Learn How to Stablize Blood Sugar with these 7 Tips
Maintaining healthy Blood glucose levels is an important factor for good health. Although it is more critical for people with diabetes to balance blood sugar, imbalances can contribute to serious health issues in anyone. Based on information from staff at the Mayo Clinic, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause damage to the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves. Failure to stabilize blood sugar levels over a period of time can also lead to increased fat storage in the abdomen and fatigue.
Endocrinologist Laure Kassem, MD and assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland also stated that… “Big variations in carbohydrate intake from day to day can lead to fluctuations in blood sugars.” Research studies focused in on helping people with diabetes to stabilize blood sugar also found that out of control blood sugar levels encourages unhealthy food choices. And, if left unchecked, contributes to other serious conditions such obesity, mood fluctuations, hypoglycemia, heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, visual deficits, and Type 2 diabetes.
To help stabilize blood sugar and reduce these risks, medical experts suggest developing a strategy that incorporate the following lifestyle changes.
Important Tips to Help Stabilize Blood Sugar
- Don’t skip meals. Eating regularly has been touted as one of the most important steps to balance blood sugar. According to experts, skipping meals often lead to consuming more food at the next meal time. Large meals however, has the potential to cause dangerous spikes in blood glucose levels. On the other hand, eating small meals throughout the day help to stabilize blood sugar by preventing harmful fluctuations. Regular mealtimes punctuated with one or two healthy snacks in-between also help to naturally automate hunger responses which can discourage going long periods without food.
- Reduce junk food intake by consciously making healthier food choices at each meal. Good sources of protein, healthy fat and foods high in fiber have been validated by various studies as a way to slow the digestion process and balance blood sugar. Making good dietary decisions is even more critical for people already diagnosed with diabetes to have better control over their blood sugar levels.
- Establish a regular exercise program. This is such an important component in controlling blood glucose levels that it is a constant on any list of things to do to balance blood sugar, lose weight or manage diabetes. Physical activity that engage muscles also help to carry sugar from the blood stream to muscles, burn calories and overtime, increase energy levels. Another important benefit of exercise is the significant role it plays in weight management.
- Get sufficient rest. Numerous research studies reveal that insufficient sleep increases the propensity for inconsistent blood sugar levels and the risk of developing serious medical conditions. Experts typically recommend getting between seven to eight hours of sleep in order to maintain hormonal balance and to stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Weight Management. Controlling excessive weight loss or gain can help to maintain good glucose levels. In fact, endocrinologist and professor of endocrinology and metabolism at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Joseph Aloi, commented that…
“For some people with diabetes, losing just 5 or 10 pounds can make a difference in diabetes control or the need for medication.”
- Drink in Moderation. Alcohol can cause a sudden rise in blood sugar level. Control blood sugar by avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol. It is also helpful to pair solid food with alcoholic beverages to maintain good blood glucose levels.
- For people taking medications, it is important to discuss with your doctor how they impact blood glucose levels and what you can do to counteract any negative effects. Any strategy to control blood sugar levels must work in concert with a good understanding of how any medications being taken affect blood sugar. Diabetic medication can cause different types of effects such as increase or reduce the amount of blood sugar made by the liver, cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Some medications work by breaking down starches in the body that can prevent spikes in blood sugar after a meal. Others may stabilize blood sugar levels by keeping gut-based hormones in the body longer or by promoting elimination of excess sugar.
According to two major studies, using medications to control blood glucose levels has not been shown to decrease risk factors. However, those who maintain normal or close to normal blood sugar levels through diet, exercise and other lifestyle options tend to experience better health. Another important factor in keeping blood sugar stable is to know your target numbers.