Eating Habits To Improve Blood Sugar Regulation
In addition to eating fewer grams of added sugar each day, there are other eating habits that can improve your blood sugar. Try some, or all, of these tips, in addition to eating less sugar, to maximize your blood sugar control:
- Exercise several times per week to improve insulin resistance and increase your usage of stored carbohydrates.
- Eat more fibrous foods that will slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream and increase satiety.
- Pair protein and fat along with carb sources to improve satiety and achieve more even levels of blood sugar. For example, instead of just a bowl of cereal, add a side of Greek yogurt and nuts.
- Maintain good portion control that will allow for small amounts of sweet treats while keeping you within the recommended sugar intake range.
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Problems Associated With High Blood Sugar
Frequent high blood pressure puts patients at risk of diabetes complications that can be potentially serious.
Even when blood sugar does not reach acutely dangerous levels, complications can develop over time if blood sugar is consistently above a patients target range.
Serious conditions and complications associated with high blood glucose include:
- Damage to the blood vessels of the eyes
- Increased risk of kidney disease
- Increased risk of heart problems like heart disease
Depending on the type of diabetes a patient has, there are two different extreme forms of hyperglycemia as well.
Ketoacidosis is severe hyperglycemia that impacts people with type 1 diabetes. Ketoacidosis occurs when the body runs out of glucose and begins to use ketones, a type of toxic acid, for energy. Ketoacidosis can lead to diabetic coma or even death, and it is extremely serious.
Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome is a severe form of hyperglycemia that impacts people with Type 2 diabetes.
It occurs when the blood glucose level goes too high and the body tries to rid itself of the excess glucose through frequent urination. If the body becomes dehydrated enough, it can go into a coma.
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How To Manage A Blood Sugar Spike
The best way to manage high blood sugar is to check your blood sugar and take your medication as instructed. If you frequently experience blood sugar spikes, your doctor may change your medication routine.
You can also lower your blood sugar by exercising. However, if your blood sugar level is repeatedly above 240 mg/dL , check your urine for ketones using a test kit.
If you do have ketones, do not exercise. In this case, exercising may make your blood sugar levels go even higher.
If you think you may have DKA, you can test your urine for ketones using a test kit. If ketones are high, call a doctor and seek emergency medical attention immediately.
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When To Call For Medical Advice
It is important to note that very high blood glucose levels can be dangerous and it is important to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors of the following conditions:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis a short term complication most commonly associated with type 1 diabetes
- Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State a short term complication most commonly associated with type 2 diabetes
If you are struggling to keep your blood glucose levels under control, speak to your GP or consultant who can advise you or refer you onto a diabetes education course.
What To Do When Blood Sugar Is High
According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 34.2 million Americans, or 10.5 percent of the population has diabetes of that number, 26.8 million are diagnosed and 7.3 million are undiagnosed.
For these individuals, hyperglycemia is a major concern that must be carefully monitored and avoided.
Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is a term that describes a condition in which the concentration of glucose in the bloodstream gets too high.
When people have high blood sugar levels regularly, the condition can cause damage to the organs, blood vessels, and nerves, as well as other health effects.
If youre wondering what to do when blood sugar is high, there are several strategies that can help bring your blood sugar down quickly in an emergency and prevent spikes in blood sugar over time.
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What Is High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls. Each time the heart beats, it is pumping blood into these arteries, resulting in the highest blood pressure when the heart contracts and is pumping the blood. High blood pressure, or hypertension, directly increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke . With high blood pressure, the arteries may have an increased resistance against the flow of blood, causing the heart to pump harder to circulate the blood.
Two numbers are used to measure blood pressure. The number on the top, the systolic pressure, refers to the pressure inside the artery when the heart contracts and is pumping the blood through the body. The number on the bottom, the diastolic pressure, refers to the pressure inside the artery when the heart is at rest and is filling with blood. Both the systolic and diastolic pressures are recorded as “mm Hg” .According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health , high blood pressure for adults is defined as:
140 mm Hg or greater systolic pressure and
90 mm Hg or greater diastolic pressure
NHLBI guidelines for prehypertension are:
120 mm Hg 139 mm Hg systolic pressure and
80 mm Hg 89 mm Hg diastolic pressure
NHLBI guidelines define normal blood pressure as follows:
Less than 120 mm Hg systolic pressure and
Less than 80 mm Hg diastolic pressure
Spinach Best Food For Diabetes
Spinach isrich in proteins and amino acids. One cup of spinach has approximately 5 gramsof proteins. It is abundant in minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium,and potassium which lower high blood pressure. The high fiber content in itsleaves helps to lower blood sugar. Protein, minerals, and fiber are magicingredients that balance insulin levels and keep you healthy.
