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How Do I Control Blood Sugar

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Youre Getting Yeast Infections More Often Than Usual

How I Control My Blood Sugar – Part 4

Hyperglycemia may lead you to get more frequent genital yeast infections. The culprit is often a type of yeast known as Candida albicans, per the ADA. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in females the symptoms can include: vaginal itching, redness or soreness pain during sexual intercourse pain or discomfort during urination and thick, abnormal vaginal discharge. While yeast infections are common in people who dont have diabetes, having more glucose in your blood puts you at higher risk of getting them. The yeast feeds off the glucose, and if your blood sugar is high theres more glucose in the urinary tract, explains Bandukwala. Uncircumcised men with hyperglycemia are also at risk, he says.

Were also seeing this happen a little more now with patients who take SGLT-2 inhibitors, which force the body to expel more glucose through the urine, the endocrinologist adds. The FDA has added a warning to the prescribing information for SGLT-2 inhibitors about a far more rare and potentially fatal genital condition, known as necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum, or Fourniers gangrene .

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.

Control Blood Sugar To Avoid Diabetes

Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is essential if you want to reverse or avoid diabetes. But diabetes and heart disease are so closely related that you need to take both of these diseases into consideration.

Diabetics have a 400% higher risk for heart attack or stroke. And cardiovascular disease hits earlier in life and is more likely to end in death for a diabetic.

Many people with diabetes and prediabetes take medications that control their blood sugar levels, but dont change their diet and lifestyle to both control blood sugar naturally AND prevent heart disease.

Yet high blood pressure contributes to many diabetes complications and 80% of diabetics die from circulation problems like heart failure.

This is why making natural healthy lifestyle changes are so important.

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Monitoring Your Blood Sugar Level

Last Updated February 2021 | This article was created by familydoctor.org editorial staff and reviewed by Robert “Chuck” Rich, Jr., MD, FAAFP

If you have diabetes, its important to monitor your blood sugar at different times of the day and throughout the year. There are 3 tools that can help you do this and, therefore, manage your diabetes: A blood test done every three months, blood tests taken every day, and a system that constantly monitors your blood glucose.

The 3-month blood test is called an A1C test. This test reflects your blood sugar control over the past 2-3 months. Testing your A1C level every 3 months is the best way for you and your doctor to understand how well your blood sugar levels are controlled. Your doctor will likely be the one who orders an A1C test. However, you can also purchase over-the-counter A1C testing kits that you can use at home. Your A1C goal will be determined by your doctor. However, the goal is generally less than 7% or 8%, depending on your age.

The daily blood test is done with a blood glucose monitor . This is also called a home blood sugar meter, a glucometer, or a glucose meter. This type of testing is often referred to as self-monitoring of blood glucose. Your doctor may prescribe a BGM, especially if your blood sugar fluctuates. They will show you how to use it.

How Long Will It Take To Lower My Blood Sugar

Controlling Blood Sugar Level: What? Why? How?

If you have high blood sugarin a non-emergency situationthere are several things you can do to lower your blood sugar right away. Follow these steps in order:

  • Take medications as prescribed. This may be metformin or insulin.
  • Insulin can cause low blood sugars, so be sure to check your blood sugar after administering insulin to make sure it doesnt get too low.
  • If you are a type 1 diabetic, check your urine for ketones. If there are ketones present, do not exercise as ketones raise blood sugar. Go to the emergency room or contact your healthcare provider immediately. Otherwise, heart-pumping exercise can lower blood sugar immediately.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Sometimes people with diabetes can go into diabetic ketoacidosis or hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome, a medical emergency requiring immediate medical care. The symptoms are subtle but look out for:

    • Shortness of breath
    • Excessive urination
    • Abdominal pain

    If you experience these symptoms, call your healthcare provider immediately and follow their guidelines. If you cannot reach a physician emergently, call 911.

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    Measurement Of Blood Glucose

    When we speak about measuring blood glucose levels, it can be done 2 different ways. Blood glucose can be measured randomly from a sample taken at any time .

    Blood glucose can also be measured in the “fasting” state, meaning that the person has not eaten or taken in any calories in the past 8 hours .

    In a person with normal insulin production and activity blood sugar levels will return to “fasting” levels within 3 hours of eating. People with diabetes may not be able to get their blood glucose down this quickly after a meal or drinking a calorie-containing drink. More about this can be found on our Diagnosing Diabetes page.

