Reduce And Manage Stress
Stress increases your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to imbalances in your blood sugar and in many other hormones. Experiencing some stress from time to time is normal, but chronic stress can have serious consequences on your health and raise your blood sugar levels.
Proven ways to decrease stress are regular exercise, stretching, meditation, yoga practice, deep breathing, mindfulness practices, listening to music, family time, making time for self-care, and hobbies. Just 10 to 30 minutes a day of consistent practice of one or more of the above can make a huge difference in well-being, Dr. Raja advises.
Following a regular sleep routine, avoiding excessive screen time, and adjusting your work schedule to make time self-care is also important. I am a big proponent of taking time for self-care, family, and hobbies. These activities bring you joy and result in better health.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
Current research suggests that high levels of stress increase your blood sugar level. Several factors cause this, including stress hormones causing a rise in blood sugar and behaviors, such as unhealthy eating, when stressed..
Stress is a natural part of our everyday lives, and its often impossible to avoid.. However, learning some healthy ways to manage stress can help. Here are some tips for managing stress.
- Talk to someone you trust about your stress
- Work on addressing one thing at a time
- Allow yourself time to rest and sleep at night
- Set boundaries for yourself, and dont take on more than you can handle
- Try to get some time outside each day
- Get regular exercise
How To Reduce Blood Sugar 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.
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Drink Water And Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water could help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy ranges.
In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out any excess sugar through urine.
One review of observational studies showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels (
You can do so at home using a portable blood glucose meter, which is known as a glucometer. You can discuss this option with your doctor.
Keeping track allows you to determine whether you need to adjust your meals or medications. It also helps you learn how your body reacts to certain foods .
Try measuring your levels regularly every day and keeping track of the numbers in a log. Also, it may be more helpful to track your blood sugar in pairs for example, before and after exercise or before and 2 hours after a meal.
This can show you whether you need to make small changes to a meal if it spikes your blood sugar, rather than avoiding your favorite meals altogether. Some adjustments include swapping a starchy side for non-starchy veggies or limiting them to a handful.
Checking your blood glucose and maintaining a daily log enables you to adjust foods and medications when necessary to better manage your blood sugar levels.
When You Have Low Blood Sugar
First, eat or drink 15 grams of a fast-acting carbohydrate, such as:
- Three to four glucose tablets
- One tube of glucose gel
- Four to six pieces of hard candy
- 1/2 cup fruit juice
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1/2 cup soft drink
- 1 tablespoon honey
Fifteen minutes after you’ve eaten a food with sugar in it, check your blood sugar again. If your blood sugar is still less than 70 mg/dL, eat another serving of one of the foods listed above. Repeat these steps until your sugar becomes normal.
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Whats The Optimal Carb Intake For People With Diabetes
The ideal carb intake for people living with diabetes is a somewhat controversial topic, even among those who support carb restriction.
Many studies found dramatic improvements in blood sugar levels, body weight, and other markers when carbs were restricted to 20 grams per day (
The optimal amount of carbs may also vary by individual, since everyone has a unique response to carbs.
According to the American Diabetes Association , theres no one-size-fits-all diet that works for everyone with diabetes. Personalized meal plans, which take into account your dietary preferences and metabolic goals, are best .
The ADA also recommends that individuals work with their healthcare team to determine the carb intake thats right for them.
To figure out your ideal amount of carbs, you may want to measure your blood glucose with a meter before a meal and again 1 to 2 hours after eating.
As long as your blood sugar remains below 140 mg/dL , the point at which damage to nerves can occur, you can consume 6 grams, 10 grams, or 25 grams of carbs per meal on a low carb diet.
It all depends on your personal tolerance. Just remember that the general rule is the less carbs you eat, the less your blood sugar will rise.
Dinner: Salmon With Veggies
- 1/2 cup sautéed zucchini
- 1 cup sautéed mushrooms
To complement your meal and for dessert:
Total digestible carbs: 14 grams
Total digestible carbs for the day: 37 grams
A meal plan to manage diabetes should space carbs evenly over three meals. Each meal should contain a balance of protein, healthy fats, and a small amount of carbs, mostly from vegetables.
Symptoms Of A Low Blood Sugar Level
A low blood sugar level can affect everyone differently. You’ll learn how it makes you feel, although your symptoms may change over time.
