Blood Sugar And Exercise
There are a few ways that exercise lowers blood sugar:
- Insulin sensitivity is increased, so your muscle cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after activity.
- When your muscles contract during activity, your cells are able to take up glucose and use it for energy whether insulin is available or not.
This is how exercise can help lower blood sugar in the short term. And when you are active on a regular basis, it can also lower your A1C.
What To Eat To Maintain Blood Sugar Levels At Night
If you’re hungry at night, eat a low-carb snack to keep your blood sugar from spiking. If you’re managing the Somogyi effect, you’ll likely need to include some carbohydrates to prevent low blood sugar and the resulting rebound hyperglycemia. Rizzotto says an evening snack should be eaten about two hours before bed.
Protein does not spike blood sugar or insulin levels, making it an ideal bedtime food choice. Protein also slows the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates, according to a June 2015 systematic review published in Diabetes Care. The slower the body absorbs carbs, the less your blood sugar levels will rise. Smart high-protein options include a hard-boiled egg, tofu, low-fat yogurt or a few slices of low-fat deli meat, such as turkey.
Fats also play an important role in controlling blood sugar levels. According to the National Institute on Aging, they give the body energy without raising blood sugars. They also help the body absorb essential vitamins. Therefore, it’s wise to include a small amount of healthy fat in your evening snack.
Healthy fats are found in low-fat cheeses, seeds, nuts, avocados and olive oil. But though these fat sources are nutritious, it’s important that you enjoy them in moderation so as to avoid consuming too many calories and gaining weight. A healthy serving size for nuts, seeds and cheese is about an ounce, or 1 to 2 tablespoons.
When To Lower Blood Sugar
When blood sugar is too high, it is termed hyperglycemia. The World Health Organization recognises hyperglycemia as blood sugar thats above 126 mg/dL or 7.0 mmol/L in a period before eating , or above 200 mg/dL or 11.1 mmol/L two hours after eating.
When blood sugar is at this point, you should take steps to reduce those numbers. It goes without saying that testing blood sugar regularly is ideal, in order to know when youre hyperglycemic.
You may also realise that youre hyperglycemic if youre experiencing some of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Blurred vision
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According to the American Diabetes Association, when blood sugar levels start teetering towards 250 mg/dL or 13.9 mmol/L is when diabetic ketoacidosis can occur.
Ketoacidosis happens because of the bodys need for fuel. With high blood sugar, the body isnt getting any fuel in the form of glucose. Instead, the body tries to burn fat for fuel, but this process leads to ketones essentially acids building up in the bloodstream.
Symptoms of ketoacidosis can include symptoms of hyperglycemia, along with:
- Vomiting or feeling nauseous
- Dry mouth
- Pain in the abdomen
Meanwhile, diabetes.co.uk recommends checking for ketones if your blood sugar levels have been consistently above 13 mmol/L or 230 mg/dL.
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When Should I Check My Blood Sugar
How often you check your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and if you take any diabetes medicines.
Typical times to check your blood sugar include:
- When you first wake up, before you eat or drink anything.
- Before a meal.
- Two hours after a meal.
- At bedtime.
If you have type 1 diabetes, have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, or often have low blood sugar, your doctor may want you to check your blood sugar more often, such as before and after youre physically active.
Monitor Blood Sugar Levels Closely
High blood sugar levels often do not cause symptoms until they run well over 200 mg/dL. As such, it is essential for a person with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar several times a day. Doing so will mean that blood sugar levels never get that high.
A person with diabetes can use a home glucose monitor to check blood sugar levels. These are available for purchase online.
Recommendations for how frequently to check glucose levels during the day will vary from person to person. A doctor can make the best recommendations regarding blood sugar monitoring to a person with diabetes.
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Manage Your Stress Better
Stress, whether physical, mental or emotional, has been proven to contribute towards changes in blood sugar levels. Dont let work stress follow you home. Similarly, dont let a stressful relationship worsen your diabetes symptoms. One of the best ways to manage stress is to practice yoga and meditation regularly.
Get Trendy With Apple Cider Vinegar
If you do a quick Google search, youll see that apple cider vinegar is good for pretty much everything. You can use it to tone your skin, clean your pipes, and possibly lower your blood sugar!
A clinical review found that taking ACV daily could reduce blood glucose levels. Unfortunately, most of the trials were very small and some had mixed results.
