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.
Whats The Link Between Diabetes And Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia is most common, by far, in people with diabetes. Treatment for the diseaseoften involves taking medication to increase insulin. Hypoglycemia can develop if things like food, exercise and diabetes medications are out of balance.
Common pitfalls for people with diabetes include:
- Being more active than usual.
- Drinking alcohol without eating.
- Eating late or skipping meals.
- Not balancing meals by including fat, protein and fiber.
- Not eating enough carbohydrates.
- Not timing insulin and carb intake correctly .
Also, if someone with diabetes uses the wrong insulin, takes too much or injects it incorrectly, that can cause hypoglycemia.
How To Lower Your Blood Sugar Quickly & Safely
If youre looking for a quick fix guide to lowering your blood sugar, we have just the thing. In this article, well discuss how to lower your blood sugar quickly and safely. There are many reasons why people might need their blood sugars lowered quickly, including emergency situations where they dont have insulin handy. So today, well give you some tips on how to lower your blood sugar quickly, know when to go to the ER, and ongoing tips for managing high blood sugar levels in the future.
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Make Physical Activity Part Of Your Daily Routine
Set a goal to be more physically active. Try to work up to 30 minutes or more of physical activity on most days of the week.
Brisk walking and swimming are good ways to move more. If you are not active now, ask your health care team about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you. Learn more about being physically active with diabetes.
Following your meal plan and being more active can help you stay at or get to a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, work with your health care team to create a weight-loss plan that is right for you.
How To Lower Morning Blood Sugar Without Medication
Diabetes causes high blood sugar levels . Even if you have good control of your levels most of the time, morning blood sugars can be a problem.
But you have options for lowering your morning blood glucose levels. And they don’t involve more medications or insulin.
This article looks at why mornings are a problem and several strategies for starting your day off better.
Verywell / Julie Bang
High morning blood glucose is common. It’s called the dawn phenomenon or dawn effect.
It happens because:
- Your body releases a surge of hormones as it prepares to wake up.
- Those hormones can counter the effects of insulin.
- Insulin regulates blood sugars, so this can make levels rise.
- In people without diabetes, the body naturally releases more insulin to maintain things.
- When you have diabetes, your body may not be able to compensate this way.
You can improve your morning readings despite this. It just takes some work and forethought.
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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.
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 there’s 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 Daily’s article “HbA1C: Everything You Need to Know.”
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What Is Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar is a level of sugar, or glucose, in the blood that is lower than normal. According to the American Diabetes Association, the cut-off value for Level 1 hypoglycemia, or moderately low blood sugar, is 70 mg/dl. However, you may not be regularly measuring your blood sugar if you have not been diagnosed with diabetes. Instead, you might suspect that you have hypoglycemia because of its symptoms. The fatigue, fuzzy thinking, and need to sit down are the result of your body being deprived of its main fuel source: glucose.
Include Healthy Sources Of Carbohydrate
Although it is imperative that you keep a watch on the total amount of carbohydrates that you are eating, it is essential that you do not avoid this important nutrient completely from your diet. A few healthy sources of carbohydrates are in fact essential to maintain a healthy level of blood sugar or blood glucose in our body. When you avoid the food completely, the body is deprived of all the essential nutrients, leading to elevated levels of blood pressure.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia tends to present as a cluster of symptoms, and they often occur together. The most common signs of dangerously low blood sugar include:
Dizziness, disorientation, light-headedness, and an inability to think clearly
Hunger, especially if youve just eaten
Heightened irritability, confusion, and anxiety
Clamminess and sweating, with cold hands and feet
Drastic mood swings
If you have one or more of these symptoms contact your doctor.
Possible Causes Without Diabetes
Hypoglycemia in people without diabetes is much less common. But it can occur and some if the causes can include:
Medication: Taking someone elses oral diabetes medication accidentally is a possible cause of hypoglycemia.
Excessive alcohol drinking: Drinking heavily without having eating can block your liver from releasing glucose into your bloodstream, causing hypoglycemia.
Some critical illnesses: Severe liver illnesses such as severe hepatitis or cirrhosis can cause hypoglycemia.
Long-term starvation, as can occur in the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, can result in too little of substances your body needs to create glucose.
Insulin overproduction: A rare tumor of the pancreas, known as insulinoma, can cause you to produce too much insulin, resulting in hypoglycemia.
Hormone deficiencies: Certain adrenal gland and pituitary tumor disorders can result in a deficiency of key hormones that regulate glucose production.
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Dietary Supplements Also Help
The increase your intake of nutrients that support your bodys ability to use insulin and can help keep your blood sugar stable. Besides vitamins, herbs and spices that are good for diabetes, we also highly recommend Magnesium Citrate, CoQ10 supplementation, D-Chiro Inositol, Chromium, ALA, Green Tea Extract and Pomegranate Extract.
Supplements That Show Promise In Lowering Blood Sugar Without Medication
There are a lot of claims about supplements that can help lower blood sugar naturally. But it can be tough to know what works and what doesnt.
In the following list, weve highlighted which supplements have actual clinical studies backing these claims, and which ones are still inconclusive.
It is important to speak with your healthcare provider about starting a supplement, as certain supplements are not reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration and can interact with your medications.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid is a naturally-occurring compound produced in animals and plants.
