Today, On The Blog, I am talking everything related to blood sugar! Whether you have diabetes, pre-diabetes or neither, high blood sugars can be alarming and I am here to support you as you navigate your health.
What is hyperglycemia?
Let’s start by breaking down hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia (also known as high blood sugar) is a condition when there is too much glucose in the bloodstream. When blood sugars are high, it can be an indication our bodies have a problem with insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. Problems with insulin could be insulin resistance or your body cannot make enough insulin.
To make it easier to understand, think of insulin as a key that opens the door of a cell. When working properly, insulin or the “key” can open the door and allow the glucose to enter from the bloodstream into the cell. This provides our body with the energy it needs to perform daily activities.
With insulin resistance, the “key” is not functioning or is resistant to opening that door. Thus, glucose is stuck in the bloodstream and is unable to enter the cell. This causes blood sugar levels to rise creating a state of hyperglycemia.
On the flip side, when your body cannot make enough insulin, there are not enough “keys” to open all the cell doors to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Find out more about insulin in the body here.
Elevated Blood Sugar Levels
Now, you may be wondering – why are elevated blood sugar levels an issue? Not only can high blood sugars lead to fatigue, agitation, extreme thirst, brain fog but they lead to a variety of health conditions such as pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation, nerve damage, heart disease and kidney disease.
What causes high blood sugars?
There are many different factors that cause high blood sugars such as personal health, diet, lifestyle habits, medications… the list goes on. I have heard from clients over the years that determining which factor(s) are causing their elevated blood sugars can be beyond frustrating. This is the number one reason we advocate for my clients to take a personalized approach to their health. With the many influences, risk factors, treatment options, a customized approach can pinpoint the direction that’ll put you on the path for improved health.
Now that you know what is happening and why… what is the next step? Behavior change!
I am here to provide you with a step-by-step guide to eliminate the feelings of stress, frustration and overwhelm related to behavior change. From tracking yourself, to setting goals, eating mindfully to getting support, you will be able to build the foundation you need to manage your blood sugar levels. Keep reading or check out the printable handout below.
1. Track Yourself
Become more SELF-AWARE and write it down! I firmly believe that taking notes (electronically or on paper) can help you so much. It allows you to visually see habits (or lack of) that you may not normally recognize. Here are a few questions to get started?
- How many steps do you normally get each day?
- How many vegetables do you normally eat each day?
- How much water do you normally drink each day?
- How often do you eat away from home?
2. Set Goals
Use the information you found tracking yourself (above) to set goals for yourself. It is important to set small, management goals instead of setting large goals that are very difference from your normal routine. For example:
- Walk outside for 10 minutes at a slow pace each day.
- Eat 1 cup of vegetables at lunch each day.
- Drink 20oz more water each day.
- Order a vegetable side with my meal when dining at a restaurant.
3. Eat Mindfully
Eating mindfully is being aware of how you feel before, during and after you eat. Asking questions like:
- How hungry am I?
- What emotions do I feel today?
- How quickly am I eating?
- How full am I?
4. Get Support
We are not meant to tackle health alone. Finding someone that can support you and keep you accountable is key to success. This person could be a medical provider, mental health provider, weight loss group, family or friends, a dietitian or a combination.
How can a dietitian help you manage blood sugars?
At Springtime Nutrition, I use a patient-led approach. I meet clients where they are at in their journey to create a personalized plan. We work together 1:1 either by phone or online/video chat to create actionable goals to transform into permanent results. I have seen incredible changes in patients’ lifestyles and health through my counseling method.
If you are ready to take the leap and transform your health, book a Discovery Call! It is a FREE 10–15-minute video or audio call. We can get to know each other and see if we’d be the right fit to work together. It is a great opportunity to ask any questions regarding types of sessions, what happens at a dietitian appointment, counseling practices, or long-term personal goals. Book Now.