Diabetes and high blood sugar are issues that so many people face these days. Though it is a very common affliction, diabetes can sometimes cause blood glucose to be very difficult to control, leaving people with high blood sugar wondering how to best care for their health.
Read on to learn how to manage symptoms of high blood sugar and how to track blood glucose daily.
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Symptoms of high blood sugar levels
If you have diabetes or know people in your family tree who have had it and want to keep an eye on your own levels (people are much more likely to develop diabetes when there are instances of the disease in their family history), you'll need to know the symptoms to watch out for.
One of the first signs of high blood sugar levels is increased thirst and frequent urination. Diabetics are known to drink excessive amounts of water or sugary drinks while their bodies try to combat high glucose levels in the blood.
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Fatigue may be a factor, as can stomach pain. Of course, excess sleep can be a sign of many health ailments, so make sure to check if any of the other symptoms are also present.
One symptom that many people may not be aware of is that of fruity-smelling breath.
This occurs when the level of ketones becomes too high. People with diabetes may also have orange-colored urine, which is another sign of the ketones being too high. The urine will likely test high for ketones as they are flushed out of the body in this manner.
Why is my blood sugar not going down?
There are many reasons someone's blood sugar levels may not be coming down on their own. If you have diabetes but are unmedicated or untreated for insulin resistance, it could be that your body does not produce enough insulin to manage your blood glucose levels.
Insulin resistance could also be a factor wherein the body produces insulin but does not respond properly to the insulin. Some medications may interfere with insulin, affecting blood sugar levels.
How to bring blood sugar levels down
Naturally, one of the best (and safest) ways to bring down high blood sugar levels is to take a dose of insulin. This is why it is imperative to call and talk to a medical professional if you feel you may be prone to diabetes.
Insulin may be administered using a needle or pump. Many people living with diabetes use a long-term, low carb/low sugar diet as a form of natural blood sugar management, reducing the amount of sugar consumed throughout the day.
Exercising may also help to reduce high blood sugar levels by burning sugars from the muscle and liver.
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Watch out for low blood sugar
It is important to monitor your blood sugar levels to make sure that you not only end up with too much blood glucose but too little. People new to diabetes treatment may end up taking too much insulin or avoiding sugar so much that their blood sugar levels begin to drop too low instead. Sweating, fatigue, constant hunger, and shaking are all signs of low blood sugar.
How long does it take to bring high blood sugar down?
Taking insulin that is fast-acting (regular insulin is also included here) through the injection can help to lower high blood sugar within half an hour. However, the effects of the insulin will actually peak somewhere around two to two and a half hours after the dose. Insulin with an intermediate action time will lower blood glucose within an hour or two, with the peak occurring much later, between four to twelve hours after intake.
Long-term acting insulins are meant to keep insulin levels stable for a full day and do not have a peak action time.
How can I prevent high blood sugar from happening?
As mentioned previously, exercising and maintaining a healthy diet with low carb/low sugar foods is one of the best ways to prevent high blood sugar whether you have diabetes or not.
Those with Type 1 diabetes may maintain their blood glucose with diet and exercise, but those with Type 2 diabetes will most often need to take insulin, as this type of diabetes typically does not produce it on their own.
Which foods keep your sugar levels in control?
Foods with high levels of protein and high fiber food are great for keeping blood sugar stable. Healthy fats like fish and whole-grain food can also help in this area. Try incorporating food like eggs, seafood, broccoli, nuts, beans, berries, or oats into your meal.
When to go to the ER
Unstable blood sugar can be very dangerous and cause severe life-threatening ailments.
High blood glucose levels can affect blood pressure and circulation, vision and may cause death if the person goes into a diabetic coma. High blood sugar is causing someone to lose consciousness or have difficulty being able to talk.
They should seek treatment at a hospital right away. Some other signs of dangerously high blood sugar can include blurry vision, feeling drowsy, or confusion.
Health issues associated with Diabetes
Those with chronically high amounts of glucose in the blood or diabetes are often at risk of other diseases that can have devastating effects on the body.
Heart disease and heart attack may be issues you will have to face, so be careful of how much stress you are under and make sure you eat heart-healthy food with each meal.
Stroke or nerve damage may come as a result of too much glucose in the blood.
Blood circulation issues can also negatively affect your health. In some severe cases, people with diabetes have had to amputate limbs that no longer receive adequate blood flow. Blindness has been noted in extreme cases of the disease as the increased glucose levels in the blood damage the retina.
What is the correct blood sugar level?
Normal readings should be roughly under 140 for adults. You should test under 180 one or two hours after you eat your meal. Medication might be useful to keep glucose closer to these numbers.
Diabetes and excess glucose might sound scary, especially with all of these side effects. Still, with careful monitoring, proper eating, and support from your medical advisor, you can keep your glucose at a reasonable level and live a healthy life.
Be sure to check your glucose levels several times a day, especially before meals. This will help you determine what you need to eat to prevent a rise in glucose in the body.
High readings, especially for a long period of time, are incredibly damaging to your health. Call a doctor for medical advice right away if your glucose reads over 300 two times in a row. As stated above, go to the hospital if any symptoms of diabetic shock are witnessed regardless of the test results.
If you have recently been diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, talk to a diabetes educator to learn how to best care for your body and treat symptoms related to this condition as soon as possible.