Is It Beneficial To Monitor Blood Sugar If You Don’t Have Diabetes
“I really can’t imagine why, though it would certainly be fascinating,” says Virginia-based Jill Weisenberger, M.S., RDN, creator of The Prediabetes Meal Planning Crash Course. Weisenberger explains that blood sugar levels fluctuate all day whether you have diabetes, prediabetes or neither. That is normal and exactly what’s supposed to happen. According to the CDC, a healthy person’s blood sugar levels range from about 70 to 140 mg/dL depending on food intake, exercise and more. In people with diabetes, however, depending on medications, blood sugar levels can vary more.
Weisenberger explains, “If you don’t have prediabetes or diabetes, and your blood sugar fluctuates in the normal range, there’s no need to measure blood sugar levels.”
Take Your Insulin As Prescribed
High blood sugar occurs when your body has too little insulin, or your body cant use insulin properly. Administering insulin can bring your blood sugar levels down.
Talk to your doctor about how much rapid-acting insulin you should administer when your blood sugar is high.
You may want to check your blood sugar about 1530 minutes after taking insulin to make sure your blood sugar is going down and that its not dropping too low.
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 .
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How Long Does It Take For Blood Sugar To Go Down
Multiple factors, such as dietary patterns, health, and medications, can influence a persons blood sugar levels. A person can seek a doctors advice on the best strategies to manage their blood glucose. As an individuals blood sugars can fluctuate and go down quickly, it is important to monitor them closely.
Typically, medications such as insulin can help reduce blood sugars quickly. Different types of insulin exist, and each type has a different onset and duration meaning how long it takes to work and how long the effects last, respectively.
For example, rapid-acting insulin typically begins to work within about 15 minutes , has the strongest effect in approximately an hour, and lasts for a few hours.
Other methods, such as exercise, can help lower blood sugars for up to about 24 hours by making the body more sensitive to insulin. Generally, it is advisable to exercise 13 hours after eating, as this is likely when blood sugar levels will be highest. However, it is important to check these levels before exercising and to check them regularly, particularly after any grueling activity.
If a person takes insulin, their risk of experiencing hypoglycemia may be highest 612 hours after exercising. Additionally, it is worth noting that health experts advise caution if exercising with high blood sugars, as physical activity may cause them to rise even higher.
What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels
- 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.
- For a sweet treat, choose fruit.
- Control your food portions .
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What Are The Tips To Lead A Healthy Life With Diabetes
The below tips can help in keeping the blood sugars in control and reducing spikes. They include:
Eating a Consistent Diet: Diet plays an important role in managing blood sugar levels in diabetics. They must take small, healthy meals every two hours to keep up with their blood sugars and medicines. This helps avoid major fluctuations in blood sugar levels. It is pivotal to take a steady carbohydrate diet that does not include empty calories like those in processed foods. A diet rich in fiber helps in keeping blood sugars within limits. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats constitute a balanced diet.
Getting Regular Exercise: Along with reducing excess fat in the body and keeping the heart healthy, simple exercises like brisk walking or cycling have a multitude of benefits. One important benefit is keeping the blood sugars under control and helping the body cells to use insulin more efficiently. Daily physical activity for 30 minutes per day on at least five days a week is recommended.
Reducing Stress: Stress is a culprit that can lead to various unfavorable conditions in the body. Managing stress prevents blood sugars from rising. Meditation, listening to music, journaling, going for a short walk in nature, or cooking a meal are stress busters that have to be followed regularly.
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Ramp Up Your Movement Each Day
Exercise helps improve blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity and the bodys ability to use glucose as energy, according to the American Diabetes Association. In type 2, exercise helps improve insulin resistance, says James G. Beckerman, MD, a cardiologist in Portland, Oregon. The end result is lower blood sugars.
Crandall Snyder tells patients that exercise is like spring cleaning for the body. It takes the stored form of glucose and uses it for energy so the next time you eat carbohydrates there’s a place to put it, she says.
Because exercise can immediately reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, work with your healthcare team to determine the right amount of activity and timing for you. A study published in September 2017 in Frontiers in Endocrinology found exercising 30 minutes after the start of a meal is usually best for maintaining blood sugar controls.
