Blood Ketone Meters For Testing At Home
To test the ketones in your blood, you will need a blood ketone meter and a kit that includes the lancet pen and ketone test strips. These meters also read blood glucose test strips. Results download to your computer.
Other brands and models may be available, including but not limited to:
- Precision Xtra: This meter from Abbott Diabetes Care can store up to 450 measurements and will display your blood glucose averages over different time periods. You need to enter a code to switch from glucose testing to ketone testing. Users seem happier with the Precision brand, and researchers find it to be the more accurate. The strips require 1.5 microliters of blood. It also features a backlit display.
- This meter from Nova Biomedical is often provided free with the purchase of two boxes of test strips. You dont have to enter a code to switch it from blood glucose to ketone testing it does that automatically when you insert a ketone test strip. If you are using it primarily for blood glucose, it will remind you to test for ketones if your blood sugar level is 250 mg/dL or higher. The test strips for the Nova Max are less expensive but also flimsier and give more error messages, requiring retesting. The strips require less blood than the Precision strips, only 0.3 microliters.
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.
How To Lower Blood Sugar
Most people assume that lowering blood sugar levels is only related to the food you eat. But, there are many other things that can impact blood sugar levels. These include: activity level, stress levels, hormones, and more. The following strategies have been proven to help reduce blood sugar levels over time:
- Be physically active on a regular basis.
- Consistently eat fiber rich carbohydrates.
- Drink water throughout the day.
- Manage stress levels.
- Monitor blood sugar levels regularly.
- Get enough sleep.
Letâs take a closer look at each of these foodsâ¦
Don’t Miss: Can Too Much Sugar Cause Heart Palpitations
Which Types Of Dairy Can People With Diabetes Eat
When picked well and eaten in moderation, dairy can be a great choice for people with diabetes. In fact, a review published September 2017 in Nutrients revealed that dairy products such as milk and yogurt offer protective benefits against type 2 diabetes. Whenever possible, opt for low-fat and fat-free dairy options to keep calories down, and unhealthy saturated fats at bay. Also, try to avoid flavored dairy, such as milks and yogurt, without added sugar.
Best options, per the ADA and the Mayo Clinic:
- Unsweetened almond milk
RELATED: Yogurt for Diabetes: Is One Type Better Than Another?
What Level Of Hemoglobin A1c Is Dangerously High
An increase in hemoglobin A1C levels can be a warning sign of an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and other health conditions. This high level of hemoglobin A1C may make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight and lead to chronic conditions like diabetes, congestive heart failure, and stroke.
Read Also: Will Eliminating Sugar Help Lose Weight
Add Legumes To Your Meals
Beans, lentils, and peas make a high-fiber, high-protein addition to your diet. Legumes are also a very low-glycemic food, helping to prevent blood sugar and insulin spikes.
They have been shown to decrease blood pressure and lower LDL cholesterol levels. And, In one small 2014 study, participants with Type 2 diabetes who replaced red meat for legumes in their diets for eight weeks had decreased blood glucose, insulin, and LDL cholesterol compared to those not on a legume-based diet.
Working legumes into your diet, especially if you’re adhering to a Mediterranean diet, can also help bolster your cardiovascular health, provide antioxidants, and is associated with a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
How Long Does It Take To Lower Blood Sugar
Postprandial blood sugar is a fancy name for your blood sugar after a meal. In a non-diabetic person, your blood sugar begins to rise 10-15 minutes after a meal, peaks after an hour or two, and then returns to normal. In people without diabetes, insulin is working normally to circulate glucose throughout the body, making regulation a smooth process.
However, this is based on eating well and eating clean. Eating clean means avoiding processed foods , cooking homemade meals instead of going to restaurants, and making sure your plate includes healthy proteins and lots of veggies.
You May Like: What Raises Your Blood Sugar Levels
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.
Will Supplements And Vitamins Help My Diabetes
No clear proof exists that taking dietary supplements such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, or spices can help manage diabetes.1 You may need supplements if you cannot get enough vitamins and minerals from foods. Talk with your health care provider before you take any dietary supplement since some can cause side effects or affect how your medicines work.2
Read Also: Where Can I Find Sugar Free Ice Cream
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.
Causes Of High Blood Sugar
Keeping your blood sugar levels in the optimal range is very important. If your blood sugar levels are too high or too low, they can lead to health problems, like kidney diseases, vision loss, and heart disease.
