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How Do You Raise Blood Sugar?

Foods To Boost Low Blood Sugar

Foods To Boost Low Blood Sugar

People with diabetes try hard to keep their blood sugar from getting too high, but sometimes they succeed too well. Certain diabetes medications -- including insulin injections and pills such as chlorpropamide (Diabinese) -- can sometimes make blood sugar too low, a condition called hypoglycemia. People with diabetes can also get low blood sugar simply by skimping at mealtime, drinking too much alcohol, or overexercising. Low blood sugar is usually mild and easy to fix, but if you wait too long, you can lose consciousness. If your blood sugar level drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or if you notice signs of hypoglycemia -- shakiness, dizziness, light-headedness, confusion, anxiety, weakness, heart palpitations, blurry vision, hunger, or sweating -- you can bring your level up again with a quick, sugary snack. If you are away from home and experience symptoms, and you can't test your blood sugar first, it's better to have a small snack before you become even more ill. Here are some proven sugar-boosting options: One-half cup of fruit juice One-half cup of non-diet soda 1 cup of milk A small handful of hard candy 1 tablespoon of either sugar or honey 3 or 4 glucose tablets About 15 minutes after your snack, check your blood sugar again. If you're still below 70, try another dose of sugar. Check again 15 minutes later, and keep the pattern up until your blood sugar is in a normal range. It's important to treat low blood sugar as quickly as possible. If you wait too long, you could pass out. For this reason, you should keep a sugary snack within reach at all times. Even if you aren't able to check your blood sugar, you can head off hypoglycemia whenever you get that sinking feeling. References National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. H Continue reading >>

10 Ways To Treat Low Blood Sugar With Real Food

10 Ways To Treat Low Blood Sugar With Real Food

10 Ways to Treat Low Blood Sugar with Real Food Medically reviewed by Natalie Olsen, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C on March 21, 2018 Written by Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD Health and wellness touch each of us differently. This is one persons story. Shaky. Fuzzy. Sleepy. Tired. Low. Crashing. These are all words I used growing up as a type 1 diabetic , to describe how I was feeling when my blood sugar was low. I was diagnosed when I was 5. So I came up with some interesting ways to describe how I was feeling to my parents and other adults in my life. I remember one time when I was in kindergarten, I was describing how I felt to a PE teacher, and she thought I was just trying to get out of having to do the activity. I nearly had a hypoglycemic seizure because I didnt have access to proper attention or treatment. (In her defense, she was a substitute and hadnt been told I had diabetes.) So, what is the proper treatment for low blood sugar? To answer that question, we first need to know whats considered low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia . The American Diabetes Association (ADA) defines hypoglycemia as anytime your blood sugar is lower than normal. This can be different for each person with diabetes, but it usually means blood sugar less than 70 mg/dL. Symptoms to look out for include: Ive sometimes described it to my nondiabetic friends as an almost out of body experience. Once you start to feel these symptoms, its important to immediately test your blood sugar to confirm if you are, in fact, experiencing hypoglycemia. Some of these symptoms are also characteristic of high blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia . You may also feel these symptoms anytime you experience a rapid drop in your blood sugar. For example: If your blood sugar is high, and you take insulin to bring it down, yo Continue reading >>

