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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Symptoms Treatments And Prevention
Hyperglycemia means high glucose in the blood . Your body needs glucose to properly function. Your cells rely on glucose for energy. Hyperglycemia is a defining characteristic of diabeteswhen the blood glucose level is too high because the body isnt properly using or doesnt make the hormone insulin.
Eating too many processed foods may cause your blood sugar to rise.
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What If I Have Severe Low Blood Glucose And Cant Treat Myself
Glucagona hormone that raises blood glucose levelsis the best way to treat severely low blood glucose. Available as an injection or a nasal spray, glucagon will quickly raise your blood glucose level. Your doctor can prescribe you a glucagon kit for use in case of an emergency.
If your blood glucose level drops very low, you wont be able to treat it by yourself. Be prepared to address severely low blood glucose by
- talking with your doctor or health care team about when and how to use a glucagon emergency kit. If you have an emergency kit, regularly check the date on the package to make sure it hasnt expired.
- teaching your family, friends, and coworkers when and how to give you glucagon. Tell them to call 911 right away after giving you glucagon or if you dont have a glucagon emergency kit with you.
- wearing a medical alert identification bracelet or pendant. A medical alert ID tells other people that you have diabetes and need care right away. Getting prompt care can help prevent the serious problems that low blood glucose levels can cause.
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.
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The Best Foods To Lower Blood Sugar And Manage Diabetes
- The best foods to eat to lower blood sugar include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, nuts, and garlic.
- If you have diabetes or may be at risk, its important to regulate your blood-sugar levels with a healthy diet and be aware of the glycemic index of the foods you eat.
- This article was medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness expert with a private practice based in New York City.
- This story is part of Insiders guide to Diabetes.
If you have diabetes, its important to eat the right foods to maintain healthy blood-sugar levels.
For example, eating healthy carbohydrates, foods high in fiber, and healthy fats can help prevent blood-sugar spikes. But eating high-carbohydrate foods that contain lots of sugar can make it more difficult to control your diabetes, says Dr. Deena Adimoolam, an assistant professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Heres which foods are best to eat if you want to lower blood sugar and keep it under control.
How Do I Prevent Hyperglycemia
- Exercise to help lower blood sugar. Work with your healthcare provider to make a daily activity plan.
- Follow your meal plan if you have one. Learn how carbohydrates impact your blood sugar, and work with your diabetes care team to find the best meal plan for you.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Limit drinking alcohol. Alcohol can raise blood sugar levels, but can also cause dangerously low blood sugar levels. Work with your provider to determine how much is safe to drink.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/11/2020.
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How Can I Tell If My Blood Sugar Is Irregular
Again, only a doctor can diagnose a problem with your blood sugar. But you may be wondering how to know if it’s something you should get checked out. There can be two main issues with your blood sugar — either it’s consistently too high or too low. Even if you don’t have diabetes, there are some signs that your blood sugar levels are not functioning normally.
Hypoglycemia is a condition in which your blood sugar is too low. Signs include an irregular heartbeat, fatigue, shakiness and tingling or numbness in your face. If you consistently feel this way when you get hungry or between meals, talk to your health care provider.
On the flip side, hyperglycemia happens when your blood sugar is too high, and can happen to nondiabetics. Symptoms include frequent urination, increased thirst and headache. If you think you’re hyperglycemic and can’t keep fluids or food down, call for emergency medical assistance.
Stick To An Eating Schedule
Dr. Kara warns against skipping meals frequently to avoid the rollercoaster of high to low blood sugar surges and dips. Spreading your meals out throughout the day, rather than eating a large breakfast or large dinner can help to regulate blood sugar. Eating regularly from morning through evening is the best strategy.
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Stay Safe When Blood Glucose Is High
If you have type 1 diabetes, avoid vigorous physical activity when you have ketones in your blood or urine. Ketones are chemicals your body might make when your blood glucose level is too high, a condition called hyperglycemia, and your insulin level is too low. If you are physically active when you have ketones in your blood or urine, your blood glucose level may go even higher. Ask your health care team what level of ketones are dangerous for you and how to test for them.Ketones are uncommon in people with type 2 diabetes.
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What Is The A1c Test
The A1C test is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 2 or 3 months. The test is done at a lab or your doctors office in addition tonot instead ofregular blood sugar testing you do yourself.
A1C testing is part of the ABCs of diabetesimportant steps you can take to prevent or delay health complications down the road:
- A: Get a regular A1C test.
- B: Try to keep your blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg .
- C: Manage your cholesterol levels.
- s: Stop smoking or dont start.
The A1C goal for most adults with diabetes is between 7% and 8%, but your goal may be different depending on your age, other health conditions, medicines youre taking, and other factors. Work with your doctor to establish a personal A1C goal for you.
Signs That Blood Sugar Levels Are High
People with high blood sugar may:
- pee a lot. When blood sugar levels get too high, the kidneys flush out the extra glucose into your urine , which is why people who have high blood sugar levels need to pee more often and in larger amounts.
