Medical Approaches To Spike Control
A common approach to lowering after-meal blood glucose spikes is to take more insulin. But unless blood glucose levels remain high for three to six hours after eating, taking more insulin is not going to solve the problem. In fact, increasing mealtime insulin will most likely result in low blood glucose before the next meal.
Here are some strategies that may work better:
Exercise: The Glucose Gobbler
Moving your muscles revs the bodys engine, boosting its fuel consumption. Result: Glucose levels tend to drop when youre physically active. Overall, this is a good thing, and monitoring can provide insight into ways in which you can strategically use exercise to lower your blood sugar. Be sure to work with your doctor to figure out how exercise should factor into your approach to diabetes management.
What Is The A1c Test
The A1C test; is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 2 or 3 months. The test is done at a lab or your doctors office in addition tonot instead ofregular blood sugar testing you do yourself.
A1C testing is part of the ABCs of diabetesimportant steps you can take to prevent or delay health complications down the road:
- A: Get a regular A1C test.
- B: Try to keep your blood pressure;below 140/90 mm Hg .
- C: Manage your cholesterol;levels.
- s: Stop smoking;or dont start.
The A1C goal for most adults with diabetes is between 7% and 8%, but your goal may be different depending on your age, other health conditions, medicines youre taking, and other factors. Work with your doctor to establish a personal A1C goal for you.
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Avoid Alcohol The Night Before And Sugar In Anything The Next Morning
Like to enjoy a tipple the night before you go to bed? Its time to cut down or back on that completely. The alcohol dehydrates the body and will mean your blood glucose level will be more saturated. The smaller amounts of glucose will affect you in bigger ways.
But this doesnt help you on a morning, right? Well, look out for drinking anything sugary on a morning. This includes your glass of orange juice. You may even want to avoid plain water!
You want to drink something that is going to keep your sugar levels to a minimum and not spart the release of insulin. That means looking for something that packs plenty of protein. Remember that protein berry smoothie? Consider that as your morning drink/breakfast. You can follow it with a glass of water if youd like.
A green smoothie would be another excellent option. It packs you full of nutrients, and you can add in the protein to get that filling element.
If you really want water, add a slice or two of lemon. You get some sweetness but without the large amounts of sugar hitting your system causing a problem.
Keeping your morning drink routine perfect will also help you reduce the stress hormones. Coffee is a stimulant and will just make your stress levels even worse. Anything with caffeine will do the same and thats usually what youll add sugar to. Opt for lemon water for a refreshing drink and then a smoothie for a no-caffeine, nutrient packed breakfast.
How To Treat Low Blood Sugar
If you think you have low blood sugar, be sure to check it.
Keeping your blood sugar levels on target as much as possible can help prevent or delay long-term, serious health problems. While this is important, closely managing your blood sugar levels also increases your chance for low blood sugar . Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low. If you think you have low blood sugar, check it. If you arent able to check it, go ahead and treat it.
Untreated low blood sugar can be dangerous, so its important to know what to do about it and to treat it immediately.
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What About The Glycemic Index
Your daily carb total, spread steadily across the day, is one key to good blood sugar control. Some people also use the glycemic index , a rating of how individual foods raise blood sugar levels. Beans and whole-grain breads and cereals have a lower GI than white bread and regular pasta. Juice has a higher GI than whole fruit. Craving a high-GI food? Eat it along with a lower-GI choice to help control your levels.
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Why Do I Need Sugar In My Blood
If you are looking for ways how to bring blood sugar down, here are 7 foods that help lower your blood sugar effectively. Blood sugar comes from food. Its your bodys main source of energy. These sugars are carried to the cells throughout your body by your blood, providing them with the energy they need to function optimally.
For a person with diabetes or pre-diabetes, their body does not effectively regulate blood sugars. This causes levels to become either too high or too low. Long term, frequent high blood sugar can lead to a number of serious health complications.; Kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, vision impairment, joint damage, are just a few.; Learning to regulate your blood sugar, as well as how to lower high blood sugar, is essential for your health. It is important to know how to bring blood sugar down once it has gotten too high.
