Simple, Natural Ways to Manage Your Blood Sugar Levels
The rates of diabetes are increasing dramatically. Many people diagnosed with diabetes find it challenging to control their blood sugar levels. Good control of blood sugar levels is necessary to maintain good health as those with diabetes are at high risk of developing other serious problems such as blindness, nerve damage, and kidney failure.
Diabetes is caused by too little insulin, insulin resistance (commonly called pre-diabetes), or both. The body turns food into glucose which is used for energy by our cells. Our pancreases make insulin to help transfer the glucose from our bloodstream to our cells. When the insulin isn’t doing its job properly the glucose builds up and is passed through our bodies through our urine. When this happens our bodies lose the fuel it needs to give us energy.
In initial stages, people are diagnosed with a metabolic syndrome and called pre-diabetic. They are put on the antidiabetic drug, metformin to treat the pre-diabetes and told to have high likelihood of developing full blown diabetes. Most of us don’t like the drugs because they made us feel tired and run down so it’s best to look into ways of treating our condition naturally without the use of drugs. It’s actually quite easy to control blood sugar levels when you learn how.
The Three Types of Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes: More commonly known as juvenile diabetes, this type of diabetes usually develops in childhood. Type 1 diabetes usually strikes suddenly and is fatal unless treated with insulin. Approximately 10% of the population has this type of diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes: Sometimes called non-insulin dependent or adult-onset diabetes, this type of diabetes is initially managed by diet and exercise. If these measures fail then medications such as metformin or insulin are used. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes: Diagnosed during pregnancy, blood sugar levels return to normal after delivery.
Natural Ways to Control Blood Sugar
- Avoid alcohol
- Eat foods low on the glycemic index
- Get active
- Keep a healthy weight
- Reduce stress
- Use sweeteners instead of sugar
- Get plenty of sleep
- Don’t smoke
- Eats lots of fiber
- Check your blood glucose levels regularly
- Have your thyroid checked
Controlling Blood Sugar Through Diet
How to Manage Fluctuating Blood Sugar
Contrary to popular belief there isn’t a diabetic diet. By monitoring carbohydrates and eating foods that are low on the glycemic index it’s easy to keep blood sugar levels steady. People who are overweight often have diets that contain lots of foods that are high on the glycemic index.
As a general rule most vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains are low on the glycemic index while foods like white bread, rices, and most breakfast cereals are high on the index. Eating lots of fiber containing foods is beneficial in maintaining a healthy weight. Fiber makes you feel full longer and helps keep the hunger pangs away.
Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia
The first step is learning about blood sugar levels
When your blood sugar level is too low it’s called hypoglycemia and when it’s too high it’s called hyperglycemia. Having either one means your blood sugar is out of control. When your blood sugar levels fall below 4 mmol/L (72 mg/dl) you are suffering from hypoglycemia, a condition that can lead to seizures and loss of consciousness if the body doesn’t receive glucose to raise the blood sugar levels.
A blood sugar level over 11.1 mmol/l (200 mg/dl) is a sign of hyperglycemia and you have too much glucose in your blood stream. If hyperglycemia is experienced often and left untreated it can cause organ damage and failure. This is why it’s important to have a blood glucose monitoring kit so you can check your blood sugar levels and take action.
Controlling Your Blood Sugar Naturally
Try Some Cinnamon
A Tasty Way to Lower Blood Sugar
There’s some research that says cinnamon may be helpful in lowering blood sugar levels. Although more studies need to be done, they are finding that cinnamon, when used as a dietary supplement, lowers A1C levels in people with poorly controlled diabetes. You can read more about this from the Mayo Clinic. So sprinkle some cinnamon on your apple, and enjoy!
Eliminate Unnecessary Sugar
Use artificial sweeteners
Consumption of sugar directly affects blood sugar levels. Using artificial sweeteners in place of sugar is a wonderful way to keep blood sugar levels in check. There are different kinds of artificial sweeteners:
Saccharin: Found in Sweet ‘N Low and Sugar Twin
Aspartame: Found in NutraSweet and Equal
Sucralose: Also known as Splenda.
Find ways to eliminate it
Stress has a negative effect on the body and stress hormones increase blood sugar. So, it makes sense that reducing your stress will help you manage your diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is on the increase largely because of a growing population of inactive people so being more active is one of the key ways to counteract the effects of diabetes. Being at a healthy weight will do a lot to keep your blood sugar levels under control. So get up and get moving! Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes respond especially well to exercise.
An aerobic exercise that gets your heart pumping will be more beneficial than doing an exercise like yoga. Since, heart disease is also a risk with diabetes you will be strengthening your heart as well. There are some differences between the effects of exercise on Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, so always check with your doctor before starting any vigorous exercise program so you know the safety parameters in which to operate.