For someone with diabetes, one of the most important things to do is manage blood sugar levels. This may seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be! With a bit of knowledge and effort, you can easily keep your blood sugar in check.
Different types of blood sugar
There are two main types of blood sugar: glucose and fructose. Your body uses glucose for energy, and it is found in foods like bread, pasta, rice, and sweets. Fructose is found in fruits, and it's metabolised differently than glucose.
If you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or can't use insulin properly (type 2 diabetes). Insulin is a hormone that helps your body move sugar from your bloodstream into your cells to be used for energy. Too much sugar stays in your blood when there isn't enough insulin, or your cells are resistant to it. This can lead to serious health problems.
How to manage blood sugar levels
Blood sugar levels can fluctuate based on several factors, including what you eat, how active you are, and your medications. There are a few things that can be done to help manage your blood sugar levels:
- Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- Avoid sugary foods, drinks, and refined carbs like white bread and pasta.
- Get regular physical activity. Even moderate exercise can help control blood sugar levels.
If you struggle to manage your blood sugar levels on your own, talk to a diabetes doctor about medication options. Many different medications can help control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
How do carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels?
Carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients that affect blood sugar levels. When the body breaks down carbohydrates, they are turned into glucose, which is released into the bloodstream. The amount of glucose in the blood determines a person's blood sugar level. If a person eats too many carbohydrates or doesn't have enough insulin to break them down properly, their blood sugar level will rise. This can lead to serious health problems if not managed properly.
Foods that affect blood sugar levels
Many foods can affect blood sugar levels. Some of these include:
- Refined carbohydrates: These are found in foods like pasta, bread, and pastries. They cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels.
- Fruit juices: While fruits are healthy, the sugar content in fruit juices can cause spikes in blood sugar levels.
- Sugary drinks: Soft drinks, energy drinks, and other sugary beverages can quickly increase blood sugar levels.
- High-fat meals: Fatty foods take longer to digest, which can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of high blood sugar levels
For someone with diabetes, it's important to know how to spot the symptoms of high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can lead to serious health complications, so it's important to catch them early and take steps to lower fasting blood sugar normal range.
Symptoms of high blood sugar levels include:
- Feeling very thirsty
- Feeling very tired
- Frequent urination
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
If you experience any of these symptoms, you must immediately check your blood sugar levels at home with a glucometer. Get in touch with a diabetes doctor if there is a spike.
Symptoms of low blood sugar levels
The symptoms of low blood sugar levels can vary from person to person. Some people experience no symptoms, while others feel mild or moderate to extreme symptoms.
The most common symptom of low blood sugar levels is feeling shaky or dizzy. Those with low blood sugar might also sweat profusely, feel hungry or have a headache. Other symptoms include feeling tired, irritable, or having trouble concentrating. Extremely low blood sugar levels may also lead to one losing consciousness or having a seizure.
If the blood sugar level is below 70 mg/dL, you should seek treatment for the same immediately.
Benefits of managing blood sugar levels
If you have diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels is vital to maintaining your health. There are many benefits to keeping your blood sugar levels normal, including reducing your risk of complications from diabetes, improving your energy levels, and stabilising your mood.
Keeping your blood sugar levels under control can also help you manage your weight and reduce your chances of developing other health problems, such as heart disease and stroke.
Working with your healthcare team to develop a plan for managing your blood sugar levels is the best way to ensure that you stay healthy.
The risks of unmanaged blood sugar levels
Unmanaged blood sugar can lead to serious health problems like heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and eye problems. High blood pressure is also commonly associated with unmanaged blood sugar levels.
You can help prevent these complications by controlling your blood sugar level. You can do this by following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking medications if prescribed by your healthcare provider.
High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) results from excessive glucose in your blood. It is often a short-term problem caused by stress, illness, or certain medications. High blood sugar can also be a consequence of eating more than usual or exercising less. If you have diabetes and high blood sugar is reported, it can be a sign that your diabetes is not under control or that you need to change your treatment plan.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occurs when your blood glucose falls below a threshold that your body needs to function properly. It is often caused by skipping meals or taking too much insulin for the amount of food you eat.
Managing blood sugar levels can be challenging, but it's important if you want to stay healthy. The symptoms and implications of both Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia are a must-know for all who intend to keep their blood sugar levels under control. The good news is that you can do a few simple things to help manage your blood sugar levels. By following the tips in this article, you'll be on your way to keeping your blood sugar levels in check.