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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Problems Caused By High Blood Sugar
Its not usually a serious problem if your blood sugar is sometimes slightly high for a short time.
But high blood sugar can cause serious problems if it stays high for a long time or gets to a very high level.
It can lead to:
- life-threatening conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis
If you have high blood sugar, your doctor or care team may ask you to test your blood or pee to check for ketones. A high level of ketones is a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis.
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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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How Is Hhns Different From Diabetic Ketoacidosis
DKA is also a serious condition and potentially life-threatening if not treated promptly. In contrast to HHNS, DKA is almost exclusively a condition that occurs in people with type 1 diabetes.
A lack of insulin causes a build-up of glucose in the blood that cannot get into the cells of the body to be used for energy. The body compensates by looking for an alternative energy source in stored fat. When stored fat is used for energy it creates a toxic waste product called ketones, which can poison the body.
HHNS does not produce ketones, and the symptoms of DKA are different, including:
- Breath that has a fruity odor
- Labored breathing
- A rapid and weak pulse
- Abdominal pain
Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar
When people eat a food containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood.
- As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy or storage.
- As cells absorb blood sugar, levels in the bloodstream begin to fall.
- When this happens, the pancreas start making glucagon, a hormone that signals the liver to start releasing stored sugar.
- This interplay of insulin and glucagon ensure that cells throughout the body, and especially in the brain, have a steady supply of blood sugar.
Carbohydrate metabolism is important in the development of type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body cant make enough insulin or cant properly use the insulin it makes.
- Type 2 diabetes usually develops gradually over a number of years, beginning when muscle and other cells stop responding to insulin. This condition, known as insulin resistance, causes blood sugar and insulin levels to stay high long after eating. Over time, the heavy demands made on the insulin-making cells wears them out, and insulin production eventually stops.
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Protein For Lower Blood Sugar
Proteins help to stabilize blood sugar and slow glucose absorption. When your levels are high, eat a protein rich snack. Watch out for protein bars and drinks, however. Many of these may be very high in sugar, so always read labels. A tablespoon of no sugar added peanut or other nut butter, an egg, or piece of cheese is good for this.
Which Foods Keep Your Sugar Levels In Control
Carbohydrates need to be consistent. You dont want to eat all of your daily carb count in one meal. That will cause your blood sugar to spike, and then drop during the other meals. Giving your body a steady amount of carbohydrates will provide a stable amount of energy. It will also help your body make enough insulin to keep your blood sugar at a healthy number.
The easiest way to make sure that your carb intake is appropriate is to count carbohydrates. It is a simplified way to evaluate foods based on their nutritional value. The best place to start when counting is to aim for 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal and roughly 15 to 30 grams for each snack in between meals. You may have to adjust this based on your individual needs and your blood sugar readings. It is a lot easier to calculate the carbohydrates when you have a food with a label, but many foods do not. Check the serving size on the label to be sure that you are counting correctly. The US Department of Agriculture has a website that allows you to type in any food and it will give you the nutritional values. Check it out at . A few examples of 15 grams of carbs include:
- 1 slice of bread
- ½ cup of oatmeal
- 1 small piece of fresh fruit
It is important that you pay attention to nutrients other than the carbs too. Be sure to have adequate protein and fiber, while keeping lots of fat to a minimum.
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What Level Of Blood Sugar Is Dangerous
A lot is spoken about high blood sugar levels and ways to keep them in control. With the rising incidence of diabetes, many people are concerned about their sugar levels and wish to plan a routine that keeps their blood sugar levels with the normal range. So, what level of blood sugar is dangerous and how to bring it down quickly? This is a commonly asked question. Let us look at it in detail.
An ideal range of blood sugar level is 90-160. A level which points towards 160-240 is a called a very high level. Above 240 the diabetes is listed as out of control. And if you have a blood sugar level of 300 or up, remember its a medical emergency and you need to get consulted immediately.
What Are The Causes Of High Blood Sugar
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. It helps in moving glucose from the digested food to the cells to be used as energy. High blood sugar can occur if the body does not have enough insulin. There are various conditions that affect the insulin function, thus resulting in high blood sugar. Some of the causes that contribute to high and even dangerous levels of blood sugar include the following,
- If a diabetic person misses taking the diabetes medication.
