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How To Raise Blood Sugar Without Food

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 >>

Common Questions About Blood Sugar

Common Questions About Blood Sugar

How often should I test my blood sugar? This is a very common question, and the answer isn't the same for everyone. In general, you should test as often as you need to get helpful information. There's no point in testing if the information you get doesn't help you manage your diabetes. If you've been told to test at certain times, but you don't know why or what to do with the test results, then testing won't seem very meaningful. Here are some general guidelines for deciding how often to test: If you can only test once a day, then do it before breakfast. Keep a written record so that you can see the pattern of the numbers. If you control your blood sugar by diet and exercise only, this once-a-day test might be enough. If you take medicine (diabetes pills or insulin), you will probably want to know how well that medicine is working. The general rule is to test before meals and keep a record. If you want to know how your meals affect your blood sugar, testing about 2 hours after eating can be helpful. Test whenever you feel your blood sugar is either too high or too low. Testing will give you important information about what you need to do to raise or lower your blood sugar. If you take more than 2 insulin shots a day or use an insulin pump, you should test 4 to 6 times a day. You should test more often if you're having unusually high or low readings, if you're sick, under more stress than usual, or are pregnant. If you change your schedule or travel, you should also test your blood sugar more often than usual. Talk to a member of your health care team about how often to test based on your personal care plan. What should my test numbers be? There isn't one blood sugar target that's right for everyone with diabetes. It's important to work with your health care team to set 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 >>

Blood Sugar 911

Blood Sugar 911

CBN.com - After experiencing periods of increased jittery nerves, violent trembling, and fainting – all signs of severely low blood sugar – author Dennis Pollock was on a mission to change his diet. Christmas Scare It should have been a pleasant night. It was the Christmas season, and we had just returned from our annual Christmas trip to Grandma’s house. We were sitting in our living room, watching a videotape that was one of my sons’ Christmas presents. I wasn’t having fun. It was happening again. Less than three hours after we had eaten supper I could feel that cold chill on my arms and those jittery telltale indicators that my blood-sugar levels were falling way too low. I quietly slipped out of the room and went into the bathroom to check my blood sugar with my glucometer—a device I had been totally ignorant of a year earlier but was now all too familiar with. As I suspected, my blood-sugar level was dangerously low, so low I knew I needed to take action fast. Grabbing a can of Coke, I drank the entire contents in under a minute. Now my blood sugar went the other way. Another test revealed the level had gone from 40 mg/dl to about 170 in a very short time. 1 (The normal range is 80 to 120.) My body began to tremble violently. I tried to go back into the living room and watch the movie, hoping no one would notice the trembling, but I realized the shaking wasn’t going to go away very soon. I slipped into the bedroom, put on a music CD, and got under the covers. As I trembled and shook, I could only think, What in the world is wrong with me? Looking Back The Christmas scare was not my first encounter with blood-sugar problems. As I look back over my life now, I realize I have had blood-sugar issues going back to the mid-1980s. In the early days I could n Continue reading >>

How Many Factors Actually Affect Blood Glucose?

How Many Factors Actually Affect Blood Glucose?

A printable, colorful PDF version of this article can be found here. twitter summary: Adam identifies at least 22 things that affect blood glucose, including food, medication, activity, biological, & environmental factors. short summary: As patients, we tend to blame ourselves for out of range blood sugars – after all, the equation to “good diabetes management” is supposedly simple (eating, exercise, medication). But have you ever done everything right and still had a glucose that was too high or too low? In this article, I look into the wide variety of things that can actually affect blood glucose - at least 22! – including food, medication, activity, and both biological and environmental factors. The bottom line is that diabetes is very complicated, and for even the most educated and diligent patients, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that affects blood glucose. So when you see an out-of-range glucose value, don’t judge yourself – use it as information to make better decisions. As a patient, I always fall into the trap of thinking I’m at fault for out of range blood sugars. By taking my medication, monitoring my blood glucose, watching what I eat, and exercising, I would like to have perfect in-range values all the time. But after 13 years of type 1 diabetes, I’ve learned it’s just not that simple. There are all kinds of factors that affect blood glucose, many of which are impossible to control, remember, or even account for. Based on personal experience, conversations with experts, and scientific research, here’s a non-exhaustive list of 22 factors that can affect blood glucose. They are separated into five areas – Food, Medication, Activity, Biological factors, and Environmental factors. I’ve provided arrows to show the ge 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 You Can Have High Blood Sugar Without Carbs

