is the only way to truly make sure.
Its important to keep in mind that the symptoms of high or low blood sugars may fade away after several years of living with diabetes, especially if your blood sugars havent been well controlled, says Garvey.
Also, some of the symptoms of high blood sugars and low blood sugars are the same, so its important to check your blood sugar first, if possible, before treating it, she says.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
Different people may feel low blood sugar levels differently. People with low blood sugar may:
- feel hungry or have “hunger pains” in their stomach
- feel shaky or like they’re trembling
- have a rapid heart rate
- feel sweaty or have cold, clammy skin
- have pale, gray skin color
- have a headache
- have seizures or convulsions
- lose consciousness
If you have diabetes, try to remember how your body reacts when your blood sugar levels are low. It may help you figure out when you’re having a low blood sugar level more quickly the next time.
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Not Brushing And Flossing
If you have diabetes, youre more likely to get gum disease . And serious gum disease can make it harder to keep your blood sugar under control. Like all infections, it may cause your glucose to rise. That, in turn, can make other infections more likely. Inflamed or infected gums can also cause your bodys defense system to go into overdrive. That makes it harder for your body to keep insulin and blood sugar in check.
Make sure you not only brush and floss your teeth but also rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash daily.
Keep up with your dentist visits, work on managing your blood sugar, and, if you have gum disease, treat it — and any other infection in any part of your body — ASAP.
What Foods Can Help Raise Blood Sugar Fast
Because your blood sugar comes from the foods and beverages you consume, one of the easiest ways to raise your blood sugar fast is to grab a quick snack.
The American Diabetes Association recommends the 15-15 rule if your blood sugar dips below 70 mg/dL: Eat at least 15 grams of carbohydrates, then wait 15 minutes to recheck your blood sugar.
If youre still below 70 mg/dL, have another 15 grams of carbs, wait 15 minutes, and check your levels again.
Among the foods you can try for a quick blood sugar boost are:
- a piece of fruit, like a banana, apple, or orange
- 2 tablespoons of raisins
- 4 Starbursts
- 1 tablespoon of sugar in water
Foods that contain protein or fat, such as peanut butter, ice cream, and chocolate, may be helpful if your blood sugar level has dropped but isnt below 70 mg/dL.
These higher-fat foods, as well as whole-grain bread and other high-fiber foods, take longer to absorb into your bloodstream. Because of this, these foods wont raise your blood sugar as quickly as foods that have more simple carbohydrates.
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It May Cause A Medication Imbalance
When it comes to skipping meals, people with diabetes face many of the same challenges as everyone else, except when it comes to medication, says Pearson. A skipped meal alters the balance between food intake and insulin production, and can cause your blood sugar levels to eventually drop. For diabetic people dependent on insulin or blood sugarlowering medication, skipping meals can be more dangerous because it can lead to low blood sugar, says Pearson.
Whats more, an article published in July 2013 in The Pharmaceutical Journal found that people may be at risk of hypoglycemia when they take certain diabetes medications without food. The paper notes theres also a risk of gastrointestinal side effects, like nausea and diarrhea, when medication isnt taken with meals.
Diabetes dosing is typically twice a day, and not eating a meal when taking medication can cause an imbalance of its effects. To ensure your medication works as intended, follow the directions on the label closely, and do not neglect to accompany it with food when instructed. Keeping snacks in the car, at your desk, and in your purse is also important in case you find yourself away from food when its time to take your medication.
Exercise And Blood Sugar
Exercise can have a big effect on your blood sugar levels because blood sugar is used for energy. When you use your muscles, your cells absorb sugar from the blood for energy.
Depending on the intensity or duration of exercise, physical activity can help lower your blood sugar for many hours after you stop moving.
If you exercise regularly, the cells in your body may be more sensitive to insulin. This will help keep blood sugar levels within normal ranges.
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What Can Cause Low Blood Sugar Levels
Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely are:
- skipping meals and snacks
- not eating enough food during a meal or snack
- exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food
- getting too much insulin
- not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise
Also, some things may increase how quickly insulin gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make hypoglycemia more likely. These include:
- taking a hot shower or bath right after having an insulin injection increases blood flow through the blood vessels in the skin, which can make the insulin be absorbed more quickly than usual
- injecting the shot into a muscle instead of the fatty layer under the skin
- injecting the insulin into a part of the body used a lot in a particular sport .
All of these situations increase the chances that a person may get hypoglycemia.
Diabetes Myths That Dont Lower Blood Sugar
Nothing trumps a balanced meal plan, an active lifestyle, and diabetes medications as needed to keep your blood glucose levels in check. You might have considered other diabetes remedies to try to lower blood sugar. Find out what works and what you should avoid.
Skipping meals could potentially push your blood glucose higher. When you dont eat for several hours because of sleep or other reasons, your body fuels itself on glucose released from the liver. For many people with type 2 diabetes , the liver doesnt properly sense that the blood has ample glucose already, so it continues to pour out more. Eating something with a little carbohydrate signals the liver to stop sending glucose into the bloodstream and can tamp down high numbers.
Skipping meals can also lead to overeating, which can cause an increase in weight. And if you take certain diabetes medications that stimulate the bodys own insulin such as common sulfonylureas, or you take insulin with injections or a pump, you risk having your blood glucose drop too low when you skip or delay meals.
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