- Overeating, especially the food rich in carbohydrates.
- Lack of exercise or physical activity
- Infection or certain illnesses that cause the blood sugar to rise quickly.
- Intake of Certain medications such as steroids that affect sugar levels.
- Excessive and prolonged stress
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What Impacts On Your Health Does High Blood Sugar Have
Having extra sugar in your bloodstream can be very harmful to the vessels in your body, as well as some major organs. Complications of diabetes include and are not limited to:
- Problems with your eyes which could lead to loss of vision
- Poor wound healing which could lead to an amputation
- Increased risk of heart disease and stroke
These complications are not caused by a spike in the blood sugar. They are caused by an increased number of high blood sugar events over a period of time. Do not think that one or two high blood sugars are going to cause you to go blind. However, it is important to know what caused those high sugars so that you can prevent it from happening again. Hemoglobin A1C levels are checked to see what the average blood sugar has been over the past 120 days. Your doctor will check this to see if how your blood sugar levels have been trending.
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The rest of this article explains these in further detail.
Always talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet or exercise regimen.
Check your blood sugar levels!
There are critical times that you should check your blood sugar.
There are times when our health is well out of our control. Checking your blood sugar is one way that you can stay in control. Take this control and use it to better your health and your life.
According to the NIDDK, when checking your blood sugar levels, consider the following tips:
Grapes Blueberries And Apples
One of the biggest myths that still exists about blood sugar management, is that people looking to balance blood sugar shouldnt eat fruit. But, the truth is we have so much data to show that a diet that includes fruit is not only protective against developing pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, but it can also help manage existing diabetes. Specifically, research has shown higher consumption of grapes, blueberries, and/or apples is associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
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Implement Portion Control And Serving Size
A critical strategy in the diet for people with diabetes is portion control of foods. You should make your chart for a daily diet which includes smaller portions of various foods rather than having a single big meal dish.
Portion control and serving size not only fulfill your dietary requirements but also restricts calorie intake, which in the long run, helps control obesity. It also helps control your blood sugar levels and control weight .
Know your calories requirement and make serving sizes. You can seek professional help from a dietician to make a plan. Some general tips are:
- Measure and weigh portions.
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When To Get Urgent Medical Attention
Contact your diabetes care team immediately if you have a high blood sugar level and experience the following symptoms:
- feeling or being sick
- a fever for more than 24 hours
- signs of dehydration, such as a headache, dry skin and a weak, rapid heartbeat
- difficulty staying awake
These symptoms could be a sign of a more serious complication of hyperglycaemia, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or a hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state, and you may need to be looked after in hospital.
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High Blood Sugar Causes
Sometimes the cause of a blood sugar spike is clear . But other times, the cause is a little more mysterious.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, losing sleep, skipping breakfast, not drinking enough water, or drinking coffee can cause blood sugar instability.
Even weirder, sometimes a sunburn can cause a spike! The pain of a burn causes stress, and high levels of stress can mess up your blood sugar. So bust out the sunscreen for the sake of your pancreas!
Other causes include eating high-sugar/high-carb foods, drinking alcohol, getting sick, and changing medication. A diet low in fiber and high in refined carbs or sugars and a sedentary lifestyle also make high blood sugar more likely.
So, what can you do when your blood sugar gets too high? Here are some natural ways to get your sugar back into a safe zone.
Diabetes: 10 Foods And Drinks To Help Manage Blood Sugar
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Diabetes friendly food options are as close as your kitchen.
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5 MIN. READ
When you have prediabetes or diabetes, a healthy diabetes meal plan is key to managing your blood sugar. Sometimes it can be tricky to know which foods and drinks are good choices, but these 10 picks can help keep your numbers in check.
Whether they’re lentils, kidney, pinto, black or garbanzo, beans are a low-glycemic index food. That means their carbohydrates are gradually released so they’re less likely to cause blood sugar spikes. They’re so beneficial that one study found that eating a daily cup of beans for three months as part of a low-glycemic index diet lowered HbA1c by half a percentage point.
