Hyperglycemia, also known as high blood sugar levels, is associated with diabetes and prediabetes.
Our bodies usually manage our blood glucose levels by producing insulin, a hormone that allows our cells to use the glucose circulating in our blood. Therefore, insulin is the most important regulator of blood sugar levels.
However, many factors can impair how well your body manages your blood glucose levels, leading to hyperglycemia.
Internal reasons for high blood glucose occurring include:
- when your liver produces too much glucose
- your body produces too little insulin
- your body cannot use insulin effectively
External reasons for high blood glucose include:
- dietary choices
- certain medications
- a sedentary lifestyle
Diabetes UK, The British Diabetic Association, reports that more than 4.9 million people in the UK have diabetes, with 13.6 million more being at increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Blood glucose management is crucial for these people with diabetes, as high blood glucose levels can lead to life-threatening conditions.
How to lower your blood sugar levels
Here are some ways you can naturally lower your blood sugar levels:
- Exercise Regularly – Regular exercise has been shown to help you reach and maintain moderate weight and increase insulin sensitivity. Increasing your insulin sensitivity means your cells can use the available glucose in your bloodstream. Exercise also helps your muscles use blood glucose for energy and muscle contraction.
- Reduce your Carb Intake – Carb intake strongly influences blood glucose levels as your body breaks carbs down into sugars, mainly glucose. Insulin helps your body use glucose and store it for energy. This process fails if you eat too many carbs, and blood glucose levels can rise. Therefore, reducing your carb intake can aid blood glucose regulation.
- Eat more fibre – Eating plenty of fibre can aid blood sugar management, with soluble dietary fibre appearing more effective than insoluble fibre.
- Stay Hydrated with Water – Staying hydrated with water and zero-calorie drinks can reduce blood glucose levels and the risk of diabetes.
- Choose Low Glycemic Index Foods – The glycemic index (GI) is a rating system for food containing carbohydrates, measuring how quickly carbs break down during digestion and how rapidly your body absorbs them. This affects how quickly your blood sugar levels rise. Choose food with a low glycemic index (GI) to reduce blood glucose levels.
- Manage your Stress Levels – Stress can affect your blood glucose levels, so managing your stress levels through exercise or relaxation methods like yoga may help you regulate blood sugar levels.
- Monitor your Blood Glucose Levels – Checking your blood glucose levels regularly and maintaining a daily log enables you to adjust food and medication were necessary to manage your blood glucose levels better.
- Eat Chromium & Magnesium Rich Foods – Foods rich in chromium and magnesium can help prevent deficiencies in these areas and reduce the risk of blood glucose problems.
- Maintain a Moderate Weight – Maintaining a moderate weight will support blood sugar management and decrease your risk of developing diabetes.
As you can see, there are many ways to manage your blood sugar levels naturally. Many include making lifestyle changes such as exercising, managing your weight and staying hydrated.
Be sure to talk with your doctor or other healthcare professional before making lifestyle changes or trying new supplements – especially if you are taking medication or have problems with blood glucose level management.
Buy an At-Home Blood Glucose Test
- Michelle Mouri; Madhu Badireddy, Hyperglycemia
- CDC – Manage Blood Sugar
- Diabetes UK – Diabetes Statistics
- Erik A Richter, Lyjje Syklow, Mark Hargreaves – Interactions between insulin and exercise
- Bell, Barclay, Petocz, Colagiuri & Brand-Miller; Efficiency of carbohydrate counting in type 1 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis
- Ewers, Bruun and Visboll; Effects of basic carbohydrate counting versus standard outpatient nutritional education (The BCC Study)
- Basu, Alman & Snell-Bergeon – Dietary fibre intake and glycemic control
- Janbozorgi, Allipour, Djafarian, Shab-Bidar, Badeli & Safabakhsh – Water intake and risk of type 2 diabetes
- NHS – What is the glycaemic index (GI)