13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar

By Andrea Karim on 20 February 2014 178 comments

Being diagnosed with Type II diabetes can be a bummer, and it can be a struggle to keep blood sugars under control.

Sometimes, you may find yourself with blood sugar levels that are higher than normal (let's say around 150, for example), but not excessive enough to necessitate taking more medication. You don't feel very good with the higher blood sugar, but taking medication can make your blood sugar TOO low.

So what can you do to lower your blood sugar up to 40 points without taking more medication? Try the following these 13 tips and see if you can lower your blood sugar naturally. (See also: How to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes)

Health Disclaimer: As always, you need to be careful to monitor your sugar levels so as not to become hypoglycemic (that's when your blood sugar is too low, which is dangerous). Talk to your physician before making any changes to your diet. And remember, these 13 tips for lowering blood sugar may work for many people, but they won't work for everyone.

Carb Intake

Carbs are basically sugar, and everybody should make an effort to control their intake, especially diabetics.

1. Cut Back the Carbs

Effects seen: Immediate

Your diet is something you want to talk to your physician about, but the simple fact is that a lower carb diet makes it easier to maintain stable blood sugar levels. It's part of why you're hearing so much about the Paleo Diet these days.

Carbohydrates are found in starchy foods — root vegetables, grains, rice, and legumes — and all of their derivatives, like bread, pasta, sushi, French fries, mashed yams, and even lentil soup. As someone who has been diabetic for nearly 20 years, I can attest that eating a diet low in carbohydrates, but rich in leafy greens, nuts, dark fruits like berries, and lean meats has had an amazing effect on my blood sugar control. I get all of the nutrients that I need without consuming grains. It takes a lot more effort to choose low-carb snacks over something as delicious as pie, but it makes a huge difference in the way that I feel. (See also: 12 Cheap and Healthy Snacks)

2. Spread Out the Carbs

Effects seen: Immediate

For the carbohydrates that you do eat, try to spread them out evenly throughout the day. For instance, if you really love apples, but eating an entire apple raises your blood sugar, simply eat your apple wedge by wedge over the course of a few hours, rather than all at once. The apple will likely raise your blood sugar, but not in a huge spike. If you can keep your blood sugar levels more steady (without big jumps and drops), you'll feel less hungry and grumpy.

Move Around

Exercise helps in the short term by immediately lowering blood sugar, and in the long term helps your body burn glucose more efficiently.

3. Get Some Light Exercise

Effects seen: Within 1 hour

Light exercise can lower your blood sugar level, often within minutes. I'm talking about a brisk walk or bicycle ride — not a long run or weight lifting. I've personally lowered my blood sugar by 40 points with a 20-minute walk. Light exercise is my go-to technique for lowering my blood sugar. (See also: Ways to Exercise in Under 5 Minutes)

4. Weight Training

Effects seen: Long term

Strength training may temporarily raise your blood sugar, but over time, it will help you build the kind of muscle that can burn glucose more efficiently.

Drink These

Several beverages can bring your blood sugar down quickly, too.

5. Unsweetened Tea

Effects seen: Within 30 minutes

Unsweetened black, white, and green tea can help lower your blood sugar within as little as a half hour. Green tea supplements also have a positive effect on blood sugar levels. (See also: Types and Benefits of Tea)

6. A Glass of Red Wine

Effects seen: Within 1 hour

Many kinds of alcohol have the effect of lowering overall blood sugar levels (beer may have the opposite effect because of the total carbohydrate content). Red wine lowers your blood sugar by preventing the absorption of glucose by the intestines. Keep in mind that alcohol is not an effective long term blood glucose control, because it can contribute to the build-up of liver fat. (See also: Best Wine Openers)

Take a Supplement

Lots of people take supplements for long term health benefits, but these will bring down blood sugar relatively quickly.

7. Cinnamon Pills

Effects seen: Within 1 hour

Cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood sugars, although not effectively in post-menopausal women. In order to take enough cinnamon to lower your blood sugar, take it in capsule form. I take approximately 3,000 mg at each meal.

