Learning how to lower blood sugar is critical to overall
health. In the United States, it is estimated that 23.6 million people are
suffering from diabetes -- this is about 7.8 percent of the population. What is
most disheartening about this figure is that about 5.7 million people with
diabetes have not been diagnosed. So they are living with uncontrolled blood
sugar levels and this can be life-threatening.
What Is Blood Sugar?
Blood sugar is medically known as the amount of glucose in
your blood. We get glucose from carbohydrates, which is our body's primary
energy source. We also have a hormone known as insulin that works to help the
cells in the body use glucose. The pancreas is the organ that releases insulin.
Insulin is released when our body senses that the sugar (glucose) levels in our
blood are increased. In people with diabetes, this insulin and pancreas
mechanism either is not working properly or not working at all, depending on
the type of diabetes a person has.
How to Lower Blood
Exercise is actually one of the primary ways to lower blood
sugar. Exercise should be done regularly, but there are certain situations in
which you should avoid it. If you have ketones in your urine, do not exercise.
It is important to keep an eye on your urine and blood sugar regularly. There
are simple testing methods for each of these.
What and how much you eat also matters. If you are eating a
diet high in carbohydrates, this could certainly be adding to your high blood sugar
levels. A dietician can be helpful in changing your normal diet.
There are medications available to help as well. Those who
are not producing insulin will have to replace it via insulin injections every
day (usually more than once a day). Your healthcare provider will work with you
on this. For those producing insulin but having issues with it, there are oral
medications available, such as metformin, which are helpful to millions of
Why Should I Care
About My Blood Sugar Levels?
In the early stages of high blood sugar that is not being
controlled, you may experience:
When blood sugar is uncontrolled for a prolonged period of
Skin and vaginal infections
Slow-healing sores and cuts
People with type 1 diabetes who are reliant on insulin but
do not take it or who have triggering problems like infections, may also
experience diabetic ketoacidosis, also known as DKA. Symptoms of DKA include
fruity breath odor, confusion, shortness of breath, constant fatigue and
flushed or dry skin.