Natural Remedies To Lower Blood Sugar That Need More Evidence
Asterino-McGeean says to be careful about natural remedies promising to lower blood sugar. Unfortunately, when you read into a lot of them, theres no research backing their effectiveness and safety, she notes. Plus, it can be dangerous to take supplements or herbals said to lower sugar when youre on diabetes medications. Talk to your provider before starting any medications or natural remedies to be safe.
Whats Considered To Be A High Blood Sugar Level
A fasting blood sugar is considered to be high if its above 130 mg/dl. Fasting hyperglycemia is common. A high postprandial, or post-meal, blood sugar is one that is above 180 mg/dl two hours after eating. Keep in mind, too, that your blood sugar goals may be different, so talk with your provider about your own goals.
Of course, blood sugar levels can go much higher for example, diabetic ketoacidosis may occur when blood sugars are above 250 mg/dl. Some people even have blood sugar levels in the 400s or 500s or higher.
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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Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Quickly And Safely
First, if youve missed an insulin dose or your pump is not working, the first thing to do is correct the underlying problem, according to Dr. Wright. Insulin is a normal hormone in our body thats normally produced by the pancreas and what insulin does is it acts as a shuttle and it shuttles glucose from the blood and into the cells so that it can be used as fuel, explains Dr. Hong. So, for somebody with diabetes, if they have high blood glucoses, by giving themself more insulin theyre essentially helping to facilitate the movement of glucose into the cells so that the blood glucose levels drop and the cells receive more fuel or glucose.
Take missed diabetes medication
I dont generally recommend that you take it on an as-needed basis, says Dr. Hong. Typically, diabetes medications are meant to be taken on a daily basis or in a scheduled way. If you forget to take your medication, then absolutely, your blood sugars can go up, and then if you take it again, the sugars will certainly come back down, says Dr. Hong. Just keep in mind that medications wont work as quickly as insulin, especially if its been a while since you had your last dose or if you havent been taking it as often as you should.
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What Is The Dawn Phenomenon
Your body uses glucose for energy and it is important to have enough extra energy to be able to wake up in the morning. So for a period of time in the early morning hours, usually between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m., your body starts churning out stored glucose to prepare for the upcoming day.
At the same time, your body releases hormones that reduce your sensitivity to insulin. In addition, these events may be happening while your diabetes medication doses taken the day before are wearing off.
These events cause your bodys blood sugar levels to rise in the morning .
What Happens If My Blood Glucose Level Becomes Too Low
Sometimes blood glucose levels drop below where they should be, which is called hypoglycemia. For most people with diabetes, the blood glucose level is too low when it is below 70 mg/dL.
Hypoglycemia can be life threatening and needs to be treated right away. Learn more about how to recognize and treat hypoglycemia.
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms.
When too many ketones are produced too fast, they can build up in your body and cause diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA is very serious and can cause a coma or even death. Common symptoms of DKA include:
- Fast, deep breathing.
- Nausea and vomiting.
If you think you may have DKA, test your urine for ketones. Follow the test kit directions, checking the color of the test strip against the color chart in the kit to see your ketone level. If your ketones are high, . DKA requires treatment in a hospital.
DKA happens most in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign of type 1 in people who havent yet been diagnosed. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but its less common.
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How Can You Bring Your Blood Sugar Down Fast
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Be A Glucose Detective
If youve been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, monitoring your sugar levels can help you problem-solve when you have a blood sugar spike. It can also shine a light on your overall blood sugar trends and their causes.
Use a glucometer to make sure youre in the targeted range your healthcare provider recommends. Asterino-McGeean says to check with your insurance to see if these monitors are covered. You can also buy inexpensive ones over the counter at most grocery stores and pharmacies, she adds.
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How To Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally
Nearly 10% of the U.S. population has diabetes, and globally rates are expected to double by 2030. Significant evidence shows you can lower your blood sugar quickly, and even reverse diabetes by adopting a healthy lifestyle:
- In the United Kingdom, researchers successfully lowered blood sugar and reverse diabetes by implementing a combination of a lifestyle change and weight loss.
- In urban locations in Africa, scientists have found educational programs help prediabetic adults alter their lifestyle to effectively lower blood sugar levels.
- The most extensive study was completed in the United States and was called the Diabetes Prevention Program Randomized Trail. The study observed 3,234 men and women with pre-diabetes over a three-year period. The researchers found a healthy lifestyle was more effective than medication in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes. One third of the adults took a placebo, another took metformin , while the final third of the adults adopted lifestyle changes that were similar to the Pritikin Program . Adults who adopted a lifestyle change were twice as likely to reduce the progression of their pre-diabetes into type 2 diabetes than the control group.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle, such as the Pritikin lifestyle, is twice as effective as medication in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Blood Sugar Levels: How To Tell If You’re In The Normal Range
Here’s what to know about how much blood sugar is healthy, and how to find out your own levels.