8. Chromium Picolinate

Effects seen: Within 1 hour

Chromium picolinate has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in Type II diabetics in many studies. Go easy on this particular supplement, though — it can do damage to your liver if you take too much.

9. Green Tea Extract

Effects seen: Within 1 hour

If you're not a fan of drinking tea, you can also take green tea extract in pill form.

10. Fenugreek Powder

Effects seen: Within 1 hour

Fenugreek is a seed that is used in the production of artificial maple syrup flavors. It's often prescribed to new mothers to help with the production of breast milk. It also slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Although studies showing the fenugreek lowers blood sugar test the actual seed soaked in hot water, I've personally used fenugreek powder capsules to lower my blood sugar. Fenugreek is a laxative, so don't take too much. (See also: Guide to Buying Herbal Supplements)

11. Apple Cider Vinegar

Effects seen: Within several hours

Apple cider vinegar has been shown to help control blood sugar levels in both pre-diabetic and Type II diabetics. If you don't want to drink a couple tablespoons of it, it also comes in an extract, which can be easier to tolerate. Note that apple cider vinegar takes longer to lower blood sugar levels than other supplements, and may be more effective as a preventative measure than as a reactive one.

Chill Out

And if you can't get your hands on any of the foods, beverages, supplements, and exercise equipment noted above, take a chill pill.

12. Scale Back on Stress

Effects seen: Long term

Stressful situations can release hormones that will raise your blood sugar. If you are feeling anxious, try relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing to lower your blood sugar. Or go sit in your car and scream until you feel better. (See also: Easy Ways to Get Calm Now)

13. Get More Sleep

Effects seen: Long term

Getting adequate sleep is a good way to help lessen your body's insulin resistance. You might even notice that you have higher blood sugar when you don't get enough sleep. Actually, bad sleep and high blood sugar is a bit of a vicious cycle — once your blood sugars get too high, you don't sleep well, and when you don't sleep well, your blood sugars keep climbing.

If you can manage it, scale back on whatever it is that keeps you up late, like watching TV or drinking too much caffeine.

A Quick Note on Internet Diabetes Advice

There are some shockingly irresponsible articles on the Internet (I won't link to them because they don't deserve the clicks) that suggest eating foods like oranges and grapes to lower your blood sugar.This is patently false information. Not only will eating an orange not lower your blood sugar, eating an orange will raise your blood sugar (possibly requiring medication to lower it).

Remember, there are no miracle foods that will cure diabetes.

What do you do when you need to lower your blood sugar?

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Guest's picture
GuestEllen

I was diagnosed as diabetic ten years ago when my blood sugar climbed to 153. My doctor recommended medication.I asked about diet and exercise instead, and here is what the dietician told me: Imagine your plate is divided into 4 quarters. One quarter is meat, one is pasta, rice or other carb source, the other half is vegatables, with a salad on the side- no dresing. That is how you must et from now on.

It has worked. My weight is 142 lbs on evenings. I dance or walk one hour minimum, and test my blood twice daily on my left hand only. I try to go to bed at 125 or lower. I use the following o help lower blood sugar spikes- powdered cinnamon in green tea, chinese bitter melon as a raw veggie, fenugreek tea,or the leaves sprinkled on other foods, and I avoid all sugars, things with added sugar, oils except olive oil, and I have  max.of two eggs a week, usualy on Saturdays, cooked with onions, tomatoes, celery and non-fat yogurt. I eat a lot of curry-the tumeric is good for you, and my only beverages are tea, wter and wine-in small quantities, taken with food.

 

When eating out, I keep my salad throughout the meal, and I eat very slowly. I have two little plastic boxes I nw take with me, and split my restaurant meal before I eat.  I have green tea bags with me whereever  go, and all my friends have now become tea drinkers.

 

My latest breakfast fad s a green slurpee made frombroccoli, mustard green, spinach, papaya, half a green apple, half a banana and some nuts, and a tablespoon of vinegar. If I am not going out, I add a clove of garlic. Blend them into a puree, pour into a large bowl add two tablespoons of non-fat yogurt, sprinkle with some powdered cinnamon and a dash of freshly grated nutmeg and enjoy. The banana, green aple and papaya give a sweet tang, that is contrasted with the yogurt and the vinegar.

