Before You Try Fasting
Talk to your doctor first. If you have type 1 diabetes, other health problems due to diabetes, or have had hypoglycemia, your doctor may recommend you not fast.
If your doctor says itâs OK to try, ask if you need to check your blood sugar more often or adjust your diabetes medication during and after fasting.
Watch for signs of low blood sugar. If you start to feel shaky, sweaty, or confused, your blood sugar may be too low. Stop fasting right away and do what you normally would to treat hypoglycemia. For example, eat a glucose gel or have a sugary drink followed by a small, balanced meal when your blood sugar level is back to normal.
Be careful about what you eat after fasting. Eating too many carbohydrates after fasting can cause your blood sugar levels to become too high. Choose healthy, balanced meals and snacks.
Use caution. Donât do tough workouts while youâre fasting. Hard exercise can make your blood sugar levels dip, which can lead to hypoglycemia. Ask your doctor what activities are OK to do, or just take a break.
Stay hydrated. Having diabetes puts you at risk of dehydration, which can make your blood sugar harder to manage. Drink lots of water and calorie-free beverages when you fast.
Kathryn A. Boling, MD, Mercy Medical Center.
CMAJ: âIntermittent fasting: the next big weight loss fad.â
Annual Review of Nutrition: âMetabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting.”
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center: âDoes Intermittent Fasting Work?â
Heredity Need Not Be Destiny
Many people think theyre destined for lifetime struggles with excess weight and ultimately diabetes because its in my genes. They had parents or grandparents who were overweight and had diabetes.
And sure, genetic factors predispose some of us to become fatter than others, but for most Americans, heredity need not be destiny, argues Dr. Danine Fruge, MD, ABFP, Medical Director and Educator at the Pritikin Longevity Center.
To her patients at Pritikin, Dr. Fruge brings the enthusiasm and expertise of a doctor who practices what she preaches.
Dietary Supplements Also Help
The increase your intake of nutrients that support your bodys ability to use insulin and can help keep your blood sugar stable. Besides vitamins, herbs and spices that are good for diabetes, we also highly recommend Magnesium Citrate, CoQ10 supplementation, D-Chiro Inositol, Chromium, ALA, Green Tea Extract and Pomegranate Extract.
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Take The Medication Unless Your Doctor Tells You Otherwise
Your doctor isnt medicating you for the sake of it. There are certain health problems that will require medication to help you control your levels. This is the case with diabetes.
Its important to visit your doctor regularly. Arranged for morning appointments when you have your checks to get your morning levels recorded on a regular basis. This way your doctor can see if your medication is still needed and whether there are other things you can do instead.
Only stop taking your medication if your doctor tells you so. Youll get a good idea by your glucose levels. Track them yourself to see if theyre getting lower one week to the next. If you see a significant drop, talk to your doctor about your options for cutting back or out your medication and trying more holistic options.
If you believe you need a second opinion, dont be afraid to get one from someone reputable. Just follow the advice from those who have the degrees!
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms.
When too many ketones are produced too fast, they can build up in your body and cause diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA is very serious and can cause a coma or even death. Common symptoms of DKA include:
- Fast, deep breathing.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Stomach pain.
If you think you may have DKA, test your urine for ketones. Follow the test kit directions, checking the color of the test strip against the color chart in the kit to see your ketone level. If your ketones are high, . DKA requires treatment in a hospital.
DKA happens most in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign of type 1 in people who havent yet been diagnosed. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but its less common.
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How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar
Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:
- Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
- Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
- Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
- Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.
Monitor The Blood Sugar Levels Frequently
One of the important steps that you should take to keep your blood sugar levels under check is to monitor the same on a regular basis. When you keep a track and check your blood glucose levels, it is easier for you to determine whether or not you should make any modifications to your diet.
It is important for you to understand the ideal level of blood sugar: if the blood sugar is less than 100mg/dl after a fast of around 8 hours, you have a normal level of blood glucose. If after eight hours of sleep, you are checking your blood glucose and the same happens to be somewhere around 126 mg/dl or higher, you have increased the level of blood glucose in this case.
