How To Reduce Sugar Level Home Remedies
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What Is High Blood Sugar
Your blood sugar level can be determined by taking a blood sample, either in a fasted state, or two hours after eating.
- If your blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dL after an eight-hour fast or less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating, youre in the normal range.
- If you conduct a test in the morning, after sleeping for eight hours, and your blood sugar is at 126 mg/dL or higher, youve got high blood sugar.
An estimated 29 million people in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes, which is the result of blood sugar levels being consistently high. Another 86 million have prediabetes, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Prediabetes, however, can be reversed by finding ways to naturally lower blood sugar.
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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How Is It Determined If The Dawn Phenomenon Or Somogyi Effect Is Causing The High Blood Sugar Levels
Your doctor will likely ask you to check your blood sugar levels between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. for several nights in a row. If your blood sugar is consistently low during this time, the Somogyi effect is suspected. If the blood sugar is normal during this time period, the dawn phenomenon is more likely to be the cause.
Some additional clues that the Somogyi effect may be the cause include nightmares, restless sleep and overnight sweating as these are all signs of low blood sugar levels.
Never Skip Eating Breakfast
Weve all heard that breakfast is the days most important meal. This is especially true for those who have diabetes. I think eating breakfast is important, especially with potential risk for hypoglycemia and avoiding potential highs related to fasting for too long a period of time, Crandall Snyder says.
A high-protein breakfast has an edge over breakfasts that are high in carbohydrates, according to research from The University of Missouri-Columbia. In the research, women ages 18 to 55 consumed meals with similar calories, fat, and fiber contents but differing amounts of protein. Researchers monitored the amount of glucose and insulin in the participants blood for four hours after they ate breakfast. The best breakfasts contained 39 g of protein and led to lower post-meal glucose spikes than the meals with less protein, the researchers found.
Besides, eating breakfast may help overweight people with type 2 diabetes shed extra pounds. Of the participants in the National Weight Control Registry who maintained at least a 30-pound weight loss for at least one year, 78 percent said they eat breakfast daily.
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Beans Peas And Lentils
Legumes, including beans, peas and lentils, are top sources of fiber. They also provide valuable amounts of protein, which promotes blood sugar control and makes them a nutritious alternative to inflammatory protein sources, such as red, processed and fried meats. As rich sources of saturated fat, these foods increase inflammation in your body, raising your risk for diabetes and heart disease. One cup of cooked lentils provides 18 grams of protein and over 10 grams of fiber. A cooked cup of black or lima beans supplies over 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. Examples of nutritious legume-based dishes include vegetarian chili, lentil soup and low-fat hummus.
Type 2 Remission: How I Got Here And How Ill Stay Here
Michael writes about how he used two main strategies intermittent fasting and walking after meals to put his type 2 diabetes into remission
Theres that word again. Remission. The dream word of people with type 2 diabetes. But is it only a dream? Not for me. As a person with type 2, it did come true. Or to be more accurate, I made it come true. It didnt just happen. Since I achieved remission many people have asked me, How did you do it? and, How are you staying in remission?
Well, first of all, I did have help. If you read my article on the power of CGM, you will know that I dont think I could have achieved remission without the aid of such amazing and important technology. But just having a continuous glucose monitor isnt the whole picture. You still have to make the commitment to using that panorama of information in ways that help you to achieve your goals in your diabetes management.
For me that meant setting goals for diet and exercise I was also determined to do it without the aid of any medication. As a nurse, I did have a good deal of knowledge about nutrition and exercise, but not really in relation to diabetes.
First, I think that it was possible for me to achieve remission for several reasons:
Experimenting with diet: intermittent fasting
Walking to lower blood sugars
Michael is an avid chef, photographer, musician, and fiber artist in his free time.
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What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels
Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular physical activity can all help. Other tips include:
- Keep track of your blood sugar levels to see what makes them go up or down.
- Eat at regular times, and dont skip meals.
- Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
- Track your food, drink, and physical activity.
- Drink water instead of juice or soda.
- Limit alcoholic drinks.
- For a sweet treat, choose fruit.
- Control your food portions .
