Changing Habits And Changing Your Life
With over 30 million people suffering from diabetes in the United States alone, blood glucose control is one of the biggest challenges facing people in the 21st century.
The good thing is that there are many other people right there with you struggling, transforming their lives, and maintaining their health after getting control of their blood glucose.
Thats why we founded Mastering Diabetes, so we could bring all of those people together, offer coaching, community, and guidance through every step, and see real life-changing results.
There are multiple ways to take advantage of this proven, evidence-based program, with plans ranging from DIY resources to intensive coaching programs. See below to learn more and join Juston and many others.
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Mastering Diabetes has strict guidelines for scientific references in our articles. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, governmental organizations, and reputable medical organizations. We do our best to avoid using non evidence-based references in all articles. The references in this article are listed below.
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Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Alcohol And Blood Sugar When You Have Diabetes
The livers functionality is an important part of understanding how alcohol affects blood sugar. Your liver is a key component when it comes to regulating your blood sugar levels throughout the day. When you drink, it impacts the liver and, more specifically, its ability to release glucose into your bloodstream as its supposed to. Alcohol impairs liver function and can keep your liver from releasing enough glycogen to keep your blood glucose levels from going too low. So, if you have diabetes, drink alcohol and take insulin as a medicine, you may experience hypoglycemia.
With alcohol and blood sugar, blood sugar can increase, then decrease to a dangerous point. This occurs because alcohol is high in sugar, causing an initial spike. Your body releases insulin to bring this high sugar level down and inhibits the release of more sugar from the liver. This causes your blood sugar to initially spike, then to decrease. This can be especially dangerous if you are using insulin or other diabetes medications because it can lead to hypoglycemia.
Sprinkle On Some Cinnamon
Research on cinnamons blood-sugar-stabilizing powers is a little mixed, and it may not be a wonder spice. But if youre adding it to an already healthy diet, then it can have a subtle benefit, especially if you add a lot of it into your diet .* Some studies suggest that cinnamon promotes healthy blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, or making insulin more efficient at moving glucose into cells.* Try sprinkling it onto oatmeal or into low-sugar smoothies . Bonus: It tastes delicious!
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How Long Does Alcohol Affect Your Blood Sugar
Alcohol affects your blood sugar for as long as it is in your body. The effects of alcohol on your blood sugar will initially increase as the sugar from alcohol enters your blood, then peak once the maximum amount of sugar in the alcohol has been absorbed. This often occurs in about 12 hours.
Once your body has absorbed all the sugar it can from alcohol, it will start to use up the sugar, decreasing your blood sugar levels. As the liver inhibits the release of more sugar, your blood sugar levels will lower. This makes your blood sugar artificially low as long as the alcohol keeps impacting your livers normal function. Once enough alcohol has been eliminated, your liver will regain the ability to release sugar. This often takes about 12 hours.
High Blood Sugar Symptoms
The most common symptoms of hyperglycemia are:
- Increased thirst and/or hunger
“If someone has hyperglycemia, it would mean they would be very thirsty, tired, they might be urinating more frequently and basically not feeling well,” says Sam Zager, M.D. a family medicine physician in Maine.
Read Also: Hypoglycemia Induced Hypertension
Choose The Healthiest Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates have the most significant impact on blood sugar levels of all the primary nutrients included in meals . It is because carbohydrates are the fastest to break down into glucose for strength. Blood sugar rises can occur if you consume too many carbohydrates or the wrong kind of carbohydrates.
Testing your blood sugar levels before and after meals is indeed the best approach to find out just how carbohydrates affect your blood sugar. The proportion of food you must eat will vary depending on how well you control your diabetes. Select vegetables and fruit, whole grains, beans, and lentils as healthful, complex carbohydrates. These foods do not produce as many blood sugar fluctuations since they contain fibers and are somewhat less processed. Avoid refined carbohydrates like soda, sweets, white pasta, white rice, white bread, and other highly processed foods since they can lead to high blood sugar levels.
Carbs are broken down into simple sugars by your body, and insulin aids in using and storing sugar for energy.
When you consume too many carbohydrates or have issues with insulin, this mechanism breaks down, leading to high blood glucose levels.
Eat Fewer Refined Carbs
Refined carbs, otherwise known as processed carbs, are sugars or refined grains.
Some common sources of refined carbs are table sugar, white bread, white rice, soda, candy, breakfast cereals and desserts.
