For individuals with diabetes, blood sugar levels are a key concern. High blood sugar, referred to as hyperglycemia, happens when the blood sugar of an individual is over 180 milligrams per deciliter ( mg / dL).
If not controlled promptly, high blood sugar levels can be harmful and lead to both short-term and long-term complications.
We look at several different approaches in this article to help people lower their blood sugar levels. Lifestyle improvements, diet tips, and natural remedies are included in these steps.
Why manage blood sugar?
Keeping blood sugar at target levels helps prevent severe disease problems for people with diabetes. High blood sugar may cause many ill effects that may arise unexpectedly or progressively over time, such as acid build-up in the bloodstream.
Over time , maintaining blood sugar at unhealthy levels in many organs and systems can damage small and large blood vessels, leading to serious consequences, such as:
- vision impairment and blindness
- foot ulcers, infections, and amputations
- kidney failure and dialysis
- heart attacks and strokes
- peripheral vascular disease, a condition where blood flow to the limbs is reduced
- damage to the nervous system, leading to pain and weakness
People with diabetes can substantially reduce their risk of adverse effects from the disease by maintaining blood sugar levels below 100 mg / dL prior to eating and below 180 mg / dL after eating.
How to lower blood sugar levels
Here are 12 ways to lower elevated blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of complications for a person with diabetes.
1. Monitor blood sugar levels closely
Until they run well above 200 mg / dL, elevated blood sugar levels frequently do not cause symptoms. As such, controlling their blood sugar several times a day is important for a person with diabetes. Doing that would ensure that the amount of blood sugar never gets so high.
To check blood sugar levels, a person with diabetes may use a home glucose monitor.
Recommendations for how much glucose levels can be tested during the day can vary from person to person. A doctor should give a person with diabetes the best advice for blood sugar control.
2. Reduce carbohydrate intake
Researchers have performed research showing that eating a high-protein , low-carbohydrate diet decreases blood sugar levels.
Carbohydrates are broken down by the body into sugar that the body uses as energy. The diet needs some carbohydrates. Eating too many carbohydrates can, however, cause blood sugar to spike too high for individuals with diabetes.
The amount of a person’s blood sugar spikes is decreased by minimizing the quantities of carbohydrates a person consumes.
3. Eat the right carbohydrates
Blood sugar levels are influenced differently by the two main forms of carbohydrates, simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates are mainly made up of one kind of sugar. They are found in foods like white bread, candy, and pasta. These carbohydrates are very easily broken down into sugar by the body, which causes blood sugar levels to rise rapidly.
Three or more sugars that are connected together are made up of complex carbohydrates. Since the chemical composition of these forms of carbohydrates is complex, breaking them down takes the body longer.
As a result, sugar is released more steadily into the body, meaning blood sugar levels do not increase quickly after they are eaten. Whole grain oats and sweet potatoes are examples of complex carbohydrates.
4. Choose low glycemic index foods
The glycemic index measures and rates different foods by how much they cause levels of blood sugar to increase. Research indicates that fasting blood sugar levels decrease following a low glycemic index diet.
Those that score below 55 on the glycemic index are low glycemic index foods. Examples of foods with low glycemic levels include:
- sweet potatoes
- low-fat milk
- leafy greens
- non-starchy vegetables
- nuts and seeds
5. Increase dietary fiber intake
Fiber plays a major role in blood sugar management by slowing down the rate that carbohydrates break down, and the rate that the body absorbs the resulting sugars.
Soluble and insoluble fiber are the two types of fiber. Of the two forms, the most helpful in regulating blood sugar is soluble fiber.
- whole grains
6. Maintain a healthy weight
Losing weight helps regulate the level of blood sugar. Being overweight is associated with increased diabetes incidents and greater insulin resistance occurrences.
Studies show that reducing weight by as little as 7% will decrease the likelihood of developing diabetes by 58%.
It is important to remember that to gain from losing 10-20 pounds and keeping it off, a person does not need to reach the ideal body weight. Doing so would also increase cholesterol, decrease the risk of complications, and boost the general sense of well-being of a person.
It can help a person lose weight or maintain their current healthy weight by eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables and having enough exercise.
7. Control portion size
An individual should follow portion recommendations issued by a doctor or nutritionist at most meals. An increase in blood sugar may be caused by overeating while sitting.
While high blood sugar levels are usually associated with simple carbohydrates, all foods cause blood sugar levels to rise. Careful portion control will keep levels of blood sugar more stable.
8. Exercise regularly
For people with diabetes, exercise has many advantages, including weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity.
Insulin is a hormone that helps individuals break down the body’s sugar. People with diabetes either do not make enough or any insulin in their body or are resistant to the insulin the body does produce.
By encouraging the body’s muscles to use sugar for energy, exercise also helps to lower blood sugar levels.
For a healthy lifestyle, proper hydration is important. It is important for individuals concerned about reducing high blood sugar.
Drinking enough water eliminates dehydration and also enables the kidneys to eliminate excess sugar in the urine from the body.
Those that want blood sugar levels to decrease should reach for water and avoid all sugar beverages, such as fruit juice or soda, which may instead increase blood sugar levels.
Unless other limitations apply, people with diabetes should limit their alcohol consumption to the equivalent of one drink a day for women and two for men.
10. Try herbal extracts
Herbal extracts can have a beneficial effect on blood sugar treatment and regulation.
Most individuals should aim to receive nutrients from the foods they consume. However, for people who do not get enough nutrients from natural sources, supplements are also beneficial.
Most physicians do not recommend supplements alone as a therapy. Before taking any supplement, a person should consult their physician as they can interfere with any prescription medications.
Some supplements a person may want to try include:
11. Manage stress
Stress has a significant effect on levels of blood sugar. When under tension, the body gives off stress hormones, and these hormones increase blood sugar levels.
Research shows that it can also help to reduce blood sugar levels by reducing stress by meditation and exercise.)
The secret to preventing severe complications of diabetes is the treatment of high blood sugar.
There are a variety of lifestyle measures that can help reduce glucose levels for a person dealing with high blood sugar.
An individual should always follow the advice of their doctor to reduce high blood sugar.