Learn more about managing your blood sugar in Diabetes Daily’s article “HbA1C: Everything You Need to Know.”
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Checking For Low Blood Sugar Levels
The warning signs of hypoglycemia are the body’s natural response to low blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels fall too low, the body releases the hormone adrenaline, which helps get stored glucose into the bloodstream quickly. This can make someone:
- have an increased heart rate
If the hypoglycemia isn’t treated, more serious symptoms may happen, such as drowsiness, confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness.
The only way to know for sure if you’re having a low blood sugar level is to test. Blood sugar levels can be tested with a . This computerized device measures and displays the amount of glucose in a blood sample. But if you can’t quickly check your blood sugar level, it’s important to treat yourself for hypoglycemia immediately to prevent symptoms from getting worse.
Sometimes a person with diabetes may have symptoms of low blood sugar levels, but blood sugar levels are not actually low. This is a called a false reaction. The hormone adrenaline is not just released when blood sugar drops too low it’s also released when blood sugar levels fall quickly when they’re too high. If you’re having a false reaction, you might actually have blood sugar levels in a healthy range but feel as if you have low blood sugar. Testing blood sugar levels before treating yourself for hypoglycemia can help you figure out if you’re having a false reaction.
Emergency Low Blood Sugar
For blood sugar levels below 70 mg/dL, you need to consume 15 grams of carbohydrates immediately. ½ cup of juice, one tablespoon of honey, or one tablespoon of sugar dissolved in water all contain about 15 grams of carbohydrates. Avoid eating carbs with protein added , which can take longer to raise your blood sugar.
Re-check your blood sugar in 15 minutes if its still below 70 mg/dL, repeat the 15 grams of carbohydrate treatment and check your blood sugar again in 15 minutes.
For severe low blood sugar seek emergency medical care. If you have a glucagon injection , it should be used.
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Monitoring Your Blood Sugar
Regular blood sugar monitoring is the most important thing you can do to manage type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Youll be able to see what makes your numbers go up or down, such as eating different foods, taking your medicine, or being physically active. With this information, you can work with your health care team to make decisions about your best diabetes care plan. These decisions can help delay or prevent diabetes complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation. Your doctor will tell you when and how often to check your blood sugar levels.
Most blood sugar meters allow you to save your results and you can use an app on your cell phone to track your levels. If you dont have a smart phone, keep a written daily record like the one in the photo. You should bring your meter, phone, or paper record with you each time you visit your health care provider.
Sometimes having high blood sugar can feel like a test you didnt pass. But numbers are just numbers. Think of them instead as information. Did a certain food or activity make your levels go up or down? Armed with that knowledge, you can make adjustments and get closer to your target range more often.
High Blood Sugar Diet: When Your Blood Sugar Levels Are High You Need To Give Special Attention To Your Diet Here’s A List Of 7 Veggies That Can Be Safely Had By People With Diabetes
- Carrots and tomatoes belong to the group of non-starchy vegetables and can be safely consumed by people who have high blood sugar
- Spinach ensures that sugar metabolises slowly and therefore prevents a surge in blood sugar levels
- With a low Glycemic index and Glycemic load content, mushrooms are good for diabetics
High blood sugar management: Diabetes or high blood sugar can pose a serious threat to one’s health if left untreated and uncontrolled. Type 2 diabetes is often caused by poor lifestyle choices and if you want to keep the sugar levels in your blood in check, it is essential to pay special attention to your diet. Vegetables are an essential part of any diet and are indeed magical when it comes to health benefits. But when you have diabetes, some veggies are better than rest because of their low glycemic index and low glycemic load . Let’s read about 7 vegetables that fulfill these criteria.
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Save Your Sweets For Dessert
Do not eat dessert as a snack. If you want something sweet, do so after eating a meal. When you eat something sweet on an empty stomach, whether its fruit or refined carbohydrates, it will cause a big spike in your blood sugar. Combining your sweets with fiber, fat, and/or protein leads to a smaller glucose spike which means less inflammation and less insulin release. Fruit also falls into this category. For instance, youre better off eating an apple with nut butter as opposed to eating an apple alone.
