How To Raise Blood Sugar Levels Quickly And Safely
- To raise blood sugar levels quickly, eat or drink something containing about 15 grams of simple carbs for a quick boost to restore blood glucose.
- Frequent low blood sugar episodes can cause a potentially dangerous condition called hypoglycemia unawareness, where there are no warning signs until more severe symptoms, like shakiness and confusion, set in.
- This article was medically reviewed by Scott Kaiser, MD, geriatrician and Director of Geriatric Cognitive Health for Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
Hypoglycemia is a condition where blood sugar levels drop too low and need to be restored fast. If the condition isn’t treated quickly, you risk symptoms and complications like shakiness, confusion, seizures, or even death.
Here’s what you need to know about the causes and symptoms of hypoglycemia and the safest ways to raise blood sugar quickly.
What Is Considered High Blood Sugar During Pregnancy
A blood sugar level of 190 milligrams per deciliter , or 10.6 millimoles per liter , indicates gestational diabetes. A blood sugar level below 140 mg/dL is usually considered within the standard range on a glucose challenge test, although this may vary by clinic or lab.
How do I lower my glucose level while pregnant?
Sweets and desserts should be avoided as they may lead to high blood sugar levels.
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How To Treat Someone Who’s Having A Seizure Or Fit
Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.
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The Dangers Of Low Blood Glucose
At some time, most people with diabetes experience the sweating and shakiness that occurs when blood glucose levels fall below 70 mg/dl a condition known as hypoglycemia. The average person with type 1 diabetes may experience symptoms of low blood glucose up to two times a week. However, not all are aware that these symptoms can rapidly progress to seizures, coma and even death if hypoglycemia is severe. Though hypoglycemia can be common and occur repeatedly in some people with diabetes, symptoms of low blood glucose should always be taken seriously. People with diabetes and their families, friends or coworkers should be prepared to act quickly and responsibly at the earliest signs of low blood glucose.
What Is Low Blood Glucose
Low blood glucose, also called low blood sugar or hypoglycemia, occurs when the level of glucose in your blood drops below what is healthy for you. For many people with diabetes, this means a blood glucose reading lower than 70 milligrams per deciliter .1 Your number might be different, so check with your doctor or health care team to find out what blood glucose level is low for you.
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What Abnormal Results Mean
If you had a fasting blood glucose test:
- A level of 100 to 125 mg/dL means you have impaired fasting glucose, a type of prediabetes. This increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and you should consult with your provider.
- A level of 126 mg/dL or higher usually means you have diabetes.
If you had a random blood glucose test:
- A level of 200 mg/dL or higher often means you have diabetes.
- Your provider will order a fasting blood glucose, A1C test, or glucose tolerance test, depending on your random blood glucose test result.
- In someone who has diabetes, an abnormal result on the random blood glucose test may mean that the diabetes is not well controlled. Talk with your provider about your blood glucose goals if you have diabetes.
Other medical problems can also cause a higher-than-normal blood glucose level, including:
- Weight loss after weight loss surgery
- Vigorous exercise
Some medicines can raise or lower your blood glucose level. Before having the test, tell your provider about all the medicines you are taking.
For some thin young women, a fasting blood sugar level below 70 mg/dL may be normal.
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.
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Causes Of Low Blood Glucose
Low blood glucose is common for people with type 1 diabetes and can occur in people with type 2 diabetes taking insulin or certain medications. The average person with type 1 diabetes may experience up to two episodes of mild low blood glucose each week, and thats only counting episodes with symptoms. If you add in lows without symptoms and the ones that happen overnight, the number would likely be higher.
What Are The Complications Of Low Blood Glucose
Mild-to-moderate low blood glucose can be easily treated. But severely low blood glucose can cause serious complications, including passing out, coma, or death.
Repeated episodes of low blood glucose can lead to
- high blood glucose levels, if worry or fear of low blood glucose keeps you from taking the medicines you need to manage your diabetes8
- hypoglycemia unawareness, a condition in which you dont notice any symptoms of low blood glucose until your blood glucose level has dropped very low
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A Low Blood Sugar Level Without Diabetes
A low blood sugar level is uncommon in people who do not have diabetes.
Possible causes include:
- a gastric bypass
- other medical conditions, such as problems with your hormone levels, pancreas, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands or heart
- some medicines, including quinine
See a GP if you think you keep getting symptoms of a low blood sugar level. They can arrange some simple tests to check if your blood sugar level is low and try to find out what’s causing it.
Mixed Aerobic And Anaerobic Activities
Different workouts can affect your blood sugar in different ways, depending on the type, intensity, and duration of the exercise.
- Aerobic : Blood sugar levels may drop.
- Anaerobic : Blood sugar levels may spike.
- Combination of aerobic and anaerobic: Blood sugar levels may fluctuate.
Some research has found it may help to incorporate short sprints or high-intensity intervals into aerobic workouts to reduce the drop in your blood sugar level. For example, it may help to sprint for 5 seconds every 2 minutes during a 30-minute cycling session. While more research is needed, some findings suggest this vigorous activity may trigger the release of hormones that decrease the drop in blood sugar.
Studies also suggest that doing resistance activities before an aerobic workout may help keep your blood sugar steadier. For instance, consider lifting weights before you go for a jog or swim laps. On their own, resistance activities tend to cause smaller drops in blood sugar than aerobic exercises.
