How To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Fast
While some sources claim that consuming water or a high-protein snack can help you lower your blood sugar levels quickly, there isn’t enough evidence to back this up. You need to contact your doctor immediately.
However, if you need to lower your blood sugar quickly and effectively in an emergency, you can use the following ways:
Sweet Potatoes And Yams
Regular potatoes have a high GI score, but sweet potatoes and yams have low scores and are very nutritious.
Reporting the findings of an animal study, the researchers also note that sweet potato consumption may lower some markers of diabetes.
Although there is still no conclusive evidence to suggest that sweet potatoes can help stabilize or lower blood sugar levels in humans, they are undoubtedly a nutritious food with a low GI score.
People can substitute sweet potatoes or yams for potatoes in a variety of dishes, from fries to casseroles.
Grapes Blueberries And Apples
One of the biggest myths that still exists about blood sugar management, is that people looking to balance blood sugar shouldnt eat fruit. But, the truth is we have so much data to show that a diet that includes fruit is not only protective against developing pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, but it can also help manage existing diabetes. Specifically, research has shown higher consumption of grapes, blueberries, and/or apples is associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
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Monitor Blood Sugar Levels Closely
High blood sugar typically refers to levels over 180 mg/dl . However, a person often does not experience symptoms until the levels exceed 200 mg/dl. As such, it is essential for a person with diabetes to check their blood sugar several times a day. Doing so should mean that blood sugar levels never get excessively high.
A person with diabetes can use an at-home glucose monitor to check their blood sugar levels. One option is a continuous glucose monitor, which is a medical device that easily enables a person to check their blood sugar levels.
The recommended number of times to check glucose levels during the day will vary from person to person. A doctor can make the best recommendations regarding the frequency of testing.
What Causes The Blood Sugar Levels Go To High
Our bodies need sugar to make energy for the cells. Without it, we cannot do basic functions. When we eat foods with glucose, insulin pairs with it to allow it to enter into the cell wall. If the insulin is not there, then the glucose molecule cant get through the wall and cannot be used. The extra glucose hangs out in the bloodstream which is literally high blood sugar.
The lack of insulin can be caused by two different things.
- First, you can have decreased insulin resistance which means that your insulin doesnt react the way that it is supposed to. It doesnt partner with glucose to be used as fuel.
- Secondly, you can have no insulin, which is the case with type 1 diabetes.
Regardless of how it is caused, it is imperative to control blood sugars to help prevent problems.
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Ramp Up Your Movement Each Day
Exercise helps improve blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity and the bodys ability to use glucose as energy, according to the American Diabetes Association. In type 2, exercise helps improve insulin resistance, says James G. Beckerman, MD, a cardiologist in Portland, Oregon. The end result is lower blood sugars.
Crandall Snyder tells patients that exercise is like spring cleaning for the body. It takes the stored form of glucose and uses it for energy so the next time you eat carbohydrates there’s a place to put it, she says.
Because exercise can immediately reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, work with your healthcare team to determine the right amount of activity and timing for you. A study published in September 2017 in Frontiers in Endocrinology found exercising 30 minutes after the start of a meal is usually best for maintaining blood sugar controls.
Learn more about managing your blood sugar in Diabetes Daily’s article “HbA1C: Everything You Need to Know.”
Simple Tips To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
Blood sugar spikes occur when your blood sugar rises and then falls sharply after you eat.
In the short term, they can cause lethargy and hunger. Over time, your body may not be able to lower blood sugar effectively, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is a rising health problem. In fact, 29 million Americans have diabetes, and 25% of them dont even know they have it .
Blood sugar spikes can also cause your blood vessels to harden and narrow, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
This article looks at 12 simple things you can do to prevent blood sugar spikes.
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Take A Correction Dose
For those who take fast or rapid-acting insulin Novolog, Humalog, Apidra, Fiasp, Admelog, Afrezza you can take a correction dose to bring a high blood sugar down.
A correction factor is determined with support from your healthcare team. This number tells you how much 1 unit of fast or rapid-acting insulin will lower your blood sugar. For example, a correction factor of 1:50 means that 1 unit of insulin will lower your blood sugar by 50 points.