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Consume Food Rich In Chromium
When your body is deficient in essential minerals and nutrients, it is believed that the blood sugar levels are elevated. One such important nutrient is chromium. This mineral is essential for improving the process of metabolism which has been linked with the blood glucose levels of our body.
Foods which contain chromium include whole grain products, egg yolk, coffee, nuts, meat, broccoli, green beans, etc.
Eating Regularly Throughout The Day
One interesting observation is that blood sugar levels are not only influenced by what you eat, but also by when you eat.
Rather than eating three large meals a day, some studies suggest that splitting your meals up into several small meals may have a beneficial impact on blood sugar levels25,26,27,28,29,30,31.
The idea here is that you snack throughout the day and occasionally have small meals.
Blood sugar levels peak after eating a meal, and the height of that peak is determined by the amount of sugar youve eaten in that meal.
There are some important caveats to this method, however:
Studies comparing the effectiveness of eating several meals ensure that the same total amount of food is eaten by each group.
Put another way, the goal is to eat the same amount of food you would have eaten with three meals but to spread it out across six or nine meals instead.
This is a risky habit, though, because its easy to end up eating more food when snacking which can ultimately lead to more sugar intake as well as weight gain.
For this reason, meal size should be closely watched when doing this.
Similarly, the type of food you snack on should be foods that minimize the rise in blood sugar.
The next section will help you understand which foods can help lower your blood sugar.
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Low Blood Glucose During Sleep
Your blood glucose level can drop while you sleep and stay low for several hours, causing serious problems.7 Symptoms of low blood glucose while you sleep can include
- crying out or having nightmares
- sweating enough to make your pajamas or sheets damp
- feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up
Although you may not wake up or notice any symptoms, low blood glucose can interfere with your sleep, which may affect your quality of life, mood, and ability to work. Having low blood glucose during sleep can also make you less likely to notice and respond to symptoms of low blood glucose during the day.
Using Supplements And Herbs
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Is It Possible To Reverse Diabetes
Its possible to reverse both prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 and gestational diabetes are not reversible people with these conditions can only treat and manage them.
Most people with diabetes have insulin resistance, meaning their bodies dont use insulin well and glucose then stays in their blood and doesnt reach cells, eventually causing health problems. Other people with diabetes either dont make enough insulin or make none at all. There are a few common forms of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes is when the body doesnt make insulin. The immune system attacks and kills cells in the pancreas that create insulin. Healthcare providers usually diagnose this form of diabetes in young people, but it can develop at any age. Type 1 diabetes patients need to take insulin every day.
- Type 2 diabetes is when the body doesnt make or use insulin well. Its the most common form of diabetes. Although it can happen at any age, Type 2 diabetes most often develops in middle-aged and older adults.
- Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women. It usually goes away after the baby is born but does raise the mothers risk of having Type 2 diabetes later on. Diabetes during pregnancy is also sometimes Type 2 diabetes.
Healthcare providers also diagnose people with prediabetes. This is when blood glucose levels are higher than usual but not high enough to be diabetes. Prediabetes raises the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and has many of the same causes.
Preventing High Blood Sugars
Everyone with diabetes experiences high blood sugars sometimes there are simply too many variables in the human body out of your control to prevent them altogether.
That being said, there are a few guidelines we can all follow to minimize the frequency of high blood sugars:
- Avoid full-sugar beverages including soda, juice, coffee drinks, iced tea, etc.
- Choose your carbohydrates carefully starchy carbs from pasta, candy, bread, desserts, etc. will spike your blood sugar the most
- Take your medications as prescribed and contact your healthcare team if you miss a dose to determine if you can take it late
- Exercise daily even a 20-minute walk makes a big difference on a daily basis
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
And of course, if youre experiencing high blood sugars are a daily basis and youre unsure of the cause, talk to your healthcare team about making adjustments in your diabetes management regimen. A slight increase in your medications can have a big impact!