Refined carbs have been stripped of almost all nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Refined carbs are said to have a high glycemic index because they are very easily and quickly digested by the body. This leads to blood sugar spikes.
A large observational study of more than 91,000 women found that a diet high in high-glycemic-index carbs was associated with an increase in type 2 diabetes .
The spike in blood sugar and subsequent drop you may experience after eating high-glycemic-index foods can also promote hunger and can lead to overeating and weight gain .
The glycemic index of carbs varies. Its affected by a number of things, including ripeness, what else you eat and how the carbs are cooked or prepared.
Generally, whole-grain foods have a lower glycemic index, as do most fruits, non-starchy vegetables and legumes.
Refined carbs have almost no nutritional value and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and weight gain.
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When To Go To The Er
High blood sugar can be very concerning because your body can start burning fat for energy instead of blood glucose.
This can cause conditions such as DKA and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . These conditions are medical emergencies and can be fatal if left untreated.
DKA is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes. Its rare in people with type 2 diabetes, but can occur.
Symptoms that can indicate you should go to the emergency room include:
- ketones in your urine, as diagnosed using a urine dipstick test
- stomach pain
High blood sugar levels can cause a fluid imbalance in the body and can cause the blood to become acidic in a manner that doesnt support life.
Medical treatments for these conditions include administering intravenous insulin on a continuous basis and IV fluids to correct dehydration.
High blood sugar can become a medical emergency. Go to the ER if you suspect DKA or HHS.
The Best Whole Grains To Reduce Your Risk Of Disease Say Dietitiansyour Browser Indicates If You’ve Visited This Link
Whole wheat pancakes, buckwheat noodles, mushroom barley soup wherever we go, grains seem to follow. And this should be no surprise. In addition to being a huge part of our diets, some people often seek out certain grains for their nutritional benefits as many are filled with fiber,
Eat This, Not That! on MSN.com
Only You Can Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
Its annoying but true: The best way to lower your blood sugar is to avoid a spike in the first place.
Eating whole foods that are low in sugar and exercising regularly will help keep your blood sugar in check. This can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, but medications may also be necessary to keep blood sugar in a healthy range.
To avoid food-based spikes, try to steer clear of added sugars in your diet. The FDA recommends consuming less than 200 calories a day from added sugars.
That sounds pretty simple, but when you realize that 16 ounces of orange juice has 240 calories , its easy to see how sugar consumption gets out of hand.
Its best to avoid all sugary drinks and check the labels. There are hidden sugars in everything from bread to turkey slices, so double-check your favorite foods to make sure you arent getting any unnecessary sweetness.
What To Do When Blood Sugar Spikes
It can be frustrating trying to keep blood sugar levels under control. Day by day, they can fluctuate widely, and theyre not always predictable. Although the greatest danger to people with is when blood glucose gets too low, its also important to take action when blood glucose is high. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help prevent and treat these unexpected spikes.
High blood sugar, also called hyperglycemia, often develops in response to too little insulin or other glucose-lowering medication, or too much food. Its important to address hyperglycemia. Not only can it cause problems like impaired thinking in the short term, it can increase the risk for serious problems like , kidney damage, and blindness over time. Heres what you can do about hyperglycemia.
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Not All Calories Are Equal
But when it comes to health and your body’s energy balance, not all calories are equal. For example, some studies have reported that diets that arehigh-protein, low-carbohydrate or a combination of the two do yield greater weight loss than diets with other levels of fat,
New Haven Register
Why Does Blood Sugar Rise Exactly
A number of things contribute to rises in blood sugar on a daily basis. Food is chief among those things.
“Simple carbohydrates, like sugary drinks or candy, will be digested and absorbed quickly, which will raise blood sugar more than a mixed meal with protein, high fiber carbohydrates, and fat,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, founder of NutritionStarringYOU.com and author of The Everything Easy Pre-Diabetes Cookbook.
Protein, fat, and fiber together will slow digestion and thus create a more blunted rise in blood sugar, with less drastic spikes, or even a steady elevation.
“For example, a bagel with jelly that’s nearly all carbohydrates should increase blood sugar more than an egg with whole-grain toast and berries, even if the calories are the same,” Harris-Pincus explains.
“It’s also important to know that all carbohydrates are not created equal, so certain foods like beans and oats, which contain soluble fiber, can help control blood sugar, and strawberries and wild blueberries have been shown to help with insulin resistance as well,” Harris-Pincus says.
Still, all bodies differ, so keep in mind this is just a general rule of thumb. It’s a good idea to monitor your blood sugar after meals for several weeks to gain a better understanding of how your blood sugar responds to foods.