Emergency High Blood Sugar
If your blood sugar level is very high , you should contact your healthcare provider immediately to determine the next step. If you have type 1 diabetes and think youre going into DKA, you should seek emergency medical care.
In the meantime, avoid eating or drinking foods high in carbohydrates/sugar drink only water, not sugary drinks like soda or juice. If youre hungry, eat protein-rich foods like cheese, meat, eggs, and nuts to help keep your blood sugar levels from rising even more.
If you have short-acting insulin, your healthcare provider might recommend taking an extra dose to help lower your blood sugar level quickly. This is called a correction dose, and should only be done under the guidance of your healthcare provider since taking too much short-acting insulin can lead to low blood sugar.
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Avocado Salad With Ginger
Here’s a refreshing salad that you can have ready in a matter of minutes, using San-J Tamari. The recipe has a variety of textures, from the crunchy cucumber to the cool and creamy avocado. San-J Tamari Organic Soy Sauce has a richer and more complex taste than typical soy sauce and it’s non-GMO and gluten-free!
Which Is Right For You
Finding the best glucose monitoring system that is right for you is about finding the choice that best suits your needs. By considering the benefits and limitations between the different systems that are available in Canada, you can find a system that meets your individual requirements while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your diabetes care routine.
Our glucose monitoring comparison chart provides a summary of CGM, Flash glucose monitoring devices and test strips and meters.
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Being Dehydrated When You Have Diabetes
Having a temperature or being sick can lead to dehydration. In some cases, severe dehydration and very high blood sugar levels can mean that you need to go into hospital.
So its important to be prepared and follow our advice on coping when you’re sick. You might want to give this information to a friend or family member, so they can help you if you get sick.
Keep A Consistent Exercise Schedule
Jenny Lyn Belleza, 35, says getting enough physical activity is a cornerstone of how she manages her Type 2 diabetes.
A big part of managing blood sugar is exercising regularly, and I try to stay on top of my fitness by going to the gym a few times a week and doing some sort of cardio or strength training, she says. Ive found this helps keep my blood sugar in check, and prevents any spikes or dips throughout the day.
According to the CDC, being active makes the body more sensitive to insulin, and not only helps control blood sugar but also lowers the risk of heart disease and nerve damage related to the condition. The American Diabetes Association adds that physical activity effects vary depending on how long youre active and the intensity of your workout, but in general, exercise can lower blood sugar for 24 hours or more.
Because of that, its important to check in with your doctor or diabetes educator when putting together an exercise plan. If youre taking insulin, for example, you may need to adjust the dose before exercise to lower your risk of hypoglycemia. Much like tracking how food affects your blood sugar hour by hour, keep on top of blood-sugar changes before, during, and after activity to understand how working out is affecting you.
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Seven Ways To Manage Your Blood Sugar During The Holidays
For those with underlying chronic medical conditions like diabetes or insulin resistance, the holiday season can wreak havoc on their blood sugars and even land them in the hospital. Things may not be as dramatic for the rest of us, but did you know that 90% of non-diabetics also experience glucose spikes? This not only leads to chronic inflammation, weight gain, and hormonal imbalances but can ultimately lead to insulin resistance and the development of diabetes. Learning to minimize glucose spikes benefits all of us, particularly those with type 2 diabetes and established insulin resistance.
Work With A Care Team
For years, Melissa Almeida, 48, managed her Type 2 diabetes by herself, but struggled with nearly every aspect, from medication timing to food choicesin part because she was just a teenager when she was first diagnosed.
I felt overwhelmed, and as a result, I was only taking one of three prescribed medications, she says. I wasnt able to maintain a steady level of energy and it affected every aspect of my life, including being able to work. By the time I started taking enough medication, I was a full-time working mother and it was becoming increasingly difficult to find adequate time to manage my disease.
Almeida turned to a diabetes care coach program from UMass Memorial Health, which helped her establish a plan to gradually improve her medication regimen. She also received counseling on the medications she was taking to learn how they affected her blood sugar and what side effects could occur. And she received detailed nutrition guidance that made a big difference for her blood sugar and energy levels.
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