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Can Exercise Lower Your Blood Sugar?

3 Easy Tips: How To Lower Blood Sugar Fast

3 Easy Tips: How To Lower Blood Sugar Fast

Jeanette Terry was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 11 years old, and she has since lived with diabetes through difficult life transitions, including the teenage years, college, and having children. She addresses the day-to-day struggles of living with diabetes—going beyond medical advice—to improve overall adherence and management. Extremely high blood sugar levels can be dangerous, and they can cause lasting health complications. Remember: if you ever have blood sugar readings that remain high for more than 24 hours without coming down (and after an effort has been made to lower them), you need to be addressed by a doctor. That being said, we've all had those days when we get a random high blood sugar reading and we are not sure what caused it…or we forget to give insulin, or we eat a delicious dessert without realizing how much sugar is actually in it. For whatever reason, those out of the ordinary high blood sugar readings happen and need to be treated. No need to rush to the doctor for every high blood sugar reading though. There are some simple steps you can take to lower blood sugar fast. You know the feeling: extreme thirst, sluggishness, nausea, blurred vision, a downright sick feeling. And your family or friends may tell you that extreme irritability is a major sign you need to check your blood sugar to see if it is high. The best thing to do is to catch it before it gets really high, or it will be harder to bring down quickly, causing havoc on your blood sugar readings for days. If you do not take insulin as a part of your treatment plan, these tips will show you how to lower your blood sugar fast. If you take insulin, you will first want to give the appropriate amount of insulin to correct the blood sugar. However, insulin still takes some Continue reading >>

The Best Kind Of Exercise To Control Your Blood Sugar

The Best Kind Of Exercise To Control Your Blood Sugar

You don’t need to be working out for longer, but you should probably be working harder—in spurts, at least. Studies have shown that interval training can help people burn more fat, and increase fitness levels even after just 15 or 20 minutes of exercise. And a new study found that people with type 2 diabetes benefited more from interval walking—their blood sugar was more controlled—compared to people who walked continuously. “The return on investment of interval training is fabulous, and it keeps exercise interesting,” says Richard Cotton, the National Director of Certification at the American College of Sports Medicine, who was not involved in the new research. “Walkers can incorporate interval training by warming up and walking for three minutes and jogging for one minute and repeating that pattern for let’s say, 30 minutes.” Interval training means alternating between different intensities of exercise and allowing time to rest in between bursts of action. This can mean simply speeding up your walk to a jog for a few minutes or, in the more extreme, it can mean high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and Tabata. But they’re all based in the same idea: short explosions of exercise that get your heart rate up followed by periods of rest or lower intensity provide a greater benefit. Martin Gibala, the chairman of the department of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario has been studying interval training for years, though his focus has been primarily on very intensive exercise like HIIT. Some of his recent research has looked at whether quick HIIT sessions can stimulate similar fitness levels as moderate-intensity continuous training. “There’s a very large growing body showing interval training can be safely applied to many differ Continue reading >>

Why Is My Blood Glucose Sometimes Low After Physical Activity?

Why Is My Blood Glucose Sometimes Low After Physical Activity?

Low blood glucose is defined as a blood glucose level below 70 mg/dl if your meter measures whole blood, or 80 mg/dl or below if it measures plasma glucose (a plasma blood glucose of 90 mg/dl or below with symptoms is also a sign of hypoglycemia). One of the most common causes of low blood glucose is too much physical activity. In fact, moderate to intense exercise may cause your blood glucose to drop for the next 24 hours following exercise. This post-exercise hypoglycemia is often referred to as the "lag effect" of exercise. Basically, when you exercise, the body uses two sources of fuel, sugar and free fatty acids (that is, fat) to generate energy. The sugar comes from the blood, the liver and the muscles. The sugar is stored in the liver and muscle in a form called glycogen. During the first 15 minutes of exercise, most of the sugar for fuel comes from either the blood stream or the muscle glycogen, which is converted back to sugar. After 15 minutes of exercise, however, the fuel starts to come more from the glycogen stored in the liver. After 30 minutes of exercise, the body begins to get more of its energy from the free fatty acids. As a result, exercise can deplete sugar levels and glycogen stores. The body will replace these glycogen stores but this process may take 4 to 6 hours, even 12 to 24 hours with more intense activity. During this rebuilding of glycogen stores, a person with diabetes can be at higher risk for hypoglycemia. Here are tips for safe exercising. Guidelines for preventing exercise related hypoglycemia Check your blood glucose before exercising to make sure your blood glucose is sufficient and/or consume an appropriate snack. Avoid exercise at the peak of your insulin action. Avoid late evening exercise. Exercise should be completed 2 hours bef Continue reading >>

