Blood sugar regulation is crucial for overall health. Chronically high blood sugar levels can lead to serious health issues like diabetes, heart disease, nerve damage, and kidney disease. Fortunately, making certain lifestyle changes can help lower blood sugar naturally and prevent complications from developing.
This article will examine what blood sugar is, the dangers of elevated levels, and effective natural strategies to lower blood glucose to a healthy range. Implementing these simple yet powerful steps can get blood sugar under control and greatly reduce the risk of diabetes and related problems.
What Is Blood Sugar (Glucose)?
Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, comes from the food we eat. The body breaks down carbohydrates from foods like breads, grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables into glucose.
This sugar travels through the bloodstream to the body’s cells to be used for energy. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, allows cells to take in and use glucose for fuel.
Healthy blood sugar levels vary throughout the day but should stay within a normal range of around 70 to 100 mg/dL before meals and under 140 mg/dL two hours after eating. Levels that remain consistently above normal indicate a problem with the regulation of blood sugar.
What Happens When My Blood Sugar Is Too High?
Over time, uncontrolled high blood sugar causes damage throughout the body. Consistently elevated levels act like a slow poison, causing inflammation and destruction of nerves, blood vessels, organs, and other tissues. Some effects of prolonged high blood glucose include:
✅Diabetes – Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes occur when the body can no longer properly regulate blood sugar. Insulin resistance develops, forcing the pancreas to overproduce insulin. Eventually, it cannot keep up, leading to chronically high sugars.
✅Cardiovascular disease – High blood sugar damages blood vessels and makes them more prone to dangerous plaque buildup. This raises the risk of heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.
✅Neuropathy – Excess sugar damages the delicate nerves throughout the body. This can lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain, especially in the hands and feet.
✅Kidney disease – The kidneys act as filters for the blood, but high glucose strains these important organs. Kidney function declines and can eventually lead to chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.
✅Vision loss – Sustained high blood sugar inflames the blood vessels in the eyes and alters fluid levels. This can cause blurry vision, trouble focusing, and even blindness.
✅Slow wound healing – Spiked blood glucose hampers circulation and causes nerve issues, making it difficult for the body to heal cuts, blisters, and sores.
How To Lower Blood Sugar?
Making smart lifestyle choices can help lower blood sugar to prevent it from climbing into the danger zone. Here are effective natural ways to improve blood glucose control:
💡Increase fiber – Fiber-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds are digested slowly, leading to a slower rise in blood sugar. Aim for 25-35 grams of fiber per day from whole food sources.
💡Choose whole grains – Swap refined grains like white bread and white rice for whole grain products like oats, quinoa, brown rice, barley, and 100% whole wheat bread and pasta. The fiber helps regulate digestion.
💡Exercise regularly – Activity makes cells more sensitive to insulin so it can work efficiently to lower blood sugar. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise like brisk walking 5 days per week.
💡Lose extra weight – Excess weight strains the body’s ability to manage blood glucose properly. Losing just 5-10% of body weight can dramatically improve control.
💡Drink water – Staying hydrated allows kidneys to function optimally to filter out excess blood glucose through urine. Drink at least eight 8-oz glasses of water daily.
💡Increase magnesium – Magnesium deficiency is linked to insulin resistance. Foods like spinach, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and black beans are great sources. You can also take 400-500 mg daily in supplement form.
💡Try apple cider vinegar – Having a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in water before meals may improve insulin sensitivity and lower post-meal glucose spikes.
💡Manage stress – High levels of cortisol and other stress hormones disrupt normal blood sugar regulation. Try daily meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or other relaxation techniques.
💡Monitor your blood sugar – Using a glucose meter occasionally to check your own levels helps you see how different foods and activities affect you. This allows you to pinpoint and avoid problem areas.
💡Get quality sleep – Poor sleep impacts hormones that manage glucose control. Go to bed at the same time each night and aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep.
💡Talk to your doctor – If lifestyle measures are not working, medications or insulin may be needed to help correct imbalances contributing to high blood sugar.
Making one or two small changes a week to your diet, activity levels, and other habits can make a big difference in getting blood glucose under control. Be patient and persistent in finding the combination of natural methods that work best for optimizing your blood sugar.
5 Important Reasons To Wear Sunscreen Daily
1. Prevent skin cancer – UV exposure is the #1 cause of all skin cancers. Regular sunscreen use blocks harmful rays to lower melanoma risk by 50%.
2. Reduce photo-aging – Up to 90% of visible skin changes like wrinkles, spots, and sagging are caused by unprotected sun exposure. Using sunscreen prevents premature aging.
3. Avoid sunburn – Just one blistering sunburn can double the risk of melanoma. Sunscreen protects sensitive skin from burning and peelings.
4. Protect eye health – Long-term UV exposure increases risks of cataracts, macular degeneration, and growths in the eye. Wearing sunscreen guards delicate eye tissue.
5. Prevent dark spots – Sun exposure causes brown spots and patchy pigmentation, especially on the face, hands, and chest. Broad-spectrum sunscreen can reduce their development.
Daily sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher applied correctly can provide immense short and long-term skin and health benefits with minimal effort. There are many lightweight, non-greasy options that fit seamlessly into any morning routine. Protect yourself from the sun – your skin will thank you!
Blood sugar balance is a crucial, but often overlooked aspect of health. Putting in some focused effort to implement lifestyle measures that lower glucose levels can pay off big time. Not only will blood sugar normalize to prevent diabetes and related complications, but energy levels and overall well-being will also improve.
Work on continuing to make positive changes over time. Meet with your healthcare provider and get your bloodwork checked periodically to ensure your blood sugar stays in a healthy range. Making your blood sugar a priority now leads to good health for many years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Prediabetes is indicated by a fasting blood glucose of 100-125 mg/dL or a hemoglobin A1C of 5.7-6.4%. Taking action to lower blood sugar can prevent progression to full-blown type 2 diabetes.
Foods high in fiber like vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains help regulate blood sugar. Protein foods and healthy fats like nuts, seeds, and olive oil also blunt glucose spikes.
Cinnamon, bitter melon, aloe vera, fenugreek, and gymnema sylvestre are herbs shown to improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation.
For someone without diabetes, occasional home checks can be useful to see how diet and activity affect your levels. Those with prediabetes may need to check fasting and after meals 1-2x per day.