Ways to Reduce Blood Sugar "Almost Instantly"
High blood sugar—also known as hyperglycemia—is linked to diabetes and prediabetes, and can lead to serious issues if left untreated. "The way I explain prediabetes to my patients is that your body is struggling to keep your blood glucose levels in a healthy range," says nutritionist Lauren Antonucci, RD. "You shouldn't panic, but you should start making real changes in your diet and lifestyle to prevent your blood sugar from rising and turning into type 2." Here are five ways to lower your blood sugar, fast. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Curb the Carbs
Being mindful of carbs can lower your blood sugar, doctors say. "Generally, carbohydrates should make up about 50% of the daily calories (with the accepted range 40% to 60%). In general, lower carbohydrate intake is associated with lower sugar levels in the blood," says James Norman, MD, FACS, FACE. "However, the benefits of this can be canceled out by the problems associated with a higher fat diet taken in to compensate for the lower amount of carbohydrates. This problem can be improved by substituting monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats for saturated fats. Most people with diabetes find that it is quite helpful to sit down with a dietitian or nutritionist for a consult about what is the best diet for them and how many daily calories they need. It is quite important for diabetics to understand the principles of carbohydrate counting and how to help control blood sugar levels through proper diet."
Work Up a Sweat
Want to lower your blood sugar? Get moving, and make it part of your lifestyle. "If you stay fit and active throughout your life, you'll be able to better control your diabetes and keep your blood glucose level in the correct range," says Lisa M. Leontis RN, ANP-C. "Controlling your blood glucose level is essential to preventing long-term complications, such as nerve pain and kidney disease. When most people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they are overweight, so the idea of exercising is particularly daunting. For your health, you have to get started on a good, reasonable exercise plan, but first… You should talk to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to assess your heart health, which is particularly important if you already have blocked arteries or high blood pressure."
Go To Sleep!
Want to keep blood sugar down? Go to bed on time, experts say. "We have substantial evidence now to tell us that sleep deprivation has harmful effects on metabolism, particularly the glucose metabolism," says Esra Tasali, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.
Drinking enough water is key to lowering blood sugar. "When your blood sugar levels are running high, your body will try to flush excess sugar out of your blood through the urine," advises Diabetes UK. "As a result, your body will need more fluids to rehydrate itself. Drinking water can help the body with flushing out some of the glucose in the blood. Just a word of caution to be sensible with drinking water; water intoxication (which can result in death) is possible if a number of liters of water are drunk in a short space of time. This is rare and quite difficult to manage but it pays to be aware of this."
Lose Weight—Especially Around the Belly
Losing weight is one of the most effective ways of bringing blood sugar under control. "Since nearly 9 in 10 people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight or have obesity, it is likely that your doctor will discuss the benefits—and they are significant—to achieving weight loss," says Leontis. "There is some urgency to this recommendation since added adipose tissue increases your insulin resistance (which occurs when your body can't properly use the hormone insulin to metabolize sugar), and leads to further weight gain. It's more important that you focus on reducing the weight around your middle (waist circumference) since the evidence points to central adiposity as the greatest risk for heart disease and other adverse side effects of diabetes."