High blood sugar or Hyperglycemia occurs when your body doesn’t effectively use or make enough insulin, a hormone that manages blood glucose and direct it to enter your cells for energy. Oftentimes occurring in Diabetics, blood sugar control is at the centre of any diabetes treatment plan. It is a major concern, and can affect people with both type 1 and type 2 Diabetes; although non-diabetic hyperglycemia may occur in some cases, it is usually a precursor to Diabetes. Recurrent or on-going high blood sugar can damage your nerves, blood vessels and internal organs. Hyperglycemia can also lead to other serious conditions; people with type 1 diabetes are likely to a build-up of acids in your blood called, ketoacidosis, which if left untreated, can lead to diabetic Coma. While high blood sugar in type 2 diabetics or people at risk of type 2 can lead to a potentially deadly condition in which your body can’t process sugar. I think we have scared you enough to convince you that managing your blood sugar level should always be on your agenda. Well here are ways of 8 Easy Ways Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally.
Exercise – Well first and foremost, physical activity can and will lower your blood sugar level when it is high. Exercise can also keep your blood sugar levels steady over time. Regular exercise can help maintain a moderate weight and increase insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells are better equipped to use the available sugar in your bloodstream. Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction. Exercising for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week is highly recommended. Children should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. If you have problems with blood sugar management, you should regularly check your blood levels, this will help you learn how you react to different activities and help keep your blood sugar levels from getting too high or too low. Effective forms of exercise include weightlifting, running, cycling, hiking, swimming and more.
Managing Your Carbohydrate Intake
So you like Carbs? Look, we are not asking you to stop it altogether, but to manage your carb intake. It can drastically help you manage your blood sugar levels. As your body breaks down carbs into sugar (mostly glucose), and insulin helps your body store and use the sugar for energy, when you eat too many carbs, you have insulin function problem and so blood glucose levels can rise. Manage your carb intake by counting them and being aware of how many you need. This helps you plan your meals appropriately, further improving the management of your blood sugar levels. Many studies show that low carb diets help reduce blood sugar levels and prevent blood sugar spikes. Even in the long run, managing your carb intake helps maintain suitable blood sugar levels in the long run.
Increasing Fibre Intake
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that doesn’t break down into sugar molecules, in fact, it doesn’t break at all, it mostly passes through your body undigested. Fibre slows digestion and sugar absorption and so it results in a gradual increase in blood sugar levels. But wait, there is more. The type of fibre you consume may also play a part in it. See, there are two types of fibres: Soluble and Insoluble fibres; while both are essential, soluble fibre has explicitly shown to improve blood sugar management. A high fibre diet can also help better manage Type 1 Diabetes by improving the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and reducing blood sugar lows. High quantity of fibre is found in vegetables, Fruits, Legumes and Whole Grains.
So you like to eat; don’t we all? It is among the universal pleasures of life that also is a necessity. While eating is essential, it is also essential to know how much to eat as too little or too much can be bad for you. That’s where portion control comes into it. Portion control helps in regulating calorie intake and maintaining a moderate weight thus promoting healthy blood sugar levels. Weight management has shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 Diabetes. Reducing calorie intake reduces the consequent blood sugar spikes.
Consuming Food with Low Glycaemic Index
First off, you might be wondering what exactly is Glycaemic Index. Glycaemic Index is a system of assigning numerical values carb-containing foods according to how each food is absorbed or digested which affects the rate at which blood sugar levels rises. Both the amount and type of carbs influence how a food affects blood sugar levels. Eating low-glycaemic-index foods has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in those with diabetes. Although eating low GI food is important, the amount of carbs consumed is equally important. Barley, yoghurt, oats, beans, lentils, wheat pasta and non-starchy vegetables are foods with moderate to low Glycaemic Index values.
You’ve most probably heard about drinking 8 glasses of water a day. Easy to remember and a reasonable goal. But can dehydration cause high blood sugar? Yes, and it’s more interrelated than you may think. As less water in your body means higher sugar concentration in your blood, hyperglycemia. One observational study displayed that individuals who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels. Drinking water helps your kidneys flush out the surplus sugar through urine. Drinking water regularly helps rehydrate the blood, thus lowering blood sugar levels and may even reduce diabetes risk. Remember: water and other non-caloric beverages are best. Sugar-sweetened drinks, for obvious reasons, must be avoided, it is well documented that they raise blood glucose, drive weight gain, and increase diabetes risk.
Fenugreek (Methi) Seeds
Methi (as it is called in Hindi) seeds are a great source of soluble fibre and as mentioned before, soluble fibre is very effective in blood sugar level management. They are helpful for people with diabetes, numerous, albeit small studies have shown that Methi can effectively lower blood sugar in people with diabetes and it even helps in reducing fasting glucose. The seeds may also help improve how the body uses sugar and increases the amount of insulin released.
Managing Stress Levels
In today’s world who isn’t stressed? And while it may be easy for us to tell you to manage your stress levels, it is also essential for you to do so as stress affects your blood sugar levels. Stress is a probable contributor to chronic hyperglycemia in diabetes. Hormones such as glucagon and cortisol are secreted during stress; they cause blood sugar levels to go up. Exercises and mindfulness-based stress reduction may help correct insulin secretion problems in chronic diabetes.
A Healthy Sleep Schedule
Lack of sleep also contributes to rising in stress levels. Not only that, sleep deprivation increases the release of increase cortisol levels which as mentioned before contributes to high blood sugar. Sleep deprivation also decreases the release of growth hormones which play an essential role in blood sugar management. Poor sleeping habits and lack of rest can affect insulin sensitivity and increase appetite promoting weight gain, all contributing factors in blood sugar rise. A good night’s sleep not only feels excellent, it is essential for a healthy lifestyle, so sleep long and sleep tight as a result, stay healthy.