Drink Drink Drink Some Water
Dehydration can cause high blood sugars, which means getting hydrated can help prevent and reduce high blood sugars.
Your blood consists partly of water. When you dont drink enough water throughout the day, the other things in your blood become more concentrated! And thus, higher blood sugar levels.
You know that uncomfortable thirst you feel when your blood sugars are high? Give in to it. This is how your body helps flush excess sugar out through your urine, and how you replenish the necessary fluid balance in your bloodstream.
Why Am I Having Lows
If you are experiencing low blood sugar and youre not sure why, bring a record of blood sugar, insulin, exercise and food data to a health care provider. Together, you can review all your data to figure out the cause of the lows.
The more information you can give your health care provider, the better they can work with you to understand what’s causing the lows. Your provider may be able to help prevent low blood sugar by adjusting the timing of insulin dosing, exercise and meals or snacks. Changing insulin doses or the types of food you eat may also do the trick.
When To Seek Medical Attention In An Emergency
For people with type 1 diabetes, untreated high blood sugar can lead to a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA.
When there is no insulin and glucose can’t get into cells, your body starts breaking down fat into a fuel called ketones. If ketones build up in your blood, it becomes dangerously acidic. DKA can cause very serious health complications such as fluid building up in the brain, kidney failure, and cardiac arrest.
If your blood sugar is above 240 mg/dL, you should check your urine for ketones, a sign you may be at risk for DKA. You can do this with an at home test, but you also should contact your doctor. If there are ketones in your urine, you should go to the emergency room. Other symptoms of DKA include:
- Increased respiratory rate, or trouble breathing
- Breath that smells fruity
- Nausea and vomiting
- A very dry mouth
In rare occasions, DKA can occur in people with type 2 diabetes, but the more common complication for people with type 2 is called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state, or HHS. HHS occurs when blood glucose levels are high for an extended period of time. The extra sugar is passed into the urine, causing the person to urinate frequently and become severely dehydrated, just like with DKA.
For people with type 2 diabetes, blood sugar above 600 mg/dL indicates HHS. Other symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
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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:
Eat More Protein And Fat
Lean sources of protein like eggs, egg whites, chicken breast, turkey breast, extra-lean ground beef, bison, etc. are all filling food options that have no sugar. These lean options will not cause a spike in blood sugar, and they provide high satiety so you wont snack on sugary options later in the day.
If you elect to have these high-protein options in a sandwich form, pick a whole-grain bun, because it wont elicit the same metabolic response that white bread will, keeping blood sugar levels from spiking too high. Including some dietary fat with your meal or as a snack can also improve insulin response. Instead of reaching for a sugary snack or plate of fries as a side, opt for nuts and fruit or a salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
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Low Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetes
People with diabetes can have low blood sugar levels because of the medicines they have to take to manage their diabetes. They may need a hormone called or diabetes pills to help their bodies use the sugar in their blood.
These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood and get it into the body’s cells, which makes the blood sugar level go down. But sometimes it’s a tricky balancing act and blood sugar levels can get too low.
People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugars from getting too highor too low. Keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range means balancing when and what they eat, and when they exercise with when they take medicines.
Cut Back On Carbohydrates
A diet high in processed carbs adds to the sugar load in your diet. This is because all carbs get broken down into sugars upon digestion. This leads to increased blood sugar and weight gain. Avoid all carbs with a high glycemic index. We recommend a Low Carb-High Fat or LCHF diet to reverse diabetes. Ideally, only 10% of your daily caloric intake should come from carbs. The right carbs for any diabetic are fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and millets are some whole grains that work.
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A Quick Note On Internet Diabetes Advice
There are some shockingly irresponsible articles on the Internet that suggest eating foods like oranges and grapes to lower your blood sugar.This is patently false information. Not only will eating an orange not lower your blood sugar, eating an orange will raise your blood sugar .
Remember, there are no miracle foods that will cure diabetes.
What do you do when you need to lower your blood sugar?
Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Naturally
Experts agree that individuals living with type 2 diabetes can improve their symptoms with a few simple lifestyle tweaks.
