How To Lower Blood Sugar Immediately
Michael Menna, DO, is a board-certified, active attending emergency medicine physician at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.
If you have high blood sugar, a condition also known as hyperglycemia, theres too much sugar in your blood and not enough insulin in your body to lower it. In people with diabetes, hyperglycemia can be caused by things like eating too many carbohydrates, lack of physical activity, stress from an illness or infection, nondiabetes medications , or skipping or not taking enough glucose-lowering medication.
Hyperglycemia requires immediate treatment to prevent serious complications, including nerve, tissue, and organ damage diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . While taking rapid-acting insulin is the quickest way to lower your blood sugar, there are other ways like exercising and staying hydrated that can help. In cases of an emergency, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
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.
Follow Your Treatment Plan
You can lower your risk of DKA with proper management of your diabetes:
- Take your medications as directed, even if youre feeling fine.
- Follow your meal plan.
- Test your blood sugar consistently, as recommended by your doctor. This will help you get in the habit of making sure your numbers are in range. If you notice a problem, you can talk with your doctor about adjusting your treatment plan.
- Talk with your doctor about adjusting your insulin dosage levels based on your activity level, illnesses, or other factors, such as what youre eating.
- If you have high blood sugar and your blood or urine test detects ketones, do not exercise. Exercising with high blood sugar can be dangerous when you have diabetes. Its best to talk with your doctor about how to manage this situation.
- Sometimes the cost of insulin can make it to follow a diabetes treatment plan. Read more about how to access insulin at a reduced cost.
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Foods Minerals & Spices That May Help Control Blood Sugar
When it comes to managing blood sugar, the types of foods and drinks you consume plus what you sprinkle on top to add zest and a pop of color can help to stabilize your glucose.
Higher doses of spices are available in pill form. Check with your doctor before taking any supplements, and for advice on specific dosage recommendations.
Here are some foods, spices, and minerals that may help you control blood sugar:
What Are The Recommended Targets For Blood Glucose Levels
Many people with diabetes aim to keep their blood glucose at these normal levels:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL
- About 2 hours after a meal starts: less than 180 mg/dL
Talk with your health care team about the best target range for you. Be sure to tell your health care professional if your glucose levels often go above or below your target range.
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Maintain A Healthy Weight
Losing weight helps control blood sugar levels. Being overweight is linked to increased incidents of diabetes and greater occurrences of insulin resistance.
Studies show that reducing weight by even only 7 percent can reduce the chances of developing diabetes by 58 percent.
It is important to note that a person does not need to achieve ideal body weight to benefit from losing 1020 pounds and keeping it off. Doing so will also improve cholesterol, reduce the risk of complications, and improve a persons general sense of well-being.
Eating a healthful diet full of fruits and vegetables and getting enough exercise can help a person lose weight or maintain their currently healthy weight.
What Is The Best Herb For Lowering Blood Sugar
According to the American Diabetes Association, one in three Americans has prediabetes. This means their blood sugar is higher than average but not high enough to diagnose type 2 diabetes.
The first step to managing diabetes is with an oral antidiabetic drug . However, before insulin was discovered, herbal medicines were used to manage diabetes.
Herbal medicine, also known as phytomedicine or botanical medicine, uses parts of the plant like flowers, fruits, seeds, leaves, berries, bark, and roots. Herbs are prescribed in a specific dosage to treat or manage diseases. The first recorded use of herbs for medicinal purposes was over 5,000 years ago. Today, an estimated one-fourth of prescription medicines are derived from plants.
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Things That Cause High Blood Sugar
High blood sugar can be caused by a variety of factors. The most common factors that contribute to high blood sugar include:
- Overeating/eating large portion sizes
- Using old, expired insulin
- Injecting insulin incorrectly
Most patients with high blood pressure dont have a known cause. This is called essential hypertension or primary hypertension, Dr. Raja adds.
When To Go To The Er
High blood sugar can be very concerning because your body can start burning fat for energy instead of blood glucose.
This can cause conditions such as DKA and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . These conditions are medical emergencies and can be fatal if left untreated.
DKA is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes. Its rare in people with type 2 diabetes, but can occur.
Symptoms that can indicate you should go to the emergency room include:
- ketones in your urine, as diagnosed using a urine dipstick test
- stomach pain
High blood sugar levels can cause a fluid imbalance in the body and can cause the blood to become acidic in a manner that doesnt support life.
