12 Signs of High Blood Sugar and 8 Tips to Prevent Sugar Spikes
Our body naturally has glucose, or sugar, in the blood. When the levels of blood glucose are normal, our body’s organs and cells get energy. But, when they skyrocket, it becomes dangerous for our health.
If that happens too often, we can develop the chronic disease called type 2 diabetes.
Our liver produces some blood glucose, but we also get it from foods and drinks high in carbs. To keep our blood glucose levels within a healthy range, our body needs the hormone insulin. Insulin directs our cells to store glucose.
Lack of insulin, or improper work of the hormone, causes accumulation of blood glucose. And, high blood glucose levels can cause many health issues.
Signs of High Blood Glucose
When someone has high blood glucose, they may feel the following things:
- Feeling tired or drowsy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry mouth
- Have blurred vision
- Excessive thirst or hunger
- Increased urge to urinate
- Wounds not healing quickly
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
Possible Causes for High Blood Glucose
Our blood glucose levels can increase if we:
- consume too many carbs
- are under stress
- are sick
- have an infection
- forget or skip our oral medicine for lowering blood glucose, or insulin
- are less physically active than usual
What Happens If We Have Ongoing High Blood Glucose
Frequent high blood glucose, or persistent hyperglycemia, can cause many health complications. According to WebMD, some of them are:
- Skin infections
- Worse vision
- Slow-healing sores and cuts
- Diarrhea, chronic constipation, and other intestinal or stomach problems
- Nerve damage causing loss of hair on the lower parts of legs, insensitive or painful cold feet
- Damage to kidneys, blood vessels, or eyes
Long-term complications include stroke, heart attack, loss of vision, kidney failure or kidney disease.
How to Treat It
People who have diabetes should drink plenty of water, be physically active, and change their eating habits. It’s best to consult a doctor or a nutritionist to change the types and amount of foods they eat, as well as the diabetes medication they take.
How to Prevent It
In order to control our blood glucose levels, we need to follow our exercise program, meal plan, and medicine schedule. We can also pay more attention to the total carb amount in each of our meals and snacks.
We should test our blood glucose levels regularly, and consult a doctor if we have repeated abnormal readings. Here are more tips to prevent blood sugar spikes.
Tips to Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
1. Exercise Regularly
Being physically active regularly can help us increase insulin sensitivity. This, in turn, improves the cells’ ability to use the available glucose in the blood. Good forms of exercise are brisk walking, weight lifting, dancing, biking, running, swimming, and hiking.
2. Control The Intake of Carbs
Our body breaks carbohydrates down into sugars, so consuming lots of carbs can lead to abnormal insulin function. As a result, our blood glucose levels rise. Therefore, we can count carbs and plan our meals appropriately. We can also try to consume more low-carb foods and drinks.
3. Eat More Fiber
Fiber slows the digestion of carbs and the absorption of sugar. That’s why it helps prevent blood sugar spikes. So, we should eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and other fiber-rich foods.
4. Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and blood sugar spikes. Drinking enough water re-hydrates the blood, reduces blood glucose levels, and lowers the risk of diabetes, says Healthline.
5. Eat Foods with Low-Glycemic Index
Consume foods with a low glycemic index like eggs, meat, seafood, beans, barley, lentils, yams, corn, sweet potatoes, legumes, most fruits, oats, and non-starchy veggies.
6. Avoid or Control Stress
Stress affects our blood glucose levels more than we can imagine. Therefore, relaxation methods like meditation and yoga, as well as exercise, are very useful when it comes to preventing blood sugar spikes.
7. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Lack of rest and poor sleeping habits affect our insulin sensitivity and blood glucose levels. What’s more, they can increase appetite and cause weight gain. Therefore, we should make sure we get a sufficient amount of sleep every night.
8. Consume Foods High in Magnesium and Chromium
Lack of magnesium has been linked to a higher risk of diabetes, study says. Chromium helps prevent blood sugar issues, so we should eat more foods high in these minerals. Magnesium-rich foods include fish, whole grains, dark leafy green vegetables, avocados, bananas, and beans.
On the other hand, foods high in chromium include coffee, egg yolks, meat, broccoli, green beans, nuts, high-bran cereals, and whole-grain products.
Constant high blood glucose is not something we should ignore. In fact, it can cause many serious health complications, so it’s best to control it as soon as possible. In that way, we might help prevent type 2 diabetes, or at least learn how to control it and avoid all those serious consequences.