Things To Do If Your Blood Sugar Is Too High
Want to know how to lower blood sugar? Here are six things to do to combat with high blood pressure.
Blood sugar is a tricky little beast. Yes, you can get a high reading if you throw caution to the wind and eat several slices of cake at a wedding.
The problem is that you can also have a high blood sugar reading if you follow every rule in the type 2 diabetes handbook. That’s because it’s not just food that affects blood sugar. You could have a cold coming on, or stress may have temporarily boosted your blood sugar. The reading could be wrong, and you need to repeat it. Or it could mean that your medicine is no longer working, and it’s time to try a new one.
The point is, it’s the pattern that matters, not a single reading.
Whatever you do, don’t feel bad or guilty if you have a high blood sugar reading. A 2004 study found that blood sugar monitoring often amplifies feelings of being a “success” or “failure” at diabetes, and when readings are consistently high, it can trigger feelings of anxiety or self-blame.
This can cause some people to give up on testing completely. Try not to think of blood sugar monitoring as a “test” administered by a sour-faced teacher lurking in your distant past. Blood sugar monitoring is simply a tool that you can use to fight the disease. Here, six things you should know about how to lower your blood sugar when it’s way too high.
Forget The Guilt Trip
Take a deep breath and go easy on yourself. Conventional research tells us it takes about 3,500 calories to gain a pound of fat, says Bontempo, adding that thats the equivalent of about 44 Fun Size Snickers bars, or nearly 60 Fun Size Skittles bags. Even if you ate a lot of candy, it doesnt directly translate into weight gain. The next time you have a treat, practice savoring and enjoying it. A 2015 study found that people who associate eating chocolate cake with guilt reported unhealthier eating habits compared with those who viewed it as a celebration. Try having a square of dark chocolate, which is healthier and less processed than other sweet treats. Being mindful and eating things like that provides a lot more satisfaction than just chewing it once or twice and then swallowing, says Ewoldt. If mindful eating of sweets is helpful, check out more ways to kick a sugar addiction.
Replace White Carbs With Whole Grains
High-carbprocessed foods like white bread, pasta, and rice significantly increase bloodsugar levels. These processed foods are big offenders having little or no fibercontent. Fiber helps slow down the process of glucose absorption into thebloodstream. Lack of which can result in sudden spikes of sugar levels.
Replace whitebread or anything made from rice or wheat flour with fiber-rich food to lowerblood sugar levels. You may also experience a reduction in blood cholesteroland blood pressure once you add whole grains to your meals.
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Preventing Low Blood Sugar Levels
Here are some other tips to help you avoid low blood sugar levels:
- Eat all your meals and snacks on time and try not to skip any.
- Take the right amount of insulin.
- If you exercise longer or harder than usual, have an extra snack.
- Don’t take a hot bath or shower right after an insulin shot.
- Stick to your diabetes management plan.
- Check your blood sugar levels regularly, so you can tell if your blood sugars are running too low and your treatment plan needs adjustment.
- Carry something containing sugar with you at all times and take it right away if you have symptoms. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms will go away they may get worse!
Alcohol and drugs can cause major problems with your blood sugar levels, so avoiding them is another way to prevent diabetes problems. Drinking can be particularly dangerous even deadly for people with diabetes because it messes up the body’s ability to keep blood glucose in a normal range. This can cause a very rapid drop in blood glucose in people with diabetes. Drug or alcohol use is also dangerous because it may affect someone’s ability to sense low blood sugar levels.
Learning how to recognize the signs of low blood sugar levels and get them back to normal is an important part of caring for diabetes. Keeping track of your blood sugar levels and recording lows when they occur will help you and your diabetes health care team keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
Fruit Which Can Send Blood Sugar Soaring When Overeaten
Yes, its true that fruit can spike blood sugar levels, but thats no reason to strip it from your diet entirely. After all, fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, all of which are great for your health and management of type 2 diabetes, Thomas says.