Exercise In The Afternoon
Exercise lowers blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, which allows the body to use insulin and glucose more effectively, increasing glucose movement during and after exercise. Studies have shown that exercise will lead to optimal insulin regulation. Exercise after dinner will set you up for steady glucose levels through the morning.
Research has also shown that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise before breakfast reduced the morning rise of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes patients, partially counteracting the dawn phenomenon. The same study also found that exercise significantly reduced blood glucose fluctuations and improved blood glucose control throughout the day.
Some of the best exercises for avoiding morning blood sugar spikes include:
- A walk
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Supplements That Show Promise In Lowering Blood Sugar Without Medication
There are a lot of claims about supplements that can help lower blood sugar naturally. But it can be tough to know what works and what doesnt.
In the following list, weve highlighted which supplements have actual clinical studies backing these claims, and which ones are still inconclusive.
It is important to speak with your healthcare provider about starting a supplement, as certain supplements are not reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration and can interact with your medications.
Get The Right Amount And Type Of Protein
Consuming adequate protein at meals can be beneficial for controlling your weight and insulin levels.
In a small study from 2015, premenopausal individuals living with obesity had lower insulin levels after consuming a high protein breakfast compared with a low protein breakfast. They also felt fuller and ate fewer calories at lunch .
However, protein stimulates insulin production so that your muscles can take up amino acids. Therefore, eating very high amounts over a prolonged period may lead to higher insulin levels in otherwise healthy individuals .
A larger study from 2018 sheds some light on these diverging results: When it comes to protein, dietary patterns are important.
For instance, researchers found that individuals who ate a majority of plant proteins were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, while individuals who ate a lot of protein in the form of red meat had a greater likelihood of living with or developing type 2 diabetes .
So while protein is important, eating a variety of protein that isnt overly processed and is nutrient-dense is even more important.
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How Exercise Impacts Glucose In The Moment
When you exercise, your body relies on two sources of fuel: glucose and fat. How your blood sugar changes during exercise depends on the intensity level of your workout and the fuel source your body is using.
Steady-state cardio exercises, like jogging or gentle swimming, donât rely on your body having to produce quick bursts of energy. In these cases, it gets more of its energy from fat, so your blood sugar will usually stay at the same level or decrease.
Higher-intensity exercises like HIIT, strength training, and sprinting cause your body to release a surge of adrenaline. To ensure that you have enough energy readily available for this, your body releases glucose from your liver, increasing your blood sugar levels.
Put more simply, your body works through exercise using supply and demand. During high-intensity exercises, it doesnt have the supply of energy on hand to fuel your workout. So, it releases glucose, immediately meeting the energy demand to fuel your workout while causing a short-term spike in blood sugar. During low-intensity exercise, your body has enough energy on hand to meet the demand, so blood glucose typically stays steady or decreases.
Short-term level changes like these are not harmful, just a standard part of our physiology.
Keep An Eye On Portion Sizes
Eating a large meal puts a sugar load on your already struggling body. Overeating causes further damage to diabetics. An easy way to lower blood sugar levels naturally is to eat smaller portions. Dont worry we are not going to ask you to starve yourself! In fact, portion control comes naturally when you choose the right grains, proteins and fats. Strive to eat in moderation. To achieve satiety, eat slowly and chew your food, so your brain has a chance to let you know when youre full. If you wolf down your food mindlessly, you eat a lot more than you need which stresses out the body.
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Ramp Up Your Movement Each Day
Exercise helps improve blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity and the bodys ability to use glucose as energy, according to the American Diabetes Association. In type 2, exercise helps improve insulin resistance, says James G. Beckerman, MD, a cardiologist in Portland, Oregon. The end result is lower blood sugars.
Crandall Snyder tells patients that exercise is like spring cleaning for the body. It takes the stored form of glucose and uses it for energy so the next time you eat carbohydrates there’s a place to put it, she says.
Because exercise can immediately reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, work with your healthcare team to determine the right amount of activity and timing for you. A study published in September 2017 in Frontiers in Endocrinology found exercising 30 minutes after the start of a meal is usually best for maintaining blood sugar controls.
