High blood glucose levels can damage the small arteries and nerves in your eyes, kidneys, heart, brain and feet over time. If you have diabetes, high blood sugar is defined as higher than 130 mg/dL when fasting and above 180 mg/dL two hours after eating, unless your doctor has specified a different target for you. Managing your blood glucose levels closely is the key to healthy living with diabetes.
If your blood glucose levels are high, don’t skip a meal; rather, try to understand the causes behind your high reading and do some damage control by eating healthy and exercising.
If your blood glucose levels are higher than they should be, start by determining what caused the rise. Did you eat more carbohydrates than usual? Carbohydrates found in grains, potatoes and sugar increase your blood sugar levels the most, and eating too much can result in high glucose levels. Are you more stressed than usual or are you feeling sick? Stress and illness also increase your blood sugar levels. Did you skip your usual walk or did your forget to take your medications? Both exercise and prescribed medications decrease your blood sugar levels. Keeping a journal of what you eat, how you feel, how much you exercise and the medications and supplements you take can help you figure out the cause of your high blood sugar.
Skipping meals can actually increase your blood glucose levels. If your body doesn’t get a regular supply of energy from food, your liver may panic and start releasing glucose into your bloodstream. This glucose can come from stored liver glycogen or can be newly synthesized from protein. Skipping a meal can cause you to have high blood glucose levels, so don’t skip a meal in an attempt to lower high blood sugar.
Instead of skipping a meal, eat a balanced meal containing protein. Protein can stimulate your pancreas to produce insulin, the hormone needed to lower your blood glucose levels. If your blood sugar levels are high, have a healthy meal at your regular meal time. Avoid high-carbohydrate foods, such as pasta, rice, breads, desserts and pastries, that could further elevate your blood glucose. Instead, have a healthy meal based on non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, mushrooms and onions; a serving of protein from fish, chicken or meat; and healthy fats from avocado, nuts or olive oil. Continue monitoring your blood sugar levels at regular intervals to measure the impact of your meal.
Exercise is the best strategy to help you manage your high blood glucose levels. Whenever you move by walking, cycling or gardening, the muscles of your body use up some of the extra glucose circulating in your blood. Exercise also makes your cells more sensitive to insulin, which can contribute to bringing your blood sugar levels back in the healthy range. Walking at a moderate pace is the best exercise for most people. Stay properly hydrated and keep an eye on your blood sugar levels.
- American Diabetes Association: Tight Diabetes Control
- USDA: National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
Aglaee Jacob is a registered dietitian. She has experience working with people who have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and obesity issues. Jacob obtained a bachelor of science and a master of science, both in nutrition, from Laval University in Quebec City, Canada.
Alcohol is a substance that alters the mind when consumed. There are many reasons for wanting to purge the body of alcohol, such as getting rid of a hangover. There are three ways that alcohol leaves your body: through your breath, sweat and urine. Your metabolism is responsible for breaking down the alcohol and getting it out of your system. Even if you don’t have a high metabolism, there are ways to get the alcohol out of your system quickly 1.**
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Drink one 8-ounce cup of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume. This will give your body time to break down the first drink and hydrate you as well.
How to Get Rid of Alcohol in Your Body
Eat a healthy meal before consuming alcohol. The food will soak up most of the alcohol you consume and help your body get rid of the alcohol faster 1.
Take two ibuprofen or acetaminophen and drink 40 ounces of water before going to sleep after your alcohol consumption.
How to Get Rid of Hangover Shakes
Drink water first thing in the morning and eat a piece of bread to help absorb alcohol that’s left in your system.
Do some light exercise to boost your metabolism and get the alcohol out of your system 1.** If you can walk or run then do so for at least 20 minutes. Work up a good sweat and then take a hot shower.
Continue to drink lots of water and perform moderate exercise for the next 24 hours to rid your body of the alcohol.
Perform an at-home alcohol test to make sure the alcohol is out of your system.
Normally blood sugar levels should be less than 126 milligrams per deciliter, or mg/dl. But in cases of high blood glucose, which is also known as hyperglycemia, levels are 160 mg/dl or above. The condition, which characterizes diabetes, develops because your body doesn’t produce any or enough insulin, or it cannot properly use the insulin it produces. One drink that will help lower blood sugar is green tea.
What Is Green Tea?
Like other teas, green tea comes from the camellia sinensis plant. However, unlike oolong or black tea, green tea is made from unfermented leaves and contains the highest amounts of antioxidants known as polyphenols, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Antioxidants help to fight free radicals that damage cells and DNA and contribute to aging and disease.
Green Tea and Diabetes
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Green tea has long been used to regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. It may also play a role in preventing type 1 diabetes or slowing its progression once you have it. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that clinical studies have shown that green tea supplements in powder form can reduce hemoglobin A1c levels in people with prediabetes. Hemoglobin A1c levels indicate how well your blood sugar is under control.
In one study published in the journal “BMC Pharmacology” in 2004, a team of Chinese and Japanese researchers found that green tea improved glucose metabolism in healthy participants. The drink also lowered blood glucose levels in diabetic rats. The researchers indicate that a blood protein may be responsible for green tea’s ability to lower blood sugar, but they add that more studies are necessary.
Amount and Form
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Green tea is available in tea bags, leaf, liquid extract or capsule form. Your best choice is a supplement as they provide standardized amounts of green tea polyphenols. A cup of green tea contains about 50 to 150 mg of polyphenols. A general recommendation is two to three cups of green tea daily, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. For green tea extract, 100 to 750 mg of polyphenols is recommended.
When taken in high doses, green tea can cause a range of side effects due to its caffeine content. Some side effects include dizziness, heart palpitations, headaches, insomnia and loss of appetite. Also, green tea can interact with medications such as blood pressure, chemotherapy and heart drugs, antibiotics and the cold medications or weight-loss products that contain phenylpropanolamine. Seek more advice from your doctor about regulating your blood sugar and taking green tea.