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What Helps Low Blood Sugar

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Dont Sit On The Couch Or Lie Down Right After A Meal

Lower Blood Sugar Without Medication | Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, Exam Room Live Q& A

While you may want to plop on the couch and turn on the television after a long day of work and a satisfying meal, you should resist the urge to become sedentary.

Sitting on the couch or laying down after a meal will likely make blood sugar worse because you are sedentary and your muscles arent burning off the extra glucose in your bloodstream, Harris-Pincus explains.

Plus, it is a common GERD trigger, so be wary if you are prone to indigestion after eating a meal, especially one containing trigger foods, like acidic tomato sauce on pizza or pasta, for example. Wait a bit before nestling under the covers.

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Top 8 Causes Of Low Blood Glucose Levels

Here are some of the most common reasons behind drops in blood sugar:

  • Taking too much or the wrong type of insulin or other diabetes medications
  • Taking insulin at the wrong time based on how quickly your meal or snack is absorbed
  • Not eating enough carbohydrates

    Knowing your bodys warning signs, and what to do if you feel your blood sugar dipping, will help you maintain normal glucose levels throughout the day. Its also good to have a few go-to moves in your back pocket if you find yourself slipping.

    What Is The Somogyi Effect

    A second possible cause of high blood sugar levels in the morning is the Somogyi effect, sometimes also called rebound hyperglycemia. It was named after the doctor who first wrote about it.

    If your blood sugar drops too low in the middle of the night while you are sleeping, your body will release hormones in an attempt to rescue you from the dangerously low blood sugar. The hormones do this by prompting your liver to release stored glucose in larger amounts than usual. But this system isnt perfect in a person with diabetes, so the liver releases more sugar than needed which leads to a high blood sugar level in the morning. This is the Somogyi effect.

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    Exercise Food And Alcohol

    For people with type 1 diabetes, maintaining the correct blood glucose level involves balancing how much insulin you inject, the amount of food you eat, and how much energy you burn during exercise.

    Hypoglycaemia may occur if you’ve taken your dose of insulin as usual, but your carbohydrate intake is lower than normal or has been used up more quickly. This may happen if you delay or miss a meal or snack, don’t eat enough carbohydrate, or exercise more than usual.

    People with diabetes who’ve drunk too much alcohol, or drank alcohol on an empty stomach, can also get hypoglycaemia.

    However, it’s not always possible to identify why a particular episode of hypoglycaemia has occurred, and sometimes it happens for no obvious reason.

    What Is The Outlook For People With Hypoglycemia

    How to Deal With Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

    Hypoglycemia can be managed when you and your healthcare provider understand what causes your blood sugar to go down. Give your healthcare provider as much information as possible about any hypoglycemic episodes. Fixing the problem may be as simple as changing the times you take medication, eat and exercise. Minor changes to the types of food you eat may also help.

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    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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    Treatment For Severe Hypoglycaemia

    In cases of severe hypoglycaemia the person cannot treat themselves, and needs the help of someone else. Call triple zero for an ambulance immediately.

    If the person cant swallow or follow instructions do not give them any treatment by mouth.

    If you are trained in how to prepare and inject glucagon and feel comfortable injecting it, then this can be administered.

    Ambulance paramedics have the resources to manage severe hypoglycaemia.

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    Nighttime Low Blood Sugar

    While low blood sugar can happen at any time during the day, some people may experience low blood sugar while they sleep. Reasons this may happen include:

    • Having an active day.
    • Being physically active close to bedtime.
    • Taking too much insulin.
    • Drinking alcohol at night.

    Eating regular meals and not skipping them can help you avoid nighttime low blood sugar. Eating when you drink alcohol can also help. If you think youre at risk for low blood sugar overnight, have a snack before bed.

    You may wake up when you have low blood sugar, but you shouldnt rely on that. A continuous glucose monitor can alert you with an alarm if your blood sugar gets low while youre sleeping.

    The Best Foods To Eat For Low Blood Sugar According To Doctors And Nutritionists

    Do This And Bring Your Blood Sugar Down Quickly

    As a Type 1 diabetic whose blood sugar falls below the normal threshold on a fairly frequent basis, I can speak firsthand to the dizziness, physical weakness and confusion prompted by hypoglycemia, and I can also speak to the importance of having food and drink items on hand to quickly boost my blood glucose levels.

    A little background: Hypoglycemia, a medical condition in which the level of sugar in ones blood falls below a normal point , can be caused by a wide range of factors, including heavy exercise, pregnancy, infections, certain medications and most commonly by diabetes thats treated with insulin injections.

    While I have my own favorite low-blood-sugar treatments, I found myself wondering which snacks and beverages are the most effective from a medical and scientific standpoint. So I consulted a group of physicians and nutritionists with strong knowledge of hypoglycemia, who came up with this list of four go-to choices for anyone who needs to raise their blood glucose levels quickly and safely.

    Before we get to actual foods, wed be remiss not to start with glucose tablets, a staple tool for treating hypoglycemia, which diabetics get to know very early on in their experience with the disease.

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    Causes And Risk Factors Of Hypoglycemia

    For most people with diabetes, hypoglycemia is more complex than simply not getting enough glucose. Your medication may cause low blood sugar, for example.

    If you have type 1 diabetes or if you have type 2 diabetes and take insulin to regulate your blood sugar levels, you can experience low blood sugar if you do not take the proper amount of insulin, Dr. Dodell says. This is also noted by the American Diabetes Association.

