When Should I Check My Blood Sugar
How often you check your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and if you take any diabetes medicines.
Typical times to check your blood sugar include:
- When you first wake up, before you eat or drink anything.
- Before a meal.
- Two hours after a meal.
- At bedtime.
If you have type 1 diabetes, have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, or often have low blood sugar, your doctor may want you to check your blood sugar more often, such as before and after youre physically active.
What Causes Blood Sugar To Be High
Many things can cause high blood sugar , including being sick, being stressed, eating more than planned, and not giving yourself enough insulin. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to long-term, serious health problems. Symptoms of high blood sugar include:
- Feeling very tired.
- Having blurry vision.
- Needing to urinate more often.
If you get sick, your blood sugar can be hard to manage. You may not be able to eat or drink as much as usual, which can affect blood sugar levels. If youre ill and your blood sugar is 240 mg/dL or above, use an over-the-counter ketone test kit to check your urine for ketones and call your doctor if your ketones are high. High ketones can be an early sign of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately.
How To Lower Blood Sugar
High blood glucose can happen for many reasons.
However, high blood glucose can also happen as a result of other factors like:
- Stressful situations
- A lack of exercise
- Actively fighting a cold or flu
If you have diabetes, dealing with high blood glucose can be frustrating, and part of a larger plan to improve your overall health. However, even if you have not been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood glucose can be a warning sign of future chronic disease.
In this article, well discuss how to identify a blood sugar spike, and some warning signs on how to tell if your hyperglycemia needs immediate, emergency intervention.
Then, well touch on the most effective, evidence-based strategies to lower your blood glucose through simple lifestyle changes, and some daily tips to help make them happen.
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How To Reduce Blood Sugar Level Immediately: Insulin
The severity of the hyperglycemia determines how to act. In cases of insulin-dependent diabetes, most people will probably use rapid-acting insulin. The name is a giveaway: this is how to reduce blood sugar level immediately.
Hopefully, using insulin will allow you to get back to normal blood sugar levels before it gets too severe. This will also be the best way to be in control you can lower your blood sugar with more accurate numbers.
This is where Hedia comes into play. Getting those numbers isnt always so easy to figure out by yourself, especially not when dealing with the hassle of high blood sugar. Hedia can deal with that instead.
When using Hedias insulin calculator, all Hedia needs is: your blood sugar reading this can even be added wirelessly and automatically with certain NFC or Blueetooth glucose meters what youve eaten recently this can be added swiftly with Hedias food database whether youve exercised recently or are about to exercise and if youve taken insulin in the last 4 hours. Have a go at the App Store or !
After taking insulin, keep testing blood sugar levels to see how your blood sugar decreases. Then, just continue with your day!
What Can Lower My Blood Sugar Naturally
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Best Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Quickly
When treated early, you can bring high blood sugar levels down and prevent complications, including DKA.
Some sources suggest that drinking water or eating a high protein snack can quickly lower your blood sugar levels, though there isnt enough research to support this.
If you have high blood sugar and need to lower it fast, try the following methods:
Correcting High Blood Sugar Levels With Insulin
If you take insulin, one way to reduce blood sugar is to inject insulin.
However, be careful as insulin can take 4 hours or longer to be fully absorbed, so you need to make sure you take into account how much insulin you may already have in your body that is yet to be absorbed by the blood. Insulin that is yet to be absorbed by the blood is called active insulin.
If you decide to correct with insulin, watch you dont over correct as this can lead to hypoglycemia and can be dangerous, particularly so before bed.
Understanding Your Blood Sugar And Exercise
The effect physical activity has on your blood sugar will vary depending on how long you are active and many other factors. Physical activity can lower your blood sugar up to 24 hours or more after your workout by making your body more sensitive to insulin.
Become familiar with how your blood sugar responds to exercise. Checking your blood sugar level more often before and after exercise can help you see the benefits of activity. You also can use the results of your blood sugar checks to see how your body reacts to different activities. Understanding these patterns can help you prevent your blood sugar from going too high or too low.
How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar
Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:
- Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
- Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
- Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
- Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.
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Can Oral Mediations Help A High Blood Sugar
While any oral medications you take to help manage your diabetes do improve your blood sugar levels, they are not something you would take an extra dose off to correct an occasional high blood sugar level.
However, if you realize that you forgot to take your dose of a daily medication, this should be part of the process of bringing your high blood sugar down.
Some medications can be taken late, and some medications may need to wait until your next normally scheduled dose. Contact your healthcare team to determine if the diabetes medication you take can be taken late after missing your usual dose.
If you have been skipping this medication altogether for days or weeks its very likely a significant contributor to the reason your blood sugar is high. These medications are designed to improve your blood sugar levels in a variety of different ways.
Talk to your healthcare team to better understand the medications youve been prescribed and the issues youre having in taking them as directed.
Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
High blood sugar occurs when your body doesnt make enough or effectively use insulin, a hormone that regulates blood glucose and helps it enter your cells for energy.
High blood sugar is associated with diabetes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 13% of U.S. adults live with diabetes, and 34.5% have prediabetes (
This means close to 50% of all U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes.
Here are 15 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally:
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Control How Much Sugar You Eat
While this one may seem obvious to some, donât scroll past just yet. How closely do you read ingredient labels? You likely buy and eat some processed foods unless you make all foods including sauces, dressings, and condiments, from scratch.
Thatâs OK youâre a modern-day human and convenience and cost matter. But, most packaged or pre-made foods contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Select carefully and, as an example, buy big tubs of steel-cut oats or quick-cooking oats over the flavored, sugary oatmeal in a box or cup.
Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist, professor, and specialist in childhood obesity, believes that sugar is so toxic to health that he recommends federal regulation against marketing sugar-laden products1 to children and even adding taxes to processed foods that contain added sugar.
These ideas may seem radical but are similar to rules that govern marketing alcohol to minors, and similar to the extra taxes consumers pay to purchase alcohol and tobacco products. Just as booze and cigarettes can be addictive for some, sugar can hook you and make you want more2.
How Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Treated
Your diabetes health care team will give you guidelines for treating low blood sugar levels, depending on your symptoms. If you can, try to test your blood sugar levels to make sure that your symptoms are because of hypoglycemia. If you can’t test blood sugar immediately, don’t delay in treating your symptoms you can always check your blood sugar after you’ve taken steps to get your blood sugar back up into the normal range.
When blood sugar levels are low, the goal is to get them back up quickly. To do that, you should take in sugar or sugary foods, which raise the blood sugar level quickly. Your health care team might suggest that you:
- Eat, drink, or take something that contains sugar that can get into the blood quickly. Your doctor may tell you to have really sugary foods or drinks or might give you glucose tablets or gel to take all of these can help to raise your blood sugar level fast, which is what you need to do when it’s low.
- Wait about 10 minutes to let the sugar work.
- Recheck your blood sugar level with a glucose meter to see if blood sugar levels are back to normal.
- Get a glucagon shot , if your symptoms are severe or get worse after you eat, drink, or take glucose.
Sometimes, blood sugar levels can get so low that you may not be awake enough to eat or drink something to get them back up. When this happens, you may need a glucagon shot.
Read Also: What Helps Bring Your Sugar Down
Consider Your Next Meal Carefully
People with diabetes often follow an eating plan devised with the help of a doctor. If you’re experience hyperglycemia in diabetes, stick to your plan. Consider cutting back your portion sizes and avoiding snack food and sweetened drinks, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Read more:The Best Nuts for People With Diabetes
What Causes Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar has many causes, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin, taking other diabetes medicines, exercising more than normal, and drinking alcohol. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low.
Signs of low blood sugar are different for everyone. Common symptoms include:
Know what your individual symptoms are so you can catch low blood sugar early and treat it. If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms. Low blood sugar can be dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible.
Changing Habits And Changing Your Life
With over 30 million people suffering from diabetes in the United States alone, blood glucose control is one of the biggest challenges facing people in the 21st century.
The good thing is that there are many other people right there with you struggling, transforming their lives, and maintaining their health after getting control of their blood glucose.
Thats why we founded Mastering Diabetes, so we could bring all of those people together, offer coaching, community, and guidance through every step, and see real life-changing results.
There are multiple ways to take advantage of this proven, evidence-based program, with plans ranging from DIY resources to intensive coaching programs. See below to learn more and join Juston and many others.
Stop Guessing What to Eat
Get Delicious Recipes Sent to Your Inbox Every Week!
Discover the custom-designed Weekly Meal Plan that gives you clarity on what to eat and how to shop to simplify your journey to lower blood sugar, weight loss, and your best A1c
Mastering Diabetes has strict guidelines for scientific references in our articles. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, governmental organizations, and reputable medical organizations. We do our best to avoid using non evidence-based references in all articles. The references in this article are listed below.
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Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Choose Low Glycemic Index Foods
The glycemic index measures and ranks various foods by how much they cause blood sugar levels to rise. Research shows that following a low glycemic index diet decreases fasting blood sugar levels.
Low glycemic index foods are those that score below 55 on the glycemic index. Examples of low glycemic foods include:
- sweet potatoes
Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Quickly And Safely
First, if youve missed an insulin dose or your pump is not working, the first thing to do is correct the underlying problem, according to Dr. Wright. Insulin is a normal hormone in our body that’s normally produced by the pancreas and what insulin does is it acts as a shuttle and it shuttles glucose from the blood and into the cells so that it can be used as fuel, explains Dr. Hong. So, for somebody with diabetes, if they have high blood glucoses, by giving themself more insulin they’re essentially helping to facilitate the movement of glucose into the cells so that the blood glucose levels drop and the cells receive more fuel or glucose.
Take missed diabetes medication
I don’t generally recommend that you take it on an as-needed basis, says Dr. Hong. Typically, diabetes medications are meant to be taken on a daily basis or in a scheduled way. If you forget to take your medication, then absolutely, your blood sugars can go up, and then if you take it again, the sugars will certainly come back down, says Dr. Hong. Just keep in mind that medications wont work as quickly as insulin, especially if its been a while since you had your last dose or if you havent been taking it as often as you should.
Go for a walk
Dont Give Yourself A Hard Time
And the flipside of focusing on the positives of these new changes is to not give yourself a hard time, or expect to be perfect. Its very rare to quit eating meat and added sugar, and integrate an entirely new system of eating and exercising all at once.
You might have nights where you splurge, or weeks where youre busy and might not be able to exercise. Family life, work, and vacations get in the way.
The important thing is to focus on the long term effect. Are you moving in the right direction in general? If so, dont give yourself a hard time.
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Eat Foods With A Low To Medium Gi Score
Look for foods with a low to medium glycemic index score. These are foods that your body absorbs slowly and decrease spikes in blood sugar. Some people pair low and high GI foods in order to balance their blood sugar. Another way to think about foods that lower blood glucose are ones that do not provide fast energy but give you more energy over a longer period of time. Foods with a low glycemic index have many health benefits besides their effects on blood sugar, so eating a diet high in protein, fatty acids, and fiber will benefit your whole family, not just those actively trying to achieve glycemic control.