How Does Blood Sugar Affect Your Appetite And Metabolism
In the hours after a meal, blood sugar rises as you digest the food youve just eaten, and then it falls back down again as your body uses that energy. How high your blood sugar spikes, how far it dips back down, and how long that whole process takes depends on several factors, including your individual biology, what youve eaten, and your activity levels. In general, the higher and faster your blood sugar spikes, the lower and faster itll drop back down. When blood sugar swings quickly to the low end of the normal range, it triggers a hormone response that leads to increased appetite and feelings of hunger, which may include sugar cravings. It may slow down your metabolism, too.
Of course, if you experience other signs of low blood sugar, like shakiness, sweating, anxiety, and irritability, you should talk to your doctor. They might want to run some tests to check if what youre experiencing is symptoms of diabetes. Some nondiabetic people also experience physiological signs of low blood sugar a few hours after a meal. This condition is called reactive hypoglycemia. While symptoms are not typically severe, its worth talking to your physician about. Certain blood sugar balance strategies can help ease the symptoms.
Heredity Need Not Be Destiny
Many people think theyre destined for lifetime struggles with excess weight and ultimately diabetes because its in my genes. They had parents or grandparents who were overweight and had diabetes.
And sure, genetic factors predispose some of us to become fatter than others, but for most Americans, heredity need not be destiny, argues Dr. Danine Fruge, MD, ABFP, Medical Director and Educator at the Pritikin Longevity Center.
To her patients at Pritikin, Dr. Fruge brings the enthusiasm and expertise of a doctor who practices what she preaches.
Your Diabetes Devices And Hypoglycemia
Several insulin pumps are now available that make managing blood sugar levels easier, particularly when connected to a glucose meter or a CGM.
Some of the most important advantages of CGM devices are the improved insulin control and the ability to detect trends and lows early. With improved technology, it is now possible for parents to track blood sugar trends in their kids even when they are hundreds of miles apart .
In addition, automated insulin delivery systems, also known an artificial pancreas or a hybrid closed-loop system, will automatically adjust insulin to match your bodys need to help you spend more time in your target range.
Resources that provide people with T1D and their families with more detailed information about pumps and CGM devices are available through JDRF here. For people looking for a deeper understanding of technology that helps people with T1D better manage their blood sugar, JDRF resources are available here.
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How Psyllium Fiber Helps Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
According to the Cleveland Clinic, among supplements that have been studied for their ability to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, psylliumâs evidence was graded the highest. Research has shown that psyllium fiber can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels when looking at both fasting blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c â an indicator of average blood sugar over the previous 2-3 months.8
It helps control hunger.
Since consuming sugar or carbohydrate heavy foods is what makes our blood sugar levels rise, limiting sugar intake is one way of helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Psyllium fiber supplements like Metamucil can help you feel fuller longer by forming a gel in the digestive tract.* This mechanism can help curb hunger between meals, reducing your desire to eat.*
One study showed that taking 2 servings of Metamucil before breakfast and lunch for 3 consecutive days enhanced feelings of fullness and decreased feelings of hunger.9
It traps sugar in the digestive system.
Metamucil, through its gelling action, also helps slow sugar absorption from the digestive tract. Without a gel forming fiber, sugars are free to rapidly be absorbed into the bloodstream and raising blood sugar levels.10
How does psyllium work?
When psyllium mixes with water in the body, it forms a gel that is not digested, absorbed, or broken down.11
What Happens When Blood Sugar Is Too High:
When the pancreas begins to have trouble releasing enough insulin to keep the bodys blood sugar stable, it creeps up and can fall into the diabetes range from 80 to 130 mg/dl before a meal and less than 180 mg/dl at one to two hours after beginning the meal. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, can cause increased thirst, frequent urination, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, shortness of breath, a very dry mouth, and a rapid heart beat.
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The Community Just Got Better
The ADA x BT1 Collab brings together the expertise of the American Diabetes Association with the publishing and sharing power of Beyond Type 1 to offer information and programs to the diabetes communityincluding people with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and their caregivers.
The Collab online community will continue to serve your interests, and is a familiar place where you can share, connect, learn, and engage with exciting new content, and so much more. Please join to double our community impact and bring your experiences, challenges, and successes to new and old friends!
Foods That Fight Diabetes
Pritikin eating means focusing on whole foods that are naturally rich in fiber and naturally low in fats, sugars, and industrial refinement. Pritikin foods are vegetables, whole fruits , whole grains, legumes such as beans and peas, nonfat dairy foods, and moderate servings of lean meat such as fish, skinless chicken breast, and game meat like bison and venison.