Your approach: Make sure that you count any fruit consumed as a carb, with one tennis-ball-sized piece of fruit counting as one serving, she says. Opt for whole fresh or frozen options when possible because theyre unprocessed and dont come with the addition of any sugars. If you prefer canned, make sure the fruit is packed in water, not sugary syrup. Last, even if you do manage to find dried fruits that dont contain added sugar, know they will still drastically spike your blood sugar. Thats because these fruits have been dehydrated, meaning they contain just as much sugar as a whole fruit, but in a single bite, she says. For example, according to the USDA, while a whole apricot has just over 3 g of sugar, only 2 tbsp of dried apricots has that same amount.
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Omit Trans Fats From Your Diet
Trans fats are chemically modified unsaturated fatty acids to increase their stability. They add flavor and extended shelf life to food products. Trans fat doesnt directly raise blood sugar but they are linked to insulin sensitivity, inflammation, and belly fat. This may be a concern for diabetics, as they increase the risk of cardiac diseases. Check out labels for Trans Fat or partially hydrogenated in the ingredient list.
Trans fat is mostly found in foods likemargarine, peanut butter, coffee creamers, and frozen meals. They may also beadded to chips, muffins, crackers and other baked goods. These are the foods to avoid with high bloodsugar. Beware!
The Basics Of Balancing Blood Sugar
The goal with blood sugar is to keep your levels as steady as possible throughout the day. If you eat something that is made up of carbohydrates or sugar, then your blood sugar will rise.
“Our blood sugar rises when we eat foods that contain sugar or foods that break down into sugar, basically anything that contains carbohydrates ,” says Shapiro. Raising your blood sugar isn’t bad in itself, but you want to avoid spiking your sugar too high, as it can make you feel bad and lead to a “crash” later on.
“Once our blood sugar rises the hormone insulin is released to help our cells take up the sugar from our blood into the cells themselves to use/store for energy,” Shapiro explains. Insulin is one way your body keeps sugar in check, but other activities affect your blood sugar too, including exercise and how much you move or walk around.
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Add Extra Activity To Your Daily Routine
If you have been inactive or you are trying a new activity, start slowly, with 5 to 10 minutes a day. Then add a little more time each week. Increase daily activity by spending less time in front of a TV or other screen. Try these simple ways to add physical activities in your life each day:
- Walk around while you talk on the phone or during TV commercials.
- Do chores, such as work in the garden, rake leaves, clean the house, or wash the car.
- Park at the far end of the shopping center parking lot and walk to the store.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Make your family outings active, such as a family bike ride or a walk in a park.
If you are sitting for a long time, such as working at a desk or watching TV, do some light activity for 3 minutes or more every half hour.5 Light activities include
- leg lifts or extensions
Skip Fatty Cuts Of Meat And Pick Lean Proteins
Individuals with diabetes should limit their intake of high-fat cuts of meat such as ground beef, hot dogs, bacon, and ribs. Fatty meals come next in our list of foods to avoid with high blood sugar. Saturated fats in meat increase the risk of cardiac ailments. Prefer lean meat or even better plant-based proteins in your diet to maintain normal cholesterol levels. Plant-proteins have high fiber content which slows down sugar absorption and lower blood sugar.
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Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Naturally
Experts agree that individuals living with type 2 diabetes can improve their symptoms with a few simple lifestyle tweaks.
Its the Holy Grail for people with diabetes: Checking your blood sugar and seeing the numbers right in line. Can lifestyle changes help? Yes, says Jill Weisenberger, RDN, a diabetes nutrition expert based in Newport News, Virginia.
If you have diabetes, lowering blood sugar isnt just a short-term goal according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , it helps prevent or delay diabetes complications, including heart, kidney, eye, and nerve diseases. It can change the course of the disease entirely.
Itâs 100 percent important that try and lower their blood sugars through dietary approaches first, says Jessica Crandall Snyder, RD, CDCES, with Vital RD in Denver. For some people, it not only can be preventive, but it can also help with reversal of the actual disease.
Crandall Snyder says making a few key lifestyle changes can sometimes eliminate the need for medication. Poking yourself with insulin isnât fun, she says. Diabetes is a progressive disease, and you really have to figure out how to take control.
Here are 10 ways to do it, no prescriptions required.
Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome : A Complication Of Severe Hyperglycemia In Type 2 Diabetes
In people with type 2 diabetes, extreme hyperglycemia can lead to a very rare but serious condition called hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome, or HHNS). HHNS is most likely to occur when you’re sick particularly if you aren’t able to drink enough fluids or keep fluids down. It happens most often in elderly people and, like ketoacidosis, can result in a coma.