This compound plays an important role in several metabolic functions and is being investigated as a potential therapeutic in many different conditions. One of those conditions is diabetes.
Research in the laboratory environment has shown that Alpha-Lipoic Acid may influence how much sugar cells uptake and may, therefore, affect blood sugar levels.
It is also a known antioxidant that’s been shown to reduce some of the side effects often observed in diabetes.
Whether this compound can be effective as a supplement for lowering blood sugar levels remains to be seen. However, these early studies indicate that further research is warranted42.
American ginseng is a plant native to North America which has been shown to have potential blood sugar-lowering effects.
However, the relative concentration of compounds within the ginseng appears to influence its effectiveness.
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Treating Someone Whos Unconscious Or Very Drowsy
Follow these steps:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.
Break Down Your Meals And Eat Smaller Portions
Image: Health Insider
When we consume heavy and multiple meals through the day, our body struggles against the challenges of breaking down our food and absorbing all nutrients effectively.
A heavy meal that is loaded with carbs and fats can be even more difficult to break down for the body. You see, refined sugars are instantly absorbed, and a heavy amount of sugars can trigger panic in the pancreas and insulin response.
When there is excessive sugar in the body with nowhere to allocate it for fuel purposes, it can wreak havoc on the vital organs and cause excessive weight gains.
Instead of having multiple heavy meals through the deal, break down the meals and have smaller portions divided across the day. This will help regulate and normalize blood sugar levels, alongside improving your insulin response.
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How Can I Prevent Hypoglycemia
You may need to change what and when you eat to prevent low blood sugar levels. Follow the meal plan that you and the dietitian have planned. The following guidelines may help you keep your blood sugar levels under control.
- Eat 5 to 6 small meals each day instead of 3 large meals. Eat the same amount of carbohydrate at meals and snacks each day. Most people need about 3 to 4 servings of carbohydrate at meals and 1 to 2 servings for snacks. Do not skip meals. Carbohydrate counting can be used plan your meals. Ask your healthcare provider or dietitian for information about carbohydrate counting.
- Limit refined carbohydrates. Examples are white bread, pastries , regular sodas, syrups, and candy.
- Do not have drinks or foods that contain caffeine. Examples are coffee, tea, and certain types of sodas. Caffeine may cause you to have the same symptoms as hypoglycemia, and may cause you to feel worse.
- Limit or do not drink alcohol. Women should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day. Men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1Â½ ounces of liquor. Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Drink alcohol with meals to avoid hypoglycemia.
- Include protein foods and vegetables in your meals. Some foods that are high in protein include beef, pork, fish, poultry , beans, and nuts. Eat a variety of vegetables with your meals.
Increase Your Physical Activities
Physical activity and exertion is one of the most effective measures to normalize and regulate blood sugar levels. When we walk, move around, lift weights or stretch our muscles, our muscles utilized sugar to fuel energy.
Research indicates that exercise has the potential to reverse the symptoms of pre-diabetes and normalize blood sugar levels.
It is ideal to incorporate various activities that increase your physical exertion. You can enjoy light walks or strolls after a heavy meal, or add yoga to your daily routine. These activities will help you enhance your sugar absorption and maintain normal blood sugar levels.
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Make A Habit Of Enjoying Green Tea
Drinking green tea is an incredible habit that can help you enjoy a wide array of health benefits. It can enhance metabolism alongside aiding weight loss, which are immensely essential for normalizing blood sugar levels and eliminating the risk factors of diabetes.
Research reveals that people consumer around six cups of green tea a day are significantly less vulnerable to the risk factors of cardiovascular ailments or type 2 diabetes as compared to those who consume one cup a week. A tea break is all you need to fight off the risk factors.
It is important to note that the best way to normalize your blood sugar levels naturally is by avoiding sugar consumption. If you dont consume sugar, it has no way of getting inside your bloodstream. Be sure to discuss your lifestyle habits and changes with your doctor for greater insight into your health condition.
Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar In The Morning
If you wear a continuous glucose monitor , or if you routinely check your blood glucose every morning, you can see whether or not you are experiencing early morning hyperglycemia. In addition, you may also experience some of the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia, which may include:
- Frequent and excessive urination
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Get Enough Sleep And Rest
Not only is rest helpful for the overall health of our body, but enough sleep and rest helps in maintaining a healthy level of blood glucose as well. When you do not get enough sleep or enough rest, you are prone to weight gain as this increases your appetite as well as enhances the release of hormone such as cortisol. Both of this, in turn, results in an increase in the level of blood sugar levels.
In this case, do remember, however, to not oversleep. Experts recommend that 6 to 7 hours of sleep are needed for an adult while a child needs 8 to 9 hours of sleep at night.
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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Eat Less Sugar/refined Carbohydrates
The best way to keep blood sugar levels down without medication is to eat less sugar. The less sugar you consume, the smaller the metabolic response will beâkeeping your pancreas and insulin levels healthy. You can cut back on sugars by limiting your intake of processed foods, sauces, fruit juices, candy, and soda, and paying attention to nutrition labels.
In turn, boosting your intake of fruits and veggies can have major benefits. Instead of sauces, opt for sugar-free seasonings and rubs, and try to drink water in place of other beverages. All of this can have immediate benefits for lower blood sugar.
How To Treat Someone Whos Having A Seizure Or Fit
Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.
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