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Consider Investing In A Continuous Glucose Monitor
If youre looking for a more efficient way to check your blood sugar without pricking your finger multiple times a day, you may want to ask your doctor about using a continuous glucose monitor . The wearable device measures your blood sugar 24/7 through a tiny sensor thats inserted under your skin and transmits the information to a wireless monitor on your hip that records the data. These are devices that are more routinely used by people with type 1 diabetes, who usually require more daily testing and adjustment of medication than people with type 2 diabetes.
LeBlanc wears a CGM to help keep track of her blood sugar readings daily, It alerts me when my blood sugar is getting too high or too low. Despite making it easier for people to manage their diabetes, CGMs are still not as accurate as they could be. The National Institutes of Health advise people with diabetes to compare their CGM readings with a finger-stick glucose test at least twice a day to verify the devices accuracy before changing any insulin dosage. With newer devices like Dexcom 6, however, you do not have to check this frequently unless glucose reading is out of range. Its always a good idea to check fingerstick glucose if the value is unexpectedly low or high and you are not having symptoms.
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!
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What Is Hyperglycemia
Hyperglycemia is the medical term for high blood sugar . It happens when sugar stays in your bloodstream instead of being used as energy.
For people without diabetes, a healthy blood sugar level is about 70 to 140 milligrams per deciliter of blood . For people with diabetes, though, the target or healthy blood sugar range depends on a number of other factors, like their age, how long theyve had diabetes, and other health conditions they may have. To achieve good long-term glucose control, people with diabetes should focus on the time they spend in their target range, which is typically 70 to 180 mg/dL. Doctors may say you have hyperglycemia if your blood sugar is higher than 130 mg/dL after not eating or drinking for at least 8 hours or if your blood sugar is higher than 180 mg/dL 2 hours after a meal .
For people with diabetes, blood sugar control over the long term is important. Your healthcare team will work with you to evaluate your long-term control by looking at your HbA1c and/or the amount of time your blood sugar is within your target range based on data from a continuous glucose monitor, or CGM, or your blood glucose meter.
How To Lower Post
If your post-prandial glucose is high, the usual advice is to cut back on your portion sizes–in particular of any breads, grains, potatoes, fruit, baked goods, sweetened beverages and other foods that are rich in carbohydrates.
Certainly, eating these foods in excessive quantities isnt a good nutrition prescription for anyone. But assuming that the portions are reasonable, there may be a way to keep those post-meal blood sugar levels under control without having to further reduce or eliminate carbohydrate-rich foods.
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What Is Blood Sugar:
Blood sugar, also known as glucose, is the main source of sugar in the blood. Your body extracts sugar from the foods you eat and breaks them down, removing energy to power your bodys organs. We get most of our glucose from carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy. The pancreas, situated snuggly below the liver, releases insulin to stabilize blood sugar after a meal and then sends the extra to the liver, where it is turned into glycogen.
Eat Meals Rich In Fiber
Fiber-rich foods delay how quickly your body absorbs sugar to prevent your blood sugar from rising rapidly. I try to eat fiber-rich foods to keep myself full at lunch to minimize snacking later, says Dr. Soleimanpour, This way Im not riding a rollercoaster of high blood sugar and low blood sugar after I eat.
For lunch, he slurps down a homemade kale smoothie consisting of a few cups of kale and five to six cups of water with just a half to a whole cup of pineapple to get that sweet taste. If he doesnt get a chance to eat a filling lunch, he opts for a glass of water mixed with a couple tablespoons of dissolvable fiber to keep his blood sugar stable.
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Control How Much Sugar You Eat
While this one may seem obvious to some, donât scroll past just yet. How closely do you read ingredient labels? You likely buy and eat some processed foods unless you make all foods including sauces, dressings, and condiments, from scratch.
Thatâs OK youâre a modern-day human and convenience and cost matter. But, most packaged or pre-made foods contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Select carefully and, as an example, buy big tubs of steel-cut oats or quick-cooking oats over the flavored, sugary oatmeal in a box or cup.
Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist, professor, and specialist in childhood obesity, believes that sugar is so toxic to health that he recommends federal regulation against marketing sugar-laden products1 to children and even adding taxes to processed foods that contain added sugar.
These ideas may seem radical but are similar to rules that govern marketing alcohol to minors, and similar to the extra taxes consumers pay to purchase alcohol and tobacco products. Just as booze and cigarettes can be addictive for some, sugar can hook you and make you want more2.
