Elevated blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is a dangerous condition. Before the modern Western diet, diabetes was extremely rare and now, the disease is more and more common – more people have elevated blood sugar – more are becoming diabetics.
Sadly, those with the most common form of diabetes (type 2), will never be well again unless they make some drastic changes in their lifestyle. The good news is that because type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle illness, it can be controlled, and in many cases, reversed by making lifestyle changes.
What Happens With Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes can develop when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin. Why exactly this happens is unknown but many believe excess weight and lack of exercise contribute to getting the disease. Typically sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream where it enters cells with the help of insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the basic process works improperly so excess sugar builds up in your bloodstream instead.
Some of the complications from type 2 diabetes can include:
- Heart and blood vessel disease
- Neuropathy – Nerve damage
- Kidney damage
- Eye damage
- Foot damage
- Skin and mouth conditions
- Alzheimers disease
- Hearing Problems
Where Does the Blood Sugar Come From?
Blood sugar comes from the food we eat – carbohydrates turn into different types of sugar when they reach the stomach. The more carbohydrates we eat, the more sugar we have in the blood stream. If diabetics followed the food recommendations of our country, they would never get better or reverse their blood sugar dilemma. Our food pyramid/plate gives far too much room for sugar-raising carbohydrates like bread, pasta, grains etc.
This leads into the first way to naturally reduce blood sugar: by changing your diet. Eliminating fast and refined foods, sugar-laden foods, pasta and wheat products can go a long way towards reducing your blood sugar. In place of these foods consume healthy grass fed meats, vegetables, fresh caught fish, eggs and healthy fat such as olive oil and coconut oil. There is no reason to be afraid of naturally occurring fat – this diet advice is slowly fading as research clearly demonstrates the necessity of healthy fats in the diet. Fiber is also important for blood sugar regulation and you can get plenty of fiber by eating healthy foods including spinach, kale, broccoli and beans. Keep in mind that the more “colorful” your plate is, the healthier it is.
Even if you take the stairs each day instead of the elevator, you will be doing your body a great service. Making moderate and consistent exercise one of those lifestyle changes can help keep your sugar under control. Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes 3-4 times per week for the most benefit. One of the best forms of exercise you can do is walking – it is easy, cheap and does not require any special supplies.
Stress causes blood sugar to rise because of its effect on both the nervous and the endocrine systems. If you wish to keep high blood sugar at bay it is paramount that you get a grip on stress. Practice deep breathing, mediation, yoga or anything else that will help keep the lid on the stress in your life. Learn to let small things roll of your back and try to be at peace as much as possible.
How Do I Know if My Blood Sugar is High?
Many times, high blood sugar goes undetected until it gets quite severe. However, there are a few signs that your body gives you and if you are in touch with how you feel you will know that something is just not quite right. Here are some things you should be on the lookout for:
- Excessive Thirst – if you are thirsty all the time and also using the bathroom a lot – you blood sugar may be too high
- Vision Loss – if you notice that you are having trouble seeing, it may be because and increase in blood sugar causes the lens of the eye to swell.
- Fatigue – elevated blood sugar may cause you to become tired more often than what’s typical for you.
If you suspect that your blood sugar may be high – it’s vital to get it checked immediately. High blood sugar left unattended can lead to very serious, life threatening conditions. There are many proactive steps you can take to lowering your blood sugar and I’ve just named a few. And more recently, there have been documented ways of actually reversing diabetes – not necessarily the damage that it’s already done, but the disease itself so you can stop any further damage and live a healthier, more active life.
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