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.
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.
Not Eating Enough Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a type of nutrient found in foods like grains, starchy vegetables, fruit, and some dairy products. Carbohydrates turn into blood sugar when digested, so they significantly impact blood glucose levels than proteins and fats.
Not eating enough carbohydrates, especially while also taking blood sugar-lowering medications, can cause hypoglycemia.
Why Does Blood Sugar Spike
Numerous factors can affect how and why blood sugars rise. Some people may need to take insufficient insulin or forget to deliver the recommended quantity throughout the day if they are preoccupied.
Others may create excessive amounts of glucose because they have diabetes and can’t fully utilize the energy contained in food.
Some people’s causes might not be as obvious. For instance, it might have to do with how a person manages their nutrition and lifestyle or how their body responds to stress. Both short-term and long-term approaches to controlling high blood glucose are available.
What If It Goes Untreated
Hyperglycemia can be a serious problem if you don’t treat it, so it’s important to treat as soon as you detect it. If you fail to treat hyperglycemia, a condition called ketoacidosis could occur. Ketoacidosis develops when your body doesn’t have enough insulin. Without insulin, your body can’t use glucose for fuel, so your body breaks down fats to use for energy.
When your body breaks down fats, waste products called ketones are produced. Your body cannot tolerate large amounts of ketones and will try to get rid of them through the urine. Unfortunately, the body cannot release all the ketones and they build up in your blood, which can lead to ketoacidosis.
Ketoacidosis is life-threatening and needs immediate treatment. Symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
Talk to your doctor about how to handle this condition.
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Increase Your Fiber Intake
High fiber is key to the foods that lower blood sugar, so increasing your soluble fiber intake will help you lower your blood sugar. Focus on eating foods that stabilize blood sugar such as unrefined carbohydrates like whole grain bread or pasta, sweet potatoes, legumes, lentils, nuts, and non-starchy vegetables.
Another perk? High fiber foods can help you feel fuller. That can help you avoid overeating or craving foods that can negatively affect your blood sugar. Men should aim for 30 to 38 grams daily, and women 21 to 25 grams daily, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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The Downsides Of High Blood Sugars
Hyperglycemia can cause immediate side effects, including thirst, frequent urination, headaches, hunger, and blurry vision. It can also make you feel tired.
Very high blood sugars can cause serious and potentially life-threatening conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . These conditions require emergency medical treatment.
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What Causes High Blood Sugar
There are a number of factors that can spike your blood sugar, including activity, stress, and illness. However, food has the most direct role in elevating blood sugar, and it comes down to how our body reacts to carbohydrates. High amounts of carbs are found in many of our âstapleâ foods, including bread, pasta, fruit, potatoes, and other starches. When we eat carbohydrates, they break down into glucose, or sugar, that enters the bloodstream. Everyone has a different tolerance to carbohydrates. In people without type 2 diabetes, when blood sugar levels rise after eating, the body responds by releasing enough insulin to return blood glucose to a normal level.
In type 2 diabetes the bodyâs cells donât respond normally to insulin People withtype 2 diabetes can tolerate fewer carbs than someone without diabetes because when their blood sugar rises, their body either doesnât produce enough insulin or isnât responding to insulin. So blood sugar remains elevated.
We sometimes refer to this as âcarbohydrate intolerance.â Itâs important for a person with type 2 diabetes to monitor how many carbs theyâre eating and what types of carbs might cause a spike in their blood sugar.
Add More Resistant Starch To Your Plate
Resistant starch found in some potatoes and beans bypasses the small intestine and ferments in the large intestine, which means it doesnt raise glucose levels and promotes the growth of good bacteria in the body, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Its a fiber-filled starch and helps with glycemic control, says Joelle Malinowski, RD, a certified diabetes care and education specialist with Ellis Medicine in Schenectady, New York. And the effect will last through your next meal, Weisenberger says. Its called the second-meal effect, she says.
Interestingly, resistant starch can change with heat, and some foods, like rice, are higher in resistant starch when cooked and cooled than when cooked and served warm, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Resistant starches are also found in:
Just be sure to keep carb count in mind when incorporating foods with resistant starch into your diet.
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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:
Use Your Hands As A Serving Guide
Another way to gauge appropriate portion size without any measuring tools is by simply using your hands.
As your hands usually correspond to your body size, bigger people who require more food typically have bigger hands (
If you are eating out, you can always ask for a half portion or a childrens dish.
This will save you a lot of calories and help prevent overeating.
Alternatively, you could share a meal with someone or order a starter and side instead of a main dish.
Other tips include ordering a side salad or vegetables, asking for sauces and dressings to be served separately and avoiding buffet-style, all-you-can-eat restaurants where its very easy to overindulge.
Summary Restaurant portions tend to be at least twice the size of a regular portion. Prevent overeating by asking for a half portion, ordering a starter instead of a main dish and avoiding buffet-style restaurants.
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What Is Hyperglycemia Or High Blood Glucose
Hyperglycemia or high blood glucose occurs when your bodys blood sugar levels go over the normal limit.
