What Causes Low Blood Glucose In People With Diabetes
Low blood glucose levels can be a side effect of insulin or some other medicines that help your pancreas release insulin into your blood. Taking these can lower your blood glucose level.
Two types of diabetes pills can cause low blood glucose
- sulfonylureas, usually taken once or twice per day, which increase insulin over several hours
- meglitinides, taken before meals to promote a short-term increase in insulin
The following may also lower your blood glucose level
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How To Reduce Blood Sugar
High blood sugar can be dangerous. It can happen if you have a high reading when you test your blood glucose, if you get a high value on your glucose test during pregnancy, or if you have prediabetesor diabetes.
Some complications of high blood sugar develop over time, with months or years of high blood sugar. However, it is important to treat high blood sugar immediately because of other complications, such as hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome , that can happen quickly and be emergency situations. In any case, you can take steps to reduce your blood sugar to prevent harm or further health risks.
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When To See A Doctor
According to the University of Michigan, blood sugar levels of 300 mg/dL or more can be dangerous. They recommend calling a doctor if you have two readings in a row of 300 or more.
See your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of this include:
- increased thirst
- high levels of sugar in urine
Ask your doctor how often to check your blood sugar and about your ideal blood sugar levels.
If you dont currently see a doctor who specializes in diabetes, known as an endocrinologist, you can find one by searching the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website.
You can find a certified diabetes educator by visiting the American Diabetes Associations website and searching by zip code.
Talk to your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar readings or symptoms of chronic hyperglycemia.
Checking your blood sugar and then treating hyperglycemia early will help prevent any complications.
Health problems can arise when someone has high blood sugar regularly and without treatment.
Examples of complications include:
- nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy, that may affect sensations in the feet and hands
- diabetic retinopathy, or damage to the blood vessels in the eyes that affects vision
- increased risks for kidney problems
- increased risks for heart problems
Taking steps to keep your blood sugar at target levels can help to minimize the likelihood that these complications will occur.
How To Lower Blood Sugar
High blood glucose can happen for many reasons.
It is most persistent as a problem for people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as others with insulin resistance or other forms of diabetes mellitus.
However, high blood glucose can also happen as a result of other factors like:
- Stressful situations
- A lack of exercise
- Actively fighting a cold or flu
If you have diabetes, dealing with high blood glucose can be frustrating, and part of a larger plan to improve your overall health. However, even if you have not been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood glucose can be a warning sign of future chronic disease.
In this article, well discuss how to identify a blood sugar spike, and some warning signs on how to tell if your hyperglycemia needs immediate, emergency intervention.
Then, well touch on the most effective, evidence-based strategies to lower your blood glucose through simple lifestyle changes, and some daily tips to help make them happen.
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Manage Your Carb Intake
Your carb intake strongly influences your blood sugar levels .
Your body breaks carbs down into sugars, mainly glucose. Then, insulin helps your body use and store it for energy.
When you eat too many carbs or have insulin-function problems, this process fails, and blood glucose levels can rise.
Thats why the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes manage their carb intake by counting carbs and being aware of how many they need .
Some studies find that this can help you plan your meals appropriately, further improving blood sugar management (
Foods that are high in fiber include:
The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 35 grams for men. Thats about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories .
Eating plenty of fiber can aid blood sugar management. Soluble dietary fiber appears to be more effective than insoluble fiber for this purpose.
When Should I Call For Medical Help
It is great to have regular medical care for your diabetes. There are some instances that you should call your doctor right away.
- If you experience an abnormally high blood sugar for more than 24 hours
- If you have fruity smelling breath or test positive for ketones in your urine
- If you become severely dehydrated
- If you are unable to eat or take your medications without vomiting
If someone ever loses consciousness, call 911 right away. This could be caused by blood sugar levels that are too high or too low.
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How To Know If You Are At Risk For High Blood Sugar
Usually, people with type 1 diabetes will experience high blood sugar if they have not taken enough insulin or if they have type 2 diabetes the recommended insulin dosage is not working as it should.
Apart from this, your chances of hyperglycemia increase if you:
- Eat too much processed and junk food
- Do not have any exercise routine
- Have a habit of eating large meals or binge eating
- Take too much stress about anything
- Suffer from any recurring illness
- Have a family history of diabetes
Lets find out how to lower blood sugar quickly in an emergency.
How To Lower High Blood Sugar Naturally
People living with certain health conditions, such as the autoimmune disorder Type 1 diabetes, cant lower their blood sugar naturally.
With Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesnt make insulin, a hormone that helps regulate your blood sugar levels. After being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, you need insulin injections or insulin pump therapy for the rest of your life in order to stay alive.
But if youre diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes meaning, youre at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes you can try to lower your blood sugar using natural methods.
Here are seven effective strategiesAsterino-McGeean recommends if you fall into the latter category:
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Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is associated with diabetes and prediabetes. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
Your body usually manages your blood sugar levels by producing insulin, a hormone that allows your cells to use the circulating sugar in your blood. As such, insulin is the most important regulator of blood sugar levels .
However, multiple factors can impair blood sugar management and lead to hyperglycemia.
Internal causes for high blood sugar include when your liver produces too much glucose, your body makes too little insulin, or your body cant effectively use insulin. The latter is known as insulin resistance (
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 13% of U.S. adults live with diabetes and that another 34.5% have prediabetes. This means that close to 50% of all U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes .
Blood sugar management is especially important for people with diabetes, as chronically high blood sugar levels can lead to limb and life threatening complications (
Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells can more effectively use the available sugar in your bloodstream.
Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction .
Whats more, researchers recommend doing so-called exercise snacks to lower blood sugar and prevent the damage that sitting all day can do .
What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels
Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular physical activity can all help. Other tips include:
- Keep track of your blood sugar levels to see what makes them go up or down.
- Eat at regular times, and dont skip meals.
- Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
- Track your food, drink, and physical activity.
- Drink water instead of juice or soda.
- Limit alcoholic drinks.
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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.
Foods Minerals & Spices That May Help Control Blood Sugar
When it comes to managing blood sugar, the types of foods and drinks you consume plus what you sprinkle on top to add zest and a pop of color can help to stabilize your glucose.
Higher doses of spices are available in pill form. Check with your doctor before taking any supplements, and for advice on specific dosage recommendations.
Here are some foods, spices, and minerals that may help you control blood sugar:
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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.
Foods That Lower Blood Sugar
You can quickly lower your blood sugar with the help of eating lots of delicious foods. You dont have to miss out on fun or taste. The Pritikin Eating Plan focuses on eating a lot of food, particularly whole foods that are naturally rich in fiber and naturally low in fats, sugars, and refined foods.
Guests at the Pritikin Center experience how delicious these whole foods can be as the extraordinary chefs serve up sensational culinary creations. Plus, guests can learn how to prepare these healthy foods, as well as shop for them. At Pritikin, you learn which foods are best for reversing diabetes in seminars, such as the Diabetic Luncheon with the helpful dietitians.
Switching to a healthier lifestyle did more than reverse Jeffs diabetes. I felt as good as I did when I was in high school. And all this without taking any medications just eating healthy and exercising. Thats all it was! Jeff is just one of thousands of people who have come to Pritikin and found changes to their lifestyle transformed their health. The reason Pritikin has worked so well for so many is because of the science behind it. Food can treat high blood pressure , diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and weight management.
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How Does Food Affect My Blood Sugar
When you eat, your body breaks food down into carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
You need all of these parts for a healthy diet, but carbohydrates are really important when it comes to your blood glucose level. However, not all carbs change into blood sugar at the same rate.
Examples of foods that fit into each carb category include:
- Starches, or complex carbohydrates: Starchy vegetables, dried beans, and grains
- Sugars: Fruits, baked goods, beverages, and processed food items like cereals
- Fiber: Whole wheat products, chickpeas, lentils, berries, pears, and Brussels sprouts
The glycemic index is a carb ranking system that uses a scale ranging from zero to 100. You can use the GI to find out how different foods affect your blood sugar levels.
High GI foods are quickly processed and can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. Low index foods are more slowly processed which leads to smaller blood glucose level changes.
Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Syndrome
Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic coma is an extremely serious complication which can happen in those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It most often occurs in those who are non-insulin dependent .
HHNKC is characterized by dangerously high blood sugar over 600 mg/dL. It is typically brought on by an infection such as pneumonia, a urinary tract infection, or uncontrolled blood sugar. If left untreated, it can result in coma and even death.
Signs and symptoms include:
- Weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
The best way to prevent HHNKC is to take your medications as directed and to keep in contact with your healthcare team when your blood sugar is consistently over 300 mg/dL.
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Lets Add A Step 4 For Ones On Medications
If you are on diabetes medications, make sure to continue to take your diabetes medications as prescribed and if you continue to see a trend of higher readings, share these blood sugar levels with your doctor to see if you need a change in your medication . That calls for step 4 in my recommendations: to speak to your doctor if you are seeing trends in higher blood sugar readings.
Thanks for watching and until next time, cheers to your health.
Dont forget to take a look at our most frequently asked questions.
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Fiber plays a preventative role, too. Studies have found that high-fiber diets can reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes by 15 to 19 percent compared to low-fiber diets, according to a March 2018 study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine.
Youll find fiber in plant foods such as raspberries, peas, and whole grains, according to the Mayo Clinic. Beans are another good source of fiber. People with type 2 diabetes who ate at least a cup of legumes daily for three months had lower blood glucose levels as measured by the A1C test, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Beans also are an excellent source of folate, which is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a common diabetes complication, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Men should aim for 30 to 38 g of fiber per day, and women should eat 21 to 25 g per day, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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Home Remedies To Reduce High Blood Sugar
What else can you do in your daily life to reduce high blood sugar? You have opportunities all day, and even all night!
Sleep: Sleep deprivation drives up blood sugar by causing cravings and poor food choices and getting hormones out of whack. Get adequate sleep, and your insulin and other hormones will realign to reduce blood sugar. Remember: sleep is not for lazy people. It is for healthy people who want to be at their best, so make it a priority.
Vinegar: Old wives tale? Maybe not. Apple cider and other types of vinegar may help lower blood sugar by slowing gastric emptying to reduce the post-prandial blood sugar spike, and suppressing glucose production by the liver if you take it at bedtime. According to research in the Journal of Diabetes Research, vinegar also increases insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake by muscles.
Chromium: Chromium is necessary for the proper use of insulin, and deficiency can lead to high blood sugar. Good sources include broccoli, spinach, bran cereal, oysters, and cheese. Chromium picolinate is a common form of chromium supplement, but you should ask your doctor before taking any nutritional supplement.
Stress: Too much stress gets your hormones out of balance and increases blood sugar. While you cannot eliminate stress, you can learn to manage it better. Exercise, deep breathing, aromatherapy, and letting go of what you cannot change can all reduce the burden of stress on your body.