How to Stabilize Blood Sugar
Blood sugar stabilization is the process of balancing a blood sugar level that is too low or too high. This happens normally for most people with a series of biochemical checks and balances that serve to keep the blood sugar levels in a relatively narrow range at all times. However, certain metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, cause the blood sugar level to stray from this healthy range without direct intervention. Make sure you know what to do for a minor imbalance and for an emergency.
Raising Low Blood Sugar
Watch for symptoms of hypoglycemia.By knowing the symptoms of hypoglycemia, you can assess yourself or others. If you or someone else has symptoms of hypoglycemia, then the best thing to do is to eat a fast acting source of glucose, like orange juice. If the symptoms resolve, then hypoglycemia was most likely the cause. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may include:
Diagnose low blood sugar.You can determine if you have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) by measuring the blood sugar level just before a meal when the blood sugar level is at its lowest. Hypoglycemia is generally defined as a blood sugar level that is less than 90 milligrams of sugar per deciliter of blood (mg/dL).
- You’ll need a blood sugar tester. You can purchase a digital one-touch tester at any major retailer or pharmacy for as little at .
- Wipe your fingertip with alcohol and let it dry before you use a one-touch unit. Then, use the single use lancet the make a small prick in one of your fingers. The unit will automatically assess your blood sugar level and display the number.
- The finger prick shouldn’t be painful. Make sure to wash your hands with antibacterial soap when you’re done to avoid infection.
- Check your blood sugar again after you’ve eaten to make sure it’s returned to a normal level.
Eat more often.This will allow the blood sugar less time to drop between meals. The sizes of the meals should be reduced accordingly so that the total caloric intake doesn’t change.
- Smaller snacks like granola bars, sliced fruit, a hardboiled eggs, or a bag of baked chips are good options for people with chronically low blood sugar.
- A good rule of thumb is to consume at least 15 grams of carbohydrates. If you want to consume exactly that amount, try 4 ounces of fruit juice, 1 teaspoon of sugar or jelly, and 7-8 Life Savers.
Eat meals that are high in carbohydrates and starches.If you do not have diabetes, then strategic mealtimes may help to maintain your blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates are complex sugars that increase the blood sugar level when they’re broken down. A regular intake of carbohydrates will help maintain the blood sugar level throughout the day.
- Carbohydrates can be found in white breads, pasta, potatoes, beans, fruits, nuts, yogurt, and cereal.
- Hypoglycemics frequently carry candy or fruit juice with them to raise their blood sugar level quickly.
- If you still feel light-headed and weak after eating carbohydrate or sugary foods, you may want to contact a doctor.
- Ensure that your diet is varied with complex carbs (fruits and vegetables) and lean protein to help keep healthy blood sugar levels in check.
Inject glucagon.If your blood sugar is extremely low, this can be dangerous for your health. A blood sugar emergency would be a blood sugar level below 75 mg/dL. Healthcare professionals may inject the hormone glucagon directly into the bloodstream in an emergency to raise the blood sugar level quickly.
- Many diabetics can be trained to self-inject glucagon in an emergency. You will need a prescription from your doctor.
- Be aware that glucagon is not meant for healthy people. It is a drastic measure to control blood sugar that has dipped to a dangerous level.
Receive dextrose.If your blood sugar is causing a seizure or diabetic shock, you will need someone else to administer dextrose. Emergency dextrose is administered with an intravenous drip. This should only be done by a medical professional.
Lowering High Blood Sugar
Diagnose high blood sugar.To determine if you have high blood sugar, your doctor may order a fasting plasma glucose test, a test two hours after giving you 75 grams of oral glucose, or by checking your hemoglobin A1c. All of these tests can be performed in medical setting to establish if a person has diabetes. Hyperglycemia is generally defined as a blood sugar level that is greater than 180 mg/dL.
- You can purchase a digital one-touch tester at any major retailer or pharmacy for as little at . Make sure that you use sterile lancets (purchased in a pharmacy) for the device. You will also need single use alcohol pads to use prior to pricking yourself. Use a pad to wipe your fingertip and then let it dry before pricking yourself with the sterile lancet.
- You should also check your blood sugar in the morning before you eat. This will give you a sense of how your body is processing sugar.
Eat more fiber.A diet with at least 50 grams of fiber can help lower blood sugar levels. It will also boost your metabolism and cultivate probiotics in your stomach and intestines.
- You can get fiber from a wide variety of foods. Try whole-wheat pasta, bran, oats, citric fruits, berries, beans, nuts, or roughage vegetables like artichokes, spinach, or broccoli.
- If consistent blood sugar elevations are suspected, see a healthcare provider. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause long term damage to target organs including the eyes, heart, kidneys, and peripheral vascular system.
Cut down your sugar intake.A reduction in dietary sugar has a direct effect on the blood sugar level. A physician may recommend that a severely hyperglycemic or diabetic patient eliminate sugar from his or her diet.
- Avoid candy, soda, baked treats, and added sugar.
- Avoid foods with white carbohydrates which turn into sugar after they’re metabolized. This includes white breads, pasta, potatoes, and cereal.
Reduce portion sizes.Most foods, especially processed foods, will have some amount of sugar in them. Unless you’re severely hyperglycemic, this should be fine in moderation but can be problematic if you take in a lot of sugar at once. Smaller meals can also help to keep the blood sugar in check.
- Always be sure to check the sugar content of any processed food you eat.
Exercise regularly.Prolonged activities, such as biking or running, can effectively lower the blood sugar level as the sugar is consumed for fuel. Cardio exercises and weight training are highly effective at burning sugar.
- If you don’t have time for a full exercise at the gym, try going for a walk or even just standing up when you would normally sit.
Don’t over extend yourself.Refrain from aerobic exercise if your blood sugar level is above 240 mg/dl and your urine also contains ketones. This combination of conditions can cause the ketone levels in the blood to rise to dangerous levels during exercise.
- If your urine is excessively dark in color, this is potentially a sign of high ketone levels and you should go to see a doctor right away.
Inject insulin.If you are diagnosed with diabetes, then your healthcare provider should create a plan to help you keep your diabetes under control. This plan may include regular blood sugar tests, insulin injections, and lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. Diabetics with severe hyperglycemia may need an injection of insulin to quickly lower the blood sugar level in an emergency. You will need a prescription from your doctor.
- Always swab the injection site with rubbing alcohol first. Be sure to ask your doctor about proper injection procedures if you don’t know where or how to inject.
QuestionI keep asking if sugars are like 400 can I bring down by eating a candy or drinking a cokewikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou definitely can't bring down your blood sugar by consuming more carbohydrates, especially sugar as your blood glucose levels will spike.Thanks!
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