How Does Insulin Medication Affect Metabolism
Insulin medication stimulates the muscle, liver, and fat cells to absorb and store glucose as glycogen. When this happens, a persons blood glucose levels reduce.
In people with diabetes, the aim is to achieve a balance of insulin and blood glucose. This means that a person has enough energy ready to use but not so much that they risk long-term health complications.
Using too much insulin can reduce blood glucose to dangerous levels, causing hypoglycemia. Not using enough causes hyperglycemia.
Foods To Lower Blood Sugar
While a specific food cant lower high blood sugar, eating certain foods can help promote healthy blood sugar levels. Over time, eating healthy foods beneficial for blood sugar can help lower average blood sugar and improve glycemic control.
Carbohydrates have the biggest impact on blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Common carbohydrates sources include fruit, vegetables, grains, legumes, and dairy products like milk and yogurt. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugar , which enters the bloodstream. When someone with diabetes eats many carbohydrates at once, their blood sugar levels may be higher than their target or goal.
Fiber is a carbohydrate but does not affect blood sugar levels because it is not absorbed by the body. Fiber can also slow gastric emptying, meaning the food takes longer to be broken down into sugar, which is one way it can help diabetes. Eating fiber-rich foods can help avoid a blood sugar spike, which can occur when eating rapidly-digested carbohydrates such as white bread and refined sugar.
People with diabetes need varying ranges of carbohydrates based on individual needs and activity levels. In general, aiming for 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per meal and 15-20 grams of carbohydrates per snack is ideal. Aiming for 25-40 grams of dietary fiber per day is ideal for both blood sugar and heart health.
What Are Regular Blood Sugar Levels
Generally, after fasting for 8 hours, a persons blood sugar levels are less than 100 milligrams per deciliter . Two hours after eating, blood sugar levels should typically be less than 140 mg/dl. However, each persons body functions slightly differently, and healthcare professionals can describe each persons target levels.
Recommended Reading: Is Sugar Free Candy Bad For You
Is Sugar Bad For You
If you are a chocoholic and/or have a huge sweet tooth and have diabetes, you do not have to give these items up forever. The key is to understand that sugar compounds will increase your blood sugar levels more quickly than other carbohydrates, but the total amount of carbohydrate intake is most important. Consequently, if people with diabetes can keep a serving size small, they can enjoy their favorite foods as long as they take into account that the overall total carbohydrate intake and calories do not exceed their usual dietary levels. This means a small serving of sweets should be offset by eating other foods that contain no “sweets.”
Can Oral Mediations Help A High Blood Sugar
While any oral medications you take to help manage your diabetes do improve your blood sugar levels, they are not something you would take an extra dose off to correct an occasional high blood sugar level.
However, if you realize that you forgot to take your dose of a daily medication, this should be part of the process of bringing your high blood sugar down.
Some medications can be taken late, and some medications may need to wait until your next normally scheduled dose. Contact your healthcare team to determine if the diabetes medication you take can be taken late after missing your usual dose.
If you have been skipping this medication altogether for days or weeks its very likely a significant contributor to the reason your blood sugar is high. These medications are designed to improve your blood sugar levels in a variety of different ways.
Talk to your healthcare team to better understand the medications youve been prescribed and the issues youre having in taking them as directed.
Read Also: Can High Blood Sugar Cause Chest Pain
Only You Can Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
Its annoying but true: The best way to lower your blood sugar is to avoid a spike in the first place.
Eating whole foods that are low in sugar and exercising regularly will help keep your blood sugar in check. This can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, but medications may also be necessary to keep blood sugar in a healthy range.
To avoid food-based spikes, try to steer clear of added sugars in your diet. The FDA recommends consuming less than 200 calories a day from added sugars.
That sounds pretty simple, but when you realize that 16 ounces of orange juice has 240 calories , its easy to see how sugar consumption gets out of hand.
Its best to avoid all sugary drinks and check the labels. There are hidden sugars in everything from bread to turkey slices, so double-check your favorite foods to make sure you arent getting any unnecessary sweetness.