Exercise For Diabetes Control

Exercise For Diabetes Control

By the dLife Editors In case you haven’t heard: Exercise is really good for people with type 2 diabetes. It helps control blood sugar levels, increases energy levels, improves heart health, and promotes emotional well-being. Barring other medical complications, the majority of people with diabetes can and should exercise for diabetes control and for better overall health and well-being. How does exercise lower blood sugar? Exercise lowers blood sugar in two ways: First, exercise increases insulin sensitivity. This means that your cells are better able to use available insulin to absorb sugar from the bloodstream to be used as energy for your body. Second, exercise stimulates another mechanism that allows your muscles to absorb and use sugar for energy, even without insulin. Not only does exercise lower blood sugar levels in the short term, but exercising over time also contributes to lower A1C levels over time. How important is exercise? Leading a sedentary (or inactive) lifestyle is one of the major risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes, and the high incidence of obesity and overweight among people with type 2 is also highly correlated with inactivity. Starting a workout program can lower body mass and consequently decrease the insulin resistance of type 2 diabetes; studies have shown that people with type 2 diabetes who exercise regularly have better A1c profiles than those who don’t. Along with medical nutrition therapy, exercise is one of the first lines of defense in type 2 diabetes control. In addition, exercise is a key tool in preventing one of the leading complications of type 2 diabetes—cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that regular activity lowers triglyceride levels and blood pressure. How much exercise do you need? The American Diabetes Continue reading >>

Exercise & Blood Sugar

Exercise & Blood Sugar

Activities of daily life increase insulin sensitivity. Some examples of activities that may decrease your blood sugar include shopping, cleaning, gardening, and walking. Exercise is more than going to the gym or playing a sport. Most activity is exercise. Activities of daily life—from cleaning, to gardening or shopping – are all forms of exertion that increase insulin sensitivity and that can lower your blood sugar. Most activity will lower the blood sugar, but not always. Exercises that decrease blood sugar Here are examples of exercise that will decrease the blood sugar: Daily life activities, like shopping, cleaning, gardening, walking and sexual intimacy, as well as obvious sports activities, such as swimming, jogging and tennis, will increase insulin sensitivity and lower insulin requirements. These activities may require reducing the dose of insulin releasing pills or insulin if you are treated with these types of diabetes medications, and may require consumption of extra carbohydrate to keep the blood glucose stable. Exercises that may increase blood sugar Here are examples of exercise that may increase the blood sugar: There are also activities and exercise that may increase the blood sugar. This is because the activity may release glucose counter-regulatory hormones, such as epinephrine (adrenaline) that opposes the action of insulin and raises the blood sugar. A classic example of this is bench-pressing free weights. It’s difficult to generalize, though, since other anaerobic activities will still lower blood sugar. Consult your medical provider team for specific questions regarding your activity. In another example, competitive activities will often raise the blood sugar. Someone about to run a race gets an epinephrine (adrenaline) surge that is part of Continue reading >>

