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.
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 theres 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 Dailys article HbA1C: Everything You Need to Know.
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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How Are Blood Sugar Levels Regulated
Sugars are among the bodys most important fuel sources, helping to provide energy to our brain cells, heart cells, and nearly every other cell in the body.
This is why were programmed to eat it.
But like most things in life, too much of a good thing can be bad.
Excess sugar in the blood can lead to numerous health conditions, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. High blood sugar levels can also damage body tissues, especially eyes, kidneys and nerves.
Its natural for your blood sugar levels to vary throughout the day.
Shortly after eating a meal, your body extracts sugar from the food you just ate and dumps it into the bloodstream. There it courses through your blood vessels and is distributed to cells that need energy or is stored in muscle or the liver for use at a later time.
At the same time, a hormone known as insulin is released into the bloodstream. Insulin opens the cells gates to allow glucose in for use and storage.1.
This means that in the few hours after eating a meal, your blood sugar levels will spike. But, as insulin levels increase in the blood over time, sugar levels will decrease as the bodys cells remove the sugar from the blood for immediate use or storage1.
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What Is High Blood Sugar
Your blood sugar level can be determined by taking a blood sample, either in a fasted state, or two hours after eating.
- If your blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dL after an eight-hour fast or less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating, youre in the normal range.
- If you conduct a test in the morning, after sleeping for eight hours, and your blood sugar is at 126 mg/dL or higher, youve got high blood sugar.
An estimated 29 million people in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes, which is the result of blood sugar levels being consistently high. Another 86 million have prediabetes, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Prediabetes, however, can be reversed by finding ways to naturally lower blood sugar.
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What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels
Before we get started, letâs review some definitions of what ânormal blood sugarâ means for people without diabetes:
- A normal âfastingâ blood glucose taken first thing in the morning after waking up is 99 mg/dL or lower.
- A random blood glucose test taken anytime of the day without regard to the last time youâve eaten should be under 200 mg/dL.
If you have diabetes , your doctor will discuss specific blood sugar goals with you. These goals can vary based on a variety of factors.
Ways To Lower Your Blood Sugar Without Medications
Type 2 diabetes has become a global epidemic. But did you know that its not just preventable but also reversible? If you have Diabetes Type 2, we have for you a bunch of helpful tips on how to bring down blood sugar.
While some of us are genetically at a risk of diabetes Type 2, it is largely a lifestyle disorder today. By changing your lifestyle, you can learn how to lower blood sugar levels naturally without the need for medication. Most diabetes medications are nothing more than a temporary-fix. They dont address the underlying reason behind high blood sugar, which is driven by the environment. Diet and lifestyle changes can reverse diabetes, unlike medications which only treat the symptoms.
The key: Make a positive change to the way you eat, sleep, stay active, and manage stress. So, lets learn how to bring down blood sugar through 15 easy, natural ways.
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How Is Diabetes Treated
There’s no cure for diabetes, but it can be managed and controlled. The goals of managing diabetes are to:
- Keep your blood sugar levels as near to normal as possible by balancing food intake with medication and activity.
- Maintain your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels as near their normal ranges as possible by avoiding added sugars and processed starches and by reducing saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Control your blood pressure. Your blood pressure should not go over 130/80.
- Slow or possibly prevent the development of diabetes-related health problems.
You hold the key to managing your diabetes by:
- Planning what you eat and following a balanced meal plan
- Taking medicine, if prescribed, and closely following the guidelines on how and when to take it
- Monitoring your blood sugar and blood pressure levels at home
- Keeping your appointments with your health care providers and having laboratory tests as ordered by your doctor
Remember: What you do at home every day affects your blood sugar more than what your doctor can do every few months during your checkups.
When To Go To The Er
High blood sugar can be very concerning because your body can start burning fat for energy instead of blood glucose.
This can cause conditions such as DKA and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . These conditions are medical emergencies and can be fatal if left untreated.
DKA is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes. Its rare in people with type 2 diabetes, but can occur.
Symptoms that can indicate you should go to the emergency room include:
- ketones in your urine, as diagnosed using a urine dipstick test
High blood sugar levels can cause a fluid imbalance in the body and can cause the blood to become acidic in a manner that doesnt support life.
Medical treatments for these conditions include administering intravenous insulin on a continuous basis and IV fluids to correct dehydration.
High blood sugar can become a medical emergency. Go to the ER if you suspect DKA or HHS.
