Food isn’t just important to keep you from starving, it’s a vital way to get the nutrients, proteins, and other substances that fuel cells, make hormones, regulate heartbeat, and build bones.
Carbohydrates (which you can get from fruits, vegetables, and dairy products), in particular, break down into glucose during digestion, which is used to fuel cells in your body for a variety of functions.
The glucose from carbohydrates travels through your blood in the form of blood sugar, and it’s important to keep the amount of blood sugar in your system under control to prevent conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Residents of the Beverly Hills, California, area looking for help controlling their blood sugar and other medical needs can find support with Dr. Shawn Veiseh and his skilled medical team at Shawn Veiseh, M.D.
To examine how your blood sugar can be controlled with lifestyle changes, let’s look at what blood sugar does for you, how conditions like diabetes affect it, and what you can do to control your levels.
The function of blood sugar in your body
As mentioned previously, carbohydrates in the foods you eat convert into glucose as you digest them and then enter your blood as blood sugar. In normal quantities, this glucose provides fuel in your cells for energy or it gets stored.
Your pancreas creates a hormone called insulin that regulates the amount of blood sugar in your body. As your cells absorb blood sugar, the amount in your bloodstream is reduced.
When this happens, your pancreas also creates a hormone called glucagon that sends signals to your liver to release stored glucose for your body to process. In a healthy body, the right balance of glucose in the blood keeps your whole body in steady, regulated supply.
How diabetes affects your blood sugar
Imbalances of blood glucose can interfere with the production of insulin and the effectiveness it will have on removing sugar from your blood.
When blood sugar builds to the point that insulin can’t regulate it, you run the risk of conditions like diabetes, which can lead to complications like cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, kidney disease, skin and mouth conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression.
Lifestyle changes that can control blood sugar
Here are some changes you can make to reduce spikes in your blood sugar:
1. Reduce the amount of carbohydrates and sugars in your diet
Since carbs break down into glucose, they have the highest impact on how much sugar is in your blood at any given time. Controlling your blood sugar means reducing the amount of bad carbs, like sweetened beverages, pasta, bread, cereal, beer, chips, crackers, and milk. Balance them out with healthy carbs like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes.
2. Adjust your food portions
Eating healthy portions means having a balanced meal with the right amount of carbs, proteins, and other nutrients each meal.
3. Stay hydrated
Dehydration can affect blood sugar levels, so drink plenty of water. Healthy fluids can help keep your levels under control.
4. Exercise regularly
Inactivity can lead to conditions like obesity which can also severely impact the amount of blood sugar you retain. Aerobic and muscle-building exercises can help you burn fuel to balance your blood glucose and stay healthy.
5. Check your blood sugar levels regularly
If you’re diabetic or prediabetic, keeping track of your blood sugar is especially important. Knowing your levels before and after exercise and after meals can help determine the amount of insulin your body needs. High or low blood sugar can wreak havoc on your body, so keep an eye on your count.
There are a variety of medications and treatments to manage blood sugar, but some of the best ways to control your levels include changing how you eat, drink, and exercise. If you’re dealing with spikes in blood sugar and need treatment, make an appointment with Dr. Veiseh and his medical team to get started. Call our office or book online today.