Medical treatments for these conditions include administering intravenous insulin on a continuous basis and IV fluids to correct dehydration.
High blood sugar can become a medical emergency. Go to the ER if you suspect DKA or HHS.
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How Fast Can I Lower My Blood Sugar
It may be faster than you think! Researchers at UCLA tracked over 650 men and women with type 2 diabetes who had attended the Pritikin Longevity Center to determine the effects of the healthy lifestyle change on their health. They found that in you can lower your blood sugar quickly. Of the adults who were new diabetics, their blood sugar levels fell from an average of 164mg/dL to 124 mg/dL within 3 weeks.
Better yet, many cases, adopting a healthy lifestyle is effective at reversing diabetes! The majority of the diabetics taking oral medication lowered their blood sugar to a point in which mediation was no longer needed. Those with advanced stages of diabetes noticed improvements as well. At the Pritikin Center, trained experts, including board certified physicians, registered dieticians and exercise physiologists, work with the adults to help them better understand their health, and how to eat, move, and live healthier.
What is a dangerous level of blood sugar?
Pre-diabetes is defined as having a fasting glucose between 100 and 125. Diabetes is a fasting glucose of 126 or higher. There is significant scientific evidence showing that a healthy lifestyle, such as the Pritikin Plan, can prevent pre-diabetes from developing into full-blown diabetes.
Eat The Right Carbohydrates
The two main kinds of carbohydrates simple and complex affect blood sugar levels differently.
Simple carbohydrates are mainly made up of one kind of sugar. They are found in foods, such as white bread, pasta, and candy. The body breaks these carbohydrates down into sugar very quickly, which causes blood sugar levels to rise rapidly.
Complex carbohydrates are made up of three or more sugars that are linked together. Because the chemical makeup of these kinds of carbohydrates is complicated, it takes the body longer to break them down.
As a result, sugar is released into the body more gradually, meaning that blood sugar levels do not rapidly rise after eating them. Examples of complex carbohydrates include whole grain oats and sweet potatoes.
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What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Continuous glucose monitoring is another way to check your glucose levels. Most CGM systems use a tiny sensor that you insert under your skin. The sensor measures glucose levels in the fluids between your bodys cells every few minutes and can show changes in your glucose level throughout the day and night. If the CGM system shows that your glucose is too high or too low, you should check your glucose with a blood glucose meter before making any changes to your eating plan, physical activity, or medicines. A CGM system is especially useful for people who use insulin and have problems with low blood glucose.
What Foods Will Help Regulate My Blood Sugar
Diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a long-term health condition that is characterized by high blood glucose levels. The disease affects the ability of the body to convert food into energy inside the body. The food you eat is converted to simpler forms, most commonly glucose, inside the body. When the glucose in the blood increases, the body releases a hormone called insulin in the blood. Insulin brings high blood glucose levels back to normal levels. In diabetes, either there is a deficiency of insulin or the body is unable to respond to insulin . In either of the cases, there is an increased concentration of glucose in the blood known as hyperglycemia.
If you have diabetes, you must check your blood sugar levels regularly to make sure the levels are not too low or too high . Depending on your age and any other health conditions, your doctor may advise you to keep your blood sugar level in a range that they consider will be safe and healthy for you. Whenever your blood sugar level is over 240 mg/dL, you must check the presence of ketones in the urine by using an over the counter ketone test kit. High levels of ketones can be a sign of a serious medical emergency called diabetic ketoacidosis. Seek urgent medical help if your urine shows the presence of ketones or you have any signs of ketoacidosis, such as fast breathing, nausea and vomiting, stomachache, headache, or fruity smell from the mouth.
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What To Eat When Your Blood Sugar Is High
Usually, you can still eat all the regular fat, fiber, and protein-rich foods youâd typically eat when your blood sugar is elevated. There is no need to restrict food or eliminate carbohydrates in these moments, but it does warrant being more aware of the foods youâre eating and really ensuring weâre filling your plate with complex carbohydrates and nutrient-rich protein sources. Next time your blood sugar is high and youâre wondering what foods help lower blood sugars or what to eat for your next meal try one of these meals:
Can Drinking A Lot Of Water Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
Although feeling very thirsty is a symptom of a hyper, drinking a lot of water will not bring your blood sugar levels down. It will only help to reduce your risk of dehydration.
Its important that you take your diabetes medication to bring your blood sugar levels down. If you have consistently high blood sugar levels, you will need to follow the advice below and speak to your diabetes healthcare team.
