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 .
Why Take Care Of Your Diabetes
Taking care of yourself and your diabetes can help you feel good today and in the future. When your blood sugar is close to normal, you are likely to:
- have more energy
Ask your health care team what type of diabetes you have.
Learn where you can go for support.
Learn how caring for your diabetes helps you feel good today and in the future.
Learn How To Live With Diabetes
It is common to feel overwhelmed, sad, or angry when you are living with diabetes. You may know the steps you should taketo stay healthy, but have trouble sticking with your plan over time. This section has tips on how to cope with your diabetes,eat well, and be active.
Cope with your diabetes.
- Stress can raise your blood sugar. Learn ways to lower your stress. Try deep breathing, gardening, taking a walk, meditating, working on your hobby, or listening to your favorite music.
- Ask for help if you feel down. A mental health counselor, support group, member of the clergy, friend, or family member who will listen to your concerns may help you feel better.
- Make a diabetes meal plan with help from your health care team.
- Choose foods that are lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
- Eat foods with more fiber, such as whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta.
- Choose foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, bread and cereals, and low-fat or skim milk and cheese.
- Drink water instead of juice and regular soda.
- When eating a meal, fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with a lean protein, such as beans, or chicken or turkey without the skin, and one quarter with a whole grain, such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta.
Know what to do every day.
Talk to your health care team.
- Ask your doctor if you have any questions about your diabetes.
- Report any changes in your health.
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What If Home Remedies To Lower Blood Sugar Dont Work
When attempting to lower your blood sugar naturally, take the long view. You are talking about a lifestyle change, not a quick fix, says Asterino-McGeean. It may take a few weeks or months to see results.
What if youve been trying home remedies to lower blood sugar for a few months, and your blood sugar levels still wont budge? Asterino-McGeean says you should also schedule an appointment with your doctor. At this point, its time for a conversation with your healthcare provider to see whats going on and discuss your options. Together, you and your doctor can determine the next steps in caring for your health.
Which Carbs Raise Blood Sugar Levels
In plant foods, carbs comprise a combination of starch, sugar, and fiber. Only the starch and sugar components raise blood sugar.
Fiber thats naturally found in foods, whether soluble or insoluble, doesnt break down into glucose in the body, and doesnt raise blood sugar levels .
You can actually subtract the fiber and sugar alcohols from the total carb content, leaving you with the digestible or net carb content. For example, 1 cup of cauliflower contains 5 grams of carbs, 3 of which are fiber. Therefore, its net carb content is 2 grams.
Prebiotic fiber, such as inulin, has even been shown to improve fasting blood sugar and other health markers in people with type 2 diabetes .
Some of them, especially maltitol, can actually raise blood sugar levels in people with diabetes .
For this reason, use the net carb tool cautiously, as the count listed on a products label may not be accurate if all the carbs contributed by maltitol are subtracted from the total.
Furthermore, the net carb tool isnt used by the Food and Drug Administration or the ADA.
This carb counter may be a valuable resource. It provides data for hundreds of foods on total carbs, net carbs, fiber, protein and fat.
Starches and sugars raise blood sugar levels, but dietary fiber does not. The sugar alcohol maltitol may also raise blood sugar.
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High Blood Sugar Diet: When Your Blood Sugar Levels Are High You Need To Give Special Attention To Your Diet Here’s A List Of 7 Veggies That Can Be Safely Had By People With Diabetes
- Carrots and tomatoes belong to the group of non-starchy vegetables and can be safely consumed by people who have high blood sugar
- Spinach ensures that sugar metabolises slowly and therefore prevents a surge in blood sugar levels
- With a low Glycemic index and Glycemic load content, mushrooms are good for diabetics
High blood sugar management: Diabetes or high blood sugar can pose a serious threat to one’s health if left untreated and uncontrolled. Type 2 diabetes is often caused by poor lifestyle choices and if you want to keep the sugar levels in your blood in check, it is essential to pay special attention to your diet. Vegetables are an essential part of any diet and are indeed magical when it comes to health benefits. But when you have diabetes, some veggies are better than rest because of their low glycemic index and low glycemic load . Let’s read about 7 vegetables that fulfill these criteria.
Eat Fewer Refined Carbs
Refined carbs, otherwise known as processed carbs, are sugars or refined grains.
Some common sources of refined carbs are table sugar, white bread, white rice, soda, candy, breakfast cereals and desserts.
Refined carbs have been stripped of almost all nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Refined carbs are said to have a high glycemic index because they are very easily and quickly digested by the body. This leads to blood sugar spikes.
A large observational study of more than 91,000 women found that a diet high in high-glycemic-index carbs was associated with an increase in type 2 diabetes .
The spike in blood sugar and subsequent drop you may experience after eating high-glycemic-index foods can also promote hunger and can lead to overeating and weight gain .
The glycemic index of carbs varies. Its affected by a number of things, including ripeness, what else you eat and how the carbs are cooked or prepared.
Generally, whole-grain foods have a lower glycemic index, as do most fruits, non-starchy vegetables and legumes.
Refined carbs have almost no nutritional value and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and weight gain.
Being Dehydrated When You Have Diabetes
Having a temperature or being sick can lead to dehydration. In some cases, severe dehydration and very high blood sugar levels can mean that you need to go into hospital.