Try it! Swap in beans for half the meat in tacos or your favorite chili recipe.
You might think that there’s no room in a diabetic meal plan for fruit, but apples are also low glycemic. Aiming for foods like apples that are low or medium on the glycemic index is one way to manage blood sugar levels. And eating an apple a day has its benefits they are high in fiber, vitamin C as well as fat-free! Not to mention a portable and easy snack option.
Try it!Toss an apple in your lunch bag or grab one between meals. Bake them and add cinnamon for warm treat.
Try it! For healthy snacking on-the-go, pack one-ounce portions of almonds into single-serve containers.
5. Chia Seeds
6. Glucerna® Shakes and Bars
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Peanut Butter Celery Sticks
A popular way to enjoy celery sticks is by dipping them in peanut butter. Its another healthy snack option for people with diabetes.
First, celery sticks are very low in calories, providing only 14 calories . This can help you manage your weight, which helps control type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, celery contains antioxidants called flavones, which have been studied for their role in lowering blood sugar levels.
Adding a tablespoon or two of peanut butter to celery sticks adds some extra
Recognizing The Signs Of Hypoglycemia
OConnor says there are a number of warning signs that indicate you might have low blood sugar. The symptoms can range from very mild shakiness, clamminess, feeling irritable or jittery, and having temporarily blurred vision to much more severe, such as seizures and loss of consciousness or passing out, although these are less common, she says. These symptoms can occur because of many other circumstances, so if you are diabetic and are having symptoms that could be due to low blood sugar, check your sugar levels to see whats going on, she adds.
Certain things can also put you at higher risk of hypoglycemia, especially if you skip or put off a meal or snack, take too much insulin, dont eat enough carbohydrates, exercise more than you regularly do, or drink alcohol. In addition, people with type 1 diabetes experience hypoglycemia more often than those with type 2.
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Is Sugar Bad For You
If you love sweets, don’t despair. You don’t have to give them up forever. Sugar will raise your blood sugar levels more quickly than other carbs, but diabetes experts now say the total amount of carbs is most important. So keep your serving sizes small and take into account the total carbs and calories.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
Different people may feel low blood sugar levels differently. People with low blood sugar may:
- feel hungry or have hunger pains in their stomach
- feel shaky or like theyre trembling
- have a rapid heart rate
- feel sweaty or have cold, clammy skin
- have pale, gray skin color
- have a headache
- have seizures or convulsions
- lose consciousness
If you have diabetes, try to remember how your body reacts when your blood sugar levels are low. It may help you figure out when youre having a low blood sugar level more quickly the next time.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Dangerous Levels Of Blood Sugar
A patient with high blood sugar presents the symptoms such as a dry mouth, fatigue, dry, and itchy skin and an increased appetite. Some people also experience being more thirsty and increased frequency of urination, especially at night.
If not corrected early it can lead to symptoms of dangerous levels of blood sugar like difficulty in breathing, dizziness, rapid weight loss and confusion of mind. Blood sugar level of 300 or above is dangerous and if not treated a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis or diabetic coma can occur.
Check Your Blood Sugar
If you take medication that may cause low blood sugar , its highly advisable to check your blood sugar levels before you try to bring your sugar levels down.
This is just in case your blood sugar is normal or low, which can be the case in some situations.
Testing of blood sugar before bringing your levels down is particularly important if you take insulin.
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Start With These Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Levels
To help you get started on filling your plate with more blood sugar friendly foods that will help lower your blood sugar, start by removing refined sugar, refined grains, and most processed foods from your diet. Processed foods all contain chemicals and refined ingredients that our bodies dont recognize as real nutrients, so our cells never really get what they need and we feel hungry all the time as a result. This also leads to blood sugar swings and spikes that cause insulin to work less efficiently.
What helps insulin work best so that blood sugar stays in a stable place are foods that pack dense amounts of nutrition and contain amino acids , fiber , and healthy fats from real food.
Lets check out some foods that can help lower blood sugar levels by offering us these nutritional benefits, shall we?