A frequent rise in your blood sugar level is not good for your health at all. It can affect different body parts and components, including blood vessels, nerves, blood, and various organs. If left uncontrolled, high blood sugar may lead to some severe health conditions.
Different medications and synthetic insulin are used for regulating high blood-sugar levels. But there are some easy ways to regulate minutely high blood sugar with some natural treatments. These home remedies for hyperglycaemia are effective as well as safe and are suitable for diabetic and non-diabetic people of any age. In this guide, we will try to learn how to lower high blood sugar at home.
Also, we will discuss some essential aspects of high blood sugar; it’s causes, different blood-sugar levels chart and a lot more. Let’s find out what is high blood sugar first.
What is high blood sugar?
Also known as “hyperglycaemia”, high blood pressure is the most prominent characteristic of all types of diabetes. An average blood sugar level depends on various factors including age, sex, and lifestyle etc. The blood sugar level is raised when your pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin, or your body’s cells have somehow become resistant to insulin.
When your body’s blood sugar level is more than 130 mg/dL before a meal or more than 180 mg/dL after the first bite of your meal, however, most of the signs and symptoms of high blood pressure remain dormant until the blood-sugar level is more than 250 mg/dl. But a few symptoms are known to have a rapid onset.
Hyperglycaemia can be both acute or chronic. Acute hyperglycaemia affects your body briefly and is usually due to meals highly rich in carbohydrates, stress, a missed dose of medicine, medicinal reaction, or other illness etc.
Chronic hyperglycaemia is a condition characterized by long-term elevated blood glucose. It is usually a result of ignored or untreated diabetes or due to improper diabetes treatment regimen. Chronic one is undoubtedly more dangerous and can be life-threatening at times as well. A long-term increased blood-sugar level can have a toxic effect on your tissues and may lead to a plethora of other complications.
What are the causes of high blood sugar?
Underlining a single cause for high blood sugar is a bit tough. However, there are various risk factors associated with diabetes, including:
- Excessive eating, especially too much snacking between meals
- Prolonged illness or infection
- Overweight or obesity
- Prolonged mental stress
- Overtreatment of low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)
- Excessive intake of medicines like steroids
What causes blood sugar to rise in non-diabetics?
Non-diabetic hyperglycaemia is a condition in which your blood sugar level increases even if you don’t have diabetes. A major or prolonged illness is usually the most common cause of non-diabetic hyperglycaemia. Here are the conditions that are typically associated with non-diabetic hyperglycaemia:
- Medical condition such as polycystic ovarian syndrome or Cushing syndrome
- Infections like urinary tract infection or pneumonia
- Trauma such as severe injury or burn
- Nutrition through IV or feeding tube
- Prolonged lack of physical activities
- A family history of gestational diabetes
- Overdose of certain medications like diuretics or steroids
What causes blood sugar to rise without eating?
Sometimes, your blood sugar level may elevate even without eating! Yes, some astounding factors can cause a sudden spike in blood sugar level
- Artificial sweeteners – Some studies suggest that overuse of artificial sweeteners can also cause a hike in blood sugar levels.
- Coffee – People who are sensitive to coffee can have an elevated blood-sugar level even without adding sugar to it.
- Sunburn – The pain due to sunburn causes stress, which is a common causative factor for an increased blood sugar
- Loss of Sleep – Insufficient sleep of even one night can be responsible for stress and hence, non-diabetic hyperglycaemia.
- Skipping Breakfast – Leaving breakfast can also cause increased blood sugar, especially after lunch and dinner.
- Dawn Phenomenon – Having a surge of hormones in the morning irrespective of being diabetic or not is also seen as a causative factor for higher blood sugar in both diabetics and non-diabetics.
- Nasal Spray – Some nasal sprays contain chemicals that may trigger your liver to cause a surge in blood sugar levels.
- Dehydration – Reduced water intake is also associated with a higher concentration of sugar in the blood.
- Gum Disease – One of the common complications responsible for a hike in blood glucose in both diabetics and non-diabetics.
We recommend you to watch out for these factors if you are having a surge in blood-sugar level even after having a balanced diet and avoiding overeating. These factors elevate blood-sugar levels, usually for a limited period, and you should not be worried much. However, a constant or frequent surge should not be taken lightly, and you should see a licensed medical practitioner.
Can stress cause high blood sugar levels in non-diabetics?
Yes, work stress, emotional stress, very scary movies, a trauma, or a sudden lousy news etc. all can force your liver to release already stored glucose to ensure a better response to these triggers.
On the other hand, sometimes, stress disrupts the release of insulin from the pancreas and causes a pile-up of glucose in your blood. If you have long-term mental stress, the build-up of glucose will only increase. Stress-induced hyperglycaemia in non-diabetics is usually harmless and can be managed very effectively with physical exercises, meditation, counselling etc.
What level of blood sugar is dangerous?
You should start taking a lot of precautions and proper treatment if your blood sugar level is more than 150 mg/dL while fasting and 200 mg/dL after a meal. You may start developing symptoms once the blood-sugar level is more than 300 mg/dl. You may have one or more symptoms, including:
- Dry mouth
- Blurry vision
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
- Dryness of mouth
- Tiredness throughout the day
Blood-sugar level of anything more than 400 mg/dl can be dangerous, and very high blood sugar, i.e. 600 mg/dl or higher can cause coma and even death.
High blood sugar levels chart?
