, , ,
So, you just got back from your doctors and found out your A1c is still too high. You have done everything you were told to do and thought you were making progress only to discover your blood sugar is still out of range. Yeah, we've been there. Sometimes we need to take a step back and ask ourselves, "am I really doing everything I can to manage my diabetes?" Chances are there are still a few areas of your life and health you can work on. Here are 6 common mistakes many people with diabetes overlook concerning their health.
Blood sugar too high? Reduce your A1c with these tips.
People make, on average, 35,000 decisions each and every day. People with diabetes, on the other hand, make those choices with one thing in the back of their minds… Their blood sugar levels. How many carbs are in this apple? Should I pick up my insulin before work, just in case? Is it safe for me to go on a hike with my family this weekend?
Life is a non-stop balancing act, and just when you think you have it all figured out, you discover your A1c is still too high. So, what gives, and how can you make even more changes to your daily health routine? Here are 6 reasons your blood sugar is still too high and how to fix it.
Sleep debt can increase your blood sugar.
Sleep debt, like medical debt (American problems), just keeps accumulating over time. You can't burn the midnight oil all week long and then expect to play catch up on the weekend. If you have diabetes and you are not getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night, you're going to struggle with your blood sugar.
While we sleep, our bodies begin to heal from the physical and mental stressors of the day. People with diabetes need a consistent sleep schedule to make sure their body repairs itself. If you think this might be your blood sugar's kryptonite, start making sleep a priority. You may need to track your sleep with a wearable to understand your sleep habits. If falling asleep is challenging, try using this app for relaxing sounds and meditation.
Have an Audible account? They offer free sleep meditation. If you don't have an account, you can purchase a one-year Gold Membership here.
Chronic stress can destroy your A1c progress.
Most people know that too much stress is bad for their health, but do you know why? When your body goes into a stress response, a lot of physical things start to happen. The biggest problem is metabolic shutdown. Think about it like this. If you are being chased by a tiger, you don't need to waste precious energy metabolizing the sandwich you had for lunch. Instead, your body will want to use that energy to run faster.
If you are always in a state of stress, panic, or anger, your body is not digesting the food you eat well. This is a massive problem for people with diabetes. If your metabolism is not working, your blood sugar will be too high. Here's more information about how stress affects diabetes.
Sitting too long is bad for your health.
Of course, sitting too long would make our list of reasons your A1c might be too high. Even with a proper diet, you still need movement. Every part of your body was built to move. At a cellular level, we see constant movement. If we didn't, the cell would be dead.
If you have a desk job, that could be the reason your blood sugar levels are not where you want them. Here are some tips for people with diabetes to stay fit at work. At the very least, you need to make an effort to stand and walk around at least a couple minutes of every hour. If you can get a standing desk, that will help. If your new favorite pastime is binge-watching Netflix, try setting up a treadmill in front of the TV. Your health will only improve if you can just add a little more movement in your day.
Food allergies can dictate your blood sugar levels.
This tip might surprise you because most people with diabetes haven't' been tested for food allergies. If you are eating food that you have an intolerance or allergy to, you are causing inflammation. Even if you do not have symptoms, you could be causing your blood sugar to rise with every bite.
We strongly recommend that every person with diabetes get tested for food allergies and intolerances. We wish all doctors realized the risk and relationship between A1c and food allergies. If you think this could be a problem or you haven't even been tested, you could try this at-home test or call your doctor for lab work.
Not all workouts are created equal. HIIT will kill high blood sugar.
There has been a lot of new research lately that shows long workouts, and cardio might be more harmful than good for some people. If the thought of exercise causes dread and stress, you may want to consider High-Intensity Interval Training, HIIT. Why, you ask? HIIT workouts can be anywhere between 5-30 minutes.
Don't let the short duration fool you. These workouts are beasts. If you want to make your fat cry and your muscles scream, HIIT will make it happen. Click here to learn more about why these workouts are so effective and how they can lower your A1c fast.
Smoking will make A1c control impossible.
Are you still smoking? If so, why? Is it because all the cool people are doing it? Well, at this point we don't need to tell you that smoking is bad. You already know what it is doing to your body and mind. What you might not realize is that smoking has a strong relationship with type 2 diabetes.
Smokers are 30-40% more likely to develop diabetes. If a person already has diabetes, they are basically asking for trouble. Why spend so much money and time trying to lower your blood sugar and A1c, and then turn around and smoke? You just need to decide for yourself what is more important. Thousands of people quit smoking every day, so it turns out all the cool people are NO longer doing it!