There are many quick and natural ways to lower your blood sugar levels. However, youâll have to make some lifestyle changes to ensure your sugar levels donât go above or below the standard range.
Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar levels can be due to many reasons. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body lacks the ability to use its natural insulin properly. As a result, there will be a high concentration of sugar in your blood since the bodyâs insulin is not breaking it down at the required rate.
Likewise, if youâre eating too many carbs and your body isnât producing enough insulin, you may experience hyperglycemia. If youâre not as active as you used to be, that can also be the reason behind high blood sugar levels.
Besides this, physical and emotional stress can also lower your bodyâs sugar levels. For instance, if you have an infection or the flu, your blood sugar levels may be lower than average. Likewise, emotional stress from personal problems or family conflicts can also impact your blood sugar levels.
Recommended Reading: How To Decrease Blood Sugar Fast
What Foods Bring Blood Sugar Down Fast
When looking for foods that help to quickly bring down blood sugar, it is important to remember to include plenty of fiber, protein and healthy fat. For a fast and effective way to reduce blood sugar, some of the best foods to consider include:
1. Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and pistachios: These are a fantastic source of healthy fats and protein, along with plenty of fiber.
2. Dark green leafy vegetables, like kale, spinach, and collard greens: The fiber content of these vegetables is fantastic for slowing the absorption of sugar.
3. Berries, such as strawberries and blueberries: Berries can provide a great hit of antioxidants and fiber that can help to stabilize blood sugar.
4. Greek yogurt: This is a great source of protein and calcium, which can help to reduce spikes in blood sugar.
5. Beans and legumes: Beans and legumes are a great source of protein and fiber, plus they can provide complex carbohydrates that can help to reduce blood sugar levels quickly.
6. Avocado: Avocado is filled with healthy fats that can help to lower blood sugar levels.
7. Flaxseeds: These seeds are filled with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to reduce blood sugar levels.
How To Reduce Blood Sugar Level Immediately
How to lower blood sugar fast in the moment can depend on a variety of factors, but the following strategies are almost always helpful.*
- Go for a walk**
- Drink a large glass of water
- Take rapid acting insulin if directed by your doctor
*Extremely high blood sugar can be a life threatening situation if ketones are also present. Diabetic ketoacidosis can develop when blood sugars reach this level. Discuss your plan of action with your doctor if/when this happens. This includes knowing when itâs ok to stay home and treat your blood sugar and when you need to head to the emergency room.
**Exercise may not be appropriate if blood sugars are > 250mg/dL. Discuss this with your doctor before trying to exercise when your blood sugar is this high.
You May Like: Is Organic Cane Sugar Healthy
Cut Down On Added Sugar
We know cutting out sugar can be really hard at the beginning, so small practical swaps are a good starting point when youre trying to cut down on excess sugar. Swapping sugary drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices with water, plain milk, or tea and coffee without sugar can be a good start.
You can always try low or zero-calorie sweeteners to help you cut back. Cutting out these added sugars can help you control your blood glucose levels and help keep your weight down. If your diabetes treatment means you get hypos, and you use sugary drinks to treat them, this is still important for your diabetes management and you shouldnt cut this out. However, if you are having regular hypos it is really important to discuss this with your diabetes team.
Consider Tree Nuts For Other Sources Of Healthy Fats
Loaded with fiber and protein, nuts are filling and contain high levels of unsaturated fats, the kind that contribute to HDL, or “good” cholesterol, making them a boon to your heart health. But when it comes to stabilizing blood sugar, polyunsaturated fats in tree nuts such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, and pistachios are especially beneficial.
In a review and meta-analysis published in July 2014 in BMJ Open, Canadian researchers looked at data from 12 clinical trials and found that eating two servings of tree nuts a day lowered and stabilized blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes and unhealthy cholesterol levels , and stabilized metabolic syndrome.
Plant-based healthy fats can improve lipid levels, says Kaufman. She recommends adding foods rich in polyunsaturated fats to help reduce high cholesterol related to elevated blood glucose, but with a caveat. Although healthy, these foods do have a higher amount of calories, so I would limit them to one serving per day, Kaufman notes. The Cleveland Clinic defines one serving as 1 oz or 35 peanuts, 24 almonds, 14 walnut halves, or 18 cashews.
A review of clinical studies published in the American Journal of Nutrition found that a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli may help reduce the risk of cancer.
