Understanding Low Blood Sugar
Preventing Low Blood Sugar
Monitor Your Blood Sugar Daily
You know you’re supposed to check it. And actually checking your blood glucose levels can help you avoid diabetes complications, like nerve pain, or keep them from getting worse. Checking it can also help you see how foods and activities affect you, and if your treatment plan is working. Your doctor can help you set a target glucose level range. The closer you get to your target, the better you’ll feel.
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Check Your Blood Sugar Level
“While regular blood sugar checks are an essential part of managing your diabetes, bedtime is another good time to test. It is a good idea to maintain your blood sugar levels within the acceptable range during bedtime. Though it is natural for blood glucose levels to be on the higher side if you have had a meal in the last two hours. If it is on the lower side of the range, you may consider night-time snacking to prevent from going too low,” says Dr Kharb.
How To Prevent Hyperglycaemia And Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
Testing your blood sugar levels regularly can help you spot the signs of hyperglycaemia. But there are some steps you can take to either prevent a hyper from happening or to bring down your blood sugar levels.
You can start by making sure you are aware of your carbohydrate portions and how they may be affecting your blood sugar levels after eating. Carb countingis one of the ways you can manage this. Avoid foods that have a high glycemic index and choose low GI foods that can help manage your blood sugar levels more effectively. Increase the fibre in your diet. This can help slow down carbohydrate digestion, which can help limit the rise in your blood sugars.
Try to maintain a healthy weight as this promotes regular blood sugar levels in the body. Be as active as possible, regular exercise can help your body process more of the sugar.
Remember to take your insulin and other diabetes medication, and always take them correctly. Continue to take your diabetes medication even if you are ill and not eating.
Concentrate on your emotional wellbeing, get a quality nights sleep and find ways to manage your stress. Stress can cause hormones to be released, which keep your blood sugar levels high.
If your blood sugar levels continue to be high, or youre unsure of what to do, contact your doctor for further guidance.
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How Can I Check My Blood Sugar
Use a blood sugar meter or a continuous glucose monitor to check your blood sugar. A blood sugar meter measures the amount of sugar in a small sample of blood, usually from your fingertip. A CGM uses a sensor inserted under the skin to measure your blood sugar every few minutes. If you use a CGM, youll still need to test daily with a blood sugar meter to make sure your CGM readings are accurate.
Food And Physical Activity
Eating healthy can help you control your weight and help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. If you have any type of diabetes, eating healthy can also help manage your condition. Learn more about healthy eating.
Choose foods that are low in saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium . Try these healthy recipes.
If you need help eating healthy, your doctor may also refer you to a registered dietician. A registered dietician is a health professional who helps people with healthy eating.
Getting active can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. It can also help you manage any type of diabetes. Aim for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like walking fast or biking.
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Here’s How Healthier Habits May Help Some People Reverse Or Better Manage The Disease
Diabetes is a very common but serious medical condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , more than 34 million Americans have it, with about 90-95% of them having type 2 diabetes. About 88 million people have prediabetes, a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
There is no cure for type 2 diabetes. But it may be possible to reverse the condition to a point where you do not need medication to manage it and your body does not suffer ill effects from having blood sugar levels that are too high.
Making positive lifestyle changes such as eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly and getting down to a healthy weight are the key to possibly reversing or managing type 2 diabetes. Other lifestyle changes may also help, including not smoking, getting enough sleep, limiting alcohol and managing stress. However, for some people this is still not enough and medication is needed to manage the condition.
What To Think About When Your Blood Sugar Is High
High blood sugar can harm you. If your blood sugar is high, you need to know how to bring it down. If you have diabetes, here are some questions to ask yourself when your blood sugar is high:
- Are you eating right?
- Are you eating too much?
- Have you been following your diabetes meal plan?
- Did you have a meal or a snack with a lot of carbohydrates, starches, or simple sugars?
Are you taking your diabetes medicines correctly?
- Has your doctor changed your medicines?
- If you take insulin, have you been taking the correct dose? Is the insulin expired? Or has it been stored in a hot or cold place?
- Are you afraid of having low blood sugar? Is that causing you to eat too much or take too little insulin or other diabetes medicine?
- Have you injected insulin into a scar or overused area? Have you been rotating sites? Was the injection into a lump or numb spot under the skin?
What else has changed?
To prevent high blood sugar, you will need to:
- Follow your meal plan
- Take your diabetes medicines as instructed
You and your doctor will:
- Set a target goal for your blood sugar levels for different times during the day. This helps you manage your blood sugar.
If your blood sugar is higher than your goals over 3 days and you dont know why, check your urine for ketones. Then call your health care provider.
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Take A Stroll Before Bedtime
“Any form of physical activity helps effective utilisation of insulin by your body. Also, it helps to reduce stress and prepare your mind before bed. Taking a walk before bedtime or after dinner may help to keep your sugar levels stable through the night. However, exercising too close to bedtime may have a negative impact on your sleep,” says Dr Kharb.
Key Points About Hyperglycaemia
|Seek urgent medical advice if you have high blood glucose and experience the following symptoms:|
These symptoms could be a sign of more serious complications of hyperglycaemia, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or a hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state, and you may need to be looked after in hospital.