So its important to be prepared and follow our advice on coping when you’re sick. You might want to give this information to a friend or family member, so they can help you if you get sick.
Leave Sugary Beverages On The Shelf
Sugar-sweetened beverages are a one-way ticket to high blood sugar. Eliminating or drinking fewer of them can lower blood sugar, as well as helps with weight loss and maintenance, says Asterino-McGeean. Save soda pop and juice for when you need to treat low blood sugar.
Drinks high in sugar include:
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How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar
Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:
- Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
- Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
- Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
- Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.
Keep Mental Health In Mind
After 25 years as an endocrinology patient at Geisinger Health in Pennsylvania, Shivaun ODonnell, 62, decided to get more involved not just with her own care, but with other patients, and became a diabetes educator for the health system 10 years ago. Along the way, shes learned a wide array of strategies for blood-sugar management, and one shes found personally meaningful is focusing on emotional wellbeing.
This condition can come with depression and, honestly, life-stopping anxiety, she says. For example, Stanford Medicine research found in 2021 that insulin resistance can double the risk for major depression, and bring symptoms like fatigue, sleep disturbance, and loss of appetiteall of which can impact blood-sugar regulation. As few as 25% of people with diabetes who have depression get diagnosed, according to the CDC.
A large part of diabetes management is mental, says ODonnell. You can do everything right, but if youre feeling anxious or defeated, that might end up sabotaging your efforts. Thats why its important to focus on tactics that will boost your brain as well as your body, such as getting adequate sleep, exercising, staying on top of medications and appointments, and making time for activities you find fun. This isnt just about your blood sugar, ODonnell says. Its about learning to love your life.
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What Can Make My Blood Glucose Fall
Hypoglycemia is the technical term for low blood glucose . Its when your blood glucose levels have fallen low enough that you need to take action to bring them back to your target range. Here are a few of the causes:
- Not enough food, like a meal or snack with fewer carbohydrates than usual, or missing a meal or snack
- Alcohol, especially on an empty stomach
- Too much insulin or oral diabetes medications
- Side effects from other medications
- More physical activity or exercise than usual
Dont worry: There are things you can do to avoid lows. Be sure to learn the symptoms, and how to treat them when you get them.
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
There are several common symptoms associated with low blood sugar . However, not everyone will experience all of these symptoms, and low blood sugar symptoms can change over time. If you suspect you have hypoglycemia, the best thing to do is check your blood sugar levels.
The most common symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
- Feeling shaky and/or dizzy
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Signs Of High/low Blood Sugar
Even without measuring your blood sugar levels, there are certain clues that things might not be normal. How do you know if youre not successfully managing your blood sugar levels throughout the day? Common signs and symptoms not to ignore that can signify diabetes and fluctuating blood sugar levels include:
Normal Blood Sugar Takeaways
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.
Checking Your Blood Sugar Level
You’ll be given a testing kit that you can use to check your blood sugar level.
This involves using a finger-pricking device and putting a drop of blood on a testing strip.
You’ll be advised:
- how to test your blood sugar level correctly
- when and how often to test your blood sugar you’ll usually be advised to test before breakfast and 1 hour after each meal
- what level you should be aiming for this will be a measurement given in millimoles of glucose per litre of blood
- how to share your blood sugar levels with your care team, to help you get the right advice and treatment
If you take insulin and have problems with low blood sugar or your blood sugar is not stable, your care team might offer you a continuous glucose monitor .
This is a small sensor you wear on your skin that sends data wirelessly to a receiver or a mobile phone, so you can see your blood sugar level at any time.
How Do People With Diabetes Monitor Blood Sugar Levels
“Some people with type 2 diabetes with good levels of control will need to monitor only several times a week and when sick or when their schedule changes,” Weisenberger explains.
Most people use a small hand-held monitor with glucose strips and a small needle to draw blood from a finger. Continuous glucose monitors are becoming more available and more popular. They allow the wearer to monitor their blood glucose levels 24/7, which is especially beneficial for people at risk of extreme highs and lows.
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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.
How To Lower High Blood Sugar Naturally
People living with certain health conditions, such as the autoimmune disorder Type 1 diabetes, cant lower their blood sugar naturally.
With Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesnt make insulin, a hormone that helps regulate your blood sugar levels. After being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, you need insulin injections or insulin pump therapy for the rest of your life in order to stay alive.
Here are seven effective strategiesAsterino-McGeean recommends if you fall into the latter category:
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How To Learn More About Diabetes
- Take classes to learn more about living with diabetes. To find a class, check with your health care team, hospital, or area health clinic. You can also search online.
- Join a support group in-person or online to get peer support with managing your diabetes.
- Read about diabetes online. Go toNational Diabetes Education Program.
How Does Illness Affect Diabetes
Illness and infections, as well as other forms of stress, can raise your blood glucose levels. As part of the bodys defence mechanism for fighting illness and infection, more glucose is released into the blood stream. This can happen even if youre off your food or eating less than usual.
People who dont have diabetes just produce more insulin to cope. But when youve got diabetes, your body cant do this. The symptoms of diabetes can add to those of the original illness or infection and make it much worse.
Feeling or being sick, or having diarrhoea can make your blood sugar levels drop, because you’re not absorbing food as usual.
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