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7 Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally

Know the facts on high blood sugar and how blood sugar levels impact your health

Blood sugar or glucose levels are frequently overlooked when it comes to maintaining consistent energy and overall health. When your blood sugar level is too high, your body starts working overtime to normalize the level and protect you from serious health outcomes.

The signs and symptoms of high blood sugar levels range from needing to pee frequently, constant thirst, having skin problems and more. However, most of us don’t realize these signs are indicators of high blood sugar or that there is a serious problem.

Left unchecked, high blood sugar or hyperglycemia can lead to permanent nerve, blood vessel, tissue, and organ damage. This damage can increase your risk for stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, vision problems, diabetes, and insulin resistance. 

Blood sugar levels are not something many people who do not have diabetes think or discuss often. This needs to change. More and more people are developing serious health conditions because they do not know the causes, signs, and impacts of persistently high blood sugar levels. 

In this blog we take a deep dive into blood sugar, explaining what blood sugar is, the signs and symptoms of high blood sugar, the causes of high blood sugar, and how you can naturally lower your blood sugar levels

When you understand how the body processes the foods you eat and how this affects your blood sugar, energy, and health, it’s much easier to make the lifestyle adjustments that normalize your blood sugar levels for improved health, energy, and wellness.

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What is Blood Sugar?

Blood sugar is the primary sugar in your blood. Blood sugar is used by your body for energy and to provide nutrients to your organs, nervous system, and muscles. Blood sugar is also called glucose.

The foods and beverages you consume are your blood sugar source. Your blood sugar levels fluctuate based on the types of food and drinks you consume. Food high in sugar or fast-acting carbohydrates causes your blood sugar levels to spike, giving you a temporary energy boost. 

The American Diabetes Association explains the link between food, drinks, blood sugar, and energy levels:

When you eat, your body breaks food down into sugar and sends it into the blood. Insulin then helps move the sugar from the blood into your cells. When sugar enters your cells, it is either used as fuel for energy right away or stored for later use.

Your blood sugar levels rise and fall through-out the day based on how your body uses the energy from the foods you eat and the timing of your meals and snacks. Think of how you feel energized after eating and the fatigue that occurs when you’re hungry or have eaten a carbohydrate-rich meal or snack. 

Ideally, we would consume the right balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat during the day to prevent these blood sugar spikes and lows. But most of us consume more high carbohydrate foods than we need, making it difficult for the body to process and use the excess sugar from these foods. 

This can cause insulin resistance, pushing excess sugar into your bloodstream where it is not absorbed or converted correctly. This then causes your blood sugar levels to spike and when this happens regularly, triggers health issues including fluctuating energy levels, hyperglycemia, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes.

What is Hyperglycemia?

Hyperglycemia occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood. Hyperglycemia is also called high blood glucose. People with and without diabetes can experience hyperglycemia.

Nondiabetic hyperglycemia describes high blood sugar when you do not have diabetes. The following conditions put people at risk for nondiabetic hyperglycemia:

  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Poorly managed diabetes
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Burns, injuries, surgery or trauma
  • Infections and illness including pneumonia or a urinary tract infection
  • Family history of gestational diabetes or diabetes
  • Lack of physical activity, being overweight or obese
  • Side effects of some medications or nutrition provided by IV or feeding tube

We like this straight-forward description of hyperglycemia by the Cleveland Clinic:

Hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose, occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood. This happens when your body has too little insulin (the hormone that transports glucose into the blood), or if your body can’t use insulin properly.

The Link Between Blood Sugar and Your Health

When your blood sugar levels are too high or too low, you are at risk for serious health implications. Your blood sugar is an integral factor in determining your energy levels, maintaining a healthy body weight, and disease prevention. 

With normal and consistent blood sugar levels, it’s much easier for your body to:

  • Provide sustainable and lasting energy throughout the day
  • Metabolise the foods and drinks you consume into energy
  • Properly absorb the nutrients from foods and beverages
  • Maintain a healthy weight and lose stored body fat
  • Reduce your risk of disease and illness

The mantra of “you are what you eat” underscores how important blood sugar is to your overall health. When you consume too many high-carbohydrate foods, your body becomes overloaded with sugar, triggering energy spikes and lows, and ultimately chronic high blood sugar, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and life-long health risks.

13 Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Sugar You Need to Know About

It’s super easy to overlook the signs and symptoms of high blood sugar and chalk them up to being part of life and aging. However, this is not the case, and we want you to understand how serious high blood sugar can be.

Make sure you know these 4 signs and symptoms of mild high blood sugar. Do not ignore these signs of high blood sugar, please discuss these with your doctor.

  1. Frequent peeing: to remove excess blood sugar, your kidneys work overtime, causing you to pee frequently.
  2. Always thirsty: because you’re peeing a lot, you get dehydrated and very thirsty.
  3. Extremely low energy: high blood sugar makes it difficult for your body to convert insulin, this causes problems with creating the energy you need to get through your day.
  4. Elevated hunger: because your energy levels are low, your body is looking for more blood sugar so it can create the energy you need. The only way to get this energy is from food, so your body sends constant hunger signals to you. However, this hunger also creates a secondary response in your body, tricking your body into storing this energy as fat for future use (because your body has learned there are times when there isn’t enough available energy).