That is a meal for four to five hours.Does wonders for elimination of waste, and for your complexion. Feel free to use, share. Medical kowledge, in the Indian and African herbal traditions is to be shared with those in need.

Guest's picture
HEMANT PANDAV

Any advice on how to control the morning high sugars. I do all right all day but morning sugar is still over 150 always.

Guest's picture
Guest

my BP is 130/90 and the sugar level is 161.What shall I do inorder to control it.

Guest's picture
Guest

I can't even remember when i was diagnosed but it's been some ride! I was even put on Byetta (spelling ?) which made me feel i was more a part of an experiment than a patient trying to get better. The med's main concern was if i had lost inches on my waist. I was doing better on 5 micrograms and he decided to put me on 10 micrograms...I had two dangerous sugar drops on the road. Then I had to have my gall-bladder removed due to stones and was dropped off the Byetta immediately. I was glad since my abdomen looked like a wall paper with black and blues everywhere. After being on all kinds of meds which made me feel worse (high and low sugars, weight gain and plagued with constant diarrhea which basically instructed how i lived my life), I decided to take matters into my own hands. Last week i decided to try eliminating all sugars and carbs from my diet, eat lots of veggies and fruits and be more faithful to my exercises. I'm still new in the process but it's amazing how well i'm feeling again.
I've been schooling myself and came across this website which is wonderful! The first paragraph spoke my sentiments exactly! I sat and read each comment on the blog which made me feel so much better because i was a bit concerned about what my doctor would say when i'd tell him I'm not taking my meds. Good to know there is a lot of support for folks like me that dare give up some things and be able to live again. I've taken plenty of notes, the apple-cider vinegar, green tea with cinnammon, flaxseed oil. I'm even going to attempt the brocolli slurpee....yep....if nothing else, it's healthy. :}

Guest's picture
Karen F.

Great article, and very helpful to me. I have a diabetic husband that goes through the ups and downs everyday. He is usually good at controlling the fluctuations in his blood sugar, but sometimes it does get away from him. I knew alot of the information you presented, because I am always studying diabetes and trying to prevent myself from becoming one since it runs like crazy all over my family, but I like the way you presented it. And I actually did learn a couple new things. Thanks.

Guest's picture
Debtanu Majee

Read your article and came to know how a glass of wine help to lower blood sugar level.I am a juvenile diabetic patient.

Guest's picture
Lawrence Kellie

I really appreciated your article here. I have two questions:

1. Do you know if drinking decaf Green Tea will yield the same results as you are experiencing with caffeinated Green Tea, that is, lowering the blood sugar?

2. Regarding exercise lowering the blood sugar, as I have read up on this, it appears that everyone talks about, on the average, doing 30 minutes of exercise to lower the blood sugar. Do you know if doing less than that will lower the blood sugar? Will even, let's say, five minutes exercise lower the blood sugar?

Thank you for considering these questions.

Lawrence

Andrea Karim's picture

Hi, Lawrence,

I have found that the decaf green tea to be as efficient as fully caffeinated green tea.

Any amount of exercise can reduce your blood sugar, at least slightly. I've lowered mine by as little as five minutes of very light jogging/fast walking. Alternately, however, depending on the medicine that you are on, exercise can raise your blood sugar - so check before exercising and about ten minutes after to see the difference.

Guest's picture
Lawrence Kellie

Andrea;

Thank you for your response. Since I do not like "doing" caffeine, your confirmation about decaf Green Tea is very welcome.

Regarding exercise, I started doing two things after meals to help lower blood sugar or lessen the spike of blood sugar. Unfortunately, i started the two items at the same time. The combined results seem to be significant, to say the least. One of those two items was a little, very little, exercise I am quite large, and I have NEVER liked exercise. However, since getting my blood sugar under control, I even have the urge to walk a little bit. The walking is only at 1.3 mph, and I only walk 0.2 mile, but the result seems spectacular. I have not taken blood sugar readings before and after, but my two-hour-after-meal reading is significantly lower, even after eating an identical meal! So I was wondering if even a little exercise may have some bearing on what I am seeing.

Again, thank you.

