High blood sugar or hyperglycemia is associated with prediabetes and diabetes. Generally, the body maintains its normal blood glucose level by producing insulin, a hormone that helps the cells to use the circulating sugar in the blood. However, an increase in this level may be caused due to multiple factors like medication, a sedentary lifestyle, dietary choices, stress, etc. Thus, blood sugar management is especially imperative for people with diabetes as it can otherwise lead to life-threatening complications, damages the blood vessels of the body and in a way, progressively harms leading to loss of sensation in feet and legs, loss of eyesight, and kidney function and increased risk of stroke and heart diseases. Therefore, getting blood sugar to a healthy level includes steps and processes to achieve it.
When the blood sugar level is high, managing it better with control over certain kinds of food is one of the crucial ways to do it. Cutting down on carbohydrates and eating more fibrous food like vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and legumes help stabilize blood sugar levels. The glycemic index (GI) helps to measure how quickly the carbs break down during the digestion process and how soon the body absorbs them. This in turn affects blood sugar levels. Therefore, food with a low glycemic index like barley, unsweetened Greek yogurt, beans, lentils, oats, non-starchy vegetables, etc. is advised to reduce blood sugar levels.
Regular exercise in the routine has been shown to manage blood sugar levels effectively in people having diabetes and health in general. Exercise helps muscles use blood sugar to provide energy and muscle contraction. One can opt for regular exercises like weightlifting, brisk walking, dancing, hiking, swimming, running, and more. Exercise snacks is yet another way to help lower blood sugar levels that can prevent sitting and the damage it brings with it. It simply means to break your sitting time every 30 minutes to just a few minutes during the day. Light walking, squats, and leg raise are some of the ways to include exercise snacks in your routine.
While excessive weight brings in multiple health issues and dangers, maintaining a moderate weight promotes healthy sugar levels and reduces the risk of diabetes. Even a 5% reduction in body weight can help improve blood sugar regulations and may reduce the need for sugar tablets too. Losing weight also benefits glycated haemoglobin readings that are used as indicators for blood sugar levels over the last 3 months. Thus, one should do regular exercise along with a balanced diet to get weight in the acceptable range to prevent such serious health issues like diabetes, etc.
A good lifestyle brings positive results in maintaining weight and reduces the risk of dangerous diseases to a large extent. To reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and promote healthy blood sugar levels, certain lifestyle changes show great results. Some of them must include are:
- Implement portion control: portion control helps regulate calorie intake, thus, helps in weight management. One can easily do it by using smaller plates, slow eating, avoiding restaurant eating, keeping a check on serve size, etc.
- Drinking wisely: Alcohol causes an immediate rise in blood sugar levels. Thus, it is advised to stick to moderate consumption while consuming it with solid food.
- Staying hydrated: Drinking enough water helps keep blood sugar levels within the range as it flushes excess sugar through the urine, in addition to preventing dehydration.
- Manage stress level: Stress is one of the main causes to affect blood sugar levels. Relaxation methods like meditation, yoga, and exercise can reduce stress levels.
- Quality Sleep: Getting enough sleep is imperative for good health. Lack of it affects sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, increasing the risk of diabetes and promoting weight gain. It also raises the hormone cortisol levels which helps in blood sugar management. Sleep schedule, regular exercise, reduced screen time, warm baths, and meditation before bedtime are some of the ways to induce quality sleep.
Regular Monitoring of blood sugar levels:
Managing blood sugar levels to be in control is to monitor them regularly. Keeping track helps determine whether to make changes in meals, lifestyle, or medication is needed or not. It also helps to evaluate how the body is reacting to certain food. Therefore, you can keep a check regularly using a portable blood glucose meter at home. Before and after exercise and before and 2 hours after a meal is the right way to track blood sugar in pairs.
If the above ways don’t help in reducing the blood glucose level, medications may also be prescribed by the doctor. However, along with medications, these are some of the effective ways to bring improvement in your health drastically.