How To Quickly Raise Your Blood Sugar

How To Quickly Raise Your Blood Sugar

Glucagon is a treatment for insulin coma or insulin reaction resulting from severe low blood sugar. Treating severe low blood sugar with Glucagon You’ll want to be ready in case you or someone close to you experiences severe low blood sugar. The possibility of severe low blood sugar can be scary. When a person’s blood sugar falls this low, loss of consciousness may occur and they may be physically unable to eat or drink a fast-acting source of sugar (glucose). They may need a Glucagon shot—and you, a family member, or another adult will need to be ready to give it to them. Glucagon is a medicine that is different from insulin. It works by telling the body to release sugar (glucose) into the bloodstream to bring the blood sugar level back up. Ask your doctor about prescribing more than one Glucagon kit. Your insurance plan may allow you to receive more than one kit with only one co-pay. And always be sure to check your kit’s expiration date. Remember to call 911 immediately after giving a Glucagon injection and to notify your doctor that an episode of severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) has occurred. For complete instructions on how to administer Glucagon, please click to access full Information for the User. Glucagon is a treatment for insulin coma or insulin reaction resulting from severe low blood sugar. Important Safety Information for Glucagon What is the most important information I should know about Glucagon? Glucagon should not be used if you have pheochromocytoma or if you are allergic to Glucagon. Make sure you tell your healthcare provider if you have been diagnosed with or have been suspected of having an insulinoma as Glucagon should be used cautiously in this situation. You and anyone who may need to help you during an emergency should become fami Continue reading >>

Dealing With Low And High Blood Sugar

Dealing With Low And High Blood Sugar

Having low or high blood sugar doesn't feel the same to everyone. No matter how you feel, most likely you won't feel like your normal self. It's important to get to know how your body feels when your blood sugar is high and when it's starting to get too low. When you start to have these feelings, check your blood sugar right away to make sure it's really too high or dropping too low. That will help you decide what to do to fix it. Low Blood Sugar Common signs of low blood sugar include: Shakiness Sweating Fatigue Hunger pangs Irritability or confusion Faster heartbeat Blurry vision Numbness or tingling in your mouth and lips Causes and solutions The most common reasons people get low blood sugar are: Taking too much diabetes medicine Skipping meals or not eating enough carbohydrates at mealtime Getting more exercise than usual For most people, a blood sugar level under 70 is considered too low. What's too low for you might be different. Ask your doctor how low your blood sugar should be before you need to correct it. To correct low blood sugar, eat or drink a fast-acting carbohydrate right away. Glucose tablets or drinks with sugar are quick and work well. Fruit juice, regular soda (not sugar-free), a ripe banana, or a carbohydrate-containing energy bar (not a protein bar) are some good choices. How much carbohydrate you'll need to correct your low blood sugar depends on how low your blood sugar is. Don't overdo it. Eating more carbohydrate than you need to correct the low can make your blood sugar swing the opposite direction and get too high. You can raise your blood sugar about 50 milligrams per deciliter with 15 grams of fast-acting sugar. Some examples include 4 glucose tablets, 1/2 cup of fruit juice, 6 or 7 Lifesavers candies, or 1/2 cup of regular soda. If it's Continue reading >>

20 Reasons For Blood Sugar Swings

20 Reasons For Blood Sugar Swings

Upswing: Caffeine Your blood sugar can rise after you have coffee -- even black coffee with no calories -- thanks to the caffeine. The same goes for black tea, green tea, and energy drinks. Each person with diabetes reacts to foods and drinks differently, so it's best to keep track of your own responses. Ironically, other compounds in coffee may help prevent type 2 diabetes in healthy people. Many of these will raise your blood sugar levels. Why? They can still have plenty of carbs from starches. Check the total carbohydrates on the Nutrition Facts label before you dig in. You should also pay attention to sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and xylitol. They add sweetness with fewer carbs than sugar (sucrose), but they may still have enough to boost your levels. One study found that people with type 2 diabetes who switched to a vegan (or all vegetable-based) diet had better blood sugar control and needed less insulin. A boost in fiber from whole grains and beans might play a role, by slowing down the digestion of carbs. But scientists need more research to know if going vegan really helps diabetes. Talk to your doctor before you make major diet changes. Blood sugar can dip dangerously low during shut-eye for some people with diabetes, especially if they take insulin. It's best to check your levels at bedtime and when you wake up. A snack before bed may help. For some people, blood sugar can rise in the morning -- even before breakfast -- due to changes in hormones or a drop in insulin. Regular testing is important. One option is a continuous blood glucose monitor, which can alert you to highs and lows. Physical activity is a great health booster for everyone. But people with diabetes should tailor it to what they need. When you work out hard enough to sweat and raise your h Continue reading >>