How to add it to your diet:
- Add spinachto your salads and soups
- Makedelicious green smoothies
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How Can I Treat And Manage Hyperglycemia
People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can manage hyperglycemia by eating healthy, being active, and managing stress. In addition, insulin is a critical part of managing hyperglycemia for people with type 1 diabetes, while people with type 2 diabetes may need oral medications and eventually insulin to help them manage hyperglycemia.
If you dont have diabetes and have any of the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia, call your healthcare provider. Together you can work to manage your hyperglycemia.
Beware Of Low Blood Sugars
Remember, above all else, its very easy to over-treat a high blood sugar and wind up low. Then youll be tempted to binge-eat and wind up high again. This blood sugar roller coaster is exhausting and dangerous, too.
Frequently finding yourself on the blood sugar roller coaster means your approach to taking insulin and/or how you treat low blood sugars isnt working and needs some fine-tuning. Work with your healthcare team to reduce and prevent these wild swings to ensure your overall safety and quality of life!
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Drink Drink Drink Some Water
Dehydration can cause high blood sugars, which means getting hydrated can help prevent and reduce high blood sugars.
Your blood consists partly of water. When you dont drink enough water throughout the day, the other things in your blood become more concentrated! And thus, higher blood sugar levels.
You know that uncomfortable thirst you feel when your blood sugars are high? Give in to it. This is how your body helps flush excess sugar out through your urine, and how you replenish the necessary fluid balance in your bloodstream.
What Is The Dawn Phenomenon
Another reason for high nighttime blood sugar levels is the dawn phenomenon. The dawn phenomenon occurs early in the morning when the body naturally signals your liver to produce glucose, giving your body the energy it needs to wake up.
The hormonal changes associated with the dawn phenomenon happen to people with or without diabetes, though those without diabetes do not experience hyperglycemia. If you take insulin, you may need to try a new basal insulin or adjust the timing and amount of your basal dose or your nighttime basal rates to cover an early morning rise.
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Microvascular Damage Of Eyes Kidneys Toes Etc
Microvascular damage is defined as damage to small blood vessels, and its a common consequence of high blood sugar. Evidence confirms that acute hyperglycemia causes microvascular damage and leads to poor functional recovery, especially in patients who have sustained myocardial infarction.
For example, numbers show that more than 661,000 Americans have kidney failure, but high blood pressure and diabetes are the most common risk factors for this serious health problem. Almost half of the patients with chronic kidney disease have diabetes. This isnt such a surprise if we bear in mind that poor glycemic control is associated with microvascular disease development.
High blood sugar damages nerves and interferes with their ability to send signals, which causes diabetic neuropathy. Damage of this kind usually affects eyes, kidneys, toes, and other parts of a patients body.
Why Is Blood Sugar Regulation Important
When the blood sugar levels in the body are continually unstable, there is a risk of illnesses, like heart disease and diabetes. Unstable levels of glucose can mean the cells are not being fueled properly on one extreme, and on the other, the bloodstream is overloaded with glucose.
Normal blood sugar: Although blood sugar levels vary between individuals, people without diabetes should have levels around 70 to 80 mg/dl . This reading is typically seen in the daytime, and before you sit down to eat.
High blood sugar: Did you know that a lot of people in the U.S. are considered prediabetic? This means that their blood sugars are continually on the higher end of the scale. Also called hyperglycemia, this can mean an increased chance of a damaged pancreas, stroke, and risk of atherosclerosis.
What can too much sugar in the body do?
- Slow wound healing
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Can Oral Mediations Help A High Blood Sugar
While any oral medications you take to help manage your diabetes do improve your blood sugar levels, they are not something you would take an extra dose off to correct an occasional high blood sugar level.
However, if you realize that you forgot to take your dose of a daily medication, this should be part of the process of bringing your high blood sugar down.
Some medications can be taken late, and some medications may need to wait until your next normally scheduled dose. Contact your healthcare team to determine if the diabetes medication you take can be taken late after missing your usual dose.
If you have been skipping this medication altogether for days or weeks its very likely a significant contributor to the reason your blood sugar is high. These medications are designed to improve your blood sugar levels in a variety of different ways.
