Black coffee, without any sugar, can cause blood glucose levels to increase, and it is all because of the caffeine. Similarly, energy drinks, green tea, and black tea can bring the same kind of effect. However, since different people react to food and activities differently, it is better take notice of the effects brought by them. And yet, we do know that there are compounds in coffee which can assist to prevent the occurrence of type 2 diabetes in people who are healthy.
Upswing: Foods Labeled Sugar-Free
Although labeled “sugar-free”, many of these foods can still increase your blood glucose level because they do contain lots of carbohydrates from fiber, fat and starches. So, before eating any of these foods, look at the total carbohydrates on the nutritional label. Watch out for xylitol and sorbitol too as such sugar alcohols which give sweetness to your foods, can still contain sufficient carbohydrates to increase your blood glucose level although they have fewer carbohydrates than sucrose or sugar.
Upswing: Foods Rich in Fats and Carbohydrates
Whenever you eat Chinese food with either a dish of sweet and sour chicken or sesame beef, be aware that your control over your blood glucose can be affected not just by the white rice but also the meat with its fat content since this fat can be the reason for your blood glucose level to remain high for a longer period. However, the problem does not come only from Chinese food as French fries, pizza, as well as other foods rich in fat and carbohydrates bring the same effect. So, test your blood glucose approximately two hours after consuming a food to know how it can affect you.
Whenever your body needs to recover from any sickness, there will be an increase in the blood glucose level. To remain hydrated, your body needs lots of fluid. If your sickness lasts for more than two days or you have vomiting or diarrhea, call your doctor. Know that certain medicines like decongestants for clearing sinuses as well as antibiotics can cause your blood glucose to increase too.
Upswing: Job Stress
When unhappy or overwhelmed by a job, your blood glucose level can increase. This is due to the release of certain hormones by the body when it faces stress. The effect is more often felt by type 2 diabetics than type 1 diabetics. Take on some exercise and deep breathing to help your body relax. If opportunity to change jobs arises, take it to escape the stress.
Consuming a slice of bread is better than a bagel since the bagel contains lots of carbohydrates and, of course, calories. A slice of white bread contains less carbohydrates than a bagel. So, if you must have a bagel, a mini bagel should be your choice. There are some foods which can cause your blood glucose level to rise quickly and excessively. Consult your diabetic care team for alternatives to such foods.
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Upswing: Sports Drinks
Sports drinks assist you to replenish lost fluid fast. However, some of them contain too much sugar. If you have exercised not too strenuously for just an hour, you should drink just plain water. Only when the exercise is longer and more rigorous, should you take a sports drink. The best thing to do is to consult your doctor to find out if the minerals, carbohydrates and the calories in a certain sports drink are right for you.
Upswing: Dried Fruits
Although fruits are suitably healthy, you have to remember that dried fruits will contain lots of carbohydrates even when the serving size is small. Even 2 tablespoons of dried cherries, dried cranberries or raisins can equal the amount of carbohydrates in a small fruit. A date provides you with 5 grams of carbohydrates.
Upswing: Water Pills, Steroids and Other Drugs
Corticosteroids, one of a big number of drugs being prednisone, can get your blood glucose level to increase and, perhaps, start the development of diabetes in certain people. Steroids are used for the treatment of asthma, arthritis, rashes as well as other conditions. Water pills or diuretics which are for hypertension may also increase the blood glucose levels in diabetics. Certain antidepressants can either reduce or increase blood glucose.
Upswing: Certain Cold Medicines
Decongestants which have phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine in them may cause the increase in blood glucose. It is better to use cold medicines which are alcohol-free and sugar-free although the amount of sugar in medicines which are not sugar or alcohol free is small. Blood glucose is not affected by antihistamines. As for over-the-counter medicines, seek the advice of the pharmacist and get to know their possible effects on your blood glucose.
Caution: Birth Control Pills
Those birth control pills with estrogen in them may affect the sensitivity of your cells to insulin. Nevertheless, oral contraceptives are still safe for diabetic women. A combination pill containing a synthetic estrogen and norgestimate is recommended by the Diabetes Association of America. According to the ADA, although birth control implants and injections may have an effect on blood glucose levels, diabetic women can use them safely.
There are diabetics whose blood glucose level can drop too low during sleep to cause them possible complications. Therefore, it is better to have your blood glucose levels checked before and after sleep. Sometimes, taking a snack before sleeping is good. There are also those whose blood glucose level can go up in the morning although they have not yet taken any food. This can be caused by a decrease in the amount of insulin or certain changes in the persons’ hormones. So, regular blood glucose testing is essential. You can choose to have a constant blood sugar monitor that can warn you if the blood glucose level goes too high or too low.
Lower: Household Chores
Mowing the lawn, trimming the plants and other work in and around the house are beneficial activities not just for a nicer garden but also for health. As with any physical activity, it reduces blood sugar levels. Outside the home, you can park your car a little distance away from your destination so that you can have a walk or take a walk around the aisles of departmental stores. These minor activities can add up to a good amount of exercise.
Foods such as the various kinds of yogurt are said to be “probiotic” since they have healthy bacteria. Such healthy bacteria can help you to have better digestion as well as control your blood glucose. However, you may need to do carbohydrates counting as fruits and sugar are sometimes added to certain yogurts. For the diabetic, sugar-free light yogurt or plain yogurt is the best type to consume.
Lower: Vegan Diet
Type 2 diabetics who are on a vegan diet need less insulin because they have better control over their blood glucose levels. This is due to the fact that the huge amount of fiber from beans and whole grains cause the digestion of carbohydrates to slow down. However, there is a need for more study on the vegan diet to ascertain its benefits for diabetes. Anyway, you ought to consult your doctor before making any substantial change in your diet.
Using cinnamon to flavor your food has the benefit of not increasing calories, salt or carbohydrates. According to some research, cinnamon can lower the blood glucose level in type 2 diabetics and help the body to become more sensitive to insulin. However, there must be further studies to find out if a larger amount of cinnamon can lead to side-effects and to confirm the earlier findings. Therefore, it is best to consult your doctor before using cinnamon.
Although exercise is good for everyone’s health, diabetics have to know how much is suitable for the individual. When the exercise is sufficiently strenuous to increase your heart beat and make you sweat, your blood glucose can initially go up before it drops. Be aware that that long, strenuous exercise can cause your blood glucose to decrease for 24 hours or more, after the activity. As such, you ought to have a snack before the exercise. You should test your blood glucose before, after and during the exercise.
There are lots of carbohydrates in alcoholic drinks. So, your blood glucose is sure to increase initially. However, for a period of approximately 12 hours, your blood glucose may decrease. It is advisable to take alcohol with food. According to the American Diabetes Association, the daily limit for a woman is one drink while the man can have two. A drink can be 1½ ounces of whisky or vodka, 12 ounces of beer, or 5 ounces of wine.
Since heat causes greater difficulty in the control of your blood glucose, it is safer to be enjoying cooler, air-conditioned air than go out into the intense heat of summer. You ought to drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration and check your blood glucose frequently. Know that you should never leave your test strips, glucose meter, and medications inside a car heated up by the sun as such heat can affect them.
Rollercoaster: Female Hormones
Blood glucose levels change with any change of hormones in a woman. Diabetic women ought to have a record of their blood glucose levels so that it can show them the effects of their menstrual cycle on their blood glucose. Their blood glucose control is worse when greater hormone changes occur during menopause. At this stage, consult your doctor concerning the benefits and risks in hormone replacement therapy.