Diabetes is a lifestyle disease, but a few simple modifications in your habits can help you maintain healthy sugar levels. However, there are times when, despite taking all kinds of measures, the desired range becomes challenging to achieve. It is recommended to focus on finding out and addressing the root cause during those times. Read on to learn some shocking facts about sugar fluctuations and how to adjust them accordingly.
Learning how different habits can cause your blood sugar to fluctuate can help you better predict how your levels will swing. Both low and high blood sugar levels lead to serious health consequences. High blood sugar may cause nausea, vomiting, or shortness of breath. In contrast, low blood sugar may cause confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, seizures, or unconsciousness.
Why is it important to manage blood sugar levels? Maintaining blood sugar levels is the key to avoiding potential diabetes-related complications, such as nerve damage, kidney disease, vision problems, heart disease, and stroke. Moreover, keeping your sugar levels in check on a daily basis can help you stay focused, energized, and happier.
5 Shocking Facts About Sugar Fluctuations
1. Compromising on Sleep
When you are constantly working and rushing around, the basic necessity called sleep tends to become a luxury. While lack of sleep can cause serious health complications for everyone, diabetics tend to suffer more due to fluctuating blood sugar levels.
Lack of sleep is likely to cause:
- A higher A1C level
- Sleep apnea
- A higher BMI (body-mass index) due to weight gain
- A higher risk of heart disease
- Restless legs syndrome
In fact, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can also affect your sleep patterns, leading you to wake up at night for frequent urination. Hence, it is important to keep a normal blood sugar level and take at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep.
2. Skipping Meals
Not eating proves worse than eating high calories or carbs meals. Skipping meals directly leads to a drop in blood sugar levels, a condition called hypoglycemia. When you skip a meal, you tend to overeat at the next meal, which leads to spike in blood sugar. Spread your meals and snacks throughout the day at regular intervals to keep your readings steady. Even if you are traveling, pack healthy snacks in order to avoid eating food outside.
3. Lack of Portion Control
Just as eating healthily and at regular intervals is essential, controlling the portion size is equally important. Eating healthy food without controlling its portion size will do more harm than good. Confine your nutrition to healthy carbs from peas, sweet potatoes, or whole wheat pasta equivalent to a cup.
Consult a diabetes educator to know what size and quantity are best for your body. They can provide you with a personalized dieting method to maintain your sugar levels.
4. Smoking and Drinking Habits
While both habits are dangerous for the health of an average person, the harmful effects manifest more with diabetes due to their impact on blood sugar levels.
Some forms of alcohol, like beer, contain a lot of carbohydrates, which can cause your blood sugar to fluctuate. Drinking heavily without eating can also block your liver from releasing stored glucose into your bloodstream and lead to low blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, nicotine is an addictive drug that gives instant pleasure, but leads to health problems like lung cancer, stroke, etc.
Smoking can lead to:
- High blood sugar levels
- The risk of getting pneumonia
- Diabetic retinopathy and cataracts
- raised risk of infections and ulcers
Quitting is not the solution as it cannot be done immediately. However, gradual waning out from the bad habit will not only help your liver and lungs but will also take care of your blood sugar levels.
5. Lack of Dental Hygiene
An often overlooked aspect, gum diseases are most common and contribute majorly to diabetes complications like eye and kidney disease. It is advisable to get yourself treated and observe oral hygiene by cleaning and flossing. Also, ensure to undergo timely sugar level tests.
It is important for people with diabetes to regularly monitor their blood sugar levels with the help of a glucometer to recognize the fluctuations and make necessary changes to keep their levels in control.
For more such information and expert advice, download the BeatO app and connect with our certified BeatO health coaches and doctors.