Get Your Blood Sugar Under Control By Doing These Things

High blood sugar levels can be dangerous without prompt management, and they may lead to both short-term and long-term complications. As such, it is vital for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels and keep them within the target range.


What are the signs of high blood sugar?


The classic symptoms of high blood glucose levels are:


Feeling very thirsty

Needing to go the toilet often

Having a dry mouth

Feeling tired/lethargic

Feeling uncomfortable and irritable


Strategies to control blood sugar may include monitoring blood sugar, limiting the intake of carbohydrates, and maintaining a moderate weight. Making a few changes in your lifestyle now may help you avoid the serious health complications of diabetes in the future, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage. It’s never too late to start.


1. Monitor blood sugar levels closely

High blood sugar typically refers to levels over 180 mg/dl. However, a person often does not experience symptoms until the levels exceed 200 mg/dl. As such, it is essential for a person with diabetes to check their blood sugar several times a day. Doing so should mean that blood sugar levels never get excessively high.


A person with diabetes can use an at-home glucose monitor to check their blood sugar levels. One option is a continuous glucose monitor, which is a medical device that easily enables a person to check their blood sugar levels.


The recommended number of times to check glucose levels during the day will vary from person to person. A doctor can make the best recommendations regarding the frequency of testing.


2. Lose extra weight

Losing weight reduces the risk of diabetes. People in one large study reduced their risk of developing diabetes by almost 60% after losing approximately 7% of their body weight with changes in exercise and diet.


The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with prediabetes lose at least 7% to 10% of their body weight to prevent disease progression. More weight loss will translate into even greater benefits.


Set a weight-loss goal based on your current body weight. Talk to your doctor about reasonable short-term goals and expectations, such as losing 1 to 2 pounds a week.


3. Leave sugary beverages on the shelf

Sugar-sweetened beverages are a one-way ticket to high blood sugar. Eliminating or drinking fewer of them can lower blood sugar, as well as helps with weight loss and maintenance. Save soda pop and juice for when you need to treat low blood sugar.


Drinks high in sugar include:


Energy drinks.

Fruit-flavored drinks or drinks made from powder mixes.

Juice.

Soda and other carbonated soft drinks.

Sports drinks.

Certain coffee drinks.

Sweet tea.


4. Be more physically active

There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you:


Lose weight

Lower your blood sugar

Boost your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range

Goals for most adults to promote weight loss and maintain a healthy weight include:


Aerobic exercise. Aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise — such as brisk walking, swimming, biking or running — on most days for a total of at least 150 minutes a week.

Resistance exercise. Resistance exercise — at least 2 to 3 times a week — increases your strength, balance and ability to maintain an active life. Resistance training includes weightlifting, yoga and calisthenics.

Limited inactivity. Breaking up long bouts of inactivity, such as sitting at the computer, can help control blood sugar levels. Take a few minutes to stand, walk around or do some light activity every 30 minutes.


5. Manage stress

Stress has a significant effect on blood sugar levels. The body releases stress hormones when it is under tension, such as when a person is ill or experiencing emotional stress, and these hormones can raise blood sugar levels.


Evidence notes that managing stress through exercise and allowing time for rest and relaxation can help lower blood sugar levels.


Managing blood sugar levels to prevent hyperglycemia is vital to avoid serious complications from diabetes. A range of lifestyle interventions can help a person lower their blood sugar levels and keep them within the target range. A person can work with their diabetes healthcare team to plan strategies and targets.


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Melissa J.

Mother of three, freelance author and blogger - loves gardening and cooking.

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