Lawrence

Guest's picture
Guest

I have done everything under the sun to bring down blood sugar levels, oral medictions, insulin, diet, excersise, and natural things such as cinamon. Nothing has helped, and or every thing is either ineffective or I have a major allergic reaction. I finally said screw this noise after the specialist that my insurance covers said he could not do anything else to help me and my primary care doctor refused to treat me. I stopped all medications and lost 60 pounds over the past year, I do not have the 24/7 neurapathy, the constant blurred vision, the night sweats, or any of these other side effects, but my blood sugar level is about 12. I guess, for some people like me who can get no effective help, I might as well just wait until I die.

Guest's picture
Guest

dont say that?! have you gotten your thyriod checked?

Guest's picture
James

Good day. This may help someone: I take Insulow and Evening Primrose daily. You can Google these items and find out about them. The combination typically lowers my blood sugar by 3 or more points--every little bit helps. Thanks for the tip on your site, I didn't know about the tea and cinnamon.
JR
Florida

Guest's picture
Guest

So I have been feeling kinda crappy for about 2 weeks, sometimes I fall asleep within an hour after getting up and having coffee with my wife before she goes off to work, sometimes I get motivated and bake something, I use diabetic flours and splenda sweeteners and I eat regular meals but for (as I said ) the 2 weeks I have been feeling pretty crappy and the stoma site has flared up again and I just took my blood sugar count and it's 165 and I haven't eaten anything for 7 hours and what I did eat was split pea soup. I take Metforman in the A M 500 mg, and I'm thinking I should take one now at 12 am but I don't want to go poof, so how can I lower the level so I can get some sleep?

Guest's picture
Gerry

Alright....I dont comment much....but I feel the need to share with my fellow diabetics. I was made a diabetic by the U.S. Navy. I had some pancreatic scaring that initially was diagnosed as pancreatic cancer. Futher test were not definitive. After a complete Whipple procedure (the head of pancreas (sp)) cut out) it was determined I had scaring on my pancreas. Anyway, Im now a diabetic.

I was put on insulin but kept crashing and was later given metformin and kept crashing. I found the herb Gymnema leveled my sugars combined with exercise. My A1C's were that of a none diabetic with exercise and gymnema.

After retiring from the Navy I continued Gymnema and took a job as armed patrol riding a bicycle 10 hours a night. Sugars remained managible and very much under control.

I recently quit the patrol job and now have become a full time student. I dont get the exercise I used to get and lately my sugars have been relatively high (200 +) two hours after a meal, even after taking Gymnema prior to my meal. Even if I dont eat any amounts of carbs or sugars. I've discovered two things that affect my suger. If I drink wine, my sugars stabalize (strange). If I skip my high blood pressure medicine my sugars stabalize. If I take my high blood pressure medicine and drink wine my sugar reading are normal.

So I'm now looking for a natural alternative to control my high blood pressure so it doesn't affect my Gymnema's control of my blood sugar. Gymnema has been very beneficial for me, but now with high blood pressure meds, gymnema doesn't seem as effect (if not at all) in controlling my sugar.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Although I like a wine buzz and the comfort in its ability to regulate my blood sugar. I dont want to drink wine just to contol my sugar because Im on high blood pressure medicine.

Gerry

Andrea Karim's picture

Hi, Gerry,

What I said about drinking wine/alcohol to lower blood sugar should be taken with a grain of salt - it obviously isn't a long-term solution to lowering blood sugar. It's also ultimately counter-productive, because alcohol DOES contain sugars, and these sugars are generally turned into fat. Having more fat makes it very difficult for the body to properly process sugars.

We can't dispense medical advice on this site, although all of the above suggestions do work for me when trying to lower my blood sugar. Exercise, in particular, has been helpful, although it's not always consistent in keeping my sugars low. I find insulin to be a very troubling drug, and find that it's easier to many small, high-protein meals throughout the day to sustain my blood sugar levels. When I say high-protein, I mean that I try to eat fewer than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. Lots of eggs and meat and non-starchy vegetables.

Lots of diabetics don't realize how many carbohydrates are naturally in vegetables. Beans and peas have protein, yes, but they are also very starchy and can raise your blood sugar. Milk has carbs as well.

