Increased blood sugar, particularly referred to as “Hyperglycemia” in scientific terms is a condition that arrives when blood sugar levels of the body increase beyond the normal range. ‘What to do when blood sugar is high’ is a common issue faced by most of the individuals with Diabetes. What actually happens is that to keep our blood sugar in the optimal range, the pancreas present in our body produces a hormone called insulin which stimulates the cells to absorb glucose and store it. But when the body lacks enough insulin or if insulin fails to work appropriately, glucose now cannot be absorbed by the cells and remains in bloodstream causing blood sugar levels to rise drastically above the safe limit leading to numerous health issues.
The prevalence of diabetes is increasing in a vigorous manner worldwide with approximately 425 million people presently dealing with the problem of elevated blood sugar. This proportion is expected to inflate up to 625 million by 2035. Hence, making people familiar with the appropriate measures is the need of the hour.
Causes for High Blood Sugar Levels
Before you try and adapt methods for lowering blood sugar, you must know the evident causes which are responsible for spiking up the blood sugar levels. This helps you to understand the problem of high blood sugar comprehensively and get solutions with the right approach.
Different kinds of diabetes are responsible for raising blood sugar levels if proper prevention is not taken. You might be familiar with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, if not, then now you will be.
Type 1 diabetes is the condition when the immune system attacks beta cells of the pancreas which produce insulin. As a result, insulin production gets ceased and the body is unable to meet the insulin requirement lifting up blood sugar levels. People with type 1 diabetes must regularly take insulin either through injection or pills administered orally and require an insulin pump to keep a check on blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes is said to occur when the body produces insulin but its amount is not sufficient enough to meet the demands of the body or it resists insulin.
Insulin resistance is a well-known cause of type 2 diabetes which is due to improper functioning of insulin. The body doesn’t a response to insulin anymore and cannot stimulate cells to absorb glucose. Therefore, this glucose enters the blood hiking up blood sugar.
Gestational diabetes is the one which occurs when the body develops insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels are encountered during pregnancy.
Carbohydrates are the major cause of driving blood sugar levels to accelerate disastrously. They are complex sugars that get broken down to simpler sugars in the form of glucose which then enters our bloodstream. The more you consume food containing carbohydrates, the more likely your blood sugar levels will rise accordingly. Intensive studies find that consumption of sugar above optimal levels is related to the development of insulin resistance by the body. Hence, you need to be forethoughtful regarding the amount of your sugar intake.
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Foods with a high glycemic index pave a greater threat to the heightening of blood sugar levels.
The glycemic index literally means the measure of the relative ability of any carbohydrate to raise the levels of glucose in the blood. Conversely, foods with a high glycemic index are quickly digested and absorbed by the body resulting in a rapid rise in blood sugar levels.
Instant remedial solutions for quickly bringing down raised up blood sugar levels
There are times when blood sugar levels are uncontrollably raised up. To cope up with the situation, you must be ready with some instant solutions to revert back your raised up blood sugar levels to normal again and get immediate relief.
1. Drink plenty of water – whenever there is an increase in blood sugar levels, the very first and foremost thing is to keep the body perfectly hydrated. If you are suffering from Hyperglycemia but not drinking plenty of water, there are high chances that you will be lying on the hospital bed in the near future. There is a subtle physiological phenomenon behind this.
When the body is dehydrated, the vasopressin hormone is released by the hypothalamus whose function is to prevent loss of water from the body. Vasopressin causes kidneys to retain fluids as a result of which body cannot flush out excess of sugar through urine. Now, this sugar has to reside in our body within our bloodstream. Moreover, vasopressin stimulates the liver as well to release sugar into the blood thereby making the situation even worse.
Hence, make sure to keep yourself fully hydrated in case of increased blood sugar.
2. Exercising a little can help a lot – even a light exercise done for a short time interval can instantly lower down your blood sugar to an appreciable extent.
But you have to be extra careful with this remedy. If the amount of ketones in your body is high, the condition generally termed as Diabetic Ketoacidosis, then you should not exercise at all as it will raise your blood sugar even more. You need to properly get diagnosed and know everything well about your health conditions in advance.
3. Eat a high protein food – having a protein-rich diet is a must during Hyperglycemia. Proteins serve you with dual benefits, it will keep your blood sugar in control as well as also provides essential amino acids to the body which are extremely required for healthy well being but cannot be produced by the body. Amino acids to stabilizes the blood sugar levels. Eat eggs, meat, pulses, dairy products, beans, broccoli, legumes, spinach and all that you can manage to get.
