How To Lower Fasting Blood Sugar Levels
Nearly three decades ago scientists observed unexplained increase in fasting blood sugar levels in Type 1 Diabetes patients. Soon enough the same was seen in Type 2 Diabetes as well. This was named the Dawn phenomenon. The blood sugar values as well as insulin levels are near normal at night. As the night passes we would expect a decrease in blood sugar levels compared to post dinner readings. But here there is a 15-25mg/dl increase in fasting blood sugar readings.
Obviously this translates as increase in PPBS as well. There can be a rebound increase of about 40mg/dl in the post prandial state irrespective of the treatment.Over a period of time this means the average HbA1c can rise irrespective of our rigorous control.
Why Is Managing Blood Sugar Important
Keeping blood sugars at target levels helps people with diabetes avoid serious complications from the disease. High blood sugar can cause many ill effects, which can be sudden, such as acid buildup in the bloodstream, or occur gradually over time.
Over time, keeping blood sugar at unhealthful levels can damage small and large blood vessels in several organs and systems, leading to serious consequences, such as:
- vision impairment and blindness
Reduce Your Stress Levels Through Meditation
If you find your stress levels are high on a morning, you need to find a way to handle them. Stress is bad for you overall. Its known as a silent killer, as it raises your blood pressure and has no symptoms at all until you start to suffer from health problems seriously.
While exercise is a good way to reduce your stress levels, its not the only option. Nor is it the perfect option.
Meditation is a powerful way to keep your stress levels to a minimum. You can take in deep breaths, allowing your body to get all the oxygen it needs. Your mind focuses elsewhere, helping to release the tension and problems that are affecting your current levels of cortisol.
As your body can release more happy hormones, your stress hormones are suppressed. You can use breathing and meditation techniques regularly to keep your hormone levels balanced. Not only will you improve your morning glucose levels but youll find your overall health benefits considerably.
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Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Naturally
Experts agree that individuals living with type 2 diabetes can improve their symptoms with a few simple lifestyle tweaks.
Its the Holy Grail for people with diabetes: Checking your blood sugar and seeing the numbers right in line. Can lifestyle changes help? Yes, says Jill Weisenberger, RDN, a diabetes nutrition expert based in Newport News, Virginia.
If you have diabetes, lowering blood sugar isnt just a short-term goal according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , it helps prevent or delay diabetes complications, including heart, kidney, eye, and nerve diseases. It can change the course of the disease entirely.
It’s 100 percent important that try and lower their blood sugars through dietary approaches first, says Jessica Crandall Snyder, RD, CDCES, with Vital RD in Denver. For some people, it not only can be preventive, but it can also help with reversal of the actual disease.
Crandall Snyder says making a few key lifestyle changes can sometimes eliminate the need for medication. Poking yourself with insulin isn’t fun, she says. Diabetes is a progressive disease, and you really have to figure out how to take control.
Here are 10 ways to do it, no prescriptions required.
Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is associated with diabetes and prediabetes. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
Your body usually manages your blood sugar levels by producing insulin, a hormone that allows your cells to use the circulating sugar in your blood. As such, insulin is the most important regulator of blood sugar levels .
However, multiple factors can impair blood sugar management and lead to hyperglycemia.
Internal causes for high blood sugar include when your liver produces too much glucose, your body makes too little insulin, or your body cant effectively use insulin. The latter is known as insulin resistance (
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 13% of U.S. adults live with diabetes and that another 34.5% have prediabetes. This means that close to 50% of all U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes .
Blood sugar management is especially important for people with diabetes, as chronically high blood sugar levels can lead to limb and life threatening complications (
Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells can more effectively use the available sugar in your bloodstream.
Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction .
Whats more, researchers recommend doing so-called exercise snacks to lower blood sugar and prevent the damage that sitting all day can do .
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Natural Ways To Lower Blood Sugar
Whether you have symptoms of high blood sugar or youve been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be wondering how to lower blood sugar naturally. While blood sugar may be improved with home remedies, people with diabetes should not stop taking their medication or change their dosage without talking to their healthcare provider. But in addition to medication, you can try these natural remedies for lowering your blood sugar. Also consider the opposite, if you do not follow these healthful ways to lower blood sugar, the medication that your physician prescribes may never effectively control your blood sugars.