Its important to keep in mind how much insulin you may already have on board in your bloodstream before taking an additional dose of insulin.
Most fast and rapid-acting insulin stays in your system for approximately 3 to 4 hours, which means taking an additional dose of insulin to correct a high could lead to a severe low blood sugar if you already have a significant amount of insulin from your most recent dose still in your bloodstream.
Also, remember to give that correction dose of insulin at least two hours to make an impact on your blood sugar before getting frustrated and taking another injection. You wont see a significant improvement in your blood sugar until its been in your system for at least 2 to 3 hours .
Symptoms Of A Low Blood Sugar Level
A low blood sugar level can affect everyone differently. YouÃ¢ll learn how it makes you feel, although your symptoms may change over time.
Early signs of a low blood sugar level include:
- seizures or fits
- collapsing or passing out
A low blood sugar level, or hypo, can also happen while youÃ¢re sleeping. This may cause you to wake up during the night or cause headaches, tiredness or damp sheets in the morning.
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How To Reduce Blood Sugar Immediately
How to lower blood sugar fast in the moment can depend on a variety of factors, but the following strategies are almost always helpful.*
- Go for a walk**
- Drink a large glass of water
- Take rapid acting insulin if directed by your doctor
*Extremely high blood sugar can be a life threatening situation if ketones are also present. Diabetic ketoacidosis can develop when blood sugars reach this level. Discuss your plan of action with your doctor if/when this happens. This includes knowing when itâs ok to stay home and treat your blood sugar and when you need to head to the emergency room.
**Exercise may not be appropriate if blood sugars are > 250mg/dL. Discuss this with your doctor before trying to exercise when your blood sugar is this high.
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When Blood Sugar Is Too Low
Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it’s also formed and stored inside the body. It’s the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Our brains depend on glucose to function, even when we’re sleeping.
The is the amount of glucose in the blood. When these levels drop too low, it’s called hypoglycemia . Very low blood sugar levels can cause serious symptoms that need to be treated right away.
Treating Low Blood Glucose If You Take Medicines That Slow Down Digestion
Some diabetes medicines slow down the digestion of carbohydrates to keep blood glucose levels from rising too high after you eat. If you develop low blood glucose while taking these medicines, you will need to take glucose tablets or glucose gel right away. Eating or drinking other sources of carbohydrates wont raise your blood glucose level quickly enough.
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Reduce And Manage Stress
Stress increases your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to imbalances in your blood sugar and in many other hormones. Experiencing some stress from time to time is normal, but chronic stress can have serious consequences on your health and raise your blood sugar levels.
Proven ways to decrease stress are regular exercise, stretching, meditation, yoga practice, deep breathing, mindfulness practices, listening to music, family time, making time for self-care, and hobbies. Just 10 to 30 minutes a day of consistent practice of one or more of the above can make a huge difference in well-being, Dr. Raja advises.
Following a regular sleep routine, avoiding excessive screen time, and adjusting your work schedule to make time self-care is also important. I am a big proponent of taking time for self-care, family, and hobbies. These activities bring you joy and result in better health.
Get More Quality Shuteye
Poor or limited sleep affects body chemistry, and getting more slumber helps with blood sugar control, Weisenberger says. Chronic lack of sleep may contribute to the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a small study published in Diabetologia in February 2015. Healthy volunteers who slept only four hours for three nights in a row had higher levels of fatty acids in their blood, which reduced insulins ability to regulate blood sugar by about 23 percent, the researchers found. Lack of sleep is also linked with other health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, and stroke, according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends aiming for seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
Having sleep troubles? Follow these recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation:
- Sleep in a cool, dark room.
- Avoid consuming alcohol or caffeine in the hours before bed.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends.
- Dont look at screens for at least a half hour before bedtime, including TV, tablets, cell phones, and computers.
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Preventing Low Blood Sugar Levels
Here are some other tips to help you avoid low blood sugar levels:
- Eat all your meals and snacks on time and try not to skip any.