4. Get administered with an immediate dose of insulin – You must consult your doctor either through a physical visit or make a phone call, whatever suits your comfort zone at the moment. The doctor will accurately prescribe you the right amount of insulin dose to take during an emergency.
5. Put a limit on your carbohydrates input deliberately – limit all the eatables containing high carbs and sugars. Use calorie-free sweetener in place of table sugar.
Foods that decrease the risk of high blood sugar spikes
1. Bottle gourd juice – people all over the world kick start their day with a mug of tea or coffee. But being a person with Hyperglycemia, you aren’t supposed to do that. Nothing can surpass the nutritious value of bottle gourd juice, a perfect beverage to give your day a healthy beginning. Its taste might irritate you for some time but the benefits are just incredible particularly in times of high blood sugar.
Rest, you are wise enough to make the choice.
2. Vinegar – This is something very common to find in Indian households in the form of preservatives for pickles.
Vinegar, especially Apple Cider vinegar can prove to be a boon for people having Hyperglycemia. From activating weight loss, cholesterol reduction to improving heart health and controlling blood sugar, it does it all with no harmful effects. This is a must include the thing in your diet chart if you want to tackle the problem of increased blood sugar with great ease.
3. Fibers – switching on to fibers during high blood sugar levels brings you surplus benefits. Fibers have two categories namely soluble fibers and insoluble fibers. It is the soluble fiber that can effectively reduce blood sugar levels and help you lead a healthy lifestyle. These fibers have the ability to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates in the esophagus. Additional advantage includes making your stomach feel full leading to reduced food intake and thereby eliminating the chances for obesity.
4. Consume foods with low glycemic index – foods with low glycemic index contain a low amount of carbohydrates in them which prevent glucose to build up in your body and eventually reduce the circumstances for rising blood sugar levels.
Green vegetables, raw carrots, kidney beans, chickpeas, and lentils are some of the very good options if you are ready to inculcate foods with the low glycemic index in your diet.
5. Drinking enough water a day keeps you on the safer side – It is scientifically proven that people who drank at least 1 liter of water a day faced 25% less risk blood sugar getting high than the people who drank only 500 ml or less water per day.
An ideal amount of water a person with blood sugar spikes should drink is recommended to be 1.5 liters a day. Not to forget that dehydration makes your problem more adverse, so better to avoid such issues before they happen.
6.Berberine – A potent supplement to treat diabetes along with its further abilities to cure cancer, depression and cholesterol reduction.
Berberine is chemically a quaternary ammonium salt belonging to the protoberberine group of benzylisoquinoline – an alkaloid found in some plants. It is generally extracted from the roots of plants like barberry and goldenseal.
The working strategy of Berberine is such that it activates AMP-activated protein kinase which regulates the way the body uses blood sugar. Authentic studies made previously reveal that it enhances overall insulin sensitivity and stabilizes the blood sugar levels.
Thorne Research Berberine 500 is regarded as the best berberine supplement brand of 2019. You can get this or other similar products either through local stores or online sites.
7. Brown rice and Basmati rice – Brown rice is definitely the best choice for your diabetes management. Brown rice is packed with fibers. Since fibers are not digested by our bodies, they don’t affect our blood sugar in any way.
Basmati rice, on the other hand, has the lowest glycemic index among all the rice types, that is, once digested it will release energy gradually maintaining stable blood sugar levels giving an essential contribution towards your health management.
8.Artificial sweetening agents – all the artificial sweeteners whether natural or artificial comes with no calories or very low calories, if any but still are 90 to 600 times sweeter than table sugar. Therefore, if you feel the lack of sweetness in your food, you can switch towards some trusted artificial sweetening products like Stevia, Tagatose, Saccharin, Aspartame, and Sucralose. These are available at local stores and online under different brand names. Some widely used brands are Sugarfree, Nunaturals, Splenda, Zevic, Nevella, Sugar twin and so on.
Foods and drinks you must avoid to ensure better control over increased blood sugar
According to a widely quoted dictum, “Health is wealth” and obviously our health has to be our priority. Many other people’s lives and expectations are linked with our good health. Keeping the same in mind, here is the complete array of things you need to eradicate from your plate to have better control over the disease.
1.Refined carbohydrates – The prime reason for rising up of blood sugar levels is carbohydrates. Further, refined carbohydrates have a very high glycemic index favoring lifting up of blood sugar too far above than safer limits.
The amount of sugar an average person consumes in a day is reported to be 25g in women and 38g in men. However, the appropriate amount recommends for people with Hyperglycemia is 22g for women and 34g for men.
2. Bottled juices – bottled juices are one of the worst things to consume when your blood sugar is high as can be seen from the index of the packets that all the packeted juices are exhaustively rich in glycemic index and calories which will worsen your health for sure.
