What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms.
When too many ketones are produced too fast, they can build up in your body and cause diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA is very serious and can cause a coma or even death. Common symptoms of DKA include:
- Fast, deep breathing.
- Nausea and vomiting.
If you think you may have DKA, test your urine for ketones. Follow the test kit directions, checking the color of the test strip against the color chart in the kit to see your ketone level. If your ketones are high, . DKA requires treatment in a hospital.
DKA happens most in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign of type 1 in people who havent yet been diagnosed. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but its less common.
What Is Diabetes What Are The Types Of Diabetes
Diabetes is a number of diseases that involve problems with the hormone insulin. Normally, the pancreas releases insulin to help your body store and use the sugar and fat from the food you eat. Diabetes occurs when one of the following occurs:
- When the pancreas does not produce any insulin
- When the pancreas produces very little insulin
- When the body does not respond appropriately to insulin, a condition called “insulin resistance”
Diabetes is a lifelong disease. Approximately 18.2 million Americans have the disease and almost one third are unaware that they have it. An additional 41 million people have pre-diabetes. As yet, there is no cure. People with diabetes need to manage their disease to stay healthy.
How Do You Feel When Your Blood Sugar Is Too High
Whether you are at risk for diabetes mellitus or already have it, its essential to listen to your body for signs of high blood sugar. The following symptoms can indicate that your blood sugar is higher than normal, a condition called hyperglycemia:
- Trouble thinking or concentrating
Its important to monitor your blood sugar because severely elevated blood sugar levels can lead to a life-threatening medical emergency and result in coma or other dangerous conditions. Elevated blood sugars over years can cause long-term effects such as poor wound healing, nerve, blood cell, and kidney damage, heart disease, stroke, and vision problems.
Keep in mind that, in many cases, low blood sugar follows an episode of high blood sugar, says M. Kara, MD, the founder of KaraMD. Repeat episodes are sometimes considered a precursor to diabetes.
Those with prediabetes may be prescribed medication to keep blood sugar levels in check. There are also ways to lower your blood sugar naturally. Keeping your blood glucose levels in the healthy range decreases your risk of diabetes complications. Those with Type 1 diabetes will need insulin regardless of their good habits.
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It Can Imitate Insulin And Increase Insulin Sensitivity
In those with diabetes, either the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or cells do not respond to insulin properly, leading to high blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon may help lower blood sugar and fight diabetes by imitating the effects of insulin and increasing glucose transport into cells .
It can also help lower blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, making insulin more efficient at moving glucose into cells.
One study of seven men showed taking cinnamon increased insulin sensitivity immediately after consumption, with the effect lasting at least 12 hours .
In another study, eight men also demonstrated increases in insulin sensitivity following two weeks of supplementing with cinnamon .
Cinnamon can lower blood sugar by acting like insulin and increasing insulins ability to move blood sugar into cells.
Top 16 Best Blood Sugar Supplements For Diabetes Support
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Blood sugar control is essential for good health.
Numerous diabetics use a multitude of supplements to help them maintain normal blood sugar levels. Various diabetes supplements promise to assist patients to maintain a normal blood sugar level, allowing them to live a much more comfortable life.
When blood sugar support supplements are used with medication, it can help in addressing diabetes. But heres the catch, you cannot just choose any supplement and expect it to help you. Keep in mind that most of the supplements available on the market do not contain natural ingredients, rather they contain chemical and synthetic ingredients. Such supplements have the potential to do more harm than good to your body.
Which is why you should make sure you learn more about the ingredients used in a supplement before buying them.
With that being said, there are several other supplements that can help you address diabetes without causing harm to your body. Such supplements are made with naturally occurring ingredients and these supplements are safe to use.
So help you out, in this article, we will tell you about a few blood sugar support supplements that you can use without having to worry about the usage of inorganic and harmful ingredients.
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How Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar And Fights Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease characterized by abnormally high blood sugar.
If poorly controlled, it can lead to complications like heart disease, kidney disease and nerve damage .
Treatment often includes medications and insulin injections, but many people are also interested in foods that can help lower blood sugar.
One such example is cinnamon, a commonly used spice thats added to sweet and savory dishes around the world.
It provides many health benefits, including the ability to lower blood sugar and help manage diabetes.
This article tells you everything you need to know about cinnamon and its effects on blood sugar control and diabetes.
B Vitamins May Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk Intake Order May Impact Onset
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Researchers linked consumption of vitamins B2 and B6 to a lower risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a study presented at Nutrition 2019.
A second study, also presented at Nutrition 2019, indicated that the order in which food is eaten may influence the onset of diabetes.