What To Eat To Better Regulate Your Blood Sugar
Dr. Danielle Weiss is the founder of Center for Hormonal Health and Well-Being, a personalized, proactive, patient-centered medical practice with a unique focus on integrative endocrinology. She enjoys giving lectures and writing articles for both the lay public and medical audiences. Dr. Weiss is Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.
While high blood sugar is the characteristic symptom of diabetes, your blood sugar can also be high even if you dont have the condition. To avoid making high blood sugar worse, it is important to make good dietary choices and choose foods that can help you regulate your blood sugar.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Sugar Substitute For Baking
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.
How To Prevent Hyperglycaemia
There are simple ways to reduce your risk of severe or prolonged hyperglycaemia:
- Be careful what you eat be particularly aware of how snacking and eating sugary foods or carbohydrates can affect your blood sugar level.
- Stick to your treatment plan remember to take your insulin or other diabetes medications as recommended by your care team.
- Be as active as possible getting regular exercise can help stop your blood sugar level rising, but you should check with your doctor first if you’re taking diabetes medication, as some medicines can lead to hypoglycaemia if you exercise too much.
- Take extra care when you’re ill your care team can provide you with some “sick day rules” that outline what you can do to keep your blood sugar level under control during an illness.
- Monitor your blood sugar level your care team may suggest using a device to check your level at home so you can spot an increase early and take steps to stop it.
Page last reviewed: 08 August 2018 Next review due: 08 August 2021
Recommended Reading: Does High Blood Sugar Make Your Vision Blurry
High Blood Sugar: 13 Reasons Your Glucose Levels Are Rising
Itâs a fact of life that blood sugar fluctuates throughout the day. These ups and downs depend on a handful of factors, like when you wake up, what you eat, the medications you take, and how you manage stress. So, some variation is normal, to the point that you might not even notice it.
Ignoring blood sugar level changes altogether, though, means youâre ignoring a valuable marker of your health. Especially if you start to have new or unfamiliar symptoms like fatigue, thirst, or brain fog . Learning these symptoms and their causes will give you the tools to better understand your own body, then take the right actions for better long-term metabolic health.
Foods To Help Lower Blood Sugar
Diabetes mellitus, or diabetes, is a disease that is, unfortunately, becoming more well-known.
The incidence of diabetes is increasing, according to the World Health Organization , with the number of people with diabetes rising from 108 million people in 1980 to 422 million in 2014.
Diabetes presents in two different ways type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas loses its ability to produce the hormone insulin, which helps lower blood sugar to keep it in a healthy range.
People with type 1 diabetes are known as insulin-dependent because they must inject insulin to live a healthy life.
Type 2 diabetes is linked to insulin resistance and is more likely to be passed along genetically. Prediabetes is also an increasing occurrence, in which blood sugar levels are slightly elevated.
Having prediabetes is a significant risk factor for eventually developing type 2 diabetes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that up to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years of their prediabetes diagnosis.
There are many aspects of managing both prediabetes and diabetes, with the ultimate goal of regulating blood sugar. This can be achieved through both medical and lifestyle interventions.
You May Like: What Is The Best Blood Sugar Test Kit
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.
What Causes Hyperglycemia
A number of things can cause hyperglycemia:
- If you have type 1, you may not have given yourself enough insulin.
- If you have type 2, your body may have enough insulin, but it is not as effective as it should be.
- You ate more than planned or exercised less than planned.
- You have stress from an illness, such as a cold or flu.
- You have other stress, such as family conflicts or school or dating problems.
- You may have experienced the dawn phenomenon .
Also Check: Is Pure Cane Sugar Good For You
What Is Hyperglycemia
Hyperglycemia is the medical word for high blood sugar levels. The hormone insulin is supposed to control the level of glucose in the blood. But someone with diabetes doesn’t make enough insulin or the insulin doesn’t work properly so too much sugar can get into the blood and make the person sick.
If you have high blood sugar levels, you may need treatment to lower your blood sugar. Your parents and your diabetes health care team will tell you what your blood sugar levels should be and what to do if they get too high.