3.Caffeinated coffees – Researches unleash that regular consumption of caffeinated coffee can decrease the body’s ability towards insulin sensitivity and result in lifting up of blood sugar levels.
4.Honey – Honey is usually considered superfood in Indian Ayurvedic culture. Although it has remarkable potency to treat many diseases, it is still destructive in the case of the hyperglycemic conditions. A single tablespoon of honey contains about 17 grams of carbohydrates which means that the glycemic index of honey is extremely high causing a direct accelerating impact on your blood sugar levels.
5. Trans fats – Trans Fatty acids or trans unsaturated fatty acids, commonly called trans fats comes with several negative health impacts.
Doctors consider them the worst kind of fats to eat not just because it sets the risk for type 2 diabetes but also because it is associated with triggering heart-related diseases and increasing cholesterol levels as well.
Trans fats are a part of peanut butter, flavored yogurt, junk foods, and packaged snacks.
6. Sweetened cereals – compositionally, cereals contain 75% carbohydrates which are going to lift up your blood sugars making it a bad choice for bringing in your routine. Despite the nutritional claims marked on their packets, they are far less healthy for someone with high blood sugar.
7. Processed snacks – industrially processed snacks are abundantly loaded with calories and undesired materials. They are typically made with refined flour, often containing fast-digesting carbohydrates that rapidly accelerate blood sugar.
8.White rice and white bread – both white rice and white bread contain a peak amount of carbohydrates in them together with refined flour and low fiber content. That overall makes a really dreadful combination for the people who already have got their blood sugar levels raised.
Instead, you should turn on to brown rice for which the benefits have already been mentioned above.
Shake hands with spices
Spices can help you a lot to bring down increased blood sugar back to normal. Some must consume spices include cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, and cloves.
Cinnamon is the most loved spice among diabetic patients. The reason is that you can replace it in the place of table sugar or sprinkle it on the top of other foods and dishes you eat.
Cinnamon is known for improving the insulin sensitivity of the body eventually improving your diabetic health.
Turmeric has been used as an Ayurvedic medicine for a long time due to its remarkable antiseptic and antioxidant properties.
Chemical complex named curcumin found in it impels your blood sugar levels to the optimized range. One of the best ways to include turmeric in your diet is by taking it along with milk, something which is very common in Indian society.
Cloves prominently serve with the benefaction of maintaining low blood sugar. Apart from this, it too promotes insulin production which gives an ultimate boost for controlled blood sugar levels.
Do’s and Don’ts to follow for a healthy lifestyle
- Never skip meals as it can result in obesity. Whenever you remain without eating anything for longer hours, your body uses the glucose already stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. This provokes the liver to release more glucose into the bloodstream.
- Don’t cut off necessary sleep. The appropriate time you should allow for sleeping is 7 to 8 hours to prevent unnecessary blood sugar spikes.
- Be cautious with your sleeping hours, even sleeping more than required makes you overweight and cause more problems.
- Eat more foods with low glycemic index and must involve apples, pineapple, citrus fruits, strawberries for high fiber intake
- Regular exercise is the key to maintaining normal blood sugar levels. Weightlifting, walking, running, cycling, dancing or even short term intense workouts, all can help you to fight high blood sugar.
- Not to forget, exercising under the condition when you have high ketone count in your body might prove harmful.
- Simple yogurt can be beneficial to you but sweetened and flavored yogurt will adversely affect your diabetic health.
- Don’t take unnecessary stress. This causes the narrowing of blood vessels resulting in poor blood circulation and providently poor health.
- Keep a continuous check on your glucose levels. If it ranges between 180-250 mg/dL, you are entering the danger zone and readily need to consult a doctor.
- If you are well-versed with modern technology, then you must connect with some great Android apps like “Beat Diabetes” which provides meal recommendations, guidance for weight loss and much more .”Apollo Sugar” is another such app that aims to connect specialists, patients, and technology together. You can access reports, prescription and chat online with personalized health specialists to gain educational information.
When blood sugar rises beyond the safer limit, it becomes a matter of utmost concern but no disease is such a big that can surpass your determination and will power. Things definitely get easier once you know the right tactics and solutions.
Immediately switch on to low glycemic foods, high protein diet, consume more of fibers and obviously drink maximum water to ensure hydration. Keep in touch with the doctor as to when required.keep a track of your daily activities to make your conversation with the doctors and specialists more productive.
Exercise and sleep well with a stress-free mind for better convenience. Selectively pick up only a healthy menu and cut off all the extra stuff from your diet chart. Lastly, a joyous and happy mind builds up good health. Make sure to find a reason which makes you laugh through a day.