    Why Are Healthy Blood Sugar Levels Important

    All the cells of our body are fueled by sugar in our blood stream. Simple sugars are absorbed into your bloodstream very quickly, while more complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and absorb. Over time regularly eating large amounts of simple processed sugars can impact your bodyâs ability to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar levels are consistently elevated, you could be diagnosed with prediabetes.6

    According to the American Diabetes Association, 88 million people in the U.S, have prediabetes,7 which is a concerning statistic given how life-changing this diagnosis can be. If you are concerned about maintaining your blood sugar levels, increasing fiber intake by adding Metamucil to your daily routine can help.*

    Recommended Reading: Diet For Hyperglycemia Without Diabetes

    When Do Steroids Start To Affect Blood Sugar

    Steroids may start to affect your blood sugar pretty quickly after starting treatment, although it depends on what course of treatment youre on.

    For oral steroids, blood sugars may begin to rise within a few days of treatment. The effects will depend on the dose and type of steroid you are taking.

    Steroid injections start to affect blood sugars soon after the injection and can remain high for 3-10 days afterward.

    If youre taking topical steroid creams or gels or inhaled steroids, they do not typically affect blood sugar levels.

    Controlled Means Different Things To Different People

    How to Eat to Control Your Blood Sugar Level

    Theres no one-size-fits-all recommendation for blood sugar control.

    The ADA says that a reasonable goal for many nonpregnant adults is to aim for an A1C level of less than 7. Yet some patients may be given a more stringent goal by their healthcare providers, such as 6.5, if thats reachable without harmful side effects, including hypoglycemia.

    On the other hand, if you are elderly, managing other health complications, or reliant on insulin, you may be given less stringent goals. It really becomes more important to just keep in the same place, says Rahil Bandukwala, DO, an endocrinologist at MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California. Keeping A1C between 7.5 and 8.5 may be very reasonable for such a patient, Dr. Bandukwala adds, echoing the ADAs recommendations.

    Because elderly people are more likely to have blood sugar that swings too far downward, with fewer warning signs, managing their glucose too tightly can put them at greater risk for hypoglycemia, says Bandukwala. When you have low blood sugar, youre at a higher risk for becoming dizzy and falling or passing out, notes the ADA.

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    When To Avoid Exercise

    People with blood sugar levels above 240 mg/dL should check their urine for ketones before engaging in physical activity. If ketones are present, do not exercise. Ketones are the result of stored fat being broken down for energy. Your liver starts breaking down fat when theres not enough insulin in your bloodstream to absorb blood sugar into cells. When too many ketones are quickly produced, they can cause DKA. In this state, ketones may actually make your blood sugar level go even higher and you may need intravenous fluids to rebalance.

    Dont Rely On Supplements Or Vitamins

    Theres no shortcut to maintaining good blood sugars. A supplement or vitamin alone will not give you healthy blood sugar levels and they can interact negatively with other medications. Speak to your healthcare provider and perhaps ask for a referral for a dietitian who specializes in blood sugar control before incorporating dietary supplements, shakes, or vitamins to achieve blood sugar control.

    RELATED: What is the best diabetes diet?

    Also Check: Hyperglycemia Foods To Avoid

    Exercise In The Afternoon

    Exercise lowers blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, which allows the body to use insulin and glucose more effectively, increasing glucose movement during and after exercise. Studies have shown that exercise will lead to optimal insulin regulation. Exercise after dinner will set you up for steady glucose levels through the morning.

    Research has also shown that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise before breakfast reduced the morning rise of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes patients, partially counteracting the dawn phenomenon. The same study also found that exercise significantly reduced blood glucose fluctuations and improved blood glucose control throughout the day.

    Some of the best exercises for avoiding morning blood sugar spikes include:

    • A walk

    Ramp Up Your Movement Each Day

    5 Ways to Improve Blood Sugar Control Naturally and Help ...

    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.”

    Read Also: Hyperglycemic Diet Plan

    Wait Why Is Your Blood Sugar Up In The Morning

    Why is it that your blood sugar levels will rise overnight? You dont eat anything, so how can you possibly add any glucose to your system?

    Well, those who suffer from type II diabetes will find this is most problematic. The body still creates glucose throughout the night. It needs to, whether youve eaten something or not. This natural process is called gluconeogenesis, and there is nothing you can do to stop it nor would you want to. In a healthy person, this process doesnt cause a major problem.

    Those with diabetes will find the gluconeogenesis process is increased. That means your body produces more glucose naturally than it would if you were healthy.

    Lets not forget that the stress hormone cortisol also plays a part. This increases slowly on a morning until it reaches a peak early in the morning. The cortisol will elevate the blood sugar levels, so you end up with naturally higher levels on a morning.

    To keep your blood sugar levels down, you need to keep your cortisol and gluconeogenesis levels down. Theres no need for extra medication when you follow the seven tips that will follow.

    The 10 Best Foods To Control Diabetes And Lower Blood Sugar

    If you have diabetes, you know how difficult it can be to manage your diet and control your blood sugar levels. Certain foods cause massive spikes while others actually lower blood sugar, but many people go through years of trial and error before they find out what works for them. Luckily, thanks to years of scientific findings, weve been able to determine what foods are better than others. In this article, well discuss the 10 best foods to control diabetes and lower blood sugar.