- Take the right amount of insulin.
- If you exercise longer or harder than usual, have an extra snack.
- Don’t take a hot bath or shower right after an insulin shot.
- Stick to your diabetes management plan.
- Check your blood sugar levels regularly, so you can tell if your blood sugars are running too low and your treatment plan needs adjustment.
- Carry something containing sugar with you at all times and take it right away if you have symptoms. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms will go away they may get worse!
Alcohol and drugs can cause major problems with your blood sugar levels, so avoiding them is another way to prevent diabetes problems. Drinking can be particularly dangerous even deadly for people with diabetes because it messes up the body’s ability to keep blood glucose in a normal range. This can cause a very rapid drop in blood glucose in people with diabetes. Drug or alcohol use is also dangerous because it may affect someone’s ability to sense low blood sugar levels.
Learning how to recognize the signs of low blood sugar levels and get them back to normal is an important part of caring for diabetes. Keeping track of your blood sugar levels and recording lows when they occur will help you and your diabetes health care team keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
When To Contact Your Healthcare Provider
If you have two blood sugar readings of 300 mg/dL or more or have blood sugar above your target range for more than a week, seek immediate medical help.
Hyperglycemia can turn into a medical emergency like DKA and HHS that requires immediate intervention by your practitioner or a local emergency department.
Signs of hyperglycemia include:
- Ketones in your urine
- Stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
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Only You Can Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
Its annoying but true: The best way to lower your blood sugar is to avoid a spike in the first place.
Eating whole foods that are low in sugar and exercising regularly will help keep your blood sugar in check. This can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, but medications may also be necessary to keep blood sugar in a healthy range.
To avoid food-based spikes, try to steer clear of added sugars in your diet. The FDA recommends consuming less than 200 calories a day from added sugars.
That sounds pretty simple, but when you realize that 16 ounces of orange juice has 240 calories , its easy to see how sugar consumption gets out of hand.
Its best to avoid all sugary drinks and check the labels. There are hidden sugars in everything from bread to turkey slices, so double-check your favorite foods to make sure you arent getting any unnecessary sweetness.
What Is Diabetes Ketoacidosis
In the short term, high blood sugar can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which is more common in case of Type 1 Diabetes, or Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State, a short-term complication most commonly associated with Type 2 Diabetes. Both conditions are serious.
The test for diabetic ketoacidosis is to check the urine for ketones, which are chemicals produced in the liver when the body breaks down fat for energy. In diabetes, the lack of insulin results in an inability to use sugar for energy and an over-reliance on fat with a high level of ketones in the body. This can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis that requires hospitalization and can be life-threatening.
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What If Home Remedies To Lower Blood Sugar Dont Work
When attempting to lower your blood sugar naturally, take the long view. You are talking about a lifestyle change, not a quick fix, says Asterino-McGeean. It may take a few weeks or months to see results.
What if youve been trying home remedies to lower blood sugar for a few months, and your blood sugar levels still wont budge? Asterino-McGeean says you should also schedule an appointment with your doctor. At this point, its time for a conversation with your healthcare provider to see whats going on and discuss your options. Together, you and your doctor can determine the next steps in caring for your health.
Use Your Plate As A Portion Guide
If measuring or weighing food isnt appealing, try using your plate or bowl as a portion control guide.
This can help you determine the optimal macronutrient ratio for a well-balanced meal.
A rough guide for each meal is:
- Vegetables or salad: Half a plate
- High-quality protein: Quarter of a plate this includes meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, tofu, beans and pulses
- as whole grains and starchy vegetables
- High-fat foods: Half a tablespoon including cheese, oils and butter
Remember that this is a rough guide, as people have different dietary needs. For example, those who are more physically active often require more food.
As vegetables and salad are naturally low in calories but high in fiber and other nutrients, filling up on these may help you avoid overeating calorie-dense foods.
If you want extra guidance, some manufacturers sell portion-control plates.
Summary Using a plate as a guide for portion control can help you curb total food intake. You can divide your plate into sections based on different food groups.
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