Food Fitness And Prevention Of Diabetes
Bottom Line: There is much we can do with a healthy lifestyle alone, no medications needed, to prevent diabetes, states Dr. James Barnard, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at UCLA and author of more than 200 studies on the relationship between lifestyle habits and chronic diseases like diabetes.
In fact, a healthy lifestyle has proven more effective than medication in staving off diabetes.
Lifestyle changes, like those taught at the Pritikin Center, are nearly twice as effective as medication in preventing pre-diabetes from turning into diabetes.
In a landmark study, the NIH-sponsored Diabetes Prevention Program2, scientists followed 3,234 men and women with pre-diabetes for three years.
One-third of them adopted lifestyle changes that were similar to the Pritikin Program: a daily eating plan of low-calorie-dense, high-fiber foods exercising for at least 30 minutes five days a week and a 7% weight loss.
Another third of these pre-diabetics took a drug metformin .
The remaining third, the control group, took a placebo.
The results? Those on the lifestyle-change plan reduced the progression to full-blown type 2 diabetes by 58% compared to the control group. The reduction was even greater 71% among those aged 60 years or older.
Treatment with the drug metformin reduced the progression to type 2 diabetes by just 31%.
Put simply, lifestyle changes were nearly twice as effective as medication in preventing pre-diabetes from turning into diabetes.
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Focus On The Positives
As youre making the transition to a new diet and making lifestyle changes, it can be easy to feel like youre giving up old favorites. A good way to flip this on its head is to focus on the positives of new changes.
Improved mood, improved energy, better body weight, better fitness, improved control over your life and your blood health focus on the changes that you will be able to see happening in your body.
What Can I Eat To Keep My Blood Sugar And Cholesterol Low
Cutting out refined carbs and eating whole foods can help you lower these markers at the same time.
Q: My blood test shows prediabetes and a cholesterol score of 208 mg/dl . Im finding it difficult to know what to eat because the recommended diets for these conditions seem contrary. For example, fruit is said to be acceptable on a low-cholesterol diet but not on a low-blood-sugar one, while meat is the opposite. How can I balance this out?
Many people who have high blood sugar also have high cholesterol levels. However, both can be managed with a healthy diet. Whats more, for some, its possible to reverse prediabetes through diet and lifestyle changes .
Its common to see misinformation about what foods are bad for certain conditions, including high cholesterol, prediabetes, and diabetes. Nevertheless, the overall quality of your diet is most important.
The three macronutrients carbohydrates, proteins, and fats have different impacts on both blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
For example, sources of carbs like bread, pasta, and fruit affect blood sugar more than sources of protein or fat. On the other hand, cholesterol-containing fat sources, such as dairy and meat, have a greater effect on cholesterol than on blood sugar.
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What Causes Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar has many causes, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin, taking other diabetes medicines, exercising more than normal, and drinking alcohol. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low.
Signs of low blood sugar are different for everyone. Common symptoms include:
Know what your individual symptoms are so you can catch low blood sugar early and treat it. If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms. Low blood sugar can be dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible.
Exercise To Lower Blood Sugar Fast
Regular exercise improves and increases your sensitivity to insulin. This means the cells in your body can better absorb and use the glucose in your body to make energy.
When your muscles contract during movement, glucose is the preferred source of fuel. Thatâs why when your glucose spikes after eating a sugary treat or a large meal with lots of high-glycemic foods, you can bring your glucose back down to a normal range if you exercise within 30-60 minutes after eating.
Any type and duration of exercise can improve insulin sensitivity and helps stabilize your glucose afterward.
That said, if youâre fit enough and able to handle high intensity, short bursts of movement performed at 80% of your max effort can burn up to four times the amount of glucose compared to what youâd burn slumping on the couch.
If you want short and sweaty to bring down your blood sugar quickly, follow along with our 10-minute full-body or dumbbell leg workout. These get-âer-done-fast efforts combine strength training with cardio in a circuit-style workout that stabilizes glucose in less time.
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How Can High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning Be Controlled
Once you and your doctor determine how your blood sugar levels are behaving at night, he or she can advise you about the changes you need to make to better control them. Options that your doctor may discuss depend on the cause of the morning high blood sugars.