The only suggestion I can make is that you meet with a nutritionist or dietician who specializes in diabetic management. That's the only way that I was able to find a diet that worked for me.

Many of these nutrition specialists are covered by insurance, but it depends on the kind of insurance you have. My insurance refuses to cover weight loss at all, but they do cover diabetes management (which is ironic, since weight management is a HUGE part of diabetes treatments), so that's how my weight management team bills the insurance company.

Have you tried green tea and cinnamon? Some diabetics have no luck with them at all, but I find them rather effective.

Guest's picture
PM Menon

Good! For a change, simple, realistic and practical. No hype.

One point I may have missed is why dose the fasting blood sugar which is highest just on waking, drop quickly withing 20-30 mins?

Andrea Karim's picture

I haven't had this experience, myself. My fasting sugars are always pretty low. It could be because you lack blood sugar control while sleeping, but it really depends on what medications you are on and how much you exercise.

In the case of controlling fasting sugars, I would talk to a doctor. I know people who take long-acting insulin before bed to control morning sugars. There are a couple of other medication options as well. I'm not sure if the more natural remedies are helpful in that situation.

Andrea Karim's picture

I actually haven't experienced this at all - I would talk to your doctor about it to make sure that your nighttime blood sugar levels aren't too high.

Guest's picture
Rob Poole

Great article! My fiancee forwarded me a link to this so I could see if there were any good tips on lowering my own blood sugar. (Seems like diabetic vitamins/supplements, including chromium, are something my diet has been missing for a while.)

A couple observations:

In the article, you mentioned that glucagon is secreted by the liver. Actually, it is secreted by the pancreas. (I checked with Wikipedia, and double-checked with the NIH since sometimes Wikipedia articles can contain bogus information.) It is true that glucagon signals the liver to convert glycogen into glucose.

Secondly, in one of the comments, you wrote: "Of course, if your pancreas is giving out on you, really not producing enough insulin, then you are actually a type 1 diabetic."

Actually, this is not entirely true and likely a bad blanket statement to be making. My own reading indicates that one of the problems with insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes is that it forces the pancreas to hyper-secrete insulin. This increased production is not sustainable, and is believed to eventually result in a decline in the pancreas' insulin producing capacity. Regardless of the theory of how this happens, the decline of beta cells gradually over time is a known phenomenon in type 2 diabetes, although insulin resistance plays at least as important a role in that type; by comparison, type 1 is caused by the immune system attacking those beta cells, and the decline of these cells is much faster for type 1 diabetics.

I have discussed diabetes treatment with a coworker (we're both type 2 diabetics), and he told me about a study that suggests putting a type 2 diabetic on insulin for a period of time can give the beta cells a chance to recover. I'm obviously not talking about full recovery of 100% function, but any recovery of function is an improvement.

If you're not sure what type of diabetes you really have, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor or another medical professional. Second opinions don't hurt either.

Andrea Karim's picture

Thanks for the clarification - that should real "glucose" rather than "glucagon" - I wrote down exactly what my nurse told me and should have double-checked.

I hadn't heard that about putting Type 2s on insulin. I was on insulin for nearly 6 years and all it did was make me overweight.

Guest's picture
Guest

Why would a diabetic be eating sandwiches and pasta? The very nature of type II diabetes demands that you follow a diet that results in low insulin release. High fat/moderate protein - and carbohydrate intake that reflects activity level. Exercise regularly and get off the grains/legumes/fruits.

Andrea Karim's picture

Diabetics can eat sandwiches with low-carb bread and small amounts of pasta. I don't actually eat these things anymore, but it was just an example. I'm not here to tell people exactly how to live their lives.

Guest's picture
Guest

what should blood sugar level be? mine is reading 160 at lunch...i take lantus at night and in the morning it leaves me fuzzy and jitterey im usually at work when it happens and do not have my meter to check it at that time.

Andrea Karim's picture

It depends on what time of day you are taking it.

http://diabetes.webmd.com/blood-glucose?page=3

I try to keep mine between 80-110, but that's just me.