How Stress Hormones Raise Blood Sugar

How Stress Hormones Raise Blood Sugar

In this excerpt from “Think Like a Pancreas”, certified diabetes educator Gary Scheiner describes why this happens and what to do about it. (excerpted from Think Like A Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes With Insulin by Gary Scheiner MS, CDE, DaCapo Press, 2011) Last weekend I decided to stay up late and watch a scary movie. It had something to do with super-gross vampires who get their jollies by eating the flesh of unsuspecting hotel guests. Anyway, after the final gut-wrenching, heart-pumping scene, I decided to check my blood sugar. I’ll be darned – it had risen about 200 mg/dL (11 mmol) during the movie. With blood that sweet, I felt like the grand prize for any vampires that might happen to be lurking in my neighborhood. As you may be aware, the liver serves as a storehouse for glucose, keeping it in a concentrated form called glycogen. The liver breaks down small amounts of glycogen all the time, releasing glucose into the bloodstream to nourish the brain, nerves, heart and other “always active” organs. The liver’s release of glucose depends largely on the presence of certain hormones. Of all the hormones in the body, only insulin causes the liver to take sugar out of the bloodstream and store it in the form of glycogen. All the other hormones—including stress hormones, sex hormones, growth hormones and glucagon—cause the liver to secrete glucose back into the bloodstream. Growth hormone is produced in a 24-hour cycle and is responsible for the blood sugar rise that we sometimes see during the night or in the early morning. The other “stress” hormones, particularly epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol, are produced when our body needs a rapid influx of sugar for energy purposes. The glucose rise I experienced during the scary Continue reading >>

Does Red Meat Raise Blood Sugars?

Does Red Meat Raise Blood Sugars?

Recently I have heard more and more people use the phrase “I don’t eat red meat because it bad for my blood sugars.” As red meat- along with any other cuts of meat- is a food made up of only fat and protein, eating red meat will have no immediate effect on your blood sugar. Crash course in macro-nutrients Foods can be broken up into three macro-nutrient categories: Carbohydrate, Fat and Protein. Blood sugars increase when we consume Carbohydrate foods- fruits, rice, beans, pastas, breads, milk, and starchy vegetables such as corn, potatoes and winter squash. As these foods are digested into their basic components- glucose is released into the bloodstream. This glucose is what causes blood sugars to raise after eating a food containing Carbohydrates. Protein foods however do not have glucose as part of their elemental structure, instead they break down into amino acids. Amino acids aid in building muscle and repairing cells in your body. Fats can be either saturated or unsaturated fats and fuel cells providing a required source of energy for our brains for survival. Red meat Foods are often a combination of these three macronutrients. Take red meat for example: Beef contains both protein and fat, but no carbohydrates. Where then does the misconception that red meat hurts blood sugars come from? Red meat is typically high in fats, especially saturated fatty acids. Foods containing fat are higher in calories which may lead to poor weight control if eaten in excess. As mentioned before, fats are essential for brain and cell health, but the American Diabetes Association recommends limiting fats to less than 30% of total calorie consumption with saturated fats making up less than 10% calorie consumption. Saturated fatty acids are the types of fat that stay solid at room Continue reading >>

When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

en españolCuando la concentración de azúcar en sangre es demasiado baja No matter what we're doing — even when we're sleeping — our brains depend on glucose to function. Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it's also formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and it's carried to each cell through the bloodstream.  The blood glucose level is the amount of glucose in the blood. When blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) drop too low, it's called hypoglycemia (pronounced: hi-po-gly-SEE-me-uh). Very low blood sugar levels can cause severe symptoms that need to be treated right away. People with diabetes can have low blood sugar levels because of the medicines they have to take to manage their diabetes. They may need a hormone called insulin or diabetes pills (or both) to help their bodies use the sugar in their blood. These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood and get it into the body's cells, which makes the level of sugar in the blood go down. But sometimes it's a tricky balancing act and blood sugar levels can get too low. People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugars from getting too high or too low. Part of keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range is having good timing, and balancing when and what they eat and when they exercise with when they take medicines. Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely to happen are: not eating enough food at a meal or snack exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise Also, certain things may increase how quickly insulin gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make hypoglycemia more likely to occur. For ex Continue reading >>