How You Can Have High Blood Sugar Without Carbs

Can you have high blood sugar without carbs? Well, it’s important to look at common beliefs about high blood sugar first. “High blood sugar is bad. Carbohydrates raise blood sugar. Therefore carbohydrates are bad.” The theory is simple, and yet incredibly flawed. The truth is, you can have chronically high blood sugar even while religiously avoiding every starch and sugar in sight. Low-carb forums are littered with posts asking a very relevant question: Why is my blood sugar so high when I’m not eating any carbs? The answer is simple, yet often overlooked. If the body were an engine, glucose would be its fuel. Most people think glucose only comes from carbohydrates (sugar and starch), but protein can also be turned into glucose when there aren’t enough carbs around to do the job. This is called gluconeogenesis, and it’s performed by one of the major stress hormones cortisol. When you have high cortisol levels (from diet, lifestyle, etc.), the cortisol rapidly breaks down protein into glucose, which can raise blood sugar levels considerably. For some folks, this results in chronically high blood sugar–even if they are on a low-carb diet. The trouble is, cortisol isn’t just breaking down the protein you eat. It’s doing something far more destructive. The body is quite a smart machine, and it has no problem taking detours to get energy if necessary. If your body isn’t getting the energy it needs from your diet, it has a back-up source: its own tissue. It sounds kind of cannibalistic, eating your own lean body tissue for energy. I mean, I seriously doubt any one of you would relish cutting off a chunk of your leg for dinner. I know I wouldn’t. But every time your body uses cortisol to break down lean tissue for energy, this is basically what you are do 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 >>

How To Eat Without Increasing Your Blood Sugar

How To Eat Without Increasing Your Blood Sugar

Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is crucial to health -- even if you aren't dealing with diabetes. Blood sugar, or glucose, provides the energy that keeps every cell of your body running properly, but indulging in the wrong foods or overdoing it can cause your blood sugar to rapidly increase, resulting in too much sugar in the bloodstream. If this continues over a period of time, a condition known as hyperglycemia can result. Following a few guidelines can help keep your blood sugar stable. Eating high-fiber foods is an excellent way help prevent blood sugar from increasing. Fiber, a form of carbohydrate that's not broken down by your body, doesn't raise blood sugar levels. Since high-fiber foods take longer to digest, they have a delayed impact on your blood sugar, causing it to rise more slowly. In addition, fiber adds bulk to your diet that helps make you feel full. High-fiber foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains. Limit Simple Carbohydrates Simple carbohydrates have uncomplicated chemical structures that are quickly and easily broken down and used for energy. Because of their quick absorption, they often lead to a fast rise in blood sugar and insulin secretion from the pancreas that can result in negative effects. Avoid or limit your intake of foods such as refined breakfast cereals and breads, white-flour pasta, sugar-sweetened beverages and most processed foods. Combine Carbs, Proteins and Fats Eat meals that include a mix of complex carbohydrates -- such as whole-grain products, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, lentils and other legumes; protein; and some fat. University of Rochester Medical Center notes that if you eat only carbohydrates, such as fruit alone, your blood sugar level will rise quickly, and if you eat only protein Continue reading >>

Low Blood Glucose (hypoglycemia)

Low Blood Glucose (hypoglycemia)

What is hypoglycemia? Hypoglycemia, also called low blood glucose or low blood sugar, occurs when the level of glucose in your blood drops below normal. For many people with diabetes, that means a level of 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or less. Your numbers might be different, so check with your health care provider to find out what level is too low for you. What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia? Symptoms of hypoglycemia tend to come on quickly and can vary from person to person. You may have one or more mild-to-moderate symptoms listed in the table below. Sometimes people don’t feel any symptoms. Severe hypoglycemia is when your blood glucose level becomes so low that you’re unable to treat yourself and need help from another person. Severe hypoglycemia is dangerous and needs to be treated right away. This condition is more common in people with type 1 diabetes. Hypoglycemia Symptoms Mild-to-Moderate Severe Shaky or jittery Sweaty Hungry Headachy Blurred vision Sleepy or tired Dizzy or lightheaded Confused or disoriented Pale Uncoordinated Irritable or nervous Argumentative or combative Changed behavior or personality Trouble concentrating Weak Fast or irregular heart beat Unable to eat or drink Seizures or convulsions (jerky movements) Unconsciousness Some symptoms of hypoglycemia during sleep are crying out or having nightmares sweating enough to make your pajamas or sheets damp feeling tired, irritable, or confused after waking up What causes hypoglycemia in diabetes? Hypoglycemia can be a side effect of insulin or other types of diabetes medicines that help your body make more insulin. Two types of diabetes pills can cause hypoglycemia: sulfonylureas and meglitinides . Ask your health care team if your diabetes medicine can cause hypoglycemia. Although ot Continue reading >>