Guest's picture
Irwan M.

I am from Malaysia. In my country, we use Bitter Gourd to lower our blood sugar. Bitter gourd has an amount of insulin substances that help the reduce the burden on the pancreas.

Bitter Gourd is pretty sour. Some people develop taste for it. There is a recipe how to cook it. Also, you could make juice out of it. Add apple to it.

Andrea Karim's picture

Hi, Irwan. Thank you for mentioning bitter melon. It was recommended to me in China, as well. The taste is classified as bitter rather than sour, hence the name (sour foods are like vinegar, but bitter is another taste altogether, and most people find it very unpleasant).

I actually enjoy bitter melon quite a bit if it is prepared well, and I do order it when I see it on the menu at Asian restaurants. But I have never had any luck with it lowering my blood sugar, which is why I didn't mention it in the article. I tried only to talk about methods that I personally have found successful.

Guest's picture
Guest

I developed type 2 diabetes with my pregnancies (gestational), the diabetes did not go away after the second pregnancy. After coming to terms with this, I have able to control my blood sugars more easily when my weight is lower. In addition to cinnamon and green tea, I also use the supplements the Shilajit and Sprulina, with my daily multivitamins and a high protein/low carb diet - which can be a challenge since I'm vegetarian. When my glucose is between 83 - 110, I feel my best. Thanks for your article on the subject.

Guest's picture
Guest

This conversation has been going on for quite some time! Diagnosed 3 weeks ago. Exercising (45 min swim laps and 30 carbs per meal 100 max per day. After lunch (2 hours) and dinner readings are below 120 but fasting is 150+ and 2 hrs after breakfast they are 150-170. Keeping protein high. Adjusted food choices for breakfast but can't figure out what happens from bedtime to AM and breakfast to lunch. Taking 500 Metforin ER with supper meals. Any ideas???

Guest's picture
JoleneAL

I'm a type ii diabetic that was diagnosed when I'd lost too much weight. I am at my ideal weight right now and losing more wouldn't accomplish anymore than what I'm doing now. Not all diabetics are over weight. Please stop thinking that. We have a gal at work who is clearly obese and she is not a diabetic.

Andrea Karim's picture

The vast majority of Type 2 diabetics are overweight. In fact, 92% of Type 2 children are overweight, and 40% of them are considered clinically obese. Just because there are some exceptions to the rule doesn't mean that the rule isn't a good one.

And if you know basic logic, you'll know that just because many diabetic people are overweight, it doesn't necessarily mean that most overweight people are diabetic. I never said that obese people are expected to be diabetic, although being obese certainly does raise the risk factor for developing diabetes by quite a bit.

Guest's picture
natasha and robert

my boyfriend just got diagnoised wit high blood sugar and with his job he doesnt get to eat the way he should. His sugar always runs about 210 can someone tell me some things he could pack for his lunch that will help get it lower? and we both are new to this so any pointers will be greatly appreciated! he is takin the pill instead of insulin so when his sugar is high like that does he take a pill to get it down? please help us understand what to do, he also found out he had kidney disease so please help us

Andrea Karim's picture

Hi, Natasha,

The best advice that I can give you is to make sure that your boyfriend eats lots of protein and very few carbohydrates. This means lots of natural, uncured lean meats (like chicken, pork, beef, egg whites, and fish) and non-starchy vegetables. These foods will sustain him while keeping his blood sugars level.

He should avoid the following:

sweets and pastries
pasta and rice
oatmeal and breakfast cereal
potatoes and yams
squash
sweet fruit like bananas

I can't tell you anything about the medication that he is on because (1) I don't know what he is taking and (2) I'm not a qualified medical professional. Some pills help lower blood sugar quickly, others are more long-acting. But diet is the most important part of the equation.

If you do some Googling about "low carb diabetics", you will find a wealth of information on healthy diets. The best (and easiest) diet to follow is the South Beach Diet, if you want to find something more mainstream.

Guest's picture
Guest

With this diet you can get low blood sugar levels without medicine but it takes time to do.

First off some basic knowledge:
Exercise at least 30 minutes each day even if its only walking go to the mall and look around.