No matter what type of exercise you do, its important to check your blood sugar level before and after each workout. Coordinating your food and insulin intake with your workouts can help keep your blood sugar in a normal range.
in 2017 outlined many of the study-backed benefits of exercise for adults with type 1 diabetes, such as:
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Ways To Quickly Raise Blood Sugar Levels
The quickest way to increase blood sugar is by consuming food or liquids. Your blood sugar will rise rapidly if you ingest food or beverages.
If your blood sugar levels are low and you need a quick increase, youll need anything that contains carbohydrates. However, be careful not to overconsume.
The following are some methods for increasing blood sugar:
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.
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Check Your Blood Sugar Levels Often
Keep in mind that you may not have any hypoglycemia symptoms. Sometimes your symptoms wont be as obvious. For this reason, you should check your blood sugar levels frequently to make sure they dont get too low.
Ask your doctor how often you should be checking your blood sugar with a blood glucose meter. If youve had hypoglycemia in the past but didnt notice symptoms, you may have to be more vigilant about monitoring your blood glucose on a regular basis. Always check your blood glucose levels before driving or operating machinery.
If you experience episodes of hypoglycemia regularly, ask your doctor about using a continuous glucose monitor . This device tests glucose levels at routine times during the day, including while you sleep. A CGM will play an alarm if your glucose levels fall too low.
Hypoglycemia in people with diabetes typically occurs when you dont match your diabetes medications with your physical activity and food intake.
Pay close attention to your blood sugar levels when:
- youre engaging in a weight loss program
- you skip or delay a meal
- you drink alcohol
How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar Level Yourself
Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 3.5mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:
You do not usually need to get medical help once youre feeling better if you only have a few hypos.
But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.
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Tips On How To Lower Blood Sugar At Home
High levels of blood sugar can be indicative of a range of problems, including a reduced level of insulin sensitivity, prediabetes, and even diabetes.
Lowering your blood sugar can help to boost overall health as well as delay or prevent the development of chronic health conditions.
Understanding what causes blood sugar spikes and how to lower your overall blood sugar level in a natural way can help to keep you in good health.
Whether you want to understand at-home blood sugar management for your health or to manage a preexisting health condition, this article can help you out.
In this article, were going to take a look at a few ways that you can lower your blood sugar at home, including:
- Keep a daily log of your blood glucose levels
- Cut down on carbs
- Include foods rich in chromium and magnesium
- Include foods with a low glycemic index
- Choose health snacks between meals
- Include blood-sugar-lowering foods in your diet
- Eat small portions more frequently
- Stick to an eating schedule
- Never skip breakfast
- Dont rely solely on supplements or vitamins
- Keep your muscles busy with exercise
- Get a handle on stress
- Take care of your sleep schedule
- Get your weight under control
- Get regular checkups from your doctor
- Signs of high blood sugar
- Reasons why you need to lower your blood sugar in the first place
- How long does it take to lower your blood sugar naturally?
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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.
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What Makes Your Blood Sugar Go Down
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Eat The Right Carbohydrates
Sugars and starches raise blood sugar levels, but fiber does not cause a blood sugar spike, as the body is unable to absorb and break down this type of carb. As such, people may consider including carbs that are richer in fiber in their diet.
People may also refer to sugars and starches as simple and complex carbs. Simple carbs primarily consist of one type of sugar. The body breaks these carbohydrates down very quickly, which causes blood sugar to rise rapidly. Complex carbohydrates consist of three or more sugars that are linked together. They result in a more gradual release of sugar into the body, meaning that blood sugar levels do not rise rapidly after a person eats them.
Some people may use the glycemic index to help them monitor how much sugar and carbohydrate they eat, which will, in turn, help them manage their blood sugar levels. The GI measures and ranks various foods by how much they cause blood sugar levels to rise.
Evidence notes a link between obesity and type 2 diabetes. Research also highlights the relationship between obesity and insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for allowing glucose in the blood to enter cells. Losing 510% of body weight can help those with excess weight improve their blood sugar levels.
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How Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Treated
Your diabetes health care team will give you guidelines for treating low blood sugar levels, depending on your symptoms. If you can, try to test your blood sugar levels to make sure that your symptoms are because of hypoglycemia. If you can’t test blood sugar immediately, don’t delay in treating your symptoms you can always check your blood sugar after you’ve taken steps to get your blood sugar back up into the normal range.
When blood sugar levels are low, the goal is to get them back up quickly. To do that, you should take in sugar or sugary foods, which raise the blood sugar level quickly. Your health care team might suggest that you:
- Eat, drink, or take something that contains sugar that can get into the blood quickly. Your doctor may tell you to have really sugary foods or drinks or might give you glucose tablets or gel to take all of these can help to raise your blood sugar level fast, which is what you need to do when it’s low.
- Wait about 10 minutes to let the sugar work.
- Recheck your blood sugar level with a glucose meter to see if blood sugar levels are back to normal.
- Get a glucagon shot , if your symptoms are severe or get worse after you eat, drink, or take glucose.
Sometimes, blood sugar levels can get so low that you may not be awake enough to eat or drink something to get them back up. When this happens, you may need a glucagon shot.