    Other diabetes medication can interfere with insulin production and make your glucose drop, too. Among these are the insulin-increasing drugs for type 2 diabetes called sulfonylureas and their less potent counterparts called meglitinides.

    Diabetic Alert Dogs Can Help

    Not only can dogs deal with low blood sugar like people, but they are also known to help their human companions detect hypoglycemia.

    In a July 2016 study published in Diabetes Care, researchers studied eight women ages 41 to 51 with type 1 diabetes and found that dogs could detect isoprene chemicals, a marker of low blood sugar, on participants breath. These results suggest dogs may be able to warn their owners of impending hypoglycemic attacks. Dogs can be trained to detect such episodes.

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    What Are Normal Blood Glucose Levels

    Maintaining normal blood glucose levels not only helps support your energy and mood throughout the day, but also helps prevent serious health problems down the road. Youll find that values are lowest first thing in the morning since you havent eaten in many hours.

    For people without diabetes, a normal glucose level after fasting overnight is around 99 mg/dL or less. Throughout the day, after eating, a normal blood sugar reading would be below 140 mg/dL.

    For those with diabetes, targets are generally 80-130 mg/dL before a meal and below 180 mg/dL 1 to 2 hours after eating.

    But how low is too low? Youre considered hypoglycemic if your glucose dips to 70 mg/dL or less. And if your blood glucose levels fall below 54 mg/dL, thats considered severe hypoglycemia.

    These can be dangerous conditions if left untreated, so be sure to talk with your health care team and make sure you have a treatment plan in place.

    Talk To Your Doctor Before Changing Your Diet

    11 Easy And Effective Natural Measures To Lower Blood Sugar

    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 .

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    Benefits And Drawbacks Of A Low Blood Sugar Diet

    Other health benefits of a blood sugar lowering diet include:

    • Help you feel fuller for longer
    • Reduces food and sugar cravings
    • Supports weight loss
    • May reduce cholesterol and triglycerides
    • Lowered inflammation
    • Reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes

    There arent too many risks associated with a low blood sugar diet. One potential drawback is unnecessarily eliminating healthy foods, like some fruits, if youre using the glycemic index to plan meals and snacks.

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    Symptoms Of A Low Blood Sugar Level

    A low blood sugar level can affect everyone differently. You’ll 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 you’re 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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    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.

    Which Carbs Raise Blood Sugar Levels

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    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 .

    Sugar alcohols, such as maltitol, xylitol, erythritol, and sorbitol, are often used to sweeten sugar-free candy and other diet products.

    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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    Foods That Raise Blood Sugar

    The quickest way to raise your blood sugar is by having something to eat or drink, says Barnathan.

    If your blood sugar levels are extremely low and you need a quick boost, you’ll need something with some carbohydrates so that you can restore your blood glucose. But you shouldn’t overdo it.

    It’s best to have something with simple carbs that are quick and easy to break down. About 15 grams of simple carbohydrates is ideal. Examples include:

    • One-half cup of fruit juice or regular, non-diet soda
    • One tablespoon of sugar
    • One tablespoon of honey or syrup
    • Four or five hard candies, jelly beans, or gumdrops

    Doctors recommend waiting 15 minutes and check your blood sugar levels once more before eating again to avoid raising your blood sugar too much.

    If you notice your blood sugar levels may be dropping, but you haven’t reached hypoglycemia, it may be best to add some protein and fat into the mix, like by eating a protein bar or meat sandwich.

    Protein and fat will slow down digestion, delaying an increase in glucose. However, they can also prevent a big blood sugar spike and subsequent drop. For this reason, those who experience insulin resistance are recommended to regularly include protein and healthy fats in their diet.

    How To Treat Someone Whos Having A Seizure Or Fit

    Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:

  • Stay with them and stop them hurting themselves lie them down on something soft and move them away from anything dangerous .
  • If an injection of glucagon is available and you know how to use it, give it to them immediately. After theyve recovered, give them a carbohydrate snack.
  • 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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    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:

  • Stay with them and stop them hurting themselves lie them down on something soft and move them away from anything dangerous .
  • If an injection of glucagon is available and you know how to use it, give it to them immediately. After they’ve recovered, give them a carbohydrate snack.
  • Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.

    Best Foods For Low Blood Sugar

    Lowering Blood Sugar: foods to eat to lower blood sugar level

    For patients with diabetes, monitoring blood sugar levels is a part of daily life.

    Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can occur for many people with diabetes who are on certain medications, including insulin and sulfonylureas. It can occur for a variety of reasons including skipping a meal, exercising strenuously, taking too much insulin or consuming alcohol, especially on an empty stomach.

    Low blood sugar can be as minor as a slight inconvenience or as serious as a life-threatening emergency. Thats why it is important to boost blood sugar before it becomes problematic.

    Angela Norton, a diabetes educator at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, has diabetes herself, so she knows firsthand the tips and tricks of keeping blood sugar on track. Although blood glucose is considered normal if above 70 mg/dL, Norton says patients with diabetes should not wait until they reach below that threshold to take action.

    Treat when you feel the symptoms, even if your blood sugar is not below 70, because as long as it is less than 100, it may be dropping fast, she says.

    When it comes to treatment, Norton shares these five foods to help boost low blood sugar.

    1. CandyWhen hypoglycemia occurs, patients should follow the 15-15 rule. Consume 15 grams of carbohydrates to raise blood glucose and check your levels again after 15 minutes. When the numbers return to normal, eat a snack to stay on track.

    Gummy candies contain carbohydrates, which have a large impact on blood sugar levels.

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