Do not ignore these 9 signs and symptoms of moderate to severely high blood sugar. Please consult a healthcare practitioner if you or someone you know is showing these signs and symptoms of high blood sugar:

  1. Excessive thirst
  2. Blurry vision
  3. Hot, dry, flushed skin
  4. Light-headedness
  5. Restlessness, drowsiness, or struggling to stay awake
  6. Weak pulse and high heart rate
  7. Lack of appetite, vomiting, or stomach pain
  8. Very strong and fruity breath
  9. Fast and deep breathing

10 Overlooked Causes of High Blood Sugar

High blood sugar is typically attributed to these three causes:

  1. Food: everything you eat is broken down and used by your body to keep you healthy. Carbohydrates are converted into blood sugar, creating the energy your body needs. However, different carbohydrates provide different types of energy. Fast-acting carbohydrates like soda, energy drinks, candy, cakes, or other high sugar foods are absorbed quickly, giving you an energy spike and then drop. Slow-acting carbohydrates such as large flake oats, fruit, whole grains, or peanuts are converted and absorbed more slowly, providing you with longer lasting and even energy.

  2. Exercise: when you exercise regularly, your body changes how it uses insulin, and this helps keep your blood sugar within the normal range. Being active, such as walking, jogging, cycling, yoga, etc. helps your body better manage blood sugar and insulin. A recent study underscores the links between exercise and high blood sugar – in both normal weight and overweight adults.

  3. Insulin: this hormone created by your pancreas is essential to blood sugar regulation. Insulin is used by your body to absorb blood sugar into your bloodstream. People with type 1 diabetes cannot create insulin and must inject it daily to ensure safe blood sugar levels. People with type 2 diabetes can create insulin but the body is not able to process it properly, this results in too much sugar in the bloodstream. For people with insulin resistance, their cells are not able to absorb insulin correctly, causing an accumulation of sugar in the blood.

But as the CDC explains, there are 10 overlooked causes of high blood sugar you need to know about:

  1. Sunburn – the pain causes stress and stress increases blood sugar levels.
  2. Artificial sweeteners – more research needs to be done, but some studies show they can raise blood sugar.
  3. Coffee – even without sweetener. Some people’s blood sugar is extra-sensitive to caffeine. 
  4. Losing sleep – even just one night of too little sleep can make your body use insulin less efficiently.
  5. Skipping breakfast – going without that morning meal can increase blood sugar after both lunch and dinner.
  6. Time of day – blood sugar can be harder to control the later it gets.
  7. Dawn phenomenon – people have a surge of hormones early in the morning whether they have diabetes or not. For people with diabetes, blood sugar can spike.
  8. Dehydration – less water in your body means a higher blood sugar concentration.
  9. Nose spray – some have chemicals that trigger your liver to make more blood sugar.
  10. Gum disease – it’s both a complication of diabetes and a blood sugar spiker.

7 Ways to Lower Blood Sugar Naturally

The good news about blood sugar is you can make simple lifestyle changes to naturally lower your blood sugar. It is important to note that if you have diabetes or another blood-sugar related condition, you should consult your doctor before making changes to your diet and exercise.

To lower your blood sugar naturally to a normal range for adults, use these 7 tips:

  1. Reduce the amount of fast-acting carbohydrates you consume. Fast-acting carbohydrates cause your blood sugar levels to spike. Regularly consuming high-carbohydrate or foods high on the glycemic index can cause blood sugar-related illness. 

    Carbohydrate-rich foods are used differently in the body – based on the type of carbohydrate they provide. One way to measure this is with the glycemic load or index. Low and moderate glycemic index foods such as spelt bread, steel cut oats, quinoa, peas, sweet potato, apples, berries, cantaloupe, figs, and beans deliver consistent slow-acting energy, preventing blood sugar spikes. Use this Glycemic Index Food Guide from Diabetes Canada to help learn more about carbohydrates, glycemic index, and blood sugar.

  2. Add more fiber to your diet. Fiber helps your body digest food and manage blood sugar absorption. For example, eating an orange does not affect your blood sugar the same way as drinking orange juice. The fiber in the orange helps you feel full, aids in digestion,  and slows the absorption of the sugar from the orange. Try to add more whole fruits and vegetables to your diet and when you have the choice, choose whole grains and unprocessed foods. 

  3. Stay physically active. Regular physical activity is integral to your whole-body health and wellness. From helping you relieve stress, building muscle, strengthening bones through to regulating insulin levels – regular exercise is must. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. 

  4. Stay hydrated. As the CDC noted, dehydration can cause your blood sugar levels to spike. When you’re dehydrated, you stop peeing, this causes an accumulation of blood sugar and subsequent blood sugar spikes. When you pee, you flush excess blood sugar from your body. 

  5. Put a focus on stress management. Everyone reacts to stress differently, but we do know that too much high stress causes hormonal changes, mood swings, obesity, weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and overeating. Look for ways to manage your stress, such as removing yourself from stressful situations, getting more sleep, always having healthful snacks available, and getting outdoors for a break. 

  6. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese is a major stressor for your body, impacting every aspect of your health. According to the American Diabetes Associationbeing overweight increases the risk of high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol, and high blood glucose (sugar). Talk to your doctor or nutritional expert on how to safely lose weight and maintain this weight loss.

  7. Use a supplement proven to promote healthy and normal blood sugar levels. A supplement like Blood Sugar Focus is proven to naturally reduce glucose absorption and production. This helps ensure healthy blood sugar levels, so you can maintain consistent energy levels, lose weight, and prevent energy highs and lows.

We’ve given you a lot of information about high blood sugar, your body, and your health. We did this because understanding blood sugar and how it impacts your health and wellness is super important – and is often overlooked.

Know that you have the ability to take charge of your health and make lifestyle changes that create long-lasting health benefits. Remember to subscribe to the Health Focused newsletter for the latest articles about health and wellness.

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