Use Your Hands As A Serving Guide
Another way to gauge appropriate portion size without any measuring tools is by simply using your hands.
As your hands usually correspond to your body size, bigger people who require more food typically have bigger hands (
If you are eating out, you can always ask for a half portion or a childrens dish.
This will save you a lot of calories and help prevent overeating.
Alternatively, you could share a meal with someone or order a starter and side instead of a main dish.
Other tips include ordering a side salad or vegetables, asking for sauces and dressings to be served separately and avoiding buffet-style, all-you-can-eat restaurants where its very easy to overindulge.
Summary Restaurant portions tend to be at least twice the size of a regular portion. Prevent overeating by asking for a half portion, ordering a starter instead of a main dish and avoiding buffet-style restaurants.
Diabetes causes high blood sugar levels . Even if you have good control of your levels most of the time, morning blood sugars can be a problem.
But you have options for lowering your morning blood glucose levels. And they donât involve more medications or insulin.
This article looks at why mornings are a problem and several strategies for starting your day off better.
Verywell / Julie Bang
High morning blood glucose is common. Itâs called the dawn phenomenon or dawn effect.
It happens because:
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.
Best Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Quickly
When treated early, you can bring high blood sugar levels down and prevent complications, including DKA.
Some sources suggest that drinking water or eating a high protein snack can quickly lower your blood sugar levels, though there isnt enough research to support this.
If you have high blood sugar and need to lower it fast, try the following methods:
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What Are Clinical Trials For Low Blood Glucose
Clinical trialsand other types of clinical studiesare part of medical research and involve people like you. When you volunteer to take part in a clinical study, you help doctors and researchers learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future.
Researchers are studying many aspects of low blood glucose levels in diabetes, such as
- how to diagnose and treat low blood glucose among people with diabetes
- medicines that can treat symptoms of low blood glucose in people with hypoglycemia unawareness
- educational approaches to reduce fear of low blood glucose, which can make it harder for you to control your diabetes
Check Your Blood Sugar Often
Talk with your provider about when you should check your blood sugar every day. People who have low blood sugar need to check their blood sugar more often.
The most common causes of low blood sugar are:
- Taking your insulin or diabetes medicine at the wrong time
- Taking too much insulin or diabetes medicine
- Taking insulin to correct high blood sugar without eating any food
- Not eating enough during meals or snacks after you have taken insulin or diabetes medicine
- Waiting too long after taking your medicine to eat your meals
- Exercising a lot or at a time that is unusual for you
- Not checking your blood sugar or not adjusting your insulin dose before exercising
- Drinking alcohol
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What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels
Before we get started, letâs review some definitions of what ânormal blood sugarâ means for people without diabetes:
- A normal âfastingâ blood glucose taken first thing in the morning after waking up is 99 mg/dL or lower.
- A random blood glucose test taken anytime of the day without regard to the last time youâve eaten should be under 200 mg/dL.
If you have diabetes , your doctor will discuss specific blood sugar goals with you. These goals can vary based on a variety of factors.
How To Stop Diabetes Medication
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Stick To Your Medication And Insulin Regimen
Skipping a dose of medication or insulin can be harmful to your body and increase your blood sugar levels.
Its important to stick to your treatment plan and follow your doctors instructions for taking your medication.
Healthful lifestyle habits can help people manage their blood sugar levels over the long term, such as eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, staying hydrated, and getting good sleep.
Take A Shot Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Swigging apple cider vinegar might not sound appealing, but it could help keep your blood sugar in balance if taken before you eat. Some research has found that consuming ACV reduced post-meal blood sugar levels by about half in healthy patients. The theory is that acetic acid, a component of the vinegar, slows down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar in the bloodstream. Pro tip: Mix a tablespoon or two into a glass of watertaking it straight will burn!
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First Check Your Ketones
If you live with insulin-dependent diabetes, high blood sugars can put you at risk of developing ketones. Blood sugar levels over 250 mg/dL with too little insulin can quickly turn into diabetic ketoacidosis if it continues to rise.
Test your urine for ketones, and contact your doctor or visit an urgent care facility if you measure with moderate to large ketones.
When large ketones are present, correcting a high blood sugar with insulin via pump or injection wont be effective. Instead, youll likely need intravenous fluids for a few hours to restabilize.
If you only have moderate ketones or less, you may be able to correct with insulin at home but youll likely need a larger dose than normal. Contact your healthcare team if you test positive for ketones and are unsure of how to safely manage the situation.
You can learn more in our guide: What Levels of Blood Sugar are Dangerous
Sprinkle On Some Cinnamon
Research on cinnamon’s blood-sugar-stabilizing powers is a little mixed, and it may not be a wonder spice. But if you’re adding it to an already healthy diet, then it can have a subtle benefit, especially if you add a lot of it into your diet .* Some studies suggest that cinnamon promotes healthy blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity8, or making insulin more efficient at moving glucose into cells.* Try sprinkling it onto oatmeal or into low-sugar smoothies . Bonus: It tastes delicious!
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Symptoms Of A Low Blood Sugar Level
A low blood sugar level can affect everyone differently. Youâll 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 youâre sleeping. This may cause you to wake up during the night or cause headaches, tiredness or damp sheets in the morning.
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Causes Of High Blood Sugar
Keeping your blood sugar levels in the optimal range is very important. If your blood sugar levels are too high or too low, they can lead to health problems, like kidney diseases, vision loss, and heart disease.
There are many quick and natural ways to lower your blood sugar levels. However, you’ll have to make some lifestyle changes to ensure your sugar levels don’t go above or below the standard range.
Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar levels can be due to many reasons. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body lacks the ability to use its natural insulin properly. As a result, there will be a high concentration of sugar in your blood since the body’s insulin is not breaking it down at the required rate.
Likewise, if you’re eating too many carbs and your body isn’t producing enough insulin, you may experience hyperglycemia. If you’re not as active as you used to be, that can also be the reason behind high blood sugar levels.
Besides this, physical and emotional stress can also lower your body’s sugar levels. For instance, if you have an infection or the flu, your blood sugar levels may be lower than average. Likewise, emotional stress from personal problems or family conflicts can also impact your blood sugar levels.
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Start With These Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Levels
To help you get started on filling your plate with more blood sugar friendly foods that will help lower your blood sugar, start by removing refined sugar, refined grains, and most processed foods from your diet. Processed foods all contain chemicals and refined ingredients that our bodies dont recognize as real nutrients, so our cells never really get what they need and we feel hungry all the time as a result. This also leads to blood sugar swings and spikes that cause insulin to work less efficiently.
What helps insulin work best so that blood sugar stays in a stable place are foods that pack dense amounts of nutrition and contain amino acids , fiber , and healthy fats from real food.
Lets check out some foods that can help lower blood sugar levels by offering us these nutritional benefits, shall we?
When Should I Check My Childs Blood Sugar
The diabetes care team will tell you when to check your childs blood sugar. Most kids and teens need to test:
- before each meal
- before, during, and after exercise
Sometimes you may need to test more often, even while your child sleeps. For example, if:
- Your child was recently diagnosed with diabetes.
- Your child is sick.
- Your child is having a lot of high or low blood sugars.
- There are changes in your childs diabetes treatment or daily habits.
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Be A Glucose Detective
If youve been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, monitoring your sugar levels can help you problem-solve when you have a blood sugar spike. It can also shine a light on your overall blood sugar trends and their causes.
Use a glucometer to make sure youre in the targeted range your healthcare provider recommends. Asterino-McGeean says to check with your insurance to see if these monitors are covered. You can also buy inexpensive ones over the counter at most grocery stores and pharmacies, she adds.
Correcting High Blood Sugar Levels With Insulin
If you take insulin, one way to reduce blood sugar is to inject insulin.
However, be careful as insulin can take 4 hours or longer to be fully absorbed, so you need to make sure you take into account how much insulin you may already have in your body that is yet to be absorbed by the blood. Insulin that is yet to be absorbed by the blood is called active insulin.
If you decide to correct with insulin, watch you dont over correct as this can lead to hypoglycemia and can be dangerous, particularly so before bed.
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Emergency Treatments To Lower Blood Sugar Levels
If you have diabetes or a history of hyperglycemia, it’s essential to know how to instantly manage high blood sugar levels. For example, if you notice symptoms of high blood sugar levels, you might have to go to the emergency room.
The physicians may use different emergency treatments to bring your sugar levels back to optimal.
You might receive fluids intravenously . It will help hydrate you. Since one of the symptoms of high blood sugar levels is excessive urination, you lose a lot of water in hyperglycemia.
Intravenous fluid administration will replace the fluids you lost. It will also dilute the excessive sugar volume in your body.
Depending on your condition, you may also get insulin therapy. It will replace fluids and electrolytes in your blood.
If your body does not have enough insulin, that can also lower the levels of electrolytes. These minerals are essential for proper tissue functioning. Therefore, when you go to the emergency room, the physicians may also give you Intravenous electrolytes.
Electrolyte replacement ensures that your nerves, muscles, and heart function optimally.
A Guide To Healthy Low Carb Eating With Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects many people across the globe.
Currently, more than 400 million people have diabetes worldwide .
Although diabetes is a complicated disease, maintaining good blood sugar levels can greatly reduce the risk of complications .
One of the ways to achieve better blood sugar levels is to follow a low carb diet.
This article provides a detailed overview of very low carb diets for managing diabetes.
With diabetes, the body cant effectively process carbohydrates.
Normally, when you eat carbs, theyre broken down into small units of glucose, which end up as blood sugar.
When blood sugar levels go up, the pancreas responds by producing the hormone insulin. This hormone allows blood sugar to enter cells.
In people without diabetes, blood sugar levels remain within a narrow range throughout the day. For those who have diabetes, however, this system doesnt work in the same way.
This is a big problem, because having both too high and too low blood sugar levels can cause severe harm.
There are several types of diabetes, but the two most common ones are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Both of these conditions can occur at any age.
In type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune process destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. People with diabetes take insulin several times a day to ensure that glucose gets into the cells and stays at a healthy level in the bloodstream .
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Techniques To Manage Your Blood Sugar In The Morning
Based on your glucose levels and trends, there are a few things you can do to manage your glucose levels so they dont run high in the morning. Some of these strategies focus on adjusting medications to better suit your needs. Other strategies include adjusting your exercise routine, as well as what and when you are eating before bed.
If your glucose levels are in range before bed, they may rise throughout the night without enough insulin. This can be especially true for people who take long-acting insulin in the morning, since it may be wearing off before your next dose.
Consider changing the time of day when you take your long-acting insulin. You may also benefit from switching to either twice-daily basal insulin or ultra-long-acting insulin, or from starting on an insulin pump. Read our article, Are You on the Right Kind of Insulin, to learn more.
Check your blood glucose during the night between 3 am and 8 am. If you are running high during these hours, you may be experiencing the dawn phenomenon.
Talk with your healthcare team about finding the best nighttime insulin regimen for you. If you take basal insulin, you may need to delay the timing of your dose to as close to bedtime as possible. Another option is to try an insulin pump or automated insulin delivery system. AID systems will automatically adjust your basal insulin doses throughout the night to help keep your glucose levels stable.