Blood glucose monitoring helps you check and know your sugar levels anytime, anywhere. This is a crucial part of diabetes management as it prevents sudden complications and one can take preventive actions accordingly.
How to Monitor and control Blood Glucose Levels?
When you have diabetes, self-testing is an integral part of diabetes care. In this era of advancement, glucometers have become handy, compact, and easy-to-carry. With a tiny drop of blood, you can check your blood sugar in minutes. Here are a few reasons why you must test your blood sugar levels on a regular basis:
- To know how well you are working on reaching your target level
- To understand how each food affects your body
- To understand how stress affect sugar levels
It is also important to know the number of times you should check your sugar levels in a day. Please note this could depend on the type of diabetes and how advanced your diabetes is.
- In Type 1 diabetes, it is advised to check your sugar levels four to ten times a day. This can be done before and after meals, before and after your exercise routine, before bed, and sometimes during the night. This can help you understand when to increase/decrease your insulin doses throughout the day.
- In Type 2 diabetes, it is recommended to test your sugar levels a few times a day, depending on insulin doses. In the case of long-acting insulin, testing twice a day (before breakfast and dinner) is sufficient.
Testing your blood sugar levels require a glucometer. The meter is connected with a disposable strip that takes a drop of blood from the tip of your finger. Here are a few instructions for checking sugar levels at home:
- Wash and dry your hands before the process.
- Insert the strip into the meter and use the needle on the lancet to prick your finger. Gently squeeze the fingertip to let the blood drop come out.
- Touch and hold the edge of the strip on the drop of the blood.
- The meter will display the result in a few minutes.
10 Things You Can Do to Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
Treating diabetes with medicines is not necessary unless the condition is too complicated. There are various natural ways for effective diabetes management. Although this involves lifestyle changes, these ways will not only help you in better diabetes care but for overall health too. Here are 10 things you can do to lower your blood sugar levels naturally:
1. Exercise regularly
As mentioned above, exercise is an important aspect of diabetes management. It improves insulin sensitivity, weight loss, and lowers blood sugar levels. Since exercising requires energy, the body is forced to burn the extra sugar present in the body. However, it is important to include all forms of exercise: strength training, aerobic exercises, and cardio exercises
2. Adapt portion control
The keyword in diabetes management is nothing else but ‘moderation’. Adapt portion control since it not only helps in weight loss but prevents you from overeating. You can opt for smaller plates, read the nutrition label of any food item you purchase and avoid restaurants that offer a buffet.
3. Opt for foods with a low glycaemic index
The glycaemic index is a measure developed to assess how quickly the food is converted into glucose. The lower the glycaemic index, the longer it takes to convert into sugar. Eating foods that are low in GI is ideal for diabetics. These include meat, barley, beans, sweet potatoes, corn, and most fruits. For best foods for diabetes control. You can refer to this diet diabetes food chart here.
4. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is important for good health. This is why people with poor sleeping habits tend to not live a healthy lifestyle. In fact, studies have suggested that people who are sleep deprived gain weight quicker than those who sleep well. Moreover, getting enough sleep prevents weight gain. Sleep deprivation also lowers the production of growth hormones and increases cortisol levels, both important in sugar control.
5. Plan for a healthy weight
Weight management is another important factor in diabetes management. It not only reduces health complications but also decreases the risk of getting Type2 diabetes. Even a ten per cent reduction in the current weight can work wonders to your health. Belly fat is the most dangerous form of weight gain. This is why having a healthy waistline is more important than your overall weight.
6. Control your carb intake
Carbohydrates are the easiest to be converted into glucose. This is why it is important to limit your carb intake. One way of doing it is by counting the carbs you intake in a day. This would not help in lowering sugar levels immediately but in the long run too.
7. Relieve your stress
Stress can easily cause havoc to your health. It is proven that stress releases glucagon and cortisol, hormones that increase sugar levels. Meditation, exercise, and relaxation are ways to reduce stress levels. Studies have suggested that yoga can also improve insulin sensitivity in the body.
8. Drink water and stay hydrated
Since diabetes causes frequent urination or polyuria, it is important to drink lots of water and stay hydrated. This will help you lower your sugar levels and also prevent the possibility of dehydration. Please note it is important to drink water and other non-caloric beverages rather opting for sugar-sweetened drinks.
9. Monitor sugar levels at intervals
The art of mastering diabetes management is by first knowing how advanced your condition is. This is why monitoring sugar levels at regular intervals are important. Moreover, it also helps you understand how different foods affect your sugar levels. Monitor your sugar levels with BeatO’s smartphone connected glucometers.
10. Even out your meals
It is important to spread the food throughout the day. Never indulge in too much food as it can spike your sugar levels. For instance, if you have a dinner party planned out with friends, you should not have small meals during the day in order to spurge at night. The key is to eat your meals in moderation and keep having small meals instead of three big meals.