How Exercise Lowers Blood Sugar In Type 2 Diabetes

How Exercise Lowers Blood Sugar In Type 2 Diabetes

If you stick with it, exercise can reduce your need for blood-sugar-lowering drugs.(ISTOCKPHOTO) You may consider exercise a nuisance, a chore, or simply a bore. But if you've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you need to look at physical activity in a whole new light. Now it's a tool. Just like taking a drug or altering your diet, exercise can lower blood sugar on its own, even if you don't lose weight. "Exercising is the most underused treatment and it's so, so powerful," said Sharon Movsas, RD, a diabetes nutrition specialist at the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. For most people with diabetes, exercise is a safe and highly recommended way to reduce the risk of complications. However, check with your doctor to make sure you don't have heart problems, nerve damage, or other issues that need special consideration when you are working out. How exercise affects blood sugar In general, blood sugar drops after exercise and is lower for the next 24 to 48 hours, says Movsas. "If I take a blood sugar reading after aqua-aerobics, I usually notice it's down," says David Mair, 79, of Marquette, Mich. When you exercise, your muscles become more sensitive to insulin and absorb more glucose from the blood. However, like many aspects of type 2 diabetes, the response can be highly personal. Exercise can sometimes boost blood sugar. At first, you'll need to test your blood sugar before, after, and sometimes during exercise, to see how your body responds). Exercise also helps lower blood pressurean important benefit since high blood pressure can contribute to heart attacks, strokes, eye problems, kidney failure, and other type 2 diabetes complications. Next Page: Start slow [ pagebreak ]Start slow and work up Even if you know exercise is good Continue reading >>

The Step-by-step Approach To Better Blood Sugars: Walking

The Step-by-step Approach To Better Blood Sugars: Walking

If you’re like me, you might have a health-focused New Year’s resolution posted on your wall: "lose weight," "exercise more, "be less stressed." Unfortunately, making resolutions is easy, but sticking to them is hard. A 15,000-person survey found that four out of five people who make New Year’s resolutions eventually break them. And it gets worse: a sizeable percentage of people (11%) in one survey actually broke their resolution one week in! As I pondered this depressing data, I thought about scientifically testing the simplest, most fundamental exercise possible: walking. It can be done anywhere, does not cost anything, and requires no equipment. And because the barriers to doing it are so low, it also helps address that very basic New Year’s Resolution conundrum outlined above. What follows is my personal diabetes experience testing the blood sugar benefits of walking, a brief review of studies on diabetes and walking, and five tips to incorporate walking into your daily routine. If you find this article useful, check out my upcoming book, Bright Spots & Landmines! Walking with diabetes – my own experience As a fitness fiend my whole life, I tend to think of “exercise” with a very intense, all-or-nothing frame of reference: cycling, strength training, and playing basketball. So when I approached the question of how much walking could really drop my blood sugars, I was skeptical. In an effort to test it objectively, I performed a dozen periods of walking, and measured my blood glucose immediately before and immediately after finishing. I timed each walk with a stopwatch, always made sure I had less than one unit of insulin-on-board, and tried to go at a normal speed. On average, walking dropped my blood sugar by approximately one mg/dl per minute. The la Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Exercise

Type 2 Diabetes And Exercise

When you have type 2 diabetes, physical activity is an important component of your treatment plan. It’s also important to have a healthy meal plan and maintain your blood glucose level through medications or insulin, if necessary. 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. Controlling your blood glucose level is essential to preventing long-term complications, such as nerve pain and kidney disease. Exercise has so many benefits, but the biggest one is that it makes it easier to control your blood glucose (blood sugar) level. People with type 2 diabetes have too much glucose in their blood, either because their body doesn’t produce enough insulin to process it, or because their body doesn’t use insulin properly (insulin resistant). In either case, exercise can reduce the glucose in your blood. Muscles can use glucose without insulin when you’re exercising. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re insulin resistant or if you don’t have enough insulin: when you exercise, your muscles get the glucose they need, and in turn, your blood glucose level goes down. If you’re insulin resistant, exercise actually makes your insulin more effective. That is—your insulin resistance goes down when you exercise, and your cells can use the glucose more effectively. Exercise can also help people with type 2 diabetes avoid long-term complications, especially heart problems. People with diabetes are susceptible to developing blocked arteries (arteriosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack. Exercise helps keep your heart healthy and strong. Plus, exercise helps you maintain good cholesterol—and that helps you avoid arteriosclerosis. Additionally, there ar Continue reading >>