A blood-glucose chart is convenient to identify ideal and healthy blood sugar levels throughout the day, including fasting and after meals. While checking for blood-sugar, you should also keep in mind the low blood sugar. It is not very common but can be very harmful to your health, even life-threatening at times. Here is a blood-sugar chart along-with recommendation.
|Fasting blood sugar level||Risk-level and suggested action|
|50 mg/dl or under||Dangerously low: Immediate medical attention is very important|
|70 – 90 mg/dl||Usually very low: Consuming sugar while having symptoms. If not improved, get medical attention|
|90 – 120 mg/dl||Normal range|
|120-160 mg/dl||Medium: Lifestyle changes under the guidance of a doctor is usually enough to manage|
|160-240 mg/dl||Too high: Immediate actions are required to control and reduce bloodsugar levels|
|240-300 mg/dl||Much too high: Can be a sign of improper glucose management, seeing a doctor is strongly recommended|
|300 mg/dl or high||Very high: Immediate medical attention is advised|
|600 mg/dl or high||Too high, the patient may go to coma. Can be life-threatening also.|
Blood sugar levels chart by age
Average blood sugar level varies according to different factors; age being the most common one. Here is a chart for your reference, so that you can understand the optimum blood sugar level for other age groups
Kids Under 6
- Fasting – 80 to 180 mg/dl
- Before meal – 100 to 180 mg/dl
- After a meal (1-1 ½ hour) – about 180 mg/dl
- Bedtime – 110 – 200 mg/dl
- Fasting – 80 to 180 mg/dl
- Before meal – 90 to 180 mg/dl
- Before exercise – At least 150 mg/dl
- Bedtime – 100 to 180 mg/dl
- Fasting – 70 to 150 mg/dl
- Before meal – 90 to 130 mg/dl
- Before exercise – At least 150 mg/dl
- Bedtime – 90 to 150 mg/dl
- Fasting – Less than 100 mg/dl
- Before meal – 70 to 130 mg/dl
- After a meal (1-2 hours) – Less than 180 mg/dl
- Before exercise – *If taking insulin – 100 mg/dl
- Bedtime – 100 to 140 mg/dl
What to do when blood sugar is high? – Self-management of hyperglycaemia
If you are noticing early signs of high blood sugar, you should test your blood sugar with the help of your doctor. If the level is not very high, here are a few effective ways to control it.
- Drink a lot of water: Water can be helpful to remove extra sugar from the blood through urine, and also aids you to avoid dehydration.
- Change your diet and eating habits: “Don’t eat anything”. Avoid sugary or starchy foods from your diet. Reduce or stop sugar intake, especially that of refined sugar. Also, make some adjustments to the timing of your meals. Avoid eating late at night, so that your body can get enough time to digest and process the foods.
- Exercise, a lot more, but with caution: Exercises and workouts can also help you to reduce high blood pressure. But specific activities are also known for causing a spike. So, talk to your doctor before starting any exercise. If you have diabetes and the blood sugar level is high, you should check for ketones in your urine. Don’t exercise if you find ketones.
How to reduce sugar level? – Home Remedies
Yes, treatment, particularly insulin intake, is necessary to keep your blood sugar level intact. But you can also try some home remedies to reduce high blood sugar, especially if it is just above the normal range.
- Control Your Carb Intake:
Your body breaks carbohydrate down into healthy sugars, and then insulin helps sugars to move into the cells. When your body gets too much carb, the insulin factor is unable to function correctly, and the blood glucose level is raised unhealthily.
Hence, you should control your carb intake by having a track of what you are eating. These days, tracking your meals is very easy, thanks to some very innovative mobile applications, smartwatches, and gadgets. Lean meats, fishes, eggs, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds etc. are some healthy, low-carb foods you can add to your diet.
- Increase Fibre Intake:
Fibres are known for slowing down the digestion of carbs and absorption of sugar. So, increasing your fibre intake can help to keep your blood sugar level in check. Your body requires both soluble and insoluble fibres; soluble fibre is particularly effective to lower blood sugar levels. Some excellent sources of fibre are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes etc.
- Manage Your Stress
At times, stress management alone can have surprising effects, especially if fluctuated hormones are causing a spike in blood sugar levels. Exercises, mindfulness, meditation, consulting a psychiatrist, talking to your family and friend etc. can help you to overcome stress.
- Get proper, quality sleep
Insomnia, stress, hypertension, raised blood sugar levels, increased blood pressure, lethargies, irritability, obesity etc. all are very much linked with each other. At least one of them accompany further complication. And if you are struggling with insomnia, there are very high chances that you have mental stress. And finding out the exact cause, and managing it properly can help you to work your sleep cycle properly.
Practising mindfulness, bringing discipline to your life, and enjoying some time with family and friends etc. all can help you to feel relaxed while going to bed. And once you start getting proper, quality sleep, you will start getting rid of a lot of problems, including hyperglycaemia.
- Lose Some Weight
If you are overweight or obese (See the difference), you should stop feeling very relaxed, because you are moving towards disaster. Obesity is very harmful to your body in a lot of ways and can be one of the major causes of high blood sugar.Hence, controlling your body weight can also be very useful to reduce blood sugar levels, and again, reduce your risk of getting diabetes.
Losing weight is not as straightforward as a lot of people think. However, if you are determined enough, you can shed a few kilos with a combination of a healthy diet, exercises, and workout etc.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to high blood sugar level, people assume straightaway that they have diabetes. However, that’s not the case. You may get a spike in your blood sugar levels even if you are non-diabatic. And managing acute hyperglycaemia is usually not very challenging. Hopefully, we were successful in trying to help you with different aspects of high blood sugar. It has become a pervasive health problem, and we recommend you to meet your doctor as soon as you get even a few symptoms.