For dawn phenomenon:
- Changing the timing or type of your diabetes medications
- Eating a lighter breakfast
- Increasing your morning dose of diabetes medication
- If you take insulin, switching to an insulin pump and programming it to release additional insulin in the morning
For Somogyi effect:
What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning
Commonly known reasons why your blood sugar may be high in the morning include high-carb bedtime snacks and not enough diabetes medications.
Yet two lesser-known reasons may be causing your morning blood sugar woes: the dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect. These causes of high morning blood sugar levels are a result of body changes and reactions that happen while you are sleeping.
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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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Jillian Kubala is a Registered Dietitian based in Westhampton, NY. Jillian holds a masters degree in nutrition from Stony Brook University School of Medicine as well as an undergraduate degree in nutrition science. Aside from writing for Healthline Nutrition, she runs a private practice based on the east end of Long Island, NY, where she helps her clients achieve optimal wellness through nutritional and lifestyle changes. Jillian practices what she preaches, spending her free time tending to her small farm that includes vegetable and flower gardens and a flock of chickens. Reach out to her through her website or on .
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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.
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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Supplements I Took With Gestational Diabetes
I knew the importance of phosphatidylcholine during pregnancy and was already taking sunflower lecithin 2-3 times per week, but I decided to up the dosage to 1 capsule daily. I took one capsule of fish oil daily as well to maintain an optimal fatty acid balance between the omega-six fats and omega-three fats.
The optimal multi minus one was the multivitamin I chose to take during pregnancy which contains B vitamins and chromium. These nutrients and magnesium are needed for the utilization of glucose in the body.
Cinnamon also improves insulin sensitivity and the transport of glucose inside the cell. Many studies show the benefits of cinnamon to lower blood sugar levels.
I mixed a tsp of cinnamon in lemon water and would sometimes sip on that before meals.
One of my best blood sugar readings 2 hours post-eating was after eating eggs with artichoke, vegetables, and one potato. I sipped on cinnamon lemon water before this meal and took all 4 of my prenatal supplements at once:
My blood sugar levels were 4.4 2 hours after eating that meal. Pretty darn good if you ask me.
Take The Medication Unless Your Doctor Tells You Otherwise
Your doctor isnt medicating you for the sake of it. There are certain health problems that will require medication to help you control your levels. This is the case with diabetes.
Its important to visit your doctor regularly. Arranged for morning appointments when you have your checks to get your morning levels recorded on a regular basis. This way your doctor can see if your medication is still needed and whether there are other things you can do instead.
Only stop taking your medication if your doctor tells you so. Youll get a good idea by your glucose levels. Track them yourself to see if theyre getting lower one week to the next. If you see a significant drop, talk to your doctor about your options for cutting back or out your medication and trying more holistic options.
If you believe you need a second opinion, dont be afraid to get one from someone reputable. Just follow the advice from those who have the degrees!
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How Do Carbs Affect Blood Sugar
Carbs in food make your blood sugar levels go higher after you eat them than when you eat proteins or fats. You can still eat carbs if you have diabetes. The amount you can have and stay in your target blood sugar range depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors. Counting carbs in foods and drinks is an important tool for managing blood sugar levels. Make sure to talk to your health care team about the best carb goals for you.
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Studies On Blood Sugar And Fasting
Not all studies show that intermittent fasting is a magic wand when it comes to reducing your blood sugar levels. Research indicates daily caloric restriction and diets that mimic fasting also have a positive effect on blood glucose levels.
A 12-month study that compared alternate-day fasting to daily caloric restriction found both methods of calorie reduction lowered fasting glucose levels. Other studies also support the theory that its the caloric restriction that reduces fasting glucose and the risk for atherosclerosis.
However, intermittent fasting may still be among the easiest ways to restrict your caloric intake. You may find its easier to limit your calories for a few hours or a few days per week versus every day.
If you already have insulin resistance, or if your intermittent fasting protocol causes you to stress, fasting can cause an increase in your blood sugar.
A Brazilian study suggests the stress of fasting might increase the production of free radicals. These stress-induced free radicals can harm the cells in your pancreas, which is the organ responsible for insulin production. Damage to your pancreas can inhibit your ability to reduce glucose in your bloodstream and can lead to an increase in your belly fat. The Brazilian study, however, is an outlier.
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