5 Ways To Treat Low Blood Sugar

5 Ways To Treat Low Blood Sugar

There are many ways I have treated a low blood glucose (BG) over the 10 plus years I have lived with type 1 diabetes, and I’ve determined how quickly my body reacts to particular items. Depending on my low, I use a different item to treat it, but always aim for 15 grams of fast acting carbohydrates. For example, if my blood sugar is beginning to trend low, then I will treat with candy, but if my blood sugar is already low (below 70 mg/dL for myself), I will treat with juice. However, I always try to be prepared and have either candy, juice, or glucose tabs with me at all times. Below are five different ways I treat a low blood sugar. 1. Hard Candy When I receive a Low Predicted Alert from my MiniMed 530G that my blood sugar is beginning to trend low, I will grab hard candy, such as a bag of Skittles, and eat about 15 pieces. Over my 10+ years of living with type 1 diabetes, I have been able to estimate the amount of Skittles needed to raise my blood sugar to my desired levels. I prefer using hard candy to help treat a low because they are easy to carry and store. For example, my wife always carries a small ziplock bag full of them in her purse. That way, no matter where we are, if a low blood sugar hits, I am prepared. I also take a small bag with me whenever I travel, golf, attend meetings, etc. 2. Juice Juice is my preferred method of treating a low when my blood sugar levels have gone below 70 mg/dL and are trending low. I prefer this method because it is fast acting for me. For example, in the middle of the night, if I have a low blood sugar and wake up from the Threshold Suspend alarm, I know I need glucose fast, so will drink a half cup of orange juice, apple juice, or any other type of juice we have in the house at that particular time. Also, if I am going to b Continue reading >>

The Best Foods To Increase Low Blood Sugar

The Best Foods To Increase Low Blood Sugar

Ever feel shaky, sweaty, nauseous, or even anxious and unsure of why? You may feel one or more of these symptoms when you have low blood sugar. People with diabetes who are on certain types of medications or insulin are more likely to experience these symptoms. Low blood sugar is less than 70 milligrams per deciliter. If left untreated, low blood sugar can lead to coma or death. An effective way to bring up low blood glucose levels is to consume foods that absorb into the bloodstream quickly. Video of the Day Regular sodas and fruit juices that are not labeled diet or zero-calorie are excellent sources of rapidly absorbed carbohydrate. The fact that they contain mostly carbohydrates and no other nutrients means that these beverages get into the bloodstream quickly. Four ounces or 1/2 cup of a sugary beverage of your choice is all you need. One 4-ounce serving is equivalent to about 15 grams of carbohydrate, which is the amount you need to bring blood sugar up to normal range. Candy Is Convenient Hard candies will work well to raise blood sugar. Candies such as peppermints and fruit-flavored discs are great foods for bringing up glucose levels. They are mainly made of sugar with little if any protein or fat, and therefore they absorb quickly into the bloodstream. Jellybeans and gumdrops are also great options. It is best to read the nutrition facts to determine how many candies are needed; remember that 15 grams of carbohydrates is what you should aim for. Most people have sugar, honey or syrup stocked in their kitchens at all times. These are great sources of fast-absorbing carbohydrate, and it only takes 1 tablespoon of your choice to make up 15 grams' worth. Because these are simple forms of carbohydrate, they will increase blood sugar very quickly. Be careful not to Continue reading >>

Why Do Potatoes Raise Blood Glucose More Than Sugar?

Why Do Potatoes Raise Blood Glucose More Than Sugar?

