The Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia
Before you learn how to lower blood sugar immediately, you should be aware that the symptoms of high blood glucose levels are similar to the ones in the initial stages of diabetes. But even if you know that you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and are on insulin or medications, you may not experience them till the blood glucose levels are very high.
The symptoms of diabetes include:
- Excessive thirst
- Coldness or insensitivity in the feet, signs of nerve damage
- Digestive disturbances like constipation or diarrhea
Do be alert for these symptoms if you are at risk for developing diabetes.
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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Foods To Eat In Moderation
You can eat the following foods in smaller quantities at meals, depending on your personal carb tolerance:
- Berries: 1 cup or less
- Plain, Greek yogurt: 1 cup or less
- Cottage cheese: 1/2 cup or less
- Nuts and peanuts: 12 ounces, or 3060 grams
- Flaxseeds or chia seeds: 2 tablespoons
- Dark chocolate : 30 grams or less
- Winter squash : 1 cup or less
- Liquor: 1.5 ounces, or 50 grams
- Dry red or white wine: 4 ounces, or 120 grams
Legumes, such as peas, lentils, and beans, are healthy sources of protein, though they do have carbs as well. Be sure to include them in your daily carb count.
Drastically reducing carbs usually lowers insulin levels, which causes the kidneys to release sodium and water .
Try to eat a cup of broth, a few olives, or some other salty low carb foods to make up for the lost sodium. Dont be afraid to add a little extra salt to your meals.
However, if you have congestive heart failure, kidney disease, or high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before increasing the amount of sodium in your diet.
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What To Eat When Your Blood Sugar Is High
Usually, you can still eat all the regular fat, fiber, and protein-rich foods youâd typically eat when your blood sugar is elevated. There is no need to restrict food or eliminate carbohydrates in these moments, but it does warrant being more aware of the foods youâre eating and really ensuring weâre filling your plate with complex carbohydrates and nutrient-rich protein sources.
Avoid Eating Large Meals
One way to keep carbs under control is by eating in moderation. I always tell my patients to spread their food out over the day, Weisenberger says. Dont eat small meals to save up for a big dinner. Feeding your body throughout the day helps regulate your blood sugar levels and prevents highs and lows, Crandall Snyder says.
Both Weisenberger and Crandall Snyder say to keep an eye on carbs, even while snacking. Classically, less than 15 g of carbs per snack is a good standard approach, Crandall Snyder says. Thats about whats found in 1 cup of fruit, she says.
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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
Make An Effort To Get Better Sleep
Ever wondered why the blueberry crumb muffins in the coffee shop look even more irresistible when youâre shuffling on three hours of sleep? Poor sleep can affect glucose levels , insulin sensitivity , and the hormones that control appetite.
When you donât get enough shut-eye, your cravings and desire to eat now can go into overdrive. Thatâs because leptin reduces and ghrelin increases , signaling to your brain that you have to eat that blueberry crumb muffinâ¦ maybe even two of them before you feel satisfied.
You might find it easier to choose the sous-vide egg bites over the tender, berry-studded cake-with-no-icing when youâre well-rested. Even partial sleep loss may increase the risk of weight gain and obesity , one sugary muffin at a time.
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Causes Of Low Blood Sugar
There are many reasons why you may have low blood sugar, including:
- Taking too much insulin.
- Not eating enough carbs for how much insulin you take.
- Timing of when you take your insulin.
- The amount and timing of physical activity.
- Drinking alcohol.
- How much fat, protein, and fiber are in your meal.
- Hot and humid weather.
- Unexpected changes in your schedule.
- Spending time at a high altitude.
- Going through puberty.
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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.
Manage Your Carb Intake
Your carb intake strongly influences your blood sugar levels .
Your body breaks carbs down into sugars, mainly glucose. Then, insulin helps your body use and store it for energy.
When you eat too many carbs or have insulin-function problems, this process fails, and blood glucose levels can rise.
Thats why the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes manage their carb intake by counting carbs and being aware of how many they need .
Some studies find that this can help you plan your meals appropriately, further improving blood sugar management (
Foods that are high in fiber include:
The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 35 grams for men. Thats about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories .
Eating plenty of fiber can aid blood sugar management. Soluble dietary fiber appears to be more effective than insoluble fiber for this purpose.
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Hypoglycemia And Physical Activity
People taking insulin or insulin secretagogues are at risk for hypoglycemia if insulin dose or carbohydrate intake is not adjusted with exercise. Checking your blood sugar before doing any physical activity is important to prevent hypoglycemia . Talk to your diabetes care team to find out if you are at risk for hypoglycemia.
If you experience hypoglycemia during or after exercise, treat it immediately:
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Broccoli And Broccoli Sprouts
Sulforaphane is a type of isothiocyanate that has blood-sugar-reducing properties.
This plant chemical is produced when broccoli is chopped or chewed due to a reaction between a glucosinolate compound called glucoraphanin and the enzyme myrosinase, both of which are concentrated in broccoli .
Test-tube, animal, and human studies have shown that sulforaphane-rich broccoli extract has powerful antidiabetic effects, helping enhance insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar and markers of oxidative stress .
Broccoli sprouts are concentrated sources of glucosinolates like glucoraphanin, and theyve been shown to help promote insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes when supplemented as a powder or extract (
Keep in mind that the best way to enhance the availability of sulforaphane is to enjoy broccoli and broccoli sprouts raw or lightly steamed, or to add active sources of myrosinase like mustard seed powder to cooked broccoli (
A Guide To Healthy Low Carb Eating With Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects many people across the globe.
Currently, more than 400 million people have diabetes worldwide .
Although diabetes is a complicated disease, maintaining good blood sugar levels can greatly reduce the risk of complications .
One of the ways to achieve better blood sugar levels is to follow a low carb diet.
This article provides a detailed overview of very low carb diets for managing diabetes.
With diabetes, the body cant effectively process carbohydrates.
Normally, when you eat carbs, theyre broken down into small units of glucose, which end up as blood sugar.
When blood sugar levels go up, the pancreas responds by producing the hormone insulin. This hormone allows blood sugar to enter cells.
In people without diabetes, blood sugar levels remain within a narrow range throughout the day. For those who have diabetes, however, this system doesnt work in the same way.
This is a big problem, because having both too high and too low blood sugar levels can cause severe harm.
There are several types of diabetes, but the two most common ones are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Both of these conditions can occur at any age.
In type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune process destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. People with diabetes take insulin several times a day to ensure that glucose gets into the cells and stays at a healthy level in the bloodstream .
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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.
- Two hours after a meal.
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.
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 products 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 more .
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Leave Sugary Beverages On The Shelf
Sugar-sweetened beverages are a one-way ticket to high blood sugar. Eliminating or drinking fewer of them can lower blood sugar, as well as helps with weight loss and maintenance, says Asterino-McGeean. Save soda pop and juice for when you need to treat low blood sugar.
Drinks high in sugar include:
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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