Managing diabetes is like a three-way balancing act because you have to watch:
All three need to be balanced. If any one of these is off, blood sugar levels can be, too. Your parents and doctor can help you with this balancing act.
How Is It Treated
If you have diabetes and notice any of the early signs of high blood sugar, test your blood sugar and call the doctor. They may ask you for the results of several readings. They could recommend the following changes:
Drink more water. Water helps remove excess sugar from your blood through urine, and it helps you avoid dehydration.
Exercise more. Working out can help lower your blood sugar. But under certain conditions, it can make blood sugar go even higher. Ask your doctor what kind of exercise is right for you.
Caution: If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar is high, you need to check your urine for ketones. When you have ketones, do NOT exercise. If you have type 2 diabetes and your blood sugar is high, you must also be sure that you have no ketones in your urine and that you are well-hydrated. Then your doctor might give you the OK to exercise with caution as long as you feel up to it.
Change your eating habits. You may need to meet with a dietitian to change the amount and types of foods you eat.
If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar is more than 250 mg/dL, your doctor may want you to test your urine or blood for ketones.
Read Also: How Can I Check My Blood Sugar At Home
Get A Handle On Stress
When youre stressed out, your blood sugar tends to rise, Crandall Snyder says. According to the Diabetes Teaching Center at the University of California in San Francisco, when youre stressed, insulin levels fall, certain hormones rise, and more glucose is released from the liver, which ends up in the blood stream and can cause disruptions for up to eight hours.
How can you burn off tension? Yoga and meditation can help people lower their blood sugar levels, Weisenberger says. A December 2014 study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science involving 27 nursing students and found a combination of yoga and meditation practiced for one hour once a week led to reduced levels of stress and lower blood glucose levels after 12 weeks.
Crandall Snyder also suggests taking a few deep breaths, going for a walk, playing with your dog for a few minutes, or listening to a fun song. Basically whatever you can do to distract yourself for a few minutes and just lower your breathing rate will help, she says. Indeed, the CDC notes that less water in your body is liked with a higher blood sugar concentration.
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.
Don’t Miss: Does Watermelon Increase Blood Sugar
What Happens When Your Blood Sugar Gets Too High
Wondering what happens when your blood sugar gets too high? Well, our bodies get energy from food and it comes from sugar. But some foods create too much sugar in the blood which Chicago Cubs nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner says will zap your energy. When we have too much sugar in our blood, thats a bad thing because it means it cant get into our cells to actually fuel us, informs our expert. But there are foods that combat this!
Ways To Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally
- To lower your blood sugar, it’s important to exercise regularly and lose weight.
- You should make sure to drink lots of water, eat less unhealthy carbohydrates, and increase your fiber intake.
- It’s also important to manage stress if you want to lower blood sugar and keep it under control.
- This article was medically reviewed by Jason R. McKnight, MD, MS, a family medicine physician and clinical assistant professor at Texas A& M College of Medicine.
- This story is part of Insider’s guide to Diabetes.
High blood sugar occurs when your body cannot convert sugar in the blood to energy for cells. This is a common issue for those with diabetes, or those at risk. If you don’t lower your blood sugar, you will be at an increased risk for serious health complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, and vision loss.
That’s why, if you already have diabetes, it’s important to frequently check your blood sugar to make sure your levels stay in a normal, healthy range.
Plus, about one-third of Americans have prediabetes or elevated blood-sugar levels and 84% of them don’t know they have it. If you have prediabetes, it’s also important to lower your blood-sugar levels to reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Here are six ways you can lower your blood sugar over time:
You May Like: When Testing Blood Sugar Levels What Is Normal
It May Improve Bone Mineral Density
A 2012 study simulated a 67-year human duration of diabetes in rats with the condition and found that elderberry extract improved their bone mineral density. The researchers noted that people with diabetes are prone to osteoporosis because of contributing factors such as:
- altered calcium metabolism
Although elderberry may not act the same way in humans as rats, the researchers suggested it may be a promising treatment for diabetic complications, such as osteoporosis.