- drink a lot. Because youre losing so much fluid from peeing so much, you can get very thirsty.
- lose weight. If there isnt enough insulin to help the body use glucose, the body starts to break down your muscle and fat for energy and you lose weight.
- feel tired. Because the body cant use glucose for energy properly, you may feel really tired.
High blood sugar levels dont always cause these symptoms. Sometimes you can have high blood sugar levels without even knowing it. But if left untreated, they can cause serious health problems. Thats why its important to work with your parents and diabetes team to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. This can mean checking your blood sugar levels a few times a day, even when you feel fine.
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Work In Fermented Foods
A 2018 review of animal and human studies concluded that fermented foods such as kimchi, kefir, black garlic, and fermented soybeans may have favorable effects on people with diabetes.
In particular, scientists pointed out that these foods have the potential to help prevent complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, by increasing antioxidant intake and fighting inflammation.
Probiotic foods are known for containing bacteria that support a healthy gut microbiome. Unbalanced gut microbiomes have been linked to impaired blood glucose control and the development of Type 2 diabetes.
In fact, scientists are still studying the effects that particular bacteria in the gut may have on the development and treatment of diabetes.
What To Eat To Keep Your Blood Sugar In Check
Swap difficult diets for good and simple healthy foods. Hereâs how.
You need to eat wisely to keep your diabetes in check. The key is to choose healthy foods and portion sizes so that you can control both your weight and blood sugar levels.
The first step: Learn whatâs good for you, says diabetes educator Emmy Suhl, RD, CDE, of Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.
âThereâs no such thing as a diabetes diet,â Suhl says. âThe best diet for someone with diabetes is your basic, healthy diet.â
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High Calorie Foods May Or May Not Cause The Blood Sugar Level To Rise
Many people think that all high-calorie foods raise blood sugar level, but this is not always the case.
In general, foods that cause blood sugar level to rise the most are those that are high in carbohydrates, which are quickly converted into energy, such as rice, bread, fruits and sugar. Next are foods high in protein, such as meats, fish eggs, milk and dairy products, and oily foods. However, even though carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels, if you don’t eat them your diet will be unbalanced and you won’t feel satisfied after your meal, which can lead to excessive consumption of foods rich in protein and fat.
Food containing three major nutrients
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:
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Dont Sit On The Couch Or Lie Down Right After A Meal
While you may want to plop on the couch and turn on the television after a long day of work and a satisfying meal, you should resist the urge to become sedentary.
Sitting on the couch or laying down after a meal will likely make blood sugar worse because you are sedentary and your muscles arent burning off the extra glucose in your bloodstream, Harris-Pincus explains.
Plus, it is a common GERD trigger, so be wary if you are prone to indigestion after eating a meal, especially one containing trigger foods, like acidic tomato sauce on pizza or pasta, for example. Wait a bit before nestling under the covers.
Diabetic Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome
Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome is a potentially life threatening condition involving extremely high blood sugar levels.
When your blood sugar gets too high, the kidneys try to compensate by removing some of the excess glucose through urination.
If you dont drink enough fluids to replace the fluid youre losing, your blood sugar levels spike. Your blood also becomes more concentrated. This can also occur if you drink too many sugary beverages.
This condition is called hyperosmolarity. Blood thats too concentrated begins to draw water out of other organs, including the brain.
Any illness that makes you dehydrated or reduces your insulin activity can lead to HHS. Its commonly a result of unmanaged or undiagnosed diabetes. An illness or infection can trigger HHS.
Failure to monitor and manage blood glucose levels can also lead to HHS.
Symptoms may develop slowly and increase over a period of days or weeks. Possible symptoms include:
- fluids given through your veins to prevent or reverse dehydration
- insulin to lower and stabilize your blood sugar levels
- potassium, phosphate, or sodium replacement if necessary to help return your cells to their normal function
Treatment will also address any complications from HHS, such as shock or coma.
Factors that can increase your risk of complications with HHS include:
- severity of dehydration when youre treated
- the presence of other illnesses when youre diagnosed
Take the following steps to help prevent HHS:
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Check Blood Sugar Levels Regularly
Your doctor will recommend an ideal routine for regularly checking your blood sugar levels, but checks should typically be done 4 to 6 times per day. You should check your blood sugar more often in the following cases:
- Your blood sugar levels are getting higher.
- Youre having symptoms of high or low blood sugar.
What Is Diabetes What Are The Types Of Diabetes
Diabetes is a number of diseases that involve problems with the hormone insulin. Normally, the pancreas releases insulin to help your body store and use the sugar and fat from the food you eat. Diabetes occurs when one of the following occurs:
- When the pancreas does not produce any insulin
- When the pancreas produces very little insulin
- When the body does not respond appropriately to insulin, a condition called “insulin resistance”
Diabetes is a lifelong disease. Approximately 18.2 million Americans have the disease and almost one third are unaware that they have it. An additional 41 million people have pre-diabetes. As yet, there is no cure. People with diabetes need to manage their disease to stay healthy.
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