It can be surprising to find out that potatoes are generally high on the glycemic index (GI), which rates how much certain foods raise your blood glucose. After all, it's a staple in diets throughout the world because potatoes are an affordable and nutritious vegetable. Plus, most people associate blood sugar with foods that contain sugar. How is it that a potato has a higher GI than white sugar? It's all about the starch and how it converts to glucose in your body. However, not all potatoes are created equal and there are ways to lower their impact on your blood glucose. You may still be able to enjoy a few potatoes here and there, you'll just want to keep your servings in check. Too often, glucose is associated with sweetness and regular white potatoes are not a food that's generally considered sweet. Potatoes are almost all starch, though, and that starch is made up of long strings of glucose. Since the starch in potatoes is rapidly digested, the glycemic index of potatoes can be almost as high as that of glucose alone. The glycemic index of glucose is 100 points where potatoes are usually listed as being in the high 80s or low 90s. Sucrose (table sugar), on the other hand, has a GI of 59 and is a disaccharide (two sugar) molecule. It is made up of one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule joined together. Fructose is processed differently in your body than glucose, and it doesn't affect your blood sugar as much. However, fructose causes problems of its own when you eat too much of it. With that, it's fair to say that an ounce of carbohydrate from potatoes has twice the glucose as sugar. When you think of it that way, it's only logical that potatoes would raise blood glucose more. There are many varieties of potatoes and it would not be accurate to say that eve Continue reading >>

Treating Low Blood Sugar

Treating Low Blood Sugar

You are at risk of having a low blood sugar reaction if you: Skip or delay a meal or snack Take too much insulin or eat too few carbohydrates Exercise Drink alcohol, especially without eating carbohydrates Check your blood sugar if you have any of these symptoms: Weakness and/or fatigue Headache Sweating Anxiety Dizziness Shaking Increased heartbeat If your blood sugar is less than 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl): Eat 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrate (sample foods listed below) Wait 15 minutes and then recheck your blood sugar If your blood sugar is still less than 100 mg/dl, take another 15 grams of carbohydrate and retest your blood sugar in another 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary. Important: If you have frequent low blood sugars speak to your doctor. You may need changes in your medication and/or meal plan. Quick Carbohydrate Guide for Treating Low Blood Sugars If your blood sugar is less than 70 mg/dl, you need 15 to 30 grams of a quickly absorbed carbohydrate, like the ones listed below. Each of the following servings provides 15 grams of carbohydrate. Candies and Other Sweets 5 small gum drops 12 gummy bears 6 large jelly beans 5 Life Savers 15 Skittles 1 Tablespoon honey, jam or jelly 1 Tablespoon sugar in water 4 Starburst Beverages 1/2 cup apple juice 1/2 cup orange or grapefruit juice 1/2 cup pineapple juice 1/2 cup regular soda (not diet) 1/3 cup grape juice 1/3 cup cranberry juice 1/3 cup prune juice 1 cup fat free milk Fruits 1/2 banana 1 small apple 1 small orange 1/2 cup applesauce 2 tablespoons of raisins 15 grapes Other 3 to 4 glucose tablets 1 tube glucose gel Note: The foods listed above are easily absorbed and will raise blood sugar levels quickly. Foods that contain protein or fat — such as chocolate, candy bars, ice cream, cookies, crackers and Continue reading >>

Best Bites To Boost Low Blood Sugar

Best Bites To Boost Low Blood Sugar

Picture this: You're in the mall, shopping with friends, chatting and having a great time when suddenly you start to feel a bit strange. You might become irritated or nervous, your skin may feel clammy or sweaty — and your vision may even seem blurred. If you have diabetes, you'll recognize these as the warning signs of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. “Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels in the body drop too low,” says Kelly O'Connor, RD, a dietitian and certified diabetes educator at LifeBridge Health's Northwest Hospital in Baltimore. “Glucose [sugar] is your brain’s main energy or fuel source. If the level of glucose in the body is too low, it can begin to affect your brain’s functioning. The resulting symptoms are more or less your body’s warning system that you need to take quick action in order to correct the problem.” Recognizing the Signs of Hypoglycemia O’Connor says there are a number of warning signs that indicate you might have low blood sugar. “The symptoms can range from very mild — shakiness, clamminess, feeling irritable or jittery, and having temporarily blurred vision — to much more severe, such as [experiencing] seizures and loss of consciousness or passing out, although these are less common,” she says. These symptoms can occur because of many other circumstances, so if you are diabetic and are having symptoms that could be due to low blood sugar, check your sugar levels to see what’s going on, she adds. Certain things can also put you at higher risk of hypoglycemia, especially if you skip or put off a meal or snack, take too much insulin, don't eat enough carbohydrates, exercise more than you regularly do, or drink alcohol. In addition, people with type 1 diabetes experience hypoglycemia more often than those wi Continue reading >>

