If you have diabetes, are pre-diabetic, or have a history of diabetes in your family – paying attention to your blood sugar is important.
You need to know how to reduce blood sugar level for your health and wellness. There are pills for that, but there are some other tips on how to reduce blood sugar level that might not require medication (depending on your doctor's recommendation, of course).
Why Do You Need To Lower High Blood Sugar?
Uncontrolled glucose levels can lead to significant problems, including amputation and blindness. Even if your levels don't get that bad, you are affecting the way your body is working by not staying in control.
There is a reason why your glucose is high – something isn't working right. Your pancreas makes the insulin that transfers glucose from your bloodstream into cells to give you energy and help your body function optimally. When glucose is left to build up in the blood and isn't going where it is supposed to, it can cause many symptoms.
Some symptoms of high blood sugar include:
These are some of the more common high blood sugar symptoms that you'll notice. While they can be symptoms of other illnesses as well, they warrant a blood test to be sure.
How To Reduce Blood Sugar Level – It's All About Control
If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, you've already been told how to reduce blood sugar level and the importance of control. If you need a refresher on diabetic care, or if you're pre-diabetic and haven't gotten the complete lowdown on how to take care of yourself now, these tips will help you.
1. Talk To Your Doctor About Medication
Medication is one of the ways you can lower your blood sugar level. It shouldn't be the only thing you use though. The key to long-term blood sugar reduction is to be healthier. However, medication could save your life.
There are prescription medications and over-the-counter medications that can help you regulate blood glucose. Before taking something not prescribed by your doctor, be sure to talk to them about it. You don't want to have issues between it and prescription medications.
2. Manage Your Diabetes
Managing your diabetes is really a culmination of all of these tips, but it also includes checking your levels on a regular basis. Generally, your doctor will tell you how often you should do a finger prick test.
Management is about remembering to take your pills on time. It's about testing at the right times. It's also about taking care of your overall health.
3. Pay Attention To Your Diet
What you put into your body affects everything about your overall health. This hold diet has on your health is why it is important to know what is good for you when you're living with diabetes. Talk to your doctor, talk to a dietitian, and do some research on your own (if need be) to find out what foods are best for you.
Generally, carbohydrates should be limited. They turn into sugar (aka glucose) in your system, and protein is one of the most important parts of your diet. You want to round all of that off by eating whole, healthy foods. Fill your diet with vegetables, snack on fresh fruit (in moderation), and pay attention to your portions.
Some other dietary things you can do include:
Eat More Fiber
Fiber slows down the digestion, which, in turn, slows down the absorption of sugar. Make sure it's soluble fiber.
Go For A Low Glycemic Index
The human body reacts differently to different foods when it comes to blood sugar. Foods with a low glycemic index actually reduce blood sugar levels over time. This includes many fruits, vegetables that aren't starchy, eggs, meat, lentils, beans, legumes, and more.
Increase Micronutrient Intake
Deficiencies in micronutrients can lead to diabetes and high blood sugar spikes. Eat foods that contain magnesium and chromium. These include nuts, eggs, coffee, bananas, and leafy greens.
4. Develop An Exercise Routine
Exercise is just as important for lowering glucose levels as eating a healthy diet. Physical activity has an amazing way of boosting your overall health. It gets your blood pumping, and it gets your lungs working, and it gives you more energy.
Exercise increases insulin sensitivity. This makes your cells more receptive to absorbing insulin like they're supposed to.
Another reason why fitness is important when it comes to lowering high blood sugar levels is that it helps you work toward weight loss. Dropping some weight, and maybe even a waist size or two, helps reduce your risk of developing diabetes and works you toward controlling it if you already have a diagnosis.
5. Stay Hydrated
High blood sugar can cause dehydration. When you're dehydrated for an extended period of time, it can start to have permanent effects on your health. Your organs are made up of mostly water, as is your entire body, and your organs need water in order to run properly.
You're also flushing out excess blood sugar through your kidneys this way.
There's no set amount of water an individual needs to drink each day, but you should be drinking some. Trade soda and other unhealthy drinks for water. Have some when you wake up and drink a glass with every meal.
6. Control Your Stress
Stress is bad for your health for many reasons. It puts tension on your nerves and muscles. But worst of all, it can contribute to weight gain because of the release of cortisol.
The body releases the hormones cortisol and glucagon when you are under stress. Both of these secretions cause blood sugar levels to rise. You can reduce stress by finding ways to relax, through meditation and yoga.
7. Get Some Sleep
While you sleep, your body resets itself and takes some time to heal. A lack of a good night's sleep can increase your stress levels, cause weight gain, and more – the things that you've learned to also raise blood sugar levels.
Each person needs a different amount of sleep. Find what's best for you – usually somewhere between 6 and 9 hours a night.
What to Avoid
There are various foods out there that will raise your blood sugar. By avoiding them, you can work toward not having an increase in the first place.
Now That You Know How To Reduce Blood Sugar Level
You've learned how to reduce blood sugar level – now it's time to put all of these tips (and warnings) into use. Start by making sure that you're working with your doctor to keep an eye on your diabetes, or potential risk for diabetes. Follow that by working on living a healthy and active lifestyle that enriches your overall health and well-being.