In the first study, Kim V.E. Braun, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands and colleagues analyzed certain pre-existing food and supplemental vitamin consumption data collected every 2 to 4 years from 8,141 health professionals with diabetes.
They found that those who consumed the highest amounts of vitamin B2 foods and supplements had a 10% lower risk for type 2 diabetes, while those who consumed the highest amounts of vitamin B6 foods and supplements had an 11% lower risk for type 2 diabetes. In addition, vitamin B12 was more likely to lower the risk for type 2 diabetes when it was primarily consumed as a supplement.
Food order may matter
In the second study, Christiani Henry,MSc, PhD, of the Singapore Institutes for Clinical Sciences, and colleagues observed 16 healthy patients as they ate green leafy vegetables, rice and chicken in various orders.
Braun VE, et al. Methyl donor nutrient intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: Results from 3 large US cohorts.
Both presented at: Nutrition 2019 June 8-11 Baltimore.
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What Happens If My Blood Glucose Level Becomes Too Low
Sometimes blood glucose levels drop below where they should be, which is called hypoglycemia. For most people with diabetes, the blood glucose level is too low when it is below 70 mg/dL.
Hypoglycemia can be life threatening and needs to be treated right away. Learn more about how to recognize and treat hypoglycemia.
Bump Up Your Exercise Intensity
Exercise is a great way to boost your body’s ability to manage blood sugar, but making sure it’s a heart-pumping workout will help even more. Performing brief spurts of high-intensity exercise improved blood glucose levels in diabetics and healthy people for one to three days, per a 2013 review of research. Muscles soak up glucose during exercise to burn for energy, and the higher-intensity movements may aid this process even more.
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It Lowers Fasting Blood Sugar And May Decrease Hemoglobin A1c
Several controlled studies have demonstrated that cinnamon is excellent at reducing fasting blood sugar.
One review of 543 people with type 2 diabetes found taking it was associated with an average decrease of over 24 mg/dL .
While these study results are pretty clear, studies investigating its effects on hemoglobin A1c, a measure of long-term blood sugar control, have yielded conflicting results.
Some studies report significant decreases in hemoglobin A1c, while others report no effect (
Cinnamon can lower blood sugar following meals, possibly by slowing stomach emptying and blocking digestive enzymes.
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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Ceylon Vs Cassia: Which Is Better
Cinnamon is typically grouped into two different types Ceylon and Cassia.
Cassia cinnamon can be derived from a few different species of Cinnamomum trees. Its generally inexpensive and is found in most food products and the spice aisle of your grocery store.
Ceylon cinnamon, on the other hand, is specifically derived from the Cinnamomum verum tree. Its typically more expensive and is less common than Cassia, but studies have shown that Ceylon cinnamon contains more antioxidants .
Because it contains more antioxidants, its possible that Ceylon cinnamon may provide more health benefits.
Nevertheless, although several animal and test-tube studies have highlighted the benefits of Ceylon cinnamon, most studies demonstrating health benefits in humans have used the Cassia variety .
Both varieties of cinnamon likely lower blood sugar and fight diabetes, but studies in humans are still needed to confirm that Ceylon provides more benefits than Cassia.
How To Reduce Your Blood Sugar Level Naturally
Its possible to reduce your blood sugar level naturally without medication. However, you will need to make one or more significant lifestyle changes that promote better overall health and decrease insulin resistance or increase insulin sensitivity. Follow the below steps to lower your blood sugar naturally.
Dr. Raja gives her five tips that can help reduce your blood sugar, The first thing is to eat a low carb diet, low in starchy foods, highly processed foods or concentrated sugars. Second is to regularly exercise, a minimum of 30 minutes five days a week. The third way is to incorporate some form of strength conditioning, simple body weight exercises that help build muscle, since muscle decreases insulin sensitivity. The fourth way is intermittent fasting and the fifth is weight loss, even a few pounds. All these should help patients lower their insulin resistance, and lower their blood sugar naturally.
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Stick To An Eating Schedule
Dr. Kara warns against skipping meals frequently to avoid the rollercoaster of high to low blood sugar surges and dips. Spreading your meals out throughout the day, rather than eating a large breakfast or large dinner can help to regulate blood sugar. Eating regularly from morning through evening is the best strategy.
Importance Of Diet In Diabetes
Much of the food you eat is broken down into sugar , which gets released into the bloodstream. When blood sugar increases, the pancreas, an organ responsible for digestion and blood sugar regulation, releases the hormone insulin. Insulin then helps cells absorb the sugar to be used for energy or stored.
In diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin to enable the cells to absorb enough sugar from the blood. Or the body might have enough insulin, but the cells do not respond to it. In both cases, this leads to there being too much sugar in the blood, which, over time can lead to serious health issues, such as vision loss, heart disease, and kidney disease.
Reducing sugar and other simple carbohydrates in your diet plays an important role in keeping blood sugar levels down, which can slow the progression of the disease and stave off such complications.
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Take A Pass On The Bread Bowl
Its obvious that sugary stuff leads to an increase in blood sugar, but starchy foods can do the same thing. Your body processes simple carbs quickly and turns them into sugar, and it needs a lot of insulin to absorb them. That means a bag of Doritos is as likely as a candy bar to cause a spike.
If youre in the middle of a blood sugar spike, its best to curtail your carb intake. Check the glycemic index if youre not sure about a food.
Surprisingly, popcorn and white potatoes are worse than ice cream, according to the index. If you stick to low-carb/low-glycemic-index foods, your blood sugar will return to normal much more quickly.
Ultimately, its best to limit your carb intake. A 2004 study found that a diet of 20 percent carbs, 30 percent protein, and 50 percent fat lowered fasting blood sugar and kept blood sugar from spiking after meals.
This was a very small study, but the results suggest that lower carb intake can lead to generally lower blood glucose. In general, most people with diabetes eat 40 to 45 percent of their calories in the form of carbohydrates. Choosing nutrient-rich sources of carbs is best.
Another promising study found that after two years on a low-carb diet, many participants with type 2 diabetes were able to manage their condition without medication or resolve it entirely.
The occasional baked potato isnt a problem, but frequent trips to the drive-through are not a good idea. Find a few veggie-and-protein-heavy meals and make them your go-tos.
Supplements To Help Lower Blood Sugar
Scientists are testing many different supplements to determine if they help lower blood sugar.
Such supplements could benefit people with prediabetes or diabetes particularly type 2.
Over time, taking a supplement alongside diabetes medication may enable your doctor to decrease your medication dose though supplements likely cant replace medication entirely.
Here are 10 supplements that may help lower blood sugar.
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Is Hyperglycaemia Serious
The aim of diabetes treatment is to keep blood sugar levels as near to normal as possible. But if you have diabetes, no matter how careful you are, you’re likely to experience hyperglycaemia at some point.
It’s important to be able to recognise and treat hyperglycaemia, as it can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
Occasional mild episodes aren’t usually a cause for concern and can be treated quite easily or may return to normal on their own. However, hyperglycaemia can be potentially dangerous if blood sugar levels become very high or stay high for long periods.
Very high blood sugar levels can cause life-threatening complications, such as:
- diabetic ketoacidosis a condition caused by the body needing to break down fat as a source of energy, which can lead to a diabetic coma this tends to affect people with type 1 diabetes
- hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state severe dehydration caused by the body trying to get rid of excess sugar this tends to affect people with type 2 diabetes
Regularly having high blood sugar levels for long periods of time can result in permanent damage to parts of the body such as the eyes, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels.
If you experience hyperglycaemia regularly, speak to your doctor or diabetes care team. You may need to change your treatment or lifestyle to keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
Lose Weight And Exercise
The National Diabetes Prevention Program, designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is meant to help people lower their blood sugar over time to avoid Type 2 diabetes.
Participants in the program are encouraged to lose 7% of their body weight and exercise for 150 minutes a week. A clinical trial found that people who followed the program reduced their risk for Type 2 diabetes by 58% over three years.
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Skip Diabetes Bars And Shakes
While products made to manage blood sugar may help, theyre highly processed foods, containing protein extracts or isolates, many additives, and sugar substitutes, for instance. A 2022 study of more than 70,000 people found that those who ate the most ultraprocessed foods had an 80 percent increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes compared with those who ate the least. And other studies have had similar findings.
You can lower your glucose levels by snacking on whole foods, which have the added benefit of being packed with nutrients. Try a shake made with yogurt, fruit, some avocado for creaminess, and a handful of spinach or kale to bump up fiber and nutrient levels. You wont even notice the greens they disappear, Jones says. A handful of nuts, some yogurt, and berries, or carrots dipped in peanut butter are also good options.
Editors Note: A version of this article also appeared in the August 2022 issue of Consumer Reports On Health.
Sari Harrar is an award-winning freelance journalist and regular contributor to Consumer Reports On Health and Consumer Reports on topics of health, medicine, and science. She is a recipient of a CASE/Harvard Medical School Journalism Fellowship and the founding writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Kid’s Health blog.