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Eat Plenty Of Fruit And Veg
Including more fruit and vegetables in your diet is linked with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. But did you know there are also certain types of fruit and veg that have been specifically associated with a reduced risk?
- green leafy veg such as spinach, kale, watercress, rocket.
It doesnt matter whether they are fresh or frozen, try to find ways to include these in your diet. Try having them as snacks or an extra portion of veg with your meals.
It can be confusing to know whether you should eat certain types of fruit, because they contain sugar. The good news is the natural sugar in whole fruit is not the type of added sugar we need to cut down on. But drinks like fruit juices and smoothies do contain free sugar, so eat the whole fruit and veg instead.
Get Regular Physical Activity To Prevent Diabetes
Getting regular physical activity is another crucial way to prevent and manage diabetes.
Regular physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which is essential in preventing diabetes. In addition, exercise helps to reduce belly fat which helps to improve insulin sensitivity. So the body uses insulin more efficiently, lowering your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Health experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise throughout the week.
It is also recommended to do two or more days of muscle-strengthening activities that work for all major muscle groups.
It is important to start gradually and get medical advice, especially if you have any risk factors or existing medical conditions.
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Pick Super Foods Don’t Supersize
There’s no single diabetes diet. But here are basics to keep in mind: Enjoy super foods like berries, sweet potatoes, fish with omega-3 fatty acids, and dark green, leafy vegetables. Look at food labels and avoid saturated fat and trans fats. Instead, opt for mono and polyunsaturated fats like olive oil. A registered dietitian can give you personalized advice.
Be Active: Exercise And Diabetes
Pick something you like — walking, dancing, biking, or just marching in place while you’re on the phone. Do it a half-hour a day work up to that if you need to. Exercise can help you lower your cardiovascular risks, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels, and keep your weight down. Exercise also relieves stress and may help you cut back on diabetes medication.
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How To Prevent Low Blood Sugar
This article was co-authored by Erik Kramer, DO, MPH. Dr. Erik Kramer is a Board-Certified Primary Care Physician at the University of Colorado. With over 15 years of experience, his clinical interests include obesity and weight management, diabetes care, and preventive care, as well as embracing a holistic approach to primary care. He received his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency at Central Maine Medical Center. Dr. Kramer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine.There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 105,073 times.
Diabetes And Healthy Weight
If you are overweight, even losing a small amount of weight, especially around the abdomen, helps to lower your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
It can be difficult trying to lose weight, so to get started set yourself a short-term, achievable goal. Try thinking about the food you are eating, whether you really need it, if its a healthy choice, and consider the portion size. An accredited practicing dietitian can help you set a realistic meal plan and answer any food related questions you may have.
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Take Care Of Bumps And Bruises
Diabetes raises your risk of infection and slows healing, so treat even simple cuts and scrapes quickly. Properly clean your wound and use an antibiotic cream and sterile bandage. See a doctor if it’s not better in a few days. Check your feet every day for blisters, cuts, sores, redness, or swelling. Moisturize them to prevent cracks.
Recipe Ideas To Help Reduce Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
You’ve read the tips, now time to start cooking. The recipes we have picked out below make the most of the healthy eating tips, to help you on the way to making healthier choices and reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes.
The Virgin Mojito is great alternative to alcohol, ideal for parties and celebrations.
If you have the urge for a takeaway, why not make this Chicken and lentil curry at home instead?
For light and protein-packed lunches or dinners, why not give some of these a try?
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Prognosis Of Type 2 Diabetes
Dont lose hope, though. You dont have to be a statistic. Receiving a prompt diagnosis can help you get your health on track and reduce your risk of complications.
Indeed, if you take care to manage your blood sugar by following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, taking your prescribed medication, and losing weight, you may find your quality of life to be better with diabetes than it was before your diagnosis.
Who Is At Risk For Type 2 Diabetes
Many Americans are at risk for type 2 diabetes. Your chances of getting it depend on a combination of risk factors such as your genes and lifestyle. The risk factors include:
- Having prediabetes, which means you have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes
- Being overweight or having obesity
- Being age 45 or older
- A family history of diabetes
- Being African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander
- Having acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition in which your skin becomes dark and thick, especially around your neck or armpits
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What Causes Hyperglycemia
Your diet may cause you to have high blood sugar levels, particularly if you have diabetes. Carbohydrate-heavy foods such as breads, rice, and pasta can raise your blood sugar. Your body breaks these foods down into sugar molecules during digestion. One of these molecules is glucose, an energy source for your body.
After you eat, glucose is absorbed into your bloodstream. The glucose cant be absorbed without the help of the hormone insulin. If your body is unable to produce enough insulin or is resistant to its effects, glucose can build up in your bloodstream and cause hyperglycemia.
Hyperglycemia can also be triggered by a change in your hormone levels. This commonly happens when youre under a lot of stress or when youre feeling ill.
Hyperglycemia can affect people regardless of whether they have diabetes. You may be at risk of hyperglycemia if you:
- lead a sedentary or inactive lifestyle
- have a chronic or severe illness
- are under emotional distress
- use certain medications, such as steroids
- have had a recent surgery
If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels may spike if you:
- dont follow your diabetes eating plan
- dont use your insulin correctly
- dont take your medications correctly
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