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People with diabetes are all too familiar with their blood sugar levels, but the rest of us might not even think about it outside of the occasional doctor’s visit. However, consistently high blood sugar levels can coexist with Type 2 diabetes and cause serious health conditions like kidney disease, nerve problems or stroke.
While that’s no reason to panic, when it comes to our health, it’s important to know exactly what’s going on inside of our bodies. Let’s get into what blood sugar means, how to measure it and everything else you need to know.
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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 To Know About Diabetic Macular Edema
Fiber plays a preventative role, too. Studies have found that high-fiber diets can reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes by 15 to 19 percent compared to low-fiber diets, according to a March 2018 study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine.
Youll find fiber in plant foods such as raspberries, peas, and whole grains, according to the Mayo Clinic. Beans are another good source of fiber. People with type 2 diabetes who ate at least a cup of legumes daily for three months had lower blood glucose levels as measured by the A1C test, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Beans also are an excellent source of folate, which is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a common diabetes complication, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Men should aim for 30 to 38 g of fiber per day, and women should eat 21 to 25 g per day, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Risks Of Very High Blood Sugar
Hyperglycemia can be dangerous, especially for people with type 1 diabetes. It can lead to a deadly condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis .
The risk for DKA starts at 240 mg/dL, but is more likely in much higher blood sugar levels.
Signs of DKA include nausea or vomiting, fruity-smelling breath, extreme thirst, and frequent urination. You can test for ketones at home using a urine test. If you have high ketones, call your doctor or go to the emergency room.
In people with type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar can cause hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . HHS is potentially fatal and can occur after several days or weeks of sustained high blood sugar.
In people with diabetes, high blood sugar is caused by things like:
- Eating too many carbohydrates
- Not getting enough physical activity
- Stress from an illness or infection
- Taking a corticosteroid, like prednisone
- Skipping or not taking enough glucose-lowering medication
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How Do You Feel When Your Blood Sugar Is Too High
The symptoms can be subtle the increase in thirst, or more frequent urination. So many people do not even realize that they need to lower your blood sugar level. If you dont, you are at a greater risk of developing diabetes. It can take up to 12 years for diabetes to develop. Evidence shows the ability to reverse diabetes is greater when a healthy lifestyle is emphasized early.
How Can I Tell If My Blood Sugar Is Irregular
Again, only a doctor can diagnose a problem with your blood sugar. But you may be wondering how to know if it’s something you should get checked out. There can be two main issues with your blood sugar — either it’s consistently too high or too low. Even if you don’t have diabetes, there are some signs that your blood sugar levels are not functioning normally.
Hypoglycemia is a condition in which your blood sugar is too low. Signs include an irregular heartbeat, fatigue, shakiness and tingling or numbness in your face. If you consistently feel this way when you get hungry or between meals, talk to your health care provider.
On the flip side, hyperglycemia happens when your blood sugar is too high, and can happen to nondiabetics. Symptoms include frequent urination, increased thirst and headache. If you think you’re hyperglycemic and can’t keep fluids or food down, call for emergency medical assistance.
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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.
Monitor Blood Sugar Levels Closely
High blood sugar typically refers to levels over 180 mg/dl . However, a person often does not experience symptoms until the levels exceed 200 mg/dl. As such, it is essential for a person with diabetes to check their blood sugar several times a day. Doing so should mean that blood sugar levels never get excessively high.
A person with diabetes can use an at-home glucose monitor to check their blood sugar levels. One option is a continuous glucose monitor, which is a medical device that easily enables a person to check their blood sugar levels.
The recommended number of times to check glucose levels during the day will vary from person to person. A doctor can make the best recommendations regarding the frequency of testing.
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Avoid Eating Large Meals
One way to keep carbs under control is by eating in moderation. I always tell my patients to spread their food out over the day, Weisenberger says. Dont eat small meals to save up for a big dinner. Feeding your body throughout the day helps regulate your blood sugar levels and prevents highs and lows, Crandall Snyder says.
Both Weisenberger and Crandall Snyder say to keep an eye on carbs, even while snacking. Classically, less than 15 g of carbs per snack is a good standard approach, Crandall Snyder says. Thats about whats found in 1 cup of fruit, she says.