How to Lower Blood Sugar Naturally

Lowering blood sugar is crucial for maintaining health, as high blood sugar levels, known as hyperglycemia, can pose serious risks if left untreated. Prolonged elevation of blood sugar can lead to complications such as vision loss, heart disease, and mood swings. Fortunately, there are various effective strategies to bring down blood sugar levels.

Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar

Here’s how you can gradually lower your blood sugar over time with lifestyle changes:

Watch Your Carb Intake

Carbohydrates from food and drinks turn into glucose (sugar) in your body, raising your blood sugar levels. While cutting out carbs completely isn’t necessary, reducing your intake or spreading it out evenly throughout the day can help manage blood sugar levels.

Your healthcare provider can help determine the right amount of carbs for you based on factors like your body composition and activity level. Opt for healthier carbs like whole grains instead of processed grains.

Incorporate Fiber

Fiber is a key nutrient that slows down digestion and reduces the rate at which sugar is absorbed into your bloodstream.

Regularly including high-fiber foods like beans, brown rice, avocado, Brussels sprouts, chia seeds, and dark leafy greens in your diet can help lower blood sugar levels over time.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Apart from diet, other lifestyle changes like improving sleep quality and increasing physical activity can also contribute to lowering blood sugar levels.

Some individuals with type 2 diabetes may manage their blood sugar effectively with lifestyle changes alone, while others may require medication in addition to lifestyle modifications.

Consulting with a healthcare provider can help tailor a plan that suits your individual needs and goals.

Maintaining Stable Blood Sugar

Instead of having three large meals a day, try eating smaller, more frequent meals and snacks. This approach helps keep your blood sugar levels steady, preventing spikes and crashes.

Studies have shown that this pattern of eating can lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

Insulin sensitivity is crucial for your body to effectively use and store blood sugar, and when it’s improved, your body can better manage glucose in your bloodstream.

Opt for Pistachios as Snacks

When you’re craving a snack, reach for some pistachios. A study involving 48 individuals with type 2 diabetes found that consuming 25 grams of pistachios twice daily for 12 weeks led to decreased blood glucose levels.

Other research has also linked pistachios to lower blood sugar levels, although some of these studies were associated with organizations supporting pistachio growers.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water is vital for your overall health and supports various essential bodily functions, such as regulating body temperature and lubricating joints. Adequate hydration may also contribute to managing blood sugar levels.

In a study of 31 participants, drinking one liter of water daily was associated with lower fasting glucose levels. Additionally, within 24 hours, participants had reduced levels of copeptin, an amino acid associated with low water intake and heightened diabetes risk.

This suggests that increasing water intake could potentially lower the risk of diabetes by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

Prioritizing Sleep

Ensuring you get enough sleep is crucial for your overall health. Insufficient sleep can affect your blood sugar levels. Factors such as sleep disturbances like breathing issues during the night and the duration of sleep have been linked to higher blood sugar levels.

Addressing sleep problems such as sleep apnea and improving sleep habits can help regulate blood sugar levels.

Engage in Mindfulness, Meditation, or Yoga

Stress can contribute to elevated blood sugar levels. Therefore, managing stress is vital for controlling blood sugar. A study conducted in 2020 discovered that mindfulness training not only reduced blood sugar levels but also increased participants’ happiness scores.

Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Additionally, meditation and yoga have been found effective in lowering blood sugar levels and A1C levels (an indicator of average blood sugar levels over three months) based on data from 28 randomized controlled trials.

Yoga reduced A1C levels by up to 1%, while meditation lowered A1C levels by 0.5%.

Consume Probiotics

Research indicates that probiotic-rich foods and supplements can help lower blood sugar levels.

A meta-analysis conducted in 2022, which examined 33 trials, revealed that a daily median dose of approximately 109 colony-forming units of probiotics significantly reduced blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Yogurt, a probiotic-rich food, was particularly effective in lowering glucose levels.