Take supplements. I take cinnamon, aspargus, magnesium, and 2tbl spoon apple cider vinegar in 8oz water (some sites say mix it in with juice DO NOT. Use lemon juice to mask flavor and stevia. Brush your teeth directly after if you want to keep them).

Always eat 5 to 6 times per day and try to always eat a protein when eating carbs.

Foods to eat:
1. Any meat is fine as it does not raise blood sugar but note that meats high in fat can affect blood sugar.
2. Do not eat any pasturized foods this includes dairy products and fruit juices (which are bad anyway). You can drink or eat non pasterized dairy products. Greek yogurt is one exception to the rule.
3. Do not eat any grains this includes rice, pasta, wheat, or corn. Oatmeal effects people different it does not effect me at all and popcorn (not corn on the cob) is high in fiber so it does not hurt as much.
4. Only cook your veggies if they need to be cooked to be eatten. That means eat raw veggies as cooked carbs changes and effect blood sugar different. Barky carb like greens need to be cooked and red potatoes and sweet potatoes are fine but never white or yellow potatoes.
5. Eat as much fruit as you like but remember watery fruits like most melons will spike your blood sugar so eat them rarely or not at all.

I can literally eat bad for a week and within three days on this diet have my blood sugar lower. That does not mean eat badly, but just that it works good. If you religiously follow this for six weeks insulin should not be needed and blood sugars should be normal. It is extremely hard to do this and eat out a lot or not plan meals but it is possible to do.

Guest's picture
Big_AL

I don't claim to have a solution for diabetes but i have found my way off insulin and I thuoght i shoould share. I eat a portion of green leafy vegetables with every meal the portion should be of equal volume to the carbs. It is filling and also slows the absorbtion of glucose. I used to be on 90 units of 70/30 AM and PM (180 total) and metformin, with BG readings above 250 fasting. Since I started the simple solution I am not using the insulin and readings are 80-120 fasting and <140 two hours after meals. Try it can't hurt!

Andrea Karim's picture

Hi, there. Do you still eat carbs, or have you replaced them with the greens?

Guest's picture
clare

i am recently diagnosed and very discouraged with my blood sugar levels. Even though I am following a strict 1400 calorie a day diet, I have only lost a little weight. I was also diagnosed with sleep apnea and am now on CPAP but may still not be getting enough oxygen -- tested for that last night.....reading what you wrote helps!

Guest's picture
Guest

I am from Canada and we use a different measurement there (mmol/l) and I try to find and read as much as I can about my newly diagnosed diabetes and it is rare to find website that express both measurements when talking about glucose levels. It doesn't help me get to information I'm looking for when I have to constantly refer back to the conversion charts to determine what glucose level is being referred to in an article. I would like to suggest that when writing an article like this for the world wide web with world wide diabetes sufferers looking for info, that other measurement systems be taken into account. Thanks, I liked the article and found it useful.

Guest's picture
Guest

Should I still do the tricks to help lower my blood sugar if I am taking med. now

Guest's picture
Guest

Read

Guest's picture
Chanel

OMG! I am so glad i googled and found this site. I was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and my doctor has prescribed Metformin 500mg twice a day. When I wake up my glucose is in the high 300's. The idea that sleep apnea is affecting my glucose numbers is a relief to having some idea of why I can not get my numbers below 200.

I definitely can not afford to go to the doctor or emergency room every time my numbers spike.

Thank you for the advice/heads up!

Andrea Karim's picture

Hey, there! If you are having high fasting sugars, please talk to your doctor about it. You might need additional medication to control those.

Also, if you can, try to limit the carbs you consume at dinner. If you can manage to have a salad and some lean meat, you might find that your fasting sugars are better than if you eat potatoes (not that you necessarily do eat potatoes, but most diabetics seem to). But definitely talk to your doc - sleep apnea is a dangerous condition!

Guest's picture
Marginal

I am 50 and three months ago after a regular blood test, my BG level was found to be a little high.
I started drinking less and be more careful with what and how much I eat, but lately I took some cinnamon with yogurt in the morning, and it lowered my BG level.

Guest's picture
Shelly

The best way is add a tsp of apple cider in a glