Are you one of the over 34 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes? This chronic disease makes it difficult for your body to regulate your blood sugar levels, which can lead to life-threatening complications.
At Grassroots Healthcare in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dr. Melita Tate and our board-certified providers specialize in helping our patients manage their blood sugar with our personalized, holistic approach to diabetes care.
While some diabetics need medication to help manage their condition, you can help reclaim control of your blood sugar by taking a few key steps. Keep reading for our top tips on how you can help keep your blood sugar stable.
Unstable blood sugar can mean glucose levels that are too low or too high. The dips and spikes of low or high blood sugar trigger different symptoms.
While minor instabilities might affect your mood or make you feel tired, severe or chronic instability can lead to serious health problems, including coma. Recognizing the signs that your blood sugar isn’t controlled can help you avoid these problems and make the changes you need to get back on track faster.
Here’s a look at the signs of both low and high blood sugar:
Signs of low blood sugar:
Signs of high blood sugar:
High blood sugar may also make your breath smell “fruity” as a result of the buildup of acids called ketones.
Everything you eat affects your blood sugar. When you have diabetes, changing your diet and understanding different types of foods and how much food you put on your plate goes a long way to stabilizing your blood sugar.
It’s important to talk to your Grassroots Healthcare provider for personalized diet recommendations, but in general, choosing foods that convert into glucose more slowly can help you manage your blood sugar levels.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to reach for foods that are low on the glycemic index (GI). The GI is a number that tells you how fast your body turns the carbohydrates in certain foods into glucose.
The GI scale ranges from 0-100, and the higher the number, the more quickly your body turns the food into glucose with a pure sugar rating of 100.
It’s best to avoid high-GI foods (70 or higher), which includes items like white rice, most breads, most baked goods, and most processed foods. These make it hard to control your blood sugar. Instead, reach for moderate-GI (56-69) and low-GI foods (under 55), which include:
Choosing more foods lower on the GI makes stabilizing your blood sugar easier. These foods are also healthier for your heart, boost your energy, and help you lose weight.
When you exercise, your muscles burn stored glucose. This frees up space, making your cells better able to take in blood sugar. This also improves your insulin sensitivity, which increases your body’s use of any available insulin.
In addition, your muscles contract while you exercise. This makes it possible for them to take in blood sugar — even if your body doesn’t have insulin available. Exercise also helps you lose excess weight and stay at a healthy body weight.
The stabilizing effects of exercise on your blood sugar last for about 24 hours after you stop working out. Talk to your Grassroots Healthcare provider for customized exercise recommendations.
Alcohol has a tremendous impact on your blood sugar. It can cause your blood glucose levels to drop or skyrocket depending on how much you drink and whether you eat at the same time.
For stable blood sugar, avoiding alcohol is best. If you choose to drink, be sure to drink in moderation only. That means women and men over 65 shouldn’t have more than one drink per day, men under 65 shouldn’t have more than two drinks per day.
At Grassroots Healthcare, our providers use a holistic approach in managing your blood sugar, combining medication with non-pharmaceutical therapies so you can reclaim your life and use less medicine in the long run.
Our weight management program can help you take control of your metabolism and improve your hormone levels. By educating you about the foods you eat and how they affect your blood sugar levels, your Grassroots Healthcare provider helps you get your numbers under control faster.
Ready to learn more about how you can keep your blood sugar stable? Schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Grassroots Healthcare in Tulsa, Oklahoma.