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What Complications Can Be Caused By Hypoglycemia
Passing out from low blood sugar because you have not recognized the early signs and symptoms is called hypoglycemia unawareness, and can be quite dangerous depending on where you are, explains Dr. Klonoff. As doctors are required to report such incidents to the Department of Motor Vehicles, it can also mean a suspended drivers license.
If this is something youre worried about, Wearing a continuous glucose monitor with an alarm for hypoglycemia can alert a person who is prone to developing low blood sugar levels that their blood glucose concentration is becoming dangerously low, so appropriate preventive action can be taken before they lose consciousness, explains Dr. Klonoff.
Treating Low Blood Glucose If You Take Medicines That Slow Down Digestion
Some diabetes medicines slow down the digestion of carbohydrates to keep blood glucose levels from rising too high after you eat. If you develop low blood glucose while taking these medicines, you will need to take glucose tablets or glucose gel right away. Eating or drinking other sources of carbohydrates wont raise your blood glucose level quickly enough.
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Sprinkle On Some Cinnamon
Research on cinnamon’s blood-sugar-stabilizing powers is a little mixed, and it may not be a wonder spice. But if you’re adding it to an already healthy diet, then it can have a subtle benefit, especially if you add a lot of it into your diet .* Some studies suggest that cinnamon promotes healthy blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, or making insulin more efficient at moving glucose into cells.* Try sprinkling it onto oatmeal or into low-sugar smoothies . Bonus: It tastes delicious!
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 Low Blood Sugar Levels
Here are some other tips to help you avoid low blood sugar levels:
- Eat all your meals and snacks on time and try not to skip any.
- Take the right amount of insulin.
- If you exercise longer or harder than usual, have an extra snack.
- Don’t take a hot bath or shower right after an insulin shot.
- Stick to your diabetes management plan.
- Check your blood sugar levels regularly, so you can tell if your blood sugars are running too low and your treatment plan needs adjustment.
- Carry something containing sugar with you at all times and take it right away if you have symptoms. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms will go away they may get worse!
Alcohol and drugs can cause major problems with your blood sugar levels, so avoiding them is another way to prevent diabetes problems. Drinking can be particularly dangerous even deadly for people with diabetes because it messes up the body’s ability to keep blood glucose in a normal range. This can cause a very rapid drop in blood glucose in people with diabetes. Drug or alcohol use is also dangerous because it may affect someone’s ability to sense low blood sugar levels.
Learning how to recognize the signs of low blood sugar levels and get them back to normal is an important part of caring for diabetes. Keeping track of your blood sugar levels and recording lows when they occur will help you and your diabetes health care team keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
What To Do When You Start Steroid Therapy
If you need to take steroids for any ailment, tell your prescribing physician that you have insulin-dependent diabetes. Speak with your doctor for any advice they may have for controlling your blood sugars while on steroid medication.;
Its helpful to also ask for an information sheet about the medication youre taking, to learn more.;
Some other strategies to manage steroid therapy with diabetes include:;
- Speak with your prescribing physician about whether your insulin needs to be adjusted while you are on steroids;
- Check your blood sugar more often than usual;
- Closely monitor for ketones. Any blood sugar over 250 mg/dL with moderate to high ketones will require a call to your doctor or visit with your urgent care clinic;
- If youre experiencing signs and symptoms of DKA, seek immediate medical care or call 911;
- Carry extra low blood sugar snacks with you at all times; your blood sugar may drop suddenly while on steroid treatment;
- Wear a medic alert bracelet at all times;
- Make a plan for increased insulin needs ;
- Continue to follow your regular eating plan and aim for regular physical activity ;
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When Blood Sugar Is Too Low
Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it’s also formed and stored inside the body. It’s the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Our brains depend on glucose to function, even when we’re sleeping.