15 Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

15 Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

High blood sugar occurs when your body can't effectively transport sugar from blood into cells. When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes. One study from 2012 reported that 12–14% of US adults had type 2 diabetes, while 37–38% were classified as pre-diabetic (1). This means that 50% of all US adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Here are 15 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally: Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells are better able to use the available sugar in your bloodstream. Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction. If you have problems with blood sugar control, you should routinely check your levels. This will help you learn how you respond to different activities and keep your blood sugar levels from getting either too high or too low (2). Good forms of exercise include weight lifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming and more. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and helps your muscles pick up sugars from the blood. This can lead to reduced blood sugar levels. Your body breaks carbs down into sugars (mostly glucose), and then insulin moves the sugars into cells. When you eat too many carbs or have problems with insulin function, this process fails and blood glucose levels rise. However, there are several things you can do about this. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends controlling carb intake by counting carbs or using a food exchange system (3). Some studies find that these methods can also help you plan your meals appropriately, which may further improve blood sugar control (4, 5). Many studies also show that a low-carb diet helps reduce blood sugar levels and prevent blood s Continue reading >>

How Does Exercise Lower The Blood Glucose?

How Does Exercise Lower The Blood Glucose?

I recently was asked a fantastic question about how exercise lowers blood glucose levels. Exercise lowering the blood glucose is independent of insulin levels. I hadn’t really thought to explain it previously to our ADW clients. So I did a bit of reading to make sure that I really understood it myself! One of my better qualities as a veterinarian, I believe, is that I can explain complicated stuff in an understandable fashion. So, here goes: When we eat, our bodies have the ability to store a certain amount of energy in either the liver or muscle cells. What isn’t used immediately can be stored in these tissues as glycogen, up to a certain limit anyway. Any excess beyond what is used immediately or beyond the capacity to store it as glycogen is then stored as fat. Here’s the nifty part! The liver can turn the glycogen back into glucose if needed for use anywhere in the body. Our bodies are so clever! This is how the Somogyi swing can happen, aka rebound effect. For example, if the pet receives too much insulin which would drive the blood glucose too low, the liver can react and turn glycogen into glucose and save the day! Or, in the old fight or flight adrenaline situation, it can again turn glycogen into glucose for a pet to make a quick getaway. This is how the white coat syndrome happens and why I’m always encouraging owners of diabetic pets to do blood glucose curves at home instead of in the vet clinic setting. If a pet is stressed, this hepatogluconeogenesis, the liver making sugar from stored glycogen, can make the blood glucose level higher in the vet clinic than it might be at home where a pet is relaxed. If we veterinarians think the blood glucose is higher than it actually is on a regular day to day basis, we might incorrectly advise that a higher dos Continue reading >>

Exercises To Lower Your Blood Sugar

Exercises To Lower Your Blood Sugar

It’s never too late to reap the benefits of exercise, whether you’re 45 or 95. First of all, it simply makes you feel good to move. By becoming more active, you can also lower your blood sugar to keep diabetes under control. “You don’t need to run a marathon to get results,” says Dawn Sherr, RD, of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. “Walking, swimming, and playing with the grandkids are all great ways to get exercise.” Follow these four steps to get started. If you're just starting, ask your doctor which exercise is right for you. Ask if you need to adjust your diabetes medicine before you hit the trail or the pool. Next, think about what you'll enjoy most. You’re more likely to stick with activities you like. Here are a few suggestions: Walk outdoors or indoors on a track or in a mall Take a dance class Bicycle outdoors or ride a stationary bike indoors Swim or try water aerobics Stretch Try yoga or tai chi Play tennis Take aerobics or another fitness class Do housework, yard chores, or gardening Try resistance training with light weights or elastic bands If more than one of these appeals to you, go for them! In fact, combining cardio, like walking or swimming, with stretching or balance moves gives you a better workout. Any way you move will help lower your blood sugar. When you do moderate exercise, like walking, that makes your heart beat a little faster and breathe a little harder. Your muscles use more glucose, the sugar in your blood stream. Over time, this can lower your blood sugar levels. It also makes the insulin in your body work better. You'll get these benefits for hours after your walk or workout. Just remember you don’t have to overdo it. Strenuous exercise can sometimes increase blood sugar temporarily after you stop exerc Continue reading >>

Proven Tips & Strategies To Bring High Blood Sugar Down (quickly)

Proven Tips & Strategies To Bring High Blood Sugar Down (quickly)