Treating Low Blood Sugars Quickly

Treating Low Blood Sugars Quickly

Unless you are eating a meal right away, the best treatment for lows is a combination of simple and complex carbohydrates plus some protein. Quickly treating lows lessens stress hormone release and lowers the chance of the blood sugar going high after a reaction. You'll feel better if the body is quickly resupplied with the fuel it needs.Your brain, muscles and other cells will thank you for not prolonging their misery. Eat 15 to 20 grams of fast acting carbohydrates immediately. Consider how much unused bolus insulin may still be active. Decide whether complex carbohydrates and/or protein are needed to keep you stable until you eat your next meal. Test your blood sugar 30 minutes later to make sure it has risen. Repeat step 1 if necessary. After a moderate or severe low blood sugar, wait 30 to 45 minutes before driving or operating machinery. A return to normal coordination and thinking is slower than the return to a normal blood sugar. You may need to eat more than 20 grams for a low: when you took a carb bolus for a meal but never ate it. when it has been only an hour or two since your last injection of rapid insulin. when you have been more physically active. Glucose is the "sugar" in blood sugar and may also be referred to as dextrose on labels. It comes in tablets, such as Dex4 or BD Glucose tablets, and in certain candies like Sweet Tarts. Glucose breaks down quickly and reaches the blood as 100 percent glucose, which makes it the best choice for raising the blood sugar quickly. Another good product for raising your glucose is Glucolift Glucose Tablets . Table sugar consists of one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule, so when it breaks down in the stomach, only half is immediately available as glucose. Fruit juices, like orange juice, contain mostly fruct Continue reading >>

Raising Blood Sugars Predictably

Raising Blood Sugars Predictably

What, then, can we use to raise blood sugars rapidly with a predictable outcome? The answer, of course, is glucose. Glucose, the sugar of blood sugar, does not have to be digested or converted by the liver into anything else. Unlike other sweets, it’s absorbed into the blood directly through the mucous membranes of the mouth, stomach, and gut. Furthermore, as we discussed in Chapter 14, “Using Exercise to Enhance Insulin Sensitivity,” we can compute precisely how much a fixed amount of glucose will raise blood sugar. If you have type 2 diabetes and weigh about 140 pounds, 1 gram of pure glucose will raise your blood sugar about 5 mg/dl—provided that your blood sugar is below the point at which your pancreas starts to make insulin to bring it down. If you weigh 140 pounds and have type 1 diabetes, 1 gram of glucose will raise your blood sugar about 5 mg/dl no matter what your blood sugar may be, because you cannot produce any insulin to offset the glucose. If you weigh twice that, or 280 pounds, 1 gram will raise your blood sugar only half as much. A 70-pound diabetic child, on the other hand, will experience double the blood sugar increase, or 10 mg/dl per gram of glucose consumed. Thus, the effect of ingested glucose on blood sugar is inversely related to your weight. Table 20-1 gives you the approximate effect of 1 gram glucose upon low blood sugar for various body weights. If you have handled glucose tablets, be sure to wash your hands before rechecking your blood sugar. If a source of water is not available, lick the finger you intend to prick to remove any residual glucose. You can dry the finger by wiping it on your clothing or a handkerchief. Do not keep glucose tablets near your blood sugar meter or test strips! Many countries have available as candies o Continue reading >>

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