10 Blood Sugar–lowering Foods

10 Blood Sugar–lowering Foods

Adapted from The Carb Sensitivity Program It is no exaggeration—balancing your blood sugar could be a matter of life or death. Chronic high blood sugar levels are toxic to your body, destroying organs and blood vessels and paving the way to a heart attack, type 2 diabetes, stroke, dialysis, nerve damage, erectile dysfunction, or even blindness. The good news? Out-of-control sugar levels can be reigned in and regulated with the right foods. Here are most potent blood sugar-lowering foods so you know how to lower blood sugar levels naturally. Blood Sugar Benefit: A groundbreaking study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2010 found a daily dose of the bioactive ingredients from blueberries increases sensitivity to insulin and may reduce the risk of developing diabetes in at-risk individuals. That's important because too many carbs produces too much insulin, which could lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Adding blueberries to daily smoothies for six weeks also improves insulin sensitivity, so feel free to eat healthy doses of the superfood fruit, too. Added Perk: Low in naturally occurring sugars, blueberries are also packed with antioxidants that fight damage from free radicals, accelerated aging, and diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. Blood Sugar Benefit: Don't let the fat content of avocados fool you—they're still good for you! Avocados are full of monounsaturated fat, the kind that helps slow the release of sugars into the bloodstream, prompting less insulin release, and can even help to lower your cholesterol. Added Perk: Avocados contain beta-sitosterol, a compound that could help quell inflammation after an intense workout. Just limit yourself to one-quarter of an avocado at a time to avoid calorie overload. Or, try avocado oil drizzled on a Continue reading >>

Can You Have Low Blood Sugar With Type 2 Diabetes?

Can You Have Low Blood Sugar With Type 2 Diabetes?

back to Overview Know-how Type 2 A tag-team approach on low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes. Markus recently wrote an article on our German language blog talking about low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes. The question (“can I have low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes?”) is very common, and it’s easy to see why it’s of concern. So I’ve helped Markus bring his German post to life here in English. I hope it helps! Here’s Markus: Low blood sugar In 2014, results from the DAWN2 study were announced. It was the largest study of its kind (15,000 participants) on the “fears & needs of people with diabetes and their families.” One result stood out: The gravest fears are related to low blood sugars, especially at night. Up to 69% of the participants share this fear! So! Can you have low blood sugar with type 2 diabetes? Yes! Of course! But let’s think about who exactly is at risk – and why. It’s common to think: Type 1 diabetes = at risk for lows Type 2 diabetes = not at risk for lows But that isn’t correct at all, so we should wipe it from our mind. So… what do I need to know? Maybe it’s more accurate to say that people with type 2 diabetes who take certain types of medication are more at risk for lows. We’re getting closer! But to get to the truth, we should take a look at someone without diabetes. Is it possible for them to have lows, too? Theoretically yes, especially if doing long-lasting physical activities without proper food intake. Additionally, extreme stress and binge drinking are also common causes of low blood sugar for people without diabetes. However, it’s pretty rare because as soon as BG’s drop below 80 mg/dl (4.4 mmol/L), the natural counterregulatory system kicks in, raising blood sugar back to normal levels. I’ve never exp Continue reading >>

> When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

> When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

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: skipping meals and snacks not eating enough food at a meal or snack exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food getting too much insulin 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 example, taking a hot shower 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 >>

5 Surprising Food Habits That Raise Your Blood Sugar

5 Surprising Food Habits That Raise Your Blood Sugar

Taking care of your blood sugar is one of the most valuable things you can do for your mood, weight, and even your heart health. It’s essential for keeping your body’s chemicals (a.k.a. your hormones) in check and also helps stabilize your appetite. If you’re having a hard time finding some balance with your blood sugar, and constantly hungry no matter what, or jittery and shaky, then it’s time to turn to some tips for taking care of your blood sugar ASAP! Surprisingly, it’s not just the sugary white stuff that raises your blood sugar, and not even the fruit in your diet like some might say. It can also be caused by other factors that you’ll want to be aware of when going throughout your day. Your blood sugar really boils down to your insulin (the sugar hormone, as many call it), which also stores fat and secrets glucose into the cells. Your insulin isn’t your enemy when you care for it. It can help keep your energy stable, but the key is to slow it down for a steady walk, not send it on a rollercoaster ride. Here are some things you might not realize affect your blood sugar: 1. Too Much Caffeine Caffeine also raises insulin when consumed in excess. While a cup (or even two cups) of coffee a day is actually beneficial for your insulin, more than that can cause it to sky-rocket. Even when consumed from healthier sources like yerba mate or black tea, caffeine can make your insulin surge, which leaves you moody, shaky, irritable, and craving sweets. Then you become tired and exhausted when levels drop, which leads you to reach for more caffeine or more sugar, depending on your vice. See how to Eat Your Way to Energy: No Caffeine Needed here if you need some help, or these 14 Natural Caffeine-Free Choices to Help Mellow You Out if you’re stressed. 2. Sugar W Continue reading >>

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