The Power Of Living In Sync With Nature
Studies evaluating circadian rhythms of Americans found that the average adult has a circadian clock imbalance. In one study at the University of Colorado in Boulder researchers evaluated the melatonin and cortisol levels of a group of healthy adults. Normally, melatonin should surge when the sun sets and vanish during the day. Cortisol, a stress hormone should surge during the day and dial down shortly after sunset. They found just the opposite in the majority of these healthy adults.
They took them all camping for a week in the mountains, away from city lights and technology. Within one week they all had a 100% restoration of the circadian clock. Melatonin stopped surging in the middle of the day and cortisol dialed down for deep sleep after sunset, as it should. They did a follow-up study and took another group with a circadian imbalance on an off-the-grid camping trip for just a weekend. In that weekend, they measure a 69% restoration of circadian rhythms in study subjects.1
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Stay Hydrated With Water
Up to 60% of the human body is water, so it makes sense that drinking plenty of h-two-oh remains necessary for good health. Water lubricates the joints, forms saliva and mucus, helps keep skin elastic, cushions the brain and spinal cord, regulates body temperature, flushes toxins, and helps maintain blood pressure.
Calorie-free and exactly what your body needs, water prevents dehydration and helps your kidneys flush out excess glucose. One study showed that those who drank more water were less likely to develop hyperglycemia20 .
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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Decide To Doing A Sugar Detox
Make a strong commitment to detox from sugar by understanding its ramifications.
Dr. Mark Hyman, the author of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, asks us to answer the following questions to help with this decision to detox:
Do you have belly fat?
Are you overweight?
Do you have pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes? Do either conditions run in your family?
Do you eat when youre not hungry?
Do you experience food guilt?
Do you experience brain fog, memory or mood problems, gas, reflux, joint or muscle pain?
In answering in the affirmative to one or more of these questions, you may benefit from a 10-day sugar detox.
Drink Water And Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water may help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy limits.
In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out the excess sugar through urine.
One observational study showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk for developing high blood sugar levels (
Its important to monitor your waistline, as its perhaps the most crucial weight-related factor for estimating your diabetes risk.
A measurement of more than 35 inches for women and more than 40 inches for men is associated with an increased risk of developing insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels, and type 2 diabetes .
Having a healthy waist measurement may even be more important than your overall weight .
Keeping a moderate weight and waistline will help you maintain normal blood sugar levels and decrease your risk for developing diabetes.
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What To Do When Blood Sugar Spikes
It can be frustrating trying to keep blood sugar levels under control. Day by day, they can fluctuate widely, and theyre not always predictable. Although the greatest danger to people with diabetes is when blood glucose gets too low, its also important to take action when blood glucose is high. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help prevent and treat these unexpected spikes.
High blood sugar, also called hyperglycemia, often develops in response to too little insulin or other glucose-lowering medication, or too much food. Its important to address hyperglycemia. Not only can it cause problems like impaired thinking in the short term, it can increase the risk for serious problems like , kidney damage, and blindness over time. Heres what you can do about hyperglycemia.
How To Recognize Hypoglycemia
The first signs of hypoglycemia include feeling sweaty, shaky, and hungry. However, not everyone has these symptoms or notices them in time to prevent low blood sugar from getting worse. Its also important to know that your symptoms of hypoglycemia will change the longer you have T1D.
As hypoglycemia gets worse, symptoms can include:
- Feeling weak
- Having difficulty walking or seeing clearly
- Acting strange or getting disoriented
- Having seizures
Severe hypoglycemia may make you faint or pass out. This is dangerous if you are driving, climbing stairs, or doing other activities where you need to stay aware of things around you.
Hypoglycemia can happen at night. If it does, you are likely to wake up, but its important not to rely on your body to wake you up. A continuous glucose monitor, or CGM, can alert you and those around you with an alarm to let you know if your blood sugar starts getting low while you are sleeping.
Its a good idea to check your blood sugar often when lows are likely, such as in hot weather or when you travel. Your CGM can also let you know when your blood sugar is getting lower.
Watch out for hypoglycemia unawareness.
You might not have early warning signs of low blood sugar. This is called hypoglycemia unawareness, and it raises the risk of having severe lows. It is more likely if:
- You have had diabetes longer than 5 or 10 years
- You have frequent episodes of hypoglycemia
- You take certain medicines, such as beta blockers for high blood pressure
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