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Beware Of Low Blood Sugars
Remember, above all else, its very easy to over-treat a high blood sugar and wind up low. Then youll be tempted to binge-eat and wind up high again. This blood sugar roller coaster is exhausting and dangerous, too.
Frequently finding yourself on the blood sugar roller coaster means your approach to taking insulin and/or how you treat low blood sugars isnt working and needs some fine-tuning. Work with your healthcare team to reduce and prevent these wild swings to ensure your overall safety and quality of life!
All Of The Research One Comprehensive Guide
Learning how to maintain healthy blood sugar levels is an important step towards managing type 2 diabetes and, for those with pre-diabetes, possibly even preventing it.
Generally speaking, there are two ways to control your blood sugar: medications and lifestyle changes.
This article will focus on the latter, detailing several lifestyle changes that have been shown to help people with diabetes maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
If youre interested in learning about various medications that help to regulate blood sugar, contact your healthcare provider.
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What Is The Somogyi Effect
A second possible cause of high blood sugar levels in the morning is the Somogyi effect, sometimes also called rebound hyperglycemia. It was named after the doctor who first wrote about it.
If your blood sugar drops too low in the middle of the night while you are sleeping, your body will release hormones in an attempt to rescue you from the dangerously low blood sugar. The hormones do this by prompting your liver to release stored glucose in larger amounts than usual. But this system isnt perfect in a person with diabetes, so the liver releases more sugar than needed which leads to a high blood sugar level in the morning. This is the Somogyi effect.
Foods That Fight Diabetes
Pritikin eating means focusing on whole foods that are naturally rich in fiber and naturally low in fats, sugars, and industrial refinement. Pritikin foods are vegetables, whole fruits , whole grains, legumes such as beans and peas, nonfat dairy foods, and moderate servings of lean meat such as fish, skinless chicken breast, and game meat like bison and venison.
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What Is The Dawn Phenomenon
Your body uses glucose for energy and it is important to have enough extra energy to be able to wake up in the morning. So for a period of time in the early morning hours, usually between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m., your body starts churning out stored glucose to prepare for the upcoming day.
At the same time, your body releases hormones that reduce your sensitivity to insulin. In addition, these events may be happening while your diabetes medication doses taken the day before are wearing off.
These events cause your body’s blood sugar levels to rise in the morning .
What Causes The Blood Sugar Levels Go To High
Our bodies need sugar to make energy for the cells. Without it, we cannot do basic functions. When we eat foods with glucose, insulin pairs with it to allow it to enter into the cell wall. If the insulin is not there, then the glucose molecule cant get through the wall and cannot be used. The extra glucose hangs out in the bloodstream which is literally high blood sugar.
The lack of insulin can be caused by two different things.
- First, you can have decreased insulin resistance which means that your insulin doesnt react the way that it is supposed to. It doesnt partner with glucose to be used as fuel.
- Secondly, you can have no insulin, which is the case with type 1 diabetes.
Regardless of how it is caused, it is imperative to control blood sugars to help prevent problems.
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What Causes High Morning Blood Sugars
Two main culprits prompt morning highs: the dawn phenomenon and waning insulin. A third, much rarer cause, known as the Somogyi effect, may also be to blame.
The occasional morning high will have little impact on your A1C, a measure of your average blood sugar levels over time that indicates how well managed your diabetes is. But if those highs become consistent, they could push your A1C up into dangerous territory.
When Should I Check My Blood Sugar
How often you check your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and if you take any diabetes medicines.
Typical times to check your blood sugar include:
- When you first wake up, before you eat or drink anything.
- Before a meal.
- Two hours after a meal.
- At bedtime.
If you have type 1 diabetes, have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, or often have low blood sugar, your doctor may want you to check your blood sugar more often, such as before and after youre physically active.
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How Do Carbs Affect Blood Sugar
Carbs in food make your blood sugar levels go higher after you eat them than when you eat proteins or fats. You can still eat carbs if you have diabetes. The amount you can have and stay in your target blood sugar range depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors. Counting carbs in foods and drinks is an important tool for managing blood sugar levels. Make sure to talk to your health care team about the best carb goals for you.