How to Lower Your Blood Sugar Fast

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How to Lower Your Blood Sugar Fastwo Natural Ways to Reduce High Blood Sugar Quickly Without Insulin

Method
Details
Notes
Drink Water
Drink two glasses (8 oz.) of water quickly. Wait for five minutes and drink a third glass. Urinate as soon as possible. Water dilutes the blood and flushes out the sugar from your bloodstream.
Test blood sugar afterwards.
Exercise
Jog, if you can, or do jumping jacks. Brisk walking can also be effective.
If you have type 1 diabetes and your glucose is 250 mg/dl or higher, check for urine ketones and do not exercise if they are present.
Insulin is the best way to reduce blood sugar, but if you don’t have access to insulin, you should try these methods.

Ways to Reduce High Blood Sugar Fast

If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t get to a doctor or administer your insulin, here are two ways to lower your blood sugar quickly and naturally.

1. Flush Out the Sugar With Water

Drink two glasses (8 oz.) of water quickly. Wait for five minutes and drink a third glass. Urinate as soon as possible. Water dilutes the blood and flushes out the sugar from your bloodstream.

2. Burn Off the Sugar With Exercise

Use up the glucose in your bloodstream with physical movement. Jog, if you can. Ride on a stationary bicycle or do some calisthenics like jumping jacks. If you are confined to a wheelchair, swing your arms in circular movements. You could also try taking a brisk walk.

Keep up the activity for at least five minutes. Do be careful not to overdo it as overexercise can prompt the liver to release more glucose. Test your blood sugar after five minutes of movement.

According to the American Diabetes Association, if you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar is over 240 mg/dl or higher, check your urine for ketone presence first. If you have ketones, do not exercise and seek emergency treatment.

When to See a Doctor

According to the Mayo Clinic guidelines for hyperglycemia, you should call 911 or get emergency medical help if:

  • You’re sick and can’t keep any food or fluids down
  • Your blood glucose levels remain above 240 mg/dL after attempting to reduce them and you have ketones in your urine

Make an appointment with your doctor if:

  • You experience ongoing diarrhea or vomiting, but you’re able to take some foods or drinks
  • You have a fever that lasts over 24 hours
  • Your blood glucose is over 240 mg/dL (13 mmol/L) even if you’ve taken your diabetes medication
  • You can’t keep your blood glucose within the desired range

Symptoms That Require Emergency Room Treatment

If your high blood sugar level does not come down within an hour of the above temporary measures and is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, seek emergency room treatment immediately:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Visual problems
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Foggy or impaired thinking

If you cannot keep liquids down or cannot lower your blood sugar reading, go immediately to the nearest emergency room. You may be in the early stages of ketoacidosis.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of ketoacidosis include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fruity-scented breath
  • Confusion

If left untreated, high glucose levels or hyperglycemia could cause life-threatening dehydration loss of consciousness (diabetic coma) and death. Ketoacidosis cannot be self-treated. You will require intravenous fluids and insulin.

Please do not listen to other diabetics who may tell you that they had high glucose readings (400+) and “were fine.” Every body responds differently.

CAUTION

Often, symptoms of a cold or other illness can mask the signs of dangerously high or low blood sugar levels. This is why there is no substitute for testing. Guessing is dangerous.

Don’t rely on your past ability to “sense” if your blood sugar is too high or too low. Not every episode will be the same. Also, cold symptoms can mask the usual signs. I know. I nearly died from ketoacidosis because I thought I “only had a cold.” You can read about it here: “My Ketoacidosis and Diabetic Dangers of the Common Cold.”

Why Blood Sugar Spikes

Common reasons for skyrocketing glucose levels include the following:

  • Not taking insulin or diabetic medication properly
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Not following dietary guidelines for diabetics (eating starches and sugars)
  • Malfunction of diabetic pumps
  • Change in medications
  • Illness or infection
  • Surgery
  • Stress or trauma
  • Pregnancy

Symptoms of High Blood Sugar

According to Healthline, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) is most common in type 2 diabetes. Common symptoms of hyperglycemia include:

  • Severe headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Increased urination
  • Sudden, excessive fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Confusion

In the long term, high blood sugar can cause a number of health conditions, including:

  • Eye damage
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Nerve damage
  • Skin and gum infections
  • Joint problems
  • Diabetic coma

These symptoms start to develop when blood sugar reaches levels over 200 mg/dL. In many cases, these symptoms develop over the course of several days. The key is developing a plan with your doctor for prevention and management of your blood sugar.

Not a Replacement for Doctor-Prescribed Care

These are temporary measures for lowering your glucose level and should not be used as a replacement for doctor-prescribed treatment.

Keep your blood sugar levels within acceptable levels by taking appropriate medication, regular exercise, plenty of water and a healthy diet monitored by your diabetic counselor.

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