    To get the most out of your food, consider diabetic meal planning. Planning and preparing meals ahead of time will reduce the likelihood of snacking or unhealthy eating and will help you save time and energy throughout the week.

  • Non-Starchy Vegetables

    Non-starchy vegetables are one of the best foods you can eat as a diabetic. Not only will they fill you up, but theyre full of essential vitamins and minerals that help regulate your blood sugar. Since theyre a whole food with trace amounts of sugar and high levels of fiber, you can eat as many non-starchy vegetables as you want without having to worry about high blood sugar spikes. To get the most out of your non-starchy vegetables, choose fresh, canned, or frozen vegetables that have no added salt or sauce.1 Some examples of non-starchy vegetables include the following:2

  • Artichokes
  • Strawberries
  • Also Check: Hyper Glycemic Diet

    How Can I Pay For Tests And Diabetes Supplies

    Medicareexternal icon, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans pay for the A1C test and fasting blood sugar test as well as some diabetes supplies. Check your plan or ask your health care team for help finding low-cost or free supplies, and see How to Save Money on Diabetes Care for more resources.

    What Are The Recommended Targets For Blood Glucose Levels

    How to Control Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

    Many people with diabetes aim to keep their blood glucose at these normal levels:

    • Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL
    • About 2 hours after a meal starts: less than 180 mg/dL

    Talk with your health care team about the best target range for you. Be sure to tell your health care professional if your glucose levels often go above or below your target range.

    Recommended Reading: Dangers Of High Glucose Levels

    How Psyllium Fiber Helps Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

    According to the Cleveland Clinic, among supplements that have been studied for their ability to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, psylliumâs evidence was graded the highest. Research has shown that psyllium fiber can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels when looking at both fasting blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c â an indicator of average blood sugar over the previous 2-3 months.8

    It helps control hunger.

    Since consuming sugar or carbohydrate heavy foods is what makes our blood sugar levels rise, limiting sugar intake is one way of helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Psyllium fiber supplements like Metamucil can help you feel fuller longer by forming a gel in the digestive tract.* This mechanism can help curb hunger between meals, reducing your desire to eat.*

    One study showed that taking 2 servings of Metamucil before breakfast and lunch for 3 consecutive days enhanced feelings of fullness and decreased feelings of hunger.9

    It traps sugar in the digestive system.

    Metamucil, through its gelling action, also helps slow sugar absorption from the digestive tract. Without a gel forming fiber, sugars are free to rapidly be absorbed into the bloodstream and raising blood sugar levels.10

    How does psyllium work?

    When psyllium mixes with water in the body, it forms a gel that is not digested, absorbed, or broken down.11

    Treating Low Blood Sugar

    You are at risk of having a low blood sugar reaction if you:

    • Skip or delay a meal or snack
    • Take too much insulin or eat too few carbohydrates
    • Exercise
    • Drink alcohol, especially without eating carbohydrates

    Check your blood sugar if you have any of these symptoms:

    • Weakness and/or fatigue

    If your blood sugar is less than 70 milligrams per deciliter :

    • Eat 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrate
    • Wait 15 minutes and then recheck your blood sugar
    • If your blood sugar is still less than 100 mg/dl, take another 15 grams of carbohydrate and retest your blood sugar in another 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary.

    Important: If you have frequent low blood sugars speak to your doctor. You may need changes in your medication and/or meal plan.

    Also Check: What To Do To Bring Sugar Level Down

    Suffering From Diabetes 7 Amazing Foods To Control Your Blood Sugar Levels

    • If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you may consume these amazing herbs, spices, vegetables and fruits to control your sugar naturally and effectively.

    Diabetes is something that one has to battle for life once diagnosed. It is important to keep the blood sugar levels in check or it can increase your risk of cardiac problems, stroke, kidney diseases, blindness etc. You get diabetes when either your body doesnt make enough insulin or is not able to use it effectively .

    So, if you are experiencing too much urination, fatigue, thirst, getting hungry too often, facing vision problems or your wounds are not healing quickly, its time to schedule an appointment with doctor.

    If you are diagnosed with diabetes, then apart from taking medication that your doctor has suggested, you can also consume foods that naturally control your blood glucose levels. These natural herbs, spices, vegetables and fruits will work wonders for your energy levels, says Dr. Samudrika Patil, Clinical Endocrinologist and CEO, Vedicure Healthcare & Wellness and also suggests these 7 amazing foods to include in your diet.

    1. Neem

    2. Bitter Gourd

    3. Ginger

    4. Jamun

    5. Fenugreek

    Methi helps to improve glucose tolerance in the body. It is high in soluble fibre and helps control blood sugar level by slowing digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.

    6. Cinnamon

    7. Ginseng

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