Plus, with 5.52 g of fiber , broccoli is filling which makes it a good choice for people who are trying to lose weight and control type 2 diabetes.
Don’t Miss: Is Zero Sugar Coke Keto
Vinegar For A Healthier Salad Dressing Base
The potential health benefits of vinegar are still under investigation, but previous research found that vinegar helped improve insulin sensitivity to high-carb meals in people with diabetes or insulin resistance. The findings suggest that vinegar’s effects on the body are similar to the effects of the commonly used diabetes drug metformin .
And a study published in the Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine found that vinegar slowed the absorption of sugar. Two ounces of apple cider vinegar added to a high-carb meal improved fasting blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, researchers found.
A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar contains 0 calories, 0 carbohydrates, 0 protein, and 0 fat, per the USDA. The lack of carbohydrates means it has a GL of 0.
Try using it as a base for a homemade salad dressing, Acharya says.
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
Also Check: Can Too Much Sugar Cause Kidney Stones
The 10 Best Foods To Control Diabetes And Lower Blood Sugar
If you have diabetes, you know how difficult it can be to manage your diet and control your blood sugar levels. Certain foods cause massive spikes while others actually lower blood sugar, but many people go through years of trial and error before they find out what works for them. Luckily, thanks to years of scientific findings, weve been able to determine what foods are better than others. In this article, well discuss the 10 best foods to control diabetes and lower blood sugar.
To get the most out of your food, consider diabetic meal planning. Planning and preparing meals ahead of time will reduce the likelihood of snacking or unhealthy eating and will help you save time and energy throughout the week.
What Is Your Blood Sugar
To put it simply, your blood sugar is the glucose content in your blood.
When we eat, our body gets sugar from the food we take in. The sugar changes to glucose. Then, the glucose is converted to energy for our body, including the muscles, nervous system, and organs.
The pancreas, liver, and small intestine work together to regulate the blood sugar throughout your body. The endocrine system regulates processes like tissue function, reproduction, and metabolism. Almost every cell and organ in the body are affected by the endocrine system.
The endocrine system is assisted by the organs like the kidney and heart, which have what are called secondary endocrine functions. One of the most common endocrine diseases is diabetes. This is when the body does not process glucose properly.
Why does this happen? There is either a lack of insulin in the body, or in the case that insulin is present, the body is not using it as it should. If there is not enough insulin in the body, glucose cannot enter the cells because insulin makes the cells ready to receive the glucose.
Sounds rather complicated, doesnt it? Lets look at a few questions that will simplify things. Then, well look at the best foods to lower your blood sugar.
Recommended Reading: Can Low Blood Sugar Affect Eyesight
What Foods And Drinks Should I Limit If I Have Diabetes
Foods and drinks to limit include
- fried foods and other foods high in saturated fat and trans fat
- foods high in salt, also called sodium
- sweets, such as baked goods, candy, and ice cream
- beverages with added sugars, such as juice, regular soda, and regular sports or energy drinks
Drink water instead of sweetened beverages. Consider using a sugar substitute in your coffee or tea.
If you drink alcohol, drink moderatelyno more than one drink a day if youre a woman or two drinks a day if youre a man. If you use insulin or diabetes medicines that increase the amount of insulin your body makes, alcohol can make your blood glucose level drop too low. This is especially true if you havent eaten in a while. Its best to eat some food when you drink alcohol.
Keep An Eye On Your Carb Intake
Paying attention to carbohydrates is important for people with type 2 diabetes. Carbs are what cause your blood sugars to potentially fluctuate, Crandall Snyder says.
How many carbs per meal is ideal? Its tailored to each individual, says Weisenberger. How much you exercise, your weight, and your age can all affect how long sugars stay in your system, according to the CDC. A typical starting point for people with diabetes is to limit carb intake to 200 to 245 grams per day, which amounts to about one-half of your daily calories coming from carbs, according to the CDC. From there, make adjustments according to your blood glucose readings or as recommended by a dietitian, Crandall Snyder says.
And keep in mind that carbs arent only found in the usual culprits, like bread, potatoes, and pasta. They are also in fruits, vegetables, sweets, and dairy, so you have to take all of those into consideration as well, Crandall Snyder says.
You May Like: Continuous Blood Glucose Monitor Cost
Also Check: What Happens When Your Blood Sugar Is To High