Early signs of a low blood sugar level include:
- a fast or pounding heartbeat
- becoming easily irritated, tearful, anxious or moody
If a low blood sugar level is not treated, you may get other symptoms, such as:
- unusual behaviour, slurred speech or clumsiness
- seizures or fits
- collapsing or passing out
A low blood sugar level, or hypo, can also happen while you’re sleeping. This may cause you to wake up during the night or cause headaches, tiredness or damp sheets in the morning.
Reduce Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
The most prevalent disease these days is diabetes. 3 in 4 adults have been diagnosed with this condition according to recent statistics. While the stats are alarming, they are not surprising. It is not uncommon to hear about the diagnosis of diabetes. Ever-so-often, we hear members in our own families talking about some relative who has been diagnosed with it. Diabetes is much more common than we think it is. Not only has the prevalence increased but also the age range that is affected has lowered significantly. Type 1 diabetes or T1D was primarily prevalent in children. Due to the dysfunctional pancreas, sometimes even since birth, young infants have to face the shocking consequences of this disease. Type 2 diabetes on the other hand is considered a lifestyle disease primarily occurring in adults after the age of 35, although the global average is now shifting towards 32. Let us understand how to reduce sugar level or how to lower blood sugar. Read more about medications for diabetes
- Skipping meals, but taking your sugar medications.
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Where Can I Find Support For My Hypoglycemia
The Hypoglycemia Support Foundation, established nearly 40 years ago, is a national group that offers many resources, including advocacy. They offer salons so that you can personally connect with people like you who are also dealing with bouts of low blood sugar.
Occasionally blood sugar crashes are so extreme they require emergency room care for an immediate dextrose IV treatment. If you have diabetes, wear a medical bracelet so that emergency personnel or bystanders who call for help are aware of this information. Its also a good idea to have a circle of people who serve as close contacts and are aware of your condition and how to help.
How To Test Blood Sugar Levels
Your doctor can test your blood sugar levels using one of several methods depending on your unique health situation.
We usually do a hemoglobin A1C test or check their serum glucose levels, says Dr. Raja.
The most common testing method used is the glycated hemoglobin test, which screens you for prediabetes, and diabetes.
The A1C test is a blood test that measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen from your lungs to tissues in the body. The A1C test will reveal your average blood sugar level for the previous two to three months.
Certain health conditions such as severe anemia, vitamin deficiencies, thalassemia, and sickle cell trait can often result in inaccurate A1C test results. When A1C test results seem inaccurate or inconsistent, your doctor may perform one or more other tests. These include a random glucose test, a fasting glucose test, or an oral glucose tolerance test.
For the random glucose test, your doctor will take a sample of your blood at a random time to test your blood sugar level. A fasting glucose test requires you to do an overnight fast before your doctor draws blood the following day. The oral glucose tolerance test also requires you to do an overnight fast, and consume a sugary liquid after you arrive at the doctors office, and get blood drawn at one hour and three hour intervals.
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Dont Rely On Supplements Or Vitamins
Theres no shortcut to maintaining good blood sugars. A supplement or vitamin alone will not give you healthy blood sugar levels and they can interact negatively with other medications. Speak to your healthcare provider and perhaps ask for a referral for a dietitian who specializes in blood sugar control before incorporating dietary supplements, shakes, or vitamins to achieve blood sugar control.
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When Should You Check Blood Sugar Levels
Checking your blood sugar levels regularly can help you track your symptoms and prevent any serious problems. You should check your sugar levels as soon as you wake up and on an empty stomach.
Also, check the sugar levels before eating, two hours after eating, and when you go to bed. People with diabetes who take mealtime insulin should check their blood sugar as advised by their physicians.
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Low Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetes
People with diabetes can have low blood sugar levels because of the medicines they have to take to manage their diabetes. They may need a hormone called or diabetes pills to help their bodies use the sugar in their blood.
These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood and get it into the body’s cells, which makes the blood sugar level go down. But sometimes it’s a tricky balancing act and blood sugar levels can get too low.
People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugars from getting too highor too low. Keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range means balancing when and what they eat, and when they exercise with when they take medicines.
Talk To Your Doctor Before Changing Your Diet
When carbs are restricted, theres often a dramatic reduction in blood sugar.
For this reason, your doctor will often reduce your insulin and other medication dosages. In some cases, they may eliminate your medication altogether.
