While medication is an important part of diabetes maintenance, there are some ways for how to lower blood sugar without medication.
If you've been prescribed medication or insulin, use it as directed. Never quit taking medication without talking to your doctor first.
Learning How to Lower Blood Sugar Without Medication
One of the good things about learning how to lower blood sugar without medication is that, at least with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, you may be able to get healthy enough to get off the medication.
Whether you can put your diabetes into remission or not, your overall health can still benefit from these healthy tips.
1. Start a Regular Exercise Routine
Exercise is actually one of the quickest ways to lower your blood sugar when it is high. You need to exercise regularly though, not just when you have a level spike. Regular exercise is good for your whole body – from your brain to your muscles.
You need energy in order to exercise, which comes from the carbohydrates and proteins that you consume. You'll learn more about those in a little bit.
How much you exercise, and the types of exercises you do, matter when it comes to diabetes maintenance. When you exercise, it can also have an effect on your blood glucose level.
For the best results at lowering blood glucose with fitness, you want to exercise right after you eat. You need to get your heart rate up at least some, so take a brisk walk. You don't want to force yourself to do anything too strenuous right after a meal, or it could leave you with a stomach ache.
When you're doing just a general workout (not right after a meal), do something intense (like cardio) for at least 15 minutes (plus a warm-up and a cooling down period). There are plenty of workouts you can do that are high or medium-to-high intensity.
- Try an aerobics workout that includes things like jumping jacks and burpees.
- Go for a run or try jogging if running is a little too fast paced for you.
- Put your Wii gaming system to use and use running in WiiFit or Just Dance to get your cardio in.
- Play tag with your kids.
- Spend some time on an elliptical or a stationary bike.
- Get a real bicycle and ride around your neighborhood.
Make sure you're exercising daily. Take a break if you're under the weather or if your body is telling you that it needs a break though.
2. Drop Some Weight
If you're exercising daily and making sure that each workout does the job of increasing your heart rate for no less than 15 minutes, you're already on the path to weight loss. Weight loss can improve so many things about your overall health, but it's also a quick way to bring down your A1C levels.
Weight gain is often one of the culprits that lead to type 2 diabetes. Many people, if they lose enough weight and change their diet and lifestyle, have been able to reverse the effects of diabetes, even sending the illness into a sort of remission.
Along with lowering your blood glucose, weight loss also lowers your blood pressure, and it takes the strain off your body. Fat inside the body puts stress on your organs. Carrying a lot of weight around puts stress on your bones, muscles, and tendons.
3. Learn about Good and Bad Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are part of the formula for giving you energy, so you can't completely cut carbs out of your diet. The key is to cut out the carbs that are full of empty calories. Those are the carbs that don't offer you much in the way of vitamins and nutrients.
Pass on types of bread, types of pasta, and sugary sweets. Instead, eat non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, and fruit. Some good whole grains include quinoa, millet, and amaranth. These are also food options that will give you some much-needed fiber.
4. Get Enough Fiber
Speaking of fiber – this must-have nutrient slows down the absorption of sugar in your body. The fact that it is absorbed slowly makes it so that your blood glucose levels raise slower as well. This healthy diet choice makes it easier to control your levels.
Fiber also helps keep your digestive tract running smoothly. Aside from the foods mentioned in the last section, some other fiber-rich foods include legumes, oats, and beans.
5. Eat Healthy Fats
By taking in healthy fats, you help yourself feeling fuller for a longer period of time. This is a great substitution for cutting back on those carbs (though the right amount of fiber will help fill you up too).
Healthy fats are those that contain Omega fatty acids. They are heart healthy and good for your brain health too. Heart health, of course, connects with the health of your blood.
Foods rich in healthy fatty acids include various nuts, fish, avocados, olive oil, and coconut oil.
6. Pay Attention to Portions
When you eat too much, you overload your body with sugar. For someone that has diabetes, this is a terrible thing to do. It's damaging to your health and increases your risk of other illnesses, like heart disease.
Take some time to learn proper portions, like the fact that a portion of meat is actually only about the size of a deck of cards. Follow proper portion sizes at each meal. You should eat until you're satisfied, not stuffed.
You'll find that you feel fuller faster if you drink water during your meal. You should also eat slowly and chew your food well, which will help you eat less.
7. Try Fasting
Intermittent fasting isn't dramatic, and it's something you can easily do to help lower your blood sugar without medication. It's also a great way to help reset your system. It's easy enough to take a 12-hour period in which you don't consume food (you can still drink water to avoid dehydration).
When you're picking a time for fasting, make it around the hours you normally sleep. This way at least half the time you'll be fasting you'll be fast asleep and not thinking about the food you're not eating.
If you have any medications that need to be taken with food, you'll also want to base your fast around them (don't just skip them). Taking medications without food that recommend eating with them can cause stomach upset, and your body might not properly absorb the pills.
8. Take Vitamins and Probiotics
The right vitamins can assist your body in its ability to better use insulin. Vitamins that are good options for those with diabetes include E, K, B-Complex, D, and C. You can get vitamin D naturally by spending at least 15 minutes a day outside in the sunshine.
Probiotics are also important for reducing glucose. Because probiotics help grow and maintain good bacteria in your gut, they also improve glucose metabolism. You can take your probiotics in supplement form, or you can get probiotics naturally through fermented foods and yogurt.
9. Work on Stress Management
Stress can directly affect your blood sugar level. If you're not doing things to alleviate the stress in your life, it can be nearly impossible to balance your blood glucose levels. Work to lessen the amount of stress in your life.
- Take up yoga
- Try meditating
- Deal with stressful situations (look for new work, end a stressful relationship)
- Learn relaxing breathing techniques
- Try aromatherapy
- Take a nap when you need one
10. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Speaking of naps – makes sure you get a full night of sleep every night. It helps if you go to bed at the same time every single night and set an alarm to wake up at the same time each day. When you're not getting a good night's rest, your body acts as though it has insulin resistance, and your blood sugar levels go up.
If you're eating healthily (and not dining or snacking too late at night) and you're exercising regularly, you're helping to promote more restful sleep as well.
11. Drop Your Vices
Vices are vices for a reason – they are things you know are bad for you, but you just keep doing them. If you have diabetes, drinking alcohol and smoking are two things that you shouldn't be doing.
Moderation is essential with alcohol consumption. Alcohol, from wine to whiskey, is filled with ingredients that are raising your glucose (like sugar). Nixing any alcohol that increases your sugar intake is going to be better for you.
Smoking actually causes insulin resistance. If you smoke, you'll find it more challenging to balance your blood sugar. Plus, you increase your risk of many health issues, including kidney disease and heart disease.
12. Try Alternatives
There is a multitude of alternative and complementary medicines and therapies that you can use to help lower your blood sugar without medication. Bitter melon is a naturopathic remedy that can be taken in powdered or juice form.
There are herbs and even spices that can help lower glucose levels, including cinnamon. Cinnamon oil is also useful in increasing insulin sensitivity.
Final Thoughts on How to Lower Blood Sugar Without Medicine
Now that you know how to lower blood sugar without medication, you can start leading a healthier life. If you integrate each of these tips into your daily routine, you will be healthier all around.