But since youve probably got it in your house anyway, try taking a swig or two before meals, testing yourself, and seeing if a little ACV shot works for you .
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Things That Cause High Blood Sugar
High blood sugar can be caused by a variety of factors. The most common factors that contribute to high blood sugar include:
- Overeating/eating large portion sizes
- Using old, expired insulin
- Injecting insulin incorrectly
Most patients with high blood pressure dont have a known cause. This is called essential hypertension or primary hypertension, Dr. Raja adds.
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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Make An Effort To Get Better Sleep
Ever wondered why the blueberry crumb muffins in the coffee shop look even more irresistible when youâre shuffling on three hours of sleep? Poor sleep can affect glucose levels21, insulin sensitivity22, and the hormones that control appetite.
When you donât get enough shut-eye, your cravings and desire to eat now can go into overdrive. Thatâs because leptin reduces and ghrelin increases23, signaling to your brain that you have to eat that blueberry crumb muffinâ¦ maybe even two of them before you feel satisfied.
You might find it easier to choose the sous-vide egg bites over the tender, berry-studded cake-with-no-icing when youâre well-rested. Even partial sleep loss may increase the risk of weight gain and obesity24, one sugary muffin at a time.
Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
High blood sugar occurs when your body doesnt make enough or effectively use insulin, a hormone that regulates blood glucose and helps it enter your cells for energy.
High blood sugar is associated with diabetes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 13% of U.S. adults live with diabetes, and 34.5% have prediabetes (
This means close to 50% of all U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes.
Here are 15 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally:
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Eat Protein In The Morning
To help bring blood sugar levels down eat something when you get up but make sure its a protein or a protien/ veggie breakfast.
What Causes High Blood Sugar
A variety of things can trigger an increase in blood sugar level in people with diabetes, including:
- missing a dose of your diabetes medicine or taking an incorrect dose
- overtreating an episode of low blood sugar
- taking certain medicines, such as steroids
Occasional episodes of hyperglycaemia can also occur in children and young adults during growth spurts.
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Keep An Eye On Portion Sizes
Eating a large meal puts a sugar load on your already struggling body. Overeating causes further damage to diabetics. An easy way to lower blood sugar levels naturally is to eat smaller portions. Dont worry we are not going to ask you to starve yourself! In fact, portion control comes naturally when you choose the right grains, proteins and fats. Strive to eat in moderation. To achieve satiety, eat slowly and chew your food, so your brain has a chance to let you know when youre full. If you wolf down your food mindlessly, you eat a lot more than you need which stresses out the body.
Cut Back On Carbohydrates
A diet high in processed carbs adds to the sugar load in your diet. This is because all carbs get broken down into sugars upon digestion. This leads to increased blood sugar and weight gain. Avoid all carbs with a high glycemic index. We recommend a Low Carb-High Fat or LCHF diet to reverse diabetes. Ideally, only 10% of your daily caloric intake should come from carbs. The right carbs for any diabetic are fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and millets are some whole grains that work.
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When To Contact Your Doctor
Hyperglycemia can turn into a medical emergency like DKA and HHS that requires immediate intervention by your doctor or a local emergency department. If you have two blood sugar readings of 300 mg/dL or more, or have blood sugar above your target range for more than a week, seek immediate medical help.
Signs of hyperglycemia include:
- Ketones in your urine
- Stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
Avoid Alcohol The Night Before And Sugar In Anything The Next Morning
Like to enjoy a tipple the night before you go to bed? Its time to cut down or back on that completely. The alcohol dehydrates the body and will mean your blood glucose level will be more saturated. The smaller amounts of glucose will affect you in bigger ways.
But this doesnt help you on a morning, right? Well, look out for drinking anything sugary on a morning. This includes your glass of orange juice. You may even want to avoid plain water!
You want to drink something that is going to keep your sugar levels to a minimum and not spart the release of insulin. That means looking for something that packs plenty of protein. Remember that protein berry smoothie? Consider that as your morning drink/breakfast. You can follow it with a glass of water if youd like.
A green smoothie would be another excellent option. It packs you full of nutrients, and you can add in the protein to get that filling element.
If you really want water, add a slice or two of lemon. You get some sweetness but without the large amounts of sugar hitting your system causing a problem.