The is the amount of glucose in the blood. When these levels drop too low, it’s called hypoglycemia . Very low blood sugar levels can cause serious symptoms that need to be treated right away.
What Causes Blood Sugar To Be High
Many things can cause high blood sugar , including being sick, being stressed, eating more than planned, and not giving yourself enough insulin. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to long-term, serious health problems. Symptoms of high blood sugar include:
- Feeling very tired.
- Having blurry vision.
- Needing to urinate more often.
If you get sick, your blood sugar can be hard to manage. You may not be able to eat or drink as much as usual, which can affect blood sugar levels. If youre ill and your blood sugar is 240 mg/dL or above, use an over-the-counter ketone test kit to check your urine for ketones and call your doctor if your ketones are high. High ketones can be an early sign of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately.
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Recognizing The Signs Of Hypoglycemia
OConnor says there are a number of warning signs that indicate you might have low blood sugar. The symptoms can range from very mild shakiness, clamminess, feeling irritable or jittery, and having temporarily blurred vision to much more severe, such as seizures and loss of consciousness or passing out, although these are less common, she says. These symptoms can occur because of many other circumstances, so if you are diabetic and are having symptoms that could be due to low blood sugar, check your sugar levels to see whats going on, she adds.
Certain things can also put you at higher risk of hypoglycemia, especially if you skip or put off a meal or snack, take too much insulin, don’t eat enough carbohydrates, exercise more than you regularly do, or drink alcohol. In addition, people with type 1 diabetes;experience hypoglycemia more often than those with type 2.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking water helps your kidneys flush out excess blood sugar through your urine. One study found that people who drank more water had a lower risk of developing hyperglycemia .;
Can’t seem to drink enough? Or is water is just too plain for your taste buds? Try this R.D.’s go-to hydration strategies.
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How To Prevent High Blood Sugar And Type 2 Diabetes
There are two key factors that will help regulate your blood sugar and greatly reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes. You guessed it: diet and exercise. These elements are key to overall good health and the prevention of most chronic disease, including Diabetes.; Lose excess weight, eat a healthy, well balanced diet, and exercise regularly. Below are some tips to help you out.
What To Eat When You Have Low Blood Sugar
When your blood sugar dips, it can leave you feeling hungry, shaky, and lightheaded. This can happen to anyone who hasnt eaten in several hours. When blood sugar drops below normal levels, its called hypoglycemia. In people with diabetes, hypoglycemia can be a life-threatening complication of medication, other health problems like infection, or inadequate caloric intake.
You can lower your chances of low blood sugarand treat it when it occurswith some simple steps.
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Only You Can Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
Its annoying but true: The best way to lower your blood sugar is to avoid a spike in the first place.
Eating whole foods that are low in sugar and exercising regularly will help keep your blood sugar in check. This can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, but medications may also be necessary to keep blood sugar in a healthy range.
To avoid food-based spikes, try to steer clear of added sugars in your diet. The FDA recommends consuming less than 200 calories a day from added sugars.
That sounds pretty simple, but when you realize that 16 ounces of orange juice has 240 calories , its easy to see how sugar consumption gets out of hand.
Its best to avoid all sugary drinks and check the labels. There are hidden sugars in everything from bread to turkey slices, so double-check your favorite foods to make sure you arent getting any unnecessary sweetness.
Stick To Your Medication And Insulin Regimen
Skipping a dose of medication or insulin can be harmful to your body and increase your blood sugar levels.
Its important to stick to your treatment plan and follow your doctors instructions for taking your medication.
Healthful lifestyle habits can help people manage their blood sugar levels over the long term, such as eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, staying hydrated, and getting good sleep.
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Whats A Spike And Why Do They Happen
After-meal, or postprandial, spikes are temporary high blood glucose levels that occur soon after eating. It is normal for the level of glucose in the blood to rise a small amount after eating, even in people who do not have diabetes. However, if the rise is too high, it can affect your quality of life today and contribute to serious health problems down the road.