How to Lower Your "Too High" Glucose Levels
High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is closely linked to diabetes and should never be left untreated. "Keeping your blood glucose levels in the recommended ranges throughout the day will help you avoid long-term complications of diabetes, such as eye damage, heart attack (or other cardiovascular complications), kidney damage, nerve damage, stroke, problems with healing wounds… By maintaining your blood glucose levels—and avoiding hyperglycemia—you can reduce your risk of all these complications," says Amy Hess-Fischl, MS, RD, LDN, BC-ADM, CDCES. Here are five expert-backed methods of lowering your blood sugar. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Lose the Belly Fat
People who carry excess weight around their midsection (35 inches or more for a woman and over 40 inches for a man) have a higher risk of experiencing blood sugar problems. "A person who has a highly inflammatory diet and carries excess adiposity around their central organs is more likely to get type 2 diabetes," says diabetes and metabolism expert Elena Christofides, MD. "Excess weight and obesity are risk factors for type 2 diabetes, but how your body stores and manages weight can also be an early indicator of risk."
Trust Your Doctor
High blood sugar is a serious health condition, so avoid any quack supplements promising miracle cures and stick with what your doctor advises. "Beware of too-good-to-be-true claims made about non-prescription pills and cleanses," says registered dietitian Andrea Dunn.
Lose Weight to Lower Blood Sugar
If you're overweight or obese, losing weight can be very effective in lowering blood sugar. "If you have prediabetes, that's a signal to start trying to lose weight, as most people with prediabetes are overweight," says Dr. Ganda.
Exercise is a great tool to help lower blood sugar levels, doctors say. "I tell my patients, don't be disheartened if you don't lose weight," says Dr. Om Ganda, medical director of the Lipid Clinic at the Joslin Diabetes Center. "Think of doing exercise as having a little bit of extra insulin on board."
Don't Let Stress Take over
Everyone experiences stress—but try not to let it become chronic. "Stress levels now are very, very high and that's a big problem because stress affects everything else," says endocrinologist and obesity specialist Marcio Griebeler, MD. "When you're stressed, it changes your lifestyle. You might not eat as healthy as you were before. You also might not exercise. So, one of the priorities that I have when I am working with people who are living with diabetes or obesity is helping them navigate management during difficult times."