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Correcting High Blood Sugar Levels With Insulin
If you take insulin, one way to reduce blood sugar is to inject insulin.
However, be careful as insulin can take 4 hours or longer to be fully absorbed, so you need to make sure you take into account how much insulin you may already have in your body that is yet to be absorbed by the blood. Insulin that is yet to be absorbed by the blood is called active insulin.
If you decide to correct with insulin, watch you dont over correct as this can lead to hypoglycemia and can be dangerous, particularly so before bed.
What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
Often, people with high blood pressure do not have noticeable symptoms. If the blood pressure is greatly elevated, a person may experience the following. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of high blood pressure may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
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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.
Get Plenty Of Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are examples of healthy carbohydrates that are rich in fiber. For people with diabetes, doctors recommend eating five portions of fruits and vegetables a day to maintain healthy blood-sugar levels though you should talk to your doctor to come up with a meal plan that best suits your needs.
Ripe fruits tend to have a higher glycemic index than less ripe fruits. The glycemic index ranks foods by how they raise glucose levels in the body. Foods high on the glycemic index raise glucose levels more quickly, potentially causing blood sugar spikes, while low-glycemic foods raise glucose levels more slowly.
Eating fruits with the skin can be more beneficial, Adimoolam says, since the skin contains more fiber and can help regulate your blood sugar.
Though all fruits supply nutrients, dried fruit and fruit juice have more concentrated sources of natural sugars. When possible, choose whole forms of fruit, such as fresh or frozen.
Adimoolam says most vegetables are healthy for people with diabetes, though starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and plantains have a higher carbohydrate content and should be eaten in moderation.
Some examples of low-glycemic fruits and vegetables include:
Quick tip: For more information, read about the best types of fruits for diabetes.
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Best Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Quickly
When treated early, you can bring high blood sugar levels down and prevent complications, including DKA.
Some sources suggest that drinking water or eating a high protein snack can quickly lower your blood sugar levels, though there isnt enough research to support this.
If you have high blood sugar and need to lower it fast, try the following methods:
Have Oatmeal For Breakfast
Oats are another good choice for people with diabetes because of their low glycemic index value and high fiber content.
A 2015 review found eating whole oats with at least 3 grams of soluble fiber daily can help Type 2 diabetes patients control blood glucose levels by increasing insulin sensitivity.
You should make sure to opt for steel-cut or rolled oats, as these varieties of oatmeal are less processed, which means they absorb into the bloodstream more slowly.
Try to avoid instant oatmeal with added sugar, and if you’re mixing in fruit or other ingredients into your oatmeal, be mindful of their added sugar and total carbohydrate content.
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Control Carbs By Monitoring The Carbs Youre Eating
Look at starchy carbs like rice, bread and pasta and see what they do to your blood sugar.
Try more fruits and vegetables instead of these starchy carbs. And when you do choose these starchy carbs, choose whole foods instead of refined foods like white bread opt for brown rice instead of white rice and sweet potatoes or whole potatoes over mashed potatoes.
Refined carbohydrates can really do a number on your blood sugar. And when you do choose fruit and other forms of carbohydrates, choose those with a lower glycemic index.
Other Steps For How To Reduce Blood Sugar Level Immediately
While insulin is what will mainly help, there are other methods that can be used in both severe and less so severe cases of hyperglycemia. Alternative methods are especially helpful for those with non-insulin-dependent diabetes.
In severe cases , its advisable for healthcare professionals to take care of you.
First, they will likely inject insulin to your veins . In addition to this, they will rehydrate you with fluids, usually directly to your veins too. They will also give you nutrients at the same time, in the same manner.
This treatment gives some clues as to how to reduce blood sugar level immediately in less severe cases:
1) Stay hydrated drink water. Since being thirsty is a symptom of hyperglycemia/high blood glucose, youll probably want to be drinking plenty of water anyway. This helps with flushing out excess glucose.
2) Stay nourished. This is less straightforward, since eating food can often lead to even higher levels of blood glucose. But because youll be drinking a great deal of water , youll also be flushing out nutrients at the same time.
So, its worth considering eating something nourishing after youve lowered your blood sugar. Or, if you want to keep up your nutrients during hyperglycemia, consider drinking fluids without carbs and with electrolytes.
Find out more nutritional info on specific food items with our food database. Meanwhile, get advice from our Nutrition Consultant with Food and Diabetes!
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