Learn more about managing your blood sugar in Diabetes Daily’s article “HbA1C: Everything You Need to Know.”
You Need More Of The Good Fats
Afraid how will you survive when cutting back on the belly-filling carbs? This is where the good fats step in. Healthy fats that provide Omega 3 fatty acids are your friends. Not only will they keep you full for longer, they will also improve your heart health. They form a steady, slow burning source of fuel that your body can use in place of sugars. Think ghee, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, olive oil and oily fish, for example.
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When To Call For Medical Advice
It is important to note that very high blood glucose levels can be dangerous and it is important to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors of the following conditions:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis a short term complication most commonly associated with type 1 diabetes
- Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State a short term complication most commonly associated with type 2 diabetes
If you are struggling to keep your blood glucose levels under control, speak to your GP or consultant who can advise you or refer you onto a diabetes education course.
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.
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When To Contact Your Doctor
Hyperglycemia can turn into a medical emergency like DKA and HHS that requires immediate intervention by your doctor or a local emergency department. If you have two blood sugar readings of 300 mg/dL or more, or have blood sugar above your target range for more than a week, seek immediate medical help.
Signs of hyperglycemia include:
- Stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
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Increase Your Fiber Intake
High fiber is key to the foods that lower blood sugar, so increasing your soluble fiber intake will help you lower your blood sugar. Focus on eating foods that stabilize blood sugar such as unrefined carbohydrates like whole grain bread or pasta, sweet potatoes, legumes, lentils, nuts, and non-starchy vegetables.
Another perk? High fiber foods can help you feel fuller. That can help you avoid overeating or craving foods that can negatively affect your blood sugar. Men should aim for 30 to 38 grams daily, and women 21 to 25 grams daily, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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When To Contact Your Healthcare Provider
Hyperglycemia can turn into a medical emergency like DKA and HHS that requires immediate intervention by your practitioner or a local emergency department. If you have two blood sugar readings of 300 mg/dL or more, or have blood sugar above your target range for more than a week, seek immediate medical help.
Signs of hyperglycemia include:
- Ketones in your urine
- Stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
A Brief Overview Of The Ketogenic Diet The Real Type 2 Diabetes Diet
For those who dont know, the ketogenic diet restricts daily carbohydrates to around 20-30g of net carbs . Restricting carbohydrates to this degree forces your body to burn fat for fuel a process called ketosis. Once your body is in ketosis, your blood sugar levels will decrease and your A1C levels will drop.
For more information on how to start a ketogenic diet to lower blood sugar read our beginners guide to the ketogenic diet.
Here is a brief list of what you should and should not eat on a ketogenic diet:
Do Not Eat:
- Meats fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, etc.
- Leafy Greens spinach, kale, etc.
- Above ground vegetables broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
- High Fat Dairy hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter, etc.
- Nuts and seeds macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Avocado and berries raspberries, raspberries, and other low glycemic impact berries
- Sweeteners stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners
- Other fats coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.
If youre new to keto, you can always see our more detailed ketogenic food list >
Before you start, it is important to know that your blood sugar wont drop instantly. Some studies suggest that you may have to stay on a ketogenic diet for 16 weeks before your blood sugar is under control.
However, this doesnt mean that you will have to wait that long. You can lower your blood sugar today especially if you eat the ten foods that lower your blood sugar naturally.
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How To Lower Blood Sugar
High blood glucose can happen for many reasons.
It is most persistent as a problem for people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as others with insulin resistance or other forms of diabetes mellitus.
However, high blood glucose can also happen as a result of other factors like:
- Stressful situations
- A lack of exercise
- Actively fighting a cold or flu
If you have diabetes, dealing with high blood glucose can be frustrating, and part of a larger plan to improve your overall health. However, even if you have not been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood glucose can be a warning sign of future chronic disease.
In this article, well discuss how to identify a blood sugar spike, and some warning signs on how to tell if your hyperglycemia needs immediate, emergency intervention.
Then, well touch on the most effective, evidence-based strategies to lower your blood glucose through simple lifestyle changes, and some daily tips to help make them happen.