Its the Holy Grail for people with diabetes: Checking your blood sugar and seeing the numbers right in line. Can lifestyle changes help? Yes, says Jill Weisenberger, RDN, a diabetes nutrition expert based in Newport News, Virginia.
If you have diabetes, lowering blood sugar isnt just a short-term goal according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , it helps prevent or delay diabetes complications, including heart, kidney, eye, and nerve diseases. It can change the course of the disease entirely.
It’s 100 percent important that try and lower their blood sugars through dietary approaches first, says Jessica Crandall Snyder, RD, CDCES, with Vital RD in Denver. For some people, it not only can be preventive, but it can also help with reversal of the actual disease.
Crandall Snyder says making a few key lifestyle changes can sometimes eliminate the need for medication. Poking yourself with insulin isn’t fun, she says. Diabetes is a progressive disease, and you really have to figure out how to take control.
Here are 10 ways to do it, no prescriptions required.
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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.
Get Some Light Exercise
Effects seen: Within 1 hour
Light exercise can lower your blood sugar level, often within minutes. I’m talking about a brisk walk or bicycle ride not a long run or weight lifting. I’ve personally lowered my blood sugar by 40 points with a 20-minute walk. Light exercise is my go-to technique for lowering my blood sugar.
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How To Know If You Are At Risk For High Blood Sugar
Usually, people with type 1 diabetes will experience high blood sugar if they have not taken enough insulin or if they have type 2 diabetes the recommended dosage of insulin is not working as it should.
Apart from this, your chances of hyperglycemia increase if you:
- Eat too many processed and junk food
- Do not have any exercise routine
- Have a habit of eating large meals or binge eating
- Take too much stress about anything
- Suffer from any recurring illness
- Have a family history of diabetes
Lets find out how to lower blood sugar quickly in an emergency.
Foods That Lower Blood Sugar
Food can be a wonderful tonic for your overall good health and well-being or it can be devastating to your health. Taking the time and effort to make good choices can save you from a lot of pain and suffering in the future. Here is a list of foods that are great for your health, and especially good for maintaining healthy sugar levels.
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How Can I Prevent Low Blood Sugar
Your best bet is to practice good diabetes management and learn to detect hypoglycemia so you can treat it earlybefore it gets worse.
Monitoring blood sugar, with either a meter or a CGM, is the tried and true method for preventing hypoglycemia. Studies consistently show that the more a person checks blood sugar, the lower his or her risk of hypoglycemia. This is because you can see when blood sugar levels are dropping and can treat it before it gets too low.
If you can, check often!
- Check before and after meals.
- Check before and after exercise .
- Check before bed.
- After intense exercise, also check in the middle of the night.
- Check more if things around you change such as, a new insulin routine, a different work schedule, an increase in physical activity, or travel across time zones.
When To See A Doctor
According to the University of Michigan, blood sugar levels of 300 mg/dL or more can be dangerous. They recommend calling a doctor if you have two readings in a row of 300 or more.
See your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of this include:
- increased thirst
- high levels of sugar in urine
Ask your doctor how often to check your blood sugar and about your ideal blood sugar levels.
If you dont currently see a doctor who specializes in diabetes, known as an endocrinologist, you can find one by searching the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website.
You can find a certified diabetes educator by visiting the American Diabetes Associations website and searching by zip code.
Talk to your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar readings or symptoms of chronic hyperglycemia.
Checking your blood sugar and then treating hyperglycemia early will help prevent any complications.
Health problems can arise when someone has high blood sugar regularly and without treatment.
Examples of complications include:
- nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy, that may affect sensations in the feet and hands
- diabetic retinopathy, or damage to the blood vessels in the eyes that affects vision
- increased risks for kidney problems
- increased risks for heart problems
Taking steps to keep your blood sugar at target levels can help to minimize the likelihood that these complications will occur.
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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.
How Do I Keep My Blood Sugar Stable
Oh, the words blood sugar.
Does it conjure up visions of restrictive eating, diabetes medications, or insulin injections?
