How to Successfully Stop the Blood Sugar Rollercoaster?
Have you ever heard of the ‘blood sugar rollercoaster’? That is when blood sugar levels fluctuate from too low to too high (and vice versa) on a regular basis. A little ‘trial and error’ is required if we wish to deal with such a matter.
Start by grabbing the blood glucose meter. For a week’s time, keep on testing during any exercise activities, before and after a meal, or any stress which you may feel. This is a good way to figure out what is causing blood sugar levels to go up so frequently, once and for all!
Remember, one’s blood sugar levels are affected by various things. This includes what people have eaten, particularly when it comes to refined carbs (also called white carbs), as well as how long ago their last meal was, and mental stress, physical activity, sleep patterns, illness, and more.
Let’s say we take the necessary insulin to deal with high blood sugar levels; we also have to keep in mind that we could end up with an overcompensation, which will eventually result in low blood glucose levels, or hypoglycemia.
And yet if we end up with low blood sugar, we could easily end up overeating, and we’re back to the high blood sugar once again. As you can see, this looks like an endless cycle and by no means good news for everyone.
Such large blood sugar fluctuations are bad for our general health in the long term, after all. They also make us feel unwell, but the good news is there are ways to stop this rollercoaster. Read on to find out how.
Effects of Physical Activity
Our goal during the upcoming week is to perform at least half an hour of physical activity on 3 days during varying times of the day. The most important thing is to check and memorize sugar levels before as well as after this activity.
Trial #1: For this one, pick an activity which you would normally do, such as cycling or even walking. Make sure to do this activity during the usual time in the day. Make sure to check the blood glucose levels immediately before the start, and about an hour after finishing.
You will discover that the body has different reactions to different types of activities, as well as the time when you do them. For instance, exercising first thing in the morning (before taking medications or having breakfast) can slightly increase the blood sugar.
On the other hand, doing the exercises later in the day may actually slightly lower glucose levels.
Trial #2: This time, choose a different activity, as well as a different period throughout the day. Check and record the blood glucose levels before and after, as you did with the previous method.
Since exercising can cause different reactions in everyone, it is important to get to know the body’s responses, be it to any activity or time of day. Some individuals witness a rise in their levels, while others witness a decrease. That’s why it’s so important to use a blood glucose meter.
Trial #3: For this last trial, either do one or the other by doing half an hour of varying activities or changing the intensity of the activities and monitoring the body’s reaction to such changes. Once again, don’t forget to make use of the blood glucose meter.
Effects of Refined Carbs
When people are diagnosed with diabetes, they are probably informed that they can still eat anything, only within certain limitations. While that is true, we believe most people fail to realize the profound effect which refined carbs have on their health.
And we don’t mean in a good way. Anything which is considered a white carb, be it food or drinks, also makes it a ‘fast-absorbed’ carb which causes major spikes in one’s blood sugar. This means it only contributes to the blood sugar rollercoaster which we are trying to get out of.
The best thing to do is to avoid them, but if we must, we can eat very limited quantities of such unhealthy carbs. And, just like exercise, we need to closely observe the effect these carbs have on our body and our blood sugar levels. Here’s how.
How to Observe the Effect of These Carbs
Trial #1: Eat a meal based on carbs (we would normally never advise this, but you are in the middle of experimentation, after all) and measure the sugar levels after about an hour. If there are significant fluctuations, then the message is clear: stop eating such meals or drastically cut back on them.
Trial #2: On the second day, do the opposite: cut back on carbs with the meal and replace them instead with sources of healthy protein. A good example is having baked chicken breast instead of white rice. Measure and memorize the blood glucose levels about an hour or two after this meal.
Trial #3: This time around, for when you consume a carb-based snack (even if it is not a refined one) try cutting back at least a little on the total carbs and replace them with healthy protein. An example would be choosing peanuts instead of pretzels.
Measure the sugar levels once more, before and after, to see if this has any positive effect. Sometimes even a healthy carb can cause fluctuations in one’s blood sugars.
Effects of De-Stressing
Physical or mental stress causes our body to release hormones like adrenaline, which raise our blood glucose. Then there’s the dreaded stress hormone, cortisol, which, if in large in enough amounts, can cause people to become more resistant to insulin.
Trial #1: Now that we know why it’s so important to keep stress at bay, we should concentrate on doing meditation, yoga, breathing exercises or anything else which calms people down for at least 15 minutes. Check the levels before starting and about an hour after finishing.
Trial #2: This time, try a different de-stressing activity than the one you chose the first time around. See if it has similar or different effects on the body and blood sugar.
Whichever activity seems the most effective in your case, continue doing that one in order to better manage the sugar levels.
Source: Diabetes in Control