High blood sugar levels are produced in a body that doesn’t make enough or effectively use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose and breaks it down to provide energy to your cells. High blood sugar is also known as hyperglycemia or diabetes type 2.
As a person who has diabetes, the first step to blood sugar management is tracking and logging your blood sugar reading. Creating a diary that logs your food intake while helping you track your blood sugar can help you identify the relationship between your eating habits and how they affect your sugar levels.
Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar
High blood sugar levels are found in people with low levels or underproduction of insulin. Insulin is responsible for moving sugar into bloodstreams by breaking it down for the cells to consume and delivering energy.
High blood sugar is a symptom of diabetes mellitus. The symptoms of high blood sugar can be frequent visits to the loo along with a constant feeling of thirst and dry throat. High blood sugar increases hunger pangs and causes headaches inducing a sense of weakness and tiredness. It can lead to blurred vision and other eyesight problems. If a person has high blood sugar levels, their injuries and wounds may heal slowly.
High blood sugar may cause weight loss/ weight gain along with skin and yeast infections. Raised blood sugar levels may cause tingling and numbness in limbs and change the texture of the skin, causing dryness. It may lead to swollen or bleeding gums and change your breath to fruity-smelling. Abdominal pain, confusion, nausea, and vomiting are some other symptoms that are associated with diabetes.
Let us look at the lifestyle changes you can adapt that result in lowering blood sugar. Five ways to attain expected levels of blood sugar are as follows:
1. Exercise and Weight Loss
Regular exercise can help you prevent future health complications that may arise as a result of diabetes. Working out regularly enables you to stay healthy and maintain your weight while increasing your insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means the efficient breakdown of blood sugar, allowing your cells to utilize the available blood sugar as energy.
Exercise strengthens your muscles and aids in joint mobilization, which can support your body weight in a better way. Physical exertion utilizes blood sugar efficiently through contraction and release of muscles and joints. Diabetes and obesity go hand in hand, so to control your blood sugar, you must control your weight which would automatically control your blood sugar. You can incorporate your favorite physical activities such as weightlifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, and swimming in your daily routine and keep your blood sugar levels in check.
2. Carb Intake Management
Carbohydrates Are broken down into sugars inside our bodies which are then stored as energy for later. When we consume copious amounts of carbs while suffering from insulin-producing disorders such as diabetes, the process of breaking carbs into glucose and storing it for future use fails to result in blood sugar rise.
It is possible to enjoy delicious treats while suffering from diabetes as long as you count your carbs and calorie intake while keeping it under control.
The key is to avoid consuming simple carbohydrates that can be digested by the body, raising the blood sugar promptly. Complex carbohydrates such as starches and naturally occurring sugars take longer to digest, enabling moderate blood sugar levels.
Meal planning with a proper carb count and a calorie deficit diet can prove helpful when aiming to improve your blood sugar levels. Low carb intake results in controlled blood sugar and aids in weight management while reducing blood sugar spikes. Your diet chart needs to cater to your specific needs. Instead of following a general diet plan, consult a dietician to tailor your diet, enabling you to improve your quality of life.
Simple carbs are found in bread, potatoes, pasta, sweets, and dairy products. It would help if you were mindful of what you consume and how it affects your body physically and mentally.
3. Increase Fiber Intake
Fiber slows down carb digestion and sugar absorption. It controls blood sugar by preventing sudden spikes in blood sugar which is usually seen post carb intake. The body – soluble and insoluble, can consume two types of fibers. Both types of fiber are essential and must be included in your diet. However, soluble fiber plays a pivotal role in improving blood sugar management in diabetes 2. An increased fiber intake can help people suffering from type 1 diabetes by enhancing the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, enabling a maintained level of blood sugar—foods such as vegetables. Fruits, legumes, and whole grains are high sources of fiber.
4. Stress Management
Stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues harm our physical health. When stressed, a body produces lower levels of insulin which results in blood sugar rise. Due to the release of certain hormones- glucagon and cortisol in a stressed-out person, the liver releases more glucose which ends up in the bloodstream causing the blood sugar to rise.
Yoga and meditation are a few ways to lower your stress level that can be reflected in lowering blood sugar levels. Scientific studies have shown that practicing yoga and mindful meditation for one hour once a week can lead to reduced stress levels and blood glucose levels.
Breathing exercises, going for a walk in the park, playing with your dog, engaging in activities that help you relax, indulging in art or any creative activity, listening to music, and dancing are fun ways to lower your stress levels.
5. Portion Control
Ensuring you consume a significant amount of food with a low glycemic index, fibers, and reduced amounts of carbs is by eating in moderation. Portion control is the cornerstone of weight management and sugar control through diet. One must be vigilant, even if it is just harmless snacking. It would help if you kept an eye on your carb intake and the size of your meals.
You can substitute loaded nachos with healthier snacking options such as baby carrots and sour cream. Another way to control your portion size is using a smaller plate which has psychosomatic effects that make us feel fuller for a longer time. Portion control helps regulate calorie intake and enables healthy weight and blood sugar management.