Maintaining stable blood sugar levels can feel like a balancing act. The main goal of treating type 1 and type 2 diabetes is to avoid both high and low blood glucose levels. Both high and low blood glucose levels pose a threat to your overall health and quality of life. Blood glucose levels that are too high make it challenging to meet blood glucose goals and eventually lead to other health problems. If you are wondering how to keep your blood sugar levels steady so you can live your best and healthiest life, you have come to the right place, because here are a few simple tips.
What is a blood sugar spike?
A blood sugar spike occurs when your blood sugar level rises suddenly. Hyperglycemia is another term for a high blood sugar level.
Blood sugar spikes can be dangerous if they occur frequently or over a long period. Chronic blood sugar can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart. Blood glucose levels rise after eating, although they may also occur during the day. Without insulin, your blood sugar levels rise above your healthy sugar level in the blood.
Potential complications of frequent blood sugar spikes are heart disease, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, nerve damage, and more. These complications can occur with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
What is Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that affects both children and adults. It is an autoimmune reaction that affects insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. It is caused by your inherited genetics or other external elements. In this type 1 diabetes, your immune system kills the cells that release insulin, eventually leading to the complete inability to produce insulin in the body. Type 1 commonly shows at a young age and lasts for a lifetime.
Type 2 diabetes develops when your body becomes insulin resistant and is related to your genetics and lifestyle. This diabetes disease generally appears during adulthood and can be controlled or reversed through diet and exercise. 90-95% of those diagnosed with diabetes have type 2
Gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar (glucose) like other types of diabetes. It causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health.
There is good news, even if any pregnancy condition is concerning. You may help control gestational diabetes throughout pregnancy by eating nutritious meals, exercising and taking medication. Controlling your blood sugar levels will help you and your baby stay healthy and avoid a difficult delivery.
If you have gestational diabetes during pregnancy, your blood sugar generally drops back to normal shortly after birth. However, if you have had gestational diabetes, you are more likely to get type 2 diabetes. You’ll have to be monitored for blood sugar changes more often.
Blood sugar targets after eating
Your blood sugar level is different from other diabetics. Consult our internal medicine doctors to help you understand your optimal blood sugar range, medical condition, age and risk of hypoglycemia.
The following are the blood sugar levels you should aim for after eating (when blood sugar rises the most)
- Less than 180 mg/dL one to two hours after eating
- Less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating
- For pregnant women with gestational diabetes: less than 140 mg/dL one hour after eating, and less than 120 mg/dL two hours later
How to handle the sudden spike of sugar in the blood?
Let us look at the many ways to deal with a sudden increase in sugar levels:
- Low-Carbohydrate Diet: Carbohydrates raise your blood sugar. Take carbohydrates in moderation, and stick to a low-carbohydrate diet that will help you lower blood sugar levels.
- Reduce sugar consumption: Processed meals like candy, cookies, and sodas, as well as other junk foods, cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Beverages or processed foods are a source of high sugar, which spikes extra calories without being nutritious.
- Diabetes and the Importance of Weight Loss: Being overweight or obese creates a situation even more difficult for diabetics because it interferes with your body’s ability to use insulin appropriately. Maintain a healthy weight to stay fit and active, this benefits in improving your overall body function.
- Create a Diabetes Exercise Plan: Exercise reduces blood sugar spikes and stimulates muscle cells so they can better absorb glucose from the bloodstream. Regular exercise lowers sugar levels in your body.
- Increase your water consumption: Drink adequate fluid to maintain stable blood glucose levels. Aside from blood sugar levels, adequate fluid intake benefits you with good physical function. Your body produces a hormone called vasopressin when you are thirsty. This makes your kidneys retain fluid and prevents your body from excreting excess sugar through urine. It also causes your liver to release more sugar into the bloodstream.
- Consume more fibre: Soluble fibre effectively prevents sugar levels from rising in your blood. Fibre meals keep your stomach full, preventing binge eating habits and ultimately decreasing your carbohydrate, calorie, and sugar intake. They dissolve in water and form a gel-like material that helps slow glucose absorption in the stomach. This food helps you drop blood glucose levels and falls continuously.
- Fibre-rich sources are
- Some fruits, such as apples, oranges, and blueberries
- Many vegetables
The easiest way to keep your blood glucose levels under control is to eat right and check blood glucose levels regularly with a blood glucose metre.
Blood sugar spikes occur when your blood sugar level rises rapidly. A blood sugar spike can raise your overall blood sugar level and worsen your blood sugar management. Diet, daily exercise and doctor-prescribed medications, are the most important things you can do to avoid blood sugar spikes and keep your blood sugar steady. Maintaining blood sugar spikes, keeps you increasing your chances of blood sugar control and lowers your risk of diabetic complications.