“Every person has a unique body and will react differently, so it takes trial and error to learn how you respond,” she adds.
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Drink Water And Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water could help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy ranges.
In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out any excess sugar through urine.
One review of observational studies showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels (
You can do so at home using a portable blood glucose meter, which is known as a glucometer. You can discuss this option with your doctor.
Keeping track allows you to determine whether you need to adjust your meals or medications. It also helps you learn how your body reacts to certain foods .
Try measuring your levels regularly every day and keeping track of the numbers in a log. Also, it may be more helpful to track your blood sugar in pairs for example, before and after exercise or before and 2 hours after a meal.
This can show you whether you need to make small changes to a meal if it spikes your blood sugar, rather than avoiding your favorite meals altogether. Some adjustments include swapping a starchy side for non-starchy veggies or limiting them to a handful.
Checking your blood glucose and maintaining a daily log enables you to adjust foods and medications when necessary to better manage your blood sugar levels.
Sprinkle Cinnamon On Your Food
According to Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN in a interview with Reboot With Joe, cinnamon can help balance blood sugar levels, so sprinkling it on a dish can help with the metabolic process and prevent spikes. Cinnamon tastes great on a little of foods, such as Greek yogurt, chicken, and apples, as well as many other delicious options.
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Dont Give Yourself A Hard Time
And the flipside of focusing on the positives of these new changes is to not give yourself a hard time, or expect to be perfect. Its very rare to quit eating meat and added sugar, and integrate an entirely new system of eating and exercising all at once.
You might have nights where you splurge, or weeks where youre busy and might not be able to exercise. Family life, work, and vacations get in the way.
The important thing is to focus on the long term effect. Are you moving in the right direction in general? If so, dont give yourself a hard time.
Why Is Managing Blood Sugar Important
Keeping blood sugars at target levels helps people with diabetes avoid serious complications from the disease. High blood sugar can cause many ill effects, which can be sudden, such as acid buildup in the bloodstream, or occur gradually over time.
Over time, keeping blood sugar at unhealthful levels can damage small and large blood vessels in several organs and systems, leading to serious consequences, such as:
- vision impairment and blindness
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Stick To Your Medication And Insulin Regimen
Skipping a dose of medication or insulin can be harmful to your body and increase your blood sugar levels.
Its important to stick to your treatment plan and follow your doctors instructions for taking your medication.
Healthful lifestyle habits can help people manage their blood sugar levels over the long term, such as eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, staying hydrated, and getting good sleep.
Exercise In The Afternoon
Exercise lowers blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, which allows the body to use insulin and glucose more effectively, increasing glucose movement during and after exercise. Studies have shown that exercise will lead to optimal insulin regulation. Exercise after dinner will set you up for steady glucose levels through the morning.
Research has also shown that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise before breakfast reduced the morning rise of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes patients, partially counteracting the dawn phenomenon. The same study also found that exercise significantly reduced blood glucose fluctuations and improved blood glucose control throughout the day.
Some of the best exercises for avoiding morning blood sugar spikes include:
- A walk
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Eat Several Meals Throughout The Day
Eating small meals frequently throughout the day is a great way to keep satiety up and keep blood sugar levels balanced, said Dr. Oz on his blog. Oz recommends eating in “three’s,” meaning eating a snack every three hours throughout the day, as that is the time when people start to feel hungry and should reach for something nourishing to fill their bellies.
Know Your Postprandial Sugar Level During Pregnancy
Gestational diabetes or diabetes during pregnancy is getting common. It is important to start your treatment for gestational diabetes as soon as possible. It helps in avoiding pregnancy complications and keeps your baby healthy. Your doctor will ask you to get your diabetes range after meal check. The normal sugar range after food for the expecting women is 120 mg/dL or less. The higher values indicate gestational diabetes. The treatment for gestational diabetes includes a meal plan, physical activities, medications, and insulin therapy .
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Blood Sugar Spike Symptoms
Learning to recognize the symptoms of hyperglycemia can help you keep your diabetes in control. Some people with diabetes immediately feel the symptoms of high blood sugar, but others go undiagnosed for years because their symptoms are mild or vague.
Symptoms of hyperglycemia typically begin when your blood glucose goes above 250 milligrams per deciliter . Symptoms get worse the longer you go untreated.
Symptoms of a blood sugar spike include:
- frequent urination
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
- Nerve damage in the feet and hands
- 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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