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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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What Should I Do If My Glucose Levels Are Too High
You should establish a treatment plan with your doctor. You may be able to manage your glucose levels through diet and other lifestyle changes, like weight loss. Exercise can also help lower your glucose levels.
Medications may be added to your treatment if needed. Most people with type 2 diabetes will start on metformin as their first medication. There are many different types of diabetes medications that act in different ways.
Injecting insulin is one way to quickly reduce your glucose levels. Your doctor may prescribe insulin if you need help managing your glucose levels. Your doctor will determine your dosage and go over with you how to inject it, and when.
Let your doctor know if your glucose levels are consistently high. This could mean you need to take regular medication or make other changes to your diabetes treatment plan. Working with your doctor to get your glucose levels under control is important. Consistently high levels can lead to serious complications, like diabetic neuropathy or kidney failure.
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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.
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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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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.
First Check Your Ketones
In people with type 1 diabetes, high blood sugars can put you at risk of developing ketones. Blood sugar levels over 250 mg/dL with too little insulin can quickly turn into diabetic ketoacidosis if it continues to rise.
Test your urine for ketones, and contact your doctor or visit an urgent care facility if you measure with moderate to large ketones. When large ketones are present, correcting a high blood sugar with insulin via pump or injection wont be effective. Instead, youll likely need intravenous fluids for a few hours to restabilize.
If you only have moderate ketones or less, you may be able to correct with insulin at home but youll likely need a larger dose than normal. Contact your healthcare team if you test positive for ketones and are unsure of how to safely manage the situation.
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Reflect On The Amount Of Sugar In Your Diet
Hyperglycemia occurs when there is too much glucose in the blood.
Therefore, one way of reducing your blood glucose levels is reflecting on where sugar may be consumed in the diet. Think about any refined and processed foods that may be in your diet as these are often high in sugar. This can be achieved through a low carbohydrate diet.
Absorb Less Sugar By Eating More Fiber
If you increase your fiber intake you also decrease your sugar intake even eating the same amount of sugar. Fiber adds bulk without sugar or calories.
Cold-pressed apple juice is basically apples minus fiber. In seconds, you can drink enough juice to get the same amount of sugar in five cups of apple slices.
Without the fiber, apple juice is absorbed as soon as it hits your intestines and spikes your blood sugar. Meanwhile, the trapped sugar in the apple slices is absorbed slowly. Nutrients are absorbed when they have contact with the side of your intestines.
Because fiber never absorbs, it can carry or eliminate calories, fats, or sugars through digestion.
What diabetes diet makes the problem worse?
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Never Skip Eating Breakfast
Weve all heard that breakfast is the days most important meal. This is especially true for those who have diabetes. I think eating breakfast is important, especially with potential risk for hypoglycemia and avoiding potential highs related to fasting for too long a period of time, Crandall Snyder says.
A high-protein breakfast has an edge over breakfasts that are high in carbohydrates, according to research from The University of Missouri-Columbia. In the research, women ages 18 to 55 consumed meals with similar calories, fat, and fiber contents but differing amounts of protein. Researchers monitored the amount of glucose and insulin in the participants blood for four hours after they ate breakfast. The best breakfasts contained 39 g of protein and led to lower post-meal glucose spikes than the meals with less protein, the researchers found.
Besides, eating breakfast may help overweight people with type 2 diabetes shed extra pounds. Of the participants in the National Weight Control Registry who maintained at least a 30-pound weight loss for at least one year, 78 percent said they eat breakfast daily.
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How To Test Blood Sugar Levels
Your doctor can test your blood sugar levels using one of several methods depending on your unique health situation.
We usually do a hemoglobin A1C test or check their serum glucose levels, says Dr. Raja.
The most common testing method used is the glycated hemoglobin test, which screens you for prediabetes, and diabetes.
The A1C test is a blood test that measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen from your lungs to tissues in the body. The A1C test will reveal your average blood sugar level for the previous two to three months.
Certain health conditions such as severe anemia, vitamin deficiencies, thalassemia, and sickle cell trait can often result in inaccurate A1C test results. When A1C test results seem inaccurate or inconsistent, your doctor may perform one or more other tests. These include a random glucose test, a fasting glucose test, or an oral glucose tolerance test.
For the random glucose test, your doctor will take a sample of your blood at a random time to test your blood sugar level. A fasting glucose test requires you to do an overnight fast before your doctor draws blood the following day. The oral glucose tolerance test also requires you to do an overnight fast, and consume a sugary liquid after you arrive at the doctors office, and get blood drawn at one hour and three hour intervals.
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