After you eat, your body converts your food to glucose — a type of sugar the body uses for energy. Depending on your diet and level of activity, the amount of glucose in your system fluctuates throughout the day. While ups and downs are normal, blood glucose levels oscillating in extremes can be unpleasant or dangerous. Out-of-control blood sugar levels can cause weakness, dizziness or a cranky mood. For diabetics, inconsistent blood glucose levels may lead to severe health issues. To keep you on a healthy, even keel, here are five tips for managing your blood glucose level:
Replace big meals with small snacks
The three meal routine is a recipe for out-of-control blood sugar. A long gap followed by an avalanche of food can wear you down, just as stopping a car completely then revving up to full speed is bad for the engine. Replacing three heavy meals with four or five mini-meals a day can sustain your energy and keep your blood glucose level steady.
Prepare a routine meal plan
Your body doesn’t like to be starved then stuffed at random intervals. Eating at consistent times can save your blood glucose level from severe drops and extreme peaks, which can make you feel lethargic and disoriented. Having a set schedule can also help you figure out when you might want to start augmenting your diet with snacks. When you eat regularly, you will have a better gauge for what time your body starts to drag. Then you can observe whether a snack at just the right time will give you that extra energy boost.
Snack before you sleep
Many popular diets strictly forbid you from any midnight munchies. For the most part, a large amount of high-calorie foods right before bed is a bad idea. However, eight hours is a long time for your body to function without food. Going to sleep slightly hungry means waking up extremely hungry, and a huge breakfast can start off a negative cycle for the rest of the day. Low blood glucose levels during sleep may also cause you to have nightmares or feel tired and confused when you wake up. A small, nutritious snack before sleeping prevents this uneasiness and sets you up nicely for the next day.
Eat when you drink
Alcohol consumption can affect your blood glucose levels, even a long time after the drinking is done. While you are drinking, your liver stops releasing glucose to the bloodstream, resulting in low blood sugar levels. Eating while you drink can help replace the missing blood glucose. Drinking can also increase blood glucose levels. High-carbohydrate drinks like beer and alcohol with juice introduce a lot of glucose to your body in a short amount of time. It may be difficult to tell the difference between intoxication and low blood sugar. Both states can cause dizziness, confusion and a lack of coordination. Whatever the cause, consuming food alongside alcohol can save you from these discomforts.
Keep consistent with medication
Diabetes is a condition in which the body fails to produce insulin, which helps remove glucose from the blood, where it can potentially be toxic. Diabetics take manufactured insulin, which effectively lowers the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. However, too much insulin can cause your blood sugar level to plummet. Doctors will usually recommend a regular time and dosage schedule for medication. Sticking to this routine can prevent complications with insulin and keep your blood glucose at a healthy level.