Untreated, high blood sugar can cause many problems and future complications. Recognizing signs of high blood sugar levels and knowing how to lower them can help you prevent these complications and increase the quality and length of your life. Topics covered (click to jump to specific section) High blood sugar level symptoms and signs Symptoms of high blood sugar include: Increased thirst Tired all the time Irritability Increased hunger Urinating a lot Dry mouth Blurred vision Severe high blood sugar can lead to nausea and fruity smelling breath The signs and symptoms for high blood sugar are the same for both type 1 and type 2. Signs usually show up quicker in those who have type 1 because of the nature of their diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to stop making insulin altogether. Type 2 is caused by lifestyle factors when the body eventually stops responding to insulin, which causes the sugar to increase slowly. People with type 2 can live longer without any symptoms creeping because their body is still making enough insulin to help control it a little bit. What causes the blood sugar levels go to high? Our bodies need sugar to make energy for the cells. Without it, we cannot do basic functions. When we eat foods with glucose, insulin pairs with it to allow it to enter into the cell wall. If the insulin is not there, then the glucose molecule can’t get through the wall and cannot be used. The extra glucose hangs out in the bloodstream which is literally high blood sugar. The lack of insulin can be caused by two different things. First, you can have decreased insulin resistance which means that your insulin doesn’t react the way that it is supposed to. It doesn’t partner with glucose to be used as fuel. Secondly, you can have no insuli Continue reading >>

How To Lower Blood Sugar? Take A 10-minute Walk After Meals, Study Says

How To Lower Blood Sugar? Take A 10-minute Walk After Meals, Study Says

Wondering how to lower blood sugar if you have Type 2 diabetes? Take a short walk right after your meals, say researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand. An estimated 29 million people in the United States (approximately 9% of the population) and 250,000 people in New Zealand (roughly 5% of the population) are living with Type 2 diabetes. Regular physical activity is critical for managing diabetes. To determine whether walking at a specific time relative to meals could increase the benefits of exercise on blood sugar levels, the researchers worked with 41 people with Type 2 diabetes from 18–75 years of age. The participants were randomly assigned to a group either taking a 30-minute walk each day or taking a 10-minute walk after every meal each day for 14 days. At the end of this time frame, the subjects took a 30-day break, then were assigned to the other group. The investigators used an exercise monitor to collect activity information from the participants during waking hours, and food composition tables were used to assess the dietary information the subjects provided in food diaries. Blood sugar levels were measured with fasting blood samples, blood glucose meters, and continuous glucose monitors. The researchers found that when the participants walked for 10 minutes after each meal, their blood sugar levels were an average of 12% lower than when they took a single 30-minute walk each day. Taking a short walk after dinner showed the greatest benefit on blood glucose, particularly when the meal contained a lot of carbohydrate, lowering blood sugar levels by 22% compared to taking a single daily walk. “The improvement was particularly striking after the evening meal when the most carbohydrate was consumed and sedentary behaviors were highest,” the r Continue reading >>

6 Great Exercises For People With Diabetes

6 Great Exercises For People With Diabetes

iStock.com; Raymond Forbes/Stocksy; iStock.com Making Exercise a Routine Do you get enough exercise? If you're like many Americans, the answer is no — and that's especially true for those of us with diabetes. Studies show as few as 39 percent of people with type 2 diabetes participate in regular physical activity, compared with 58 percent of other Americans. And that's a shame, because working out can help increase insulin action and keep blood sugars in check, says Sheri Colberg-Ochs, PhD, founder of the Diabetes Motion Academy in Santa Barbara, Califorinia, and professor emerita of exercise science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Exercise also helps you lose weight and improve balance, which is important because many people with type 2 diabetes are at risk for obesity and for falls. “I fully recommend that anyone over 40 with diabetes include balance training as part of their weekly routine, at least two to three days per week,” says Dr. Colberg-Ochs. “It can be as simple as practicing balancing on one leg at a time, or more complex — like tai chi exercises. Lower body and core resistance exercises also double as balance training.” Here are six great workouts you can easily work into your daily routine. Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen, and go slowly at first. Over time, you can increase the length and intensity of your routine. Continue reading >>

How Do I Quickly Bring Down My Blood Glucose?

How Do I Quickly Bring Down My Blood Glucose?

If you get a high reading when checking your blood sugar, is there a way to get the number down quickly? Continue reading >>

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