Consider Incorporating Supplements

Research suggests that certain supplements may aid in reducing blood sugar levels. For example, American ginseng has been linked to lower A1C and fasting glucose levels.

Magnesium supplementation has also shown promise in lowering blood sugar levels. Additionally, supplements such as alpha-lipoic acid, bitter melon, berberine, chromium, and cassia cinnamon may impact blood sugar levels.

It’s important to note that the regulation of supplements differs from that of medications. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any supplements to ensure they are suitable for you.

Explore Diabetes Medications

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, your healthcare provider may prescribe medication to help manage your blood sugar levels, alongside lifestyle changes.

One of the most commonly prescribed medications for type 2 diabetes is metformin, available under brand names like Fortamet and Riomet. This medication, in tablet or liquid form, reduces the absorption of glucose from food and decreases the amount of glucose produced by the liver.

Moreover, metformin enhances your body’s response to insulin, thereby assisting in maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

How to Lower Your Blood Sugar Quickly

1. Include Raspberries in Your Meal

Research suggests that consuming raspberries can help lower blood sugar levels, particularly in individuals with pre-diabetes and insulin resistance.

Eating around 250 grams (approximately 2 cups) of raspberries with your meal has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels within 30 minutes, with the effect lasting up to an hour after eating.

It’s best to have them during breakfast, especially after an overnight fast when blood sugar levels tend to fluctuate more. You can have them as part of a drink or in cereal.

2. Stay Active

Regular physical activity can significantly impact blood sugar levels. Exercise boosts insulin sensitivity, meaning your body becomes more efficient at using insulin to regulate blood sugar.

Activities like walking, cycling, or strength training can help lower blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours after exercise. However, intense activities like heavy weightlifting or sprinting may cause a temporary increase in blood sugar levels.

Monitoring your blood sugar before and after exercise can help you understand how your body responds and adjust your activities accordingly.

3. Consider Insulin

For individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, insulin may be necessary to manage blood sugar levels effectively. Insulin is a prescription medication that helps move glucose from the bloodstream into cells, where it can be used for energy or stored for later use.

There are different types of insulin with varying onset times, peak effects, and durations. Rapid-acting insulin, for example, can start lowering blood sugar within 15 minutes of injection and typically peaks within an hour, lasting several hours.

It’s crucial to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully when using insulin to avoid complications such as dangerously low blood sugar levels or insulin overdose.

Knowing When to Seek Medical Help for Blood Sugar Concerns

If you’re worried about your blood sugar levels and haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes yet, it’s essential to reach out to a healthcare provider. This is especially crucial if you’re experiencing symptoms commonly associated with diabetes, such as frequent urination, increased thirst, blurry vision, or extreme fatigue. Ignoring these signs could lead to serious health complications like nerve damage or heart issues.

Your healthcare provider can conduct blood tests to assess your current glucose levels and your average levels over the past three months. Based on these results, they can determine if you have conditions like type 2 diabetes and provide guidance on how to manage high blood sugar effectively.

For those who regularly monitor their blood sugar levels at home and notice elevated readings, it’s vital to follow the treatment plan outlined by your healthcare provider. In some cases, this may involve checking for ketones in your urine, especially if your blood sugar remains high (above 240 milligrams per deciliter). Elevated ketone levels can indicate a serious condition called ketoacidosis, which requires immediate medical attention.

If you detect ketones in your urine, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Seek urgent medical help if you experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, fruity-smelling breath, nausea, extreme thirst, drowsiness, confusion, flushed skin, or loss of consciousness.

In summary

High blood sugar levels pose health risks, but there are effective ways to manage them. Lifestyle changes such as increasing water intake, consuming more fiber, practicing relaxation techniques like yoga, or ensuring adequate sleep can help regulate blood sugar levels. If these measures aren’t sufficient, your healthcare provider may prescribe medications like metformin or insulin.

Some interventions, like rapid-acting insulin or physical activity, can quickly lower blood sugar levels in the short term and contribute to long-term management.

How to Lower Blood Sugar

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