Monday, May 2, 2011

Understanding Blood Sugar in Non-Diabetics--- How can this help me?

Disclaimer:  If you have concerns about your blood sugar, please see a health care professional!  Problems with blood sugar can be a very serious disease.

Can you have high or low blood sugar and not have diabetes?  Yes you can and understanding why and what to do about it can help you feel better.

Normal blood sugar is between 70mg and 110 mg per dl.  It can be tested with a simple home test and prick of your finger, or your doctor's office can test it for you. 

How you eat effects your blood sugar.  A high carbohydrate meal can cause sudden increase in blood sugar.  Carbohydrates eaten with protein and fats cause a more moderate effect on blood sugar and help your body keep your blood sugar at a more even level for a longer period of time.  Your blood sugar could also be high because of stress.

Check out this video with Doctor's advice on Blood Sugar Health:

Do you ever forget to eat?  What happens when your blood sugar goes too low? You may feel weak and dizzy. You may get a dull throbbing headache.  When you eat something, these symptoms quickly go away. This can happen to anyone.

Hypoglycemia is a slightly different story.  People with hypoglycemia may  overproduce insulin when they eat carbohydrates.  Abnormal hormone levels can also cause hypoglycemia. Symptoms of hypoglycemia are lightheadedness, weakness, throbbing headache, sweating, and from personal experience of dealing with people with hypoglycemia, it can also cause irritability. "If your blood sugar dips low enough you can even lose consciousness."

Eating a moderate amount of carbohydrates in combination with fats and protein can help treat hypoglycemia.

Symptoms of diabetes may be different from hypoglycemia.  Symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, increased thirst, increased appetite, weight loss and fatigue.

So what does this mean for me? Eating meals or snacks with protein, carbohydrates, and fats can help your body regulate your blood sugar more easily and it can help you feel fuller longer.  Eating this combination of foods doesn't as easily cause spikes in blood sugar, or crashes either, as compared to a simple carbohydrate only meal. An example snack might be:  cheese and crackers or peanut butter and celery.  A good meal choice might be a sandwich with meat, vegetables, whole grain bread, and hummus or chicken noodle soup.

Happy eating!


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