To give you an idea, when your blood sugar level is 126mg/dL after fasting or 200mg/dL two hours after the last meal, you have hyperglycemia. The general recommendations from the American Diabetes Association are to target a fasting glucose under 130 mg/dL , and a 1-2 hour postprandial peak under 180 mg/dL . It can occur in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, in those with pre-diabetes, and in pregnant women with gestational diabetes.
High blood glucose levels occur for many reasons, such as:
- Forgetting to take diabetes medicines or taking a lower dose
- Not taking enough insulin
- Eating too many foods that are high in sugar or carbs
- Drinking a lot of alcohol
- Being ill or having some kind of infection
- Being stressed with work or family issues
- Over-exercising and putting your insulin and sugar levels out of balance
Hyperglycemia can also come about when there is a combination of two or more factors you have taken insufficient medicine or insulin, eaten more, are under stress, and stopped exercising. Taken together, these have an exponential effect on sugar levels and can be dangerous as they can cause your sugar levels to shoot up.
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Reduce Your Sugar Intake
The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day. That translates to around 350 calories .
While some of this is added as table sugar, most of it comes from processed and prepared foods, such as candy, cookies and sodas.
You have no nutritional need for added sugar like sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup. They are, in effect, just empty calories.
Your body breaks these simple sugars down very easily, causing an almost immediate spike in blood sugar.
Studies show that consuming sugars is associated with developing insulin resistance.
This is when the cells fail to respond as they should to the release of insulin, resulting in the body not being able to control blood sugar effectively .
In 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration changed the way foods have to be labeled in the US. Foods now have to display the amount of added sugars they contain in grams and as a percentage of the recommended daily maximum intake.
An alternative option to giving up sugar entirely is to replace it with sugar substitutes.
Sugar is effectively empty calories. It causes an immediate blood sugar spike and high intake is associated with insulin resistance.
Nuts Seeds And Nut/seed Butters
Nuts, seeds, and their respective butters offer quality sources of protein, plant based fat, and fiberâ¦ all three of our blood sugar balancing nutrients we look for! These foods have been shown to not only help promote healthy blood sugar levels, but also keep you more satisfied and full for longer.
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Natural Ways To Lower Blood Sugar
- Spices and minerals, like: cinnamon, pectin, chromium, and magnesium
- Meditate to reduce stress
Blood sugar, or glucose, is the main sugar in your blood. It comes from the foods and beverages you consume, and itâs your bodyâs preferred source of energy.
Your blood sugar rises and falls naturally during the day and night: after you eat, often before waking up in the morning, and when you exercise at higher intensities. If youâre healthy, your body can handle these glucose spikes and will work to return blood sugar to normal not long after the rise.
Your blood sugar may rise naturally in the morning to give you the energy to get out of bed, and your glucose may spike when you do a HIIT workout, lift heavy weights, or do intervals on the Peloton. Sugar moving into your cells from your blood from storage is actually what gives you the energy to move. These are âgoodâ rises in blood sugar.
What you want to avoid: Too frequent and high glucose spikes that result from eating too much, drinking too many sugary beverages , eating too much sugar and/or refined and processed carbs, and flopping on the couch when a âcarb comaâ comes on and your glucose rises rapidly. High stress and poor-quality sleep can also cause erratic glucose levels.
Keep An Eye On Portion Sizes
Eating a large meal puts a sugar load on your already struggling body. Overeating causes further damage to diabetics. An easy way to lower blood sugar levels naturally is to eat smaller portions. Dont worry we are not going to ask you to starve yourself! In fact, portion control comes naturally when you choose the right grains, proteins and fats. Strive to eat in moderation. To achieve satiety, eat slowly and chew your food, so your brain has a chance to let you know when youre full. If you wolf down your food mindlessly, you eat a lot more than you need which stresses out the body.
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Emergency Treatments To Lower Blood Sugar Levels
If you have diabetes or a history of hyperglycemia, it’s essential to know how to instantly manage high blood sugar levels. For example, if you notice symptoms of high blood sugar levels, you might have to go to the emergency room.
The physicians may use different emergency treatments to bring your sugar levels back to optimal.
You might receive fluids intravenously . It will help hydrate you. Since one of the symptoms of high blood sugar levels is excessive urination, you lose a lot of water in hyperglycemia.
Intravenous fluid administration will replace the fluids you lost. It will also dilute the excessive sugar volume in your body.
Depending on your condition, you may also get insulin therapy. It will replace fluids and electrolytes in your blood.
If your body does not have enough insulin, that can also lower the levels of electrolytes. These minerals are essential for proper tissue functioning. Therefore, when you go to the emergency room, the physicians may also give you Intravenous electrolytes.
Electrolyte replacement ensures that your nerves, muscles, and heart function optimally.
When To Seek Medical Care
I would say that anybody with type 1 diabetes, first of all, they should always carry ketone sticks with them, says Dr. Hong. So, if blood sugars were to run high or they were to feel sickly, they should test their urine for ketones and if that is positive, they should seek care from a doctor or an emergency room. She says anyone should seek care if they feel very sick, have nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, confusion, or trouble thinking clearly. And then, if they are checking blood glucoses and they notice that their sugars are running significantly higher than what they’re used to and it’s not responding to any of their usual care such as drinking water or taking their insulin, they should absolutely seek care and speak to the doctor as well, Dr. Hong adds.
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