First of all, there is no immediate quick fix for high blood sugar numbers other than injected insulin, which is what they would do in the Emergency Room. Check your blood glucose more than once, just to confirm. Make sure your hands are clean. For any blood glucose over 300 mg/dL (16.5 mmol/l), call your Advice Nurse (if you have one). If you are having symptoms, please do not hesitate to have someone drive you to the Emergency Room. Better safe than sorry!
Can drinking lots of water lower my blood sugar?
Being dehydrated can cause blood sugars to concentrate and subsequently rise. However, drinking extra water will not dilute your blood sugar levels if you are already fully hydrated. You have to be careful not to drink too much water because that can dilute your electrolytes.
Will exercise lower my blood sugar?
If your high blood glucose is less than 250 mg/dL (14 mmol/l), you can walk gently (but NO vigorous exercise!). It may or may not lower your blood sugar. In fact, it may temporarily raise your blood sugar!
What about food when my blood sugar is high?
If your blood sugar is over 180 mg/dL (10 mmol/l), consider skipping your next meal (drink plain water instead), or at least cutting back on the amount. Eliminate any carbs (sugars and starches) from that meal, as carbs will raise your blood sugar.
What can I do after the high blood sugar emergency has been resolved?
The following advice, adapted from https://www.alt-support-diabetes.org/index.php/newly-diagnosed/10-jennifer-s-information-for-the-newly-diagnosed, has helped thousands of people with Type 2 diabetes achieve normal blood sugars, no matter how high their blood sugars were when they started out.
Step 1: Eat whatever you’ve been eating and write it all down
Eat normally for one week but use your blood sugar meter to test yourself at the following times. Write down what you ate and what your blood sugar results were:
- Upon waking (fasting)
- Before your meal
- 1 hour after the first bite of each meal
- 2 hours after the first bite of each meal
- At bedtime
What you will discover by this is how long after a meal your highest reading comes—and how fast you return to “normal.” Also, you may see that a meal that included bread, fruit, or other starches and sugars (carbohydrates) gives you a higher reading.
Step 2: For the next several days, cut back on your carbohydrates
Eliminate breads, cereals, rice, beans/legumes, any wheat products, potato, corn, and fruit. Get all your carbohydrates from veggies. Test your modified meals using the same schedule above. See what impact you can make on your blood sugar by eliminating various high-carbohydrate foods.
The closer we get to non-diabetic readings, the greater chance we have of avoiding horrible complications. Here are what doctors currently believe to be non-diabetic readings:
- Fasting blood sugar under 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/l)
- One hour after meals under 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/l)
- Two hours after meals under 120 mg/dL (6.7 mmol/l)
If you can do better than this, go for it. At a minimum, The American College of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends that people with diabetes keep their blood sugars under 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/l) two hours after eating. However, many studies show that organ and nerve damage can begin at levels as low as 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/l). For a comprehensive summary of peer-reviewed literature, please refer to https://www.bloodsugar101.com/organ-damage-and-blood-sugar-level.
When you achieve the “normal” blood sugar targets that you have set for yourself, you can start cautiously adding back carbohydrates, one at a time, making sure to test after each meal. Stop adding carbohydrates as soon as you get near your blood sugar targets.
Recent studies have indicated that your after-meal numbers are those most indicative of future complications, especially heart problems.
Listen to your doctor, but you are the leader of your diabetic care team. While his/her advice is learned, it is not absolute. You will end up knowing much more about your body and how it’s handling diabetes than your doctor will. Your meter is your best weapon.
Step 3: Test, Test, Test!
Remember, we’re not in a race or a competition with anyone but ourselves. Play around with your food plan. Test, test, test! Learn what foods cause blood sugar spikes and what foods cause cravings. Learn which foods give you healthy blood sugars.
No matter what anyone tells you, if a food raises your blood sugar over the targets you are aiming for, that food should not be part of your diabetes food plan. Your blood sugar meter will tell you what the best “diabetes diet” is for your body. Use it and regain your health!
For more information visit https://www.bloodsugar101.com/.
If you don’t think you have enough test strips to do all that testing for two weeks, you can:
- Use the test strips you need for the experiment and buy more test strips from your pharmacy or Amazon.
- Get a low-cost “back-up” meter and test strips. A cost-effective option is the ReliOn (brand), available at Walmart, in store or online at https://www.walmart.com/cp/relion-brand-shop/3769564.