Keeping your morning drink routine perfect will also help you reduce the stress hormones. Coffee is a stimulant and will just make your stress levels even worse. Anything with caffeine will do the same and thats usually what youll add sugar to. Opt for lemon water for a refreshing drink and then a smoothie for a no-caffeine, nutrient packed breakfast.
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When To Get Urgent Medical Attention
Contact your diabetes care team immediately if you have a high blood sugar level and experience the following symptoms:
- feeling or being sick
- a fever for more than 24 hours
- signs of dehydration, such as a headache, dry skin and a weak, rapid heartbeat
- difficulty staying awake
These symptoms could be a sign of a more serious complication of hyperglycaemia, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or a hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state, and you may need to be looked after in hospital.
What Is High Blood Sugar
Your blood sugar level can be determined by taking a blood sample, either in a fasted state, or two hours after eating.
- If your blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dL after an eight-hour fast or less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating, youre in the normal range.
- If you conduct a test in the morning, after sleeping for eight hours, and your blood sugar is at 126 mg/dL or higher, youve got high blood sugar.
An estimated 29 million people in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes, which is the result of blood sugar levels being consistently high. Another 86 million have prediabetes, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Prediabetes, however, can be reversed by finding ways to naturally lower blood sugar.
How To Test Blood Sugar Levels
Your doctor can test your blood sugar levels using one of several methods depending on your unique health situation.
We usually do a hemoglobin A1C test or check their serum glucose levels, says Dr. Raja.
The most common testing method used is the glycated hemoglobin test, which screens you for prediabetes, and diabetes.
The A1C test is a blood test that measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen from your lungs to tissues in the body. The A1C test will reveal your average blood sugar level for the previous two to three months.
Certain health conditions such as severe anemia, vitamin deficiencies, thalassemia, and sickle cell trait can often result in inaccurate A1C test results. When A1C test results seem inaccurate or inconsistent, your doctor may perform one or more other tests. These include a random glucose test, a fasting glucose test, or an oral glucose tolerance test.
For the random glucose test, your doctor will take a sample of your blood at a random time to test your blood sugar level. A fasting glucose test requires you to do an overnight fast before your doctor draws blood the following day. The oral glucose tolerance test also requires you to do an overnight fast, and consume a sugary liquid after you arrive at the doctors office, and get blood drawn at one hour and three hour intervals.
How Do Carbs Affect Blood Sugar
Carbs in food make your blood sugar levels go higher after you eat them than when you eat proteins or fats. You can still eat carbs if you have diabetes. The amount you can have and stay in your target blood sugar range depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors. Counting carbs in foods and drinks is an important tool for managing blood sugar levels. Make sure to talk to your health care team about the best carb goals for you.
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Avoid Eating Large Meals
One way to keep carbs under control is by eating in moderation. I always tell my patients to spread their food out over the day, Weisenberger says. Dont eat small meals to save up for a big dinner. Feeding your body throughout the day helps regulate your blood sugar levels and prevents highs and lows, Crandall Snyder says.
Both Weisenberger and Crandall Snyder say to keep an eye on carbs, even while snacking. Classically, less than 15 g of carbs per snack is a good standard approach, Crandall Snyder says. Thats about whats found in 1 cup of fruit, she says.
How Are Blood Sugar Levels Regulated
Sugars are among the bodys most important fuel sources, helping to provide energy to our brain cells, heart cells, and nearly every other cell in the body.
This is why were programmed to eat it.
But like most things in life, too much of a good thing can be bad.
Excess sugar in the blood can lead to numerous health conditions, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. High blood sugar levels can also damage body tissues, especially eyes, kidneys and nerves.
Its natural for your blood sugar levels to vary throughout the day.
Shortly after eating a meal, your body extracts sugar from the food you just ate and dumps it into the bloodstream. There it courses through your blood vessels and is distributed to cells that need energy or is stored in muscle or the liver for use at a later time.
At the same time, a hormone known as insulin is released into the bloodstream. Insulin opens the cells gates to allow glucose in for use and storage.1.
This means that in the few hours after eating a meal, your blood sugar levels will spike. But, as insulin levels increase in the blood over time, sugar levels will decrease as the bodys cells remove the sugar from the blood for immediate use or storage1.
Type 2 diabetes develops when this sugar-regulating system goes awry, leading to chronically high levels of blood sugar2. Fortunately, there are ways we can help our bodies keep sugar levels in check.
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