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Skip Sugary Foods Like Sweets
Sweets aremade primarily of processed sugar. They lack in nutritional value and may causea sharp spike in your blood sugar levels. This leads to excess insulinproduction in the body that accumulates fats and stores them on your thighs,buttocks, abdomen, and hips.
Pledge to reach out for whole fruits like oranges, pineapples, apples, berries or pears instead of sugary desserts and candies. Fruits contain plenty of fiber that aid in lowering blood sugar. Though there are a few fruits to avoid in diabetes you can snack on most of them. Have bananas, mangoes, and grapes in moderation.
Understanding High Blood Sugar At Night
Blood sugar, also called glucose, is the body’s main source of energy. The body gets most of its glucose by metabolizing the carbohydrates in food, per Kaiser Permanente. For people with diabetes, their systems struggle to manage glucose correctly, leading to high blood sugar. But the treatment of diabetes can also cause low blood sugar .
“Some diabetes medications lower blood glucose levels during the night,”Jo-Anne Rizzotto, a registered dietitian nutritionist and director of educational services at Harvard’s Joslin Diabetes Center, tells LIVESTRONG.com. “But if blood sugar levels drop too low, the liver responds by releasing stored glucose.” This nocturnal release of glucose can cause high blood sugar during the night and into the next morning, known as the Somogyi effect. The good news? “People with type 2 diabetes don’t have this issue unless they’re on glucose-lowering medications,” says Rizzotto.
The Somogyi effect should not be confused with the so-called “dawn phenomenon,” another cause of high morning blood sugar, Rizzotto says. The dawn phenomenon is a product of human evolution it occurs in all people and involves the body pumping out extra glucose in the early morning hours to get the body ready to wake up.
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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.
Realize Whats Going On
As sugar floods your bloodstream, the pancreas releases insulin to control blood glucose levels. This suppresses the fullness hormone leptin, which makes your brain give you the green light to grab more candy. Glucose is rapidly digested, and your spiked dopamine and blood sugar levels fall quickly. The crash depends on the person. It can be 15 minutes to a couple of hours after eating, says Bontempo. Your instinct is to eat more sugar to get another jolt of energy, but its really important to resist. Once your willpower bank is tapped, it becomes increasingly challenging to make healthy choices. Here are more scary things too much sugar does to your body.
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Carbs And Blood Sugar
Keeping your blood sugar levels on track means watching what you eat, plus taking medicines like insulin if you need to. Your doctor may also have mentioned that you should keep track of how many carbohydrates you eat. But what exactly are carbohydrates and how do they affect your blood sugar?
The foods we eat contain nutrients that provide energy and other things the body needs, and one of these is carbohydrates. The two main forms of carbohydrates are:
The body breaks down or converts most carbohydrates into the sugar glucose. Glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream, and with the help of a hormone called insulin it travels into the cells of the body where it can be used for energy.
People with diabetes have problems with insulin that can cause blood sugar levels to rise. For people with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas loses the ability to make insulin. For people with type 2 diabetes, the body can’t respond normally to the insulin that is made.
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.
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Blood Sugar Testing At Home
A person can test their blood sugar levels at home.
In most cases, doctors ask people to measure fasting blood sugar immediately upon waking and before they have anything to eat or drink. It may also be appropriate to test blood sugar before eating or 2 hours after a meal, which is when blood sugar returns to normal levels.
The right time to test depends on treatment goals and other factors. For example, most people with diabetes do not need to test between meals unless they are using a diabetes drug that can lower blood sugar. Other people may test between meals if they feel their sugar levels may be low.
Since people with type 1 diabetes do not make any insulin, they need to test their blood sugar levels several times a day so they can adjust their insulin doses.
A person will test blood sugar levels by:
- preparing the testing strip and glucose monitor to be ready for the blood sample
- using an alcohol swab to clean the testing area, which is usually the side of a fingertip
- lancing the testing area and bracing against a firm surface to help resist the impulse to pull away
- squeezing the testing area around the wound to maximize blood flow
- squeezing a drop of blood onto the test strip
- putting the strip into the monitor
- recording the time, blood sugar reading, and recent food intake in a log