Talk to your healthcare team to better understand the medications youve been prescribed and the issues youre having in taking them as directed.
How Is It Treated
If you have diabetes and notice any of the early signs of high blood sugar, test your blood sugar and call the doctor. They may ask you for the results of several readings. They could recommend the following changes:
Drink more water. Water helps remove excess sugar from your blood through urine, and it helps you avoid dehydration.
Exercise more. Working out can help lower your blood sugar. But under certain conditions, it can make blood sugar go even higher. Ask your doctor what kind of exercise is right for you.
Caution: If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar is high, you need to check your urine for ketones. When you have ketones, do NOT exercise. If you have type 2 diabetes and your blood sugar is high, you must also be sure that you have no ketones in your urine and that you are well-hydrated. Then your doctor might give you the OK to exercise with caution as long as you feel up to it.
Change your eating habits. You may need to meet with a dietitian to change the amount and types of foods you eat.
Switch medications. Your doctor may change the amount, timing, or type of diabetes medications you take. Donât make changes without talking to them first.
If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar is more than 250 mg/dL, your doctor may want you to test your urine or blood for ketones.
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How Does Hyperglycemia Happen
Insulin is a hormone that lets your body use the sugar in your blood, which comes primarily from carbohydrates in the food that you eat. Hyperglycemia happens when your body has too little insulin to use the sugar in your blood.
People with type 1 diabetes can have episodes of hyperglycemia every day. Although this can be frustrating, it rarely creates a medical emergency. Not taking enough insulin can lead to hyperglycemia .
Other things that can cause hyperglycemia include:
- Having trouble seeing or concentrating
- Experiencing stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
- Having sweet-smelling or fruity breath
- Cuts or sores that do not heal, infections, and unexplained weight loss may also be signs of long-term hyperglycemia.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is very high, you should also test for ketones in either your blood or urine.
Moderate To Severe High Blood Sugar
You may have moderate to severe symptoms if your blood sugar levels are consistently high. These symptoms include:
- Blurred vision.
- Flushed, hot, dry skin.
- Restlessness, drowsiness, or difficulty waking up.
People with type 1 diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes produce little or no insulin. These people may also have:
- Rapid, deep breathing.
- A fast heart rate and a weak pulse.
- A strong, fruity breath odor.
- Loss of appetite, belly pain, and/or vomiting.
If your blood sugar levels continue to rise, you may:
- Become confused and sluggish.
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What Causes Blood Sugar To Be High
Many things can cause high blood sugar , including being sick, being stressed, eating more than planned, and not giving yourself enough insulin. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to long-term, serious health problems. Symptoms of high blood sugar include:
- Feeling very tired.
- Having blurry vision.
- Needing to urinate more often.
If you get sick, your blood sugar can be hard to manage. You may not be able to eat or drink as much as usual, which can affect blood sugar levels. If youre ill and your blood sugar is 240 mg/dL or above, use an over-the-counter ketone test kit to check your urine for ketones and call your doctor if your ketones are high. High ketones can be an early sign of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately.
What Should My Blood Sugar Level Be
When youre first diagnosed with diabetes, your diabetes care team will usually tell you what your blood sugar level is and what you should aim to get it down to.
You may be advised to use a testing device to monitor your blood sugar level regularly at home.
Or you may have an appointment with a nurse or doctor every few months to see what your average blood sugar level is. This is known as your HbA1c level.
Target blood sugar levels differ for everyone, but generally speaking:
- if you monitor yourself at home with a self-testing kit a normal target is 4 to 7mmol/l before eating and under 8.5 to 9mmol/l 2 hours after a meal
- if your HbA1c level is tested every few months a normal HbA1c target is below 48mmol/mol
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When To Avoid Exercise
People with blood sugar levels above 240 mg/dL should check their urine for ketones before engaging in physical activity. If ketones are present, do not exercise. Ketones are the result of stored fat being broken down for energy. Your liver starts breaking down fat when theres not enough insulin in your bloodstream to absorb blood sugar into cells. When too many ketones are quickly produced, they can cause DKA. In this state, ketones may actually make your blood sugar level go even higher and you may need intravenous fluids to rebalance.
Test Before You Eat And Two Hours After
This will tell you how well your medication is controlling your blood sugar. It will also shed light on what food is boosting your sugar too highand thus should be avoided. You should consult your health-care provider to develop a plan that works for you, says Donna Rice, immediate past president of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, who notes that the frequency and time of day you test will depend on how controlled your blood glucose is.
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