One study reported that 17 of 21 study participants with type 2 diabetes were able to stop or reduce their diabetes medication when carbs were limited to 20 grams a day .
In another study, participants with type 1 diabetes consumed less than 90 grams of carbs each day. Their blood glucose improved, and there was less likelihood of low blood sugar because insulin dosages were significantly reduced .
If insulin and other medications arent adjusted for a low carb diet, theres a high risk of dangerously low blood glucose levels, also known as hypoglycemia.
Therefore, its important that people who take insulin or other diabetes medications speak with their doctor before starting a low carb diet.
Most people will need to reduce their dosage of insulin or other diabetes medications when following a low carb diet. Not doing so may result in dangerously low blood sugar levels.
In addition to following a low carb diet, physical activity can also help manage diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity.
A combination of resistance training and aerobic exercise is especially beneficial .
Quality sleep is also crucial. Research has consistently shown that people who sleep poorly have an increased risk for developing diabetes .
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How Is Hypoglycemia Diagnosed
Hypoglycemia displays differently from person to person. Glucose maintenance is like a thermostat and may require adjustment based on how youre feeling. A blood glucose reading will determine whether youre experiencing hypoglycemia, and your doctor can recommend a home blood glucose meter to self-monitor your own blood sugar levels.
Low blood sugar is typically defined as 70 milligrams per deciliter, though it varies depending on your body composition. Dangerous levels of low blood sugar are anything below that. Getting into the habit of monitoring your own blood sugar levels with the help of your doctor is the first step in diagnosing and managing your hypoglycemia.
If a person is acting a bit goofy or boisterous but they deny symptoms of hypoglycemia, then ask them to check their blood glucose level with a blood glucose monitor, advises diabetes specialist David Klonoff, MD. The result might be surprisingly low. In that case, the person can be rescued with oral sugar before their condition worsens to where they are at risk of brain damage associated with going into a hypoglycemic coma.
Most people are afraid they’re going to die because they have a single episode of hypoglycemia, which simply isnt true, says Dr. Christofides.
Grapes Blueberries And Apples
One of the biggest myths that still exists about blood sugar management, is that people looking to balance blood sugar shouldnt eat fruit. But, the truth is we have so much data to show that a diet that includes fruit is not only protective against developing pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, but it can also help manage existing diabetes. Specifically, research has shown higher consumption of grapes, blueberries, and/or apples is associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
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What Foods Can Help Raise Blood Sugar Fast
Because your blood sugar comes from the foods and beverages you consume, one of the easiest ways to raise your blood sugar fast is to grab a quick snack.
The American Diabetes Association recommends the 15-15 rule if your blood sugar dips below 70 mg/dL: Eat at least 15 grams of carbohydrates, then wait 15 minutes to recheck your blood sugar.
If youre still below 70 mg/dL, have another 15 grams of carbs, wait 15 minutes, and check your levels again.
Among the foods you can try for a quick blood sugar boost are:
- a piece of fruit, like a banana, apple, or orange
- 2 tablespoons of raisins
- 1 tablespoon of sugar in water
Foods that contain protein or fat, such as peanut butter, ice cream, and chocolate, may be helpful if your blood sugar level has dropped but isnt below 70 mg/dL.
These higher-fat foods, as well as whole-grain bread and other high-fiber foods, take longer to absorb into your bloodstream. Because of this, these foods wont raise your blood sugar as quickly as foods that have more simple carbohydrates.
What Causes Hypoglycemia
If you have diabetes, there are to avoid. If you have diabetes and experience any of the above low blood sugar symptoms after any the following behaviors, its important to alert your physician to see whether you have dangerously low blood sugar.
Too few carbohydrates. As carbohydrates are your bodys main source of glucose, not having enough of them can cause a drop in blood sugar.
Skipping meals. Just like consuming too few carbohydrates, skipping meals can prevent your body from receiving the energy it needs from glucose.
Strenuous physical activity. Exercising more than usual, especially if you haven’t eaten enough carbohydrates at a meal, can cause a hypoglycemic episode.
Excessive drinking. Alcohol can interfere with your bodys ability to metabolize glucose.
Not eating soon enough after insulin treatment. If you take as prescribed during mealtimes, but delay eating, this can cause hypoglycemia.
Too much insulin. If you take too much insulin, this can cause your blood sugar to crash.
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