Blood sugar is the measure of the amount of sugar in your blood. You need the right balance of sugar in your blood to fuel your brain and muscles.
The thing is, it can fluctuate. A lot.
This fluctuation is the natural balance between things that increase it and things that decrease it. When you eat food with sugars or starches , then your digestive system absorbs sugar into your blood. When carbs are ingested and broken down into simple sugars, your body keeps blood sugar levels stable by secreting insulin. Insulin allows excess sugar to get out of your bloodstream and into your muscle cells and other tissues for energy
Why keep my blood sugar stable?
Your body wants your blood sugar to be at an optimal level. It should be high enough, so youre not light-headed, fatigued, and irritable. It should be low enough that your body isnt scrambling to remove excess from the blood.
When blood sugar is too low, this is referred to as hypoglycemia.
When blood sugar is too high, it is referred to as hyperglycemia. Prolonged periods of elevated blood sugar levels can lead to insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is when your cells are just so fed up with the excess insulin that they start ignoring it, and that keeps your blood sugar levels too high.
Insulin resistance and chronic hyperglycemia can eventually lead to diabetes.
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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.
Exercise To Lower Blood Sugar
Exercise is great for regulating your blood sugar levels overall. It is a great tool for getting your levels back down when they spike. Exercise causes your muscles to use more glucose and it helps your body to better utilize insulin. Exercise gets your blood flowing, causing your body to use up any excess sugar in the blood, regulating your levels. As you get your heart rate up during exercise, you release endorphins and your body starts to feel better. Exercising to lose belly fat is a great way to naturally lower your blood sugar.
- To be effective, you want to get your heart rate up for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Monitor sugar intermittently to make sure your level doesnt drop too quickly. Moderate walking works well to get the blood pumping. Exercise is the fastest way to bring down blood sugar second to administering insulin. Frequent, regular exercise is important for maintaining healthy sugar levels. As always, be sure to check with doctor first before starting a new exercise routine.
- NOTE: Exercise is not recommended for people with diabetic ketoacidosis. See your doctor for appropriate interventions.
- Weight training is also great for lower blood sugar. It builds muscle that burns glucose more efficiently. Be aware that you may see a rise in levels when your first begin weight training, so be sure to monitor your levels.
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Preventing High Blood Sugars
Everyone with diabetes experiences high blood sugars sometimes there are simply too many variables in the human body out of your control to prevent them altogether.
That being said, there are a few guidelines we can all follow to minimize the frequency of high blood sugars:
- Avoid full-sugar beverages including soda, juice, coffee drinks, iced tea, etc.
- Choose your carbohydrates carefully starchy carbs from pasta, candy, bread, desserts, etc. will spike your blood sugar the most
- Take your medications as prescribed and contact your healthcare team if you miss a dose to determine if you can take it late
- Exercise daily even a 20-minute walk makes a big difference on a daily basis
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
And of course, if youre experiencing high blood sugars are a daily basis and youre unsure of the cause, talk to your healthcare team about making adjustments in your diabetes management regimen. A slight increase in your medications can have a big impact!
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Offset Carbs With Fat And Protein
When carbs are consumed as part of a meal that includes protein and fat, they affect blood sugar more slowly. For this reason, planning ahead for healthy, balanced meals is fundamental to good diabetes management, says Jenny Champion, RD, a diabetes educator, personal trainer, and editor of Posh Paleo Magazine.
To make sure your meals are well-balanced, the ADA suggests this method of filling your plate:
- Half your plate: non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, tomatoes, or greens
- A quarter of your plate: grains and starchy foods, such as whole grain noodles, rice, or potatoes
- A quarter of your plate: lean protein, such as beef, fish, chicken, or tofu
- Add an 8-ounce glass of low-fat milk and a piece of fruit or half a cup of fruit salad on the side.
Remember that even if you eat the right foods, eating too much can cause your blood sugar to rise. Keeping track of what youre eating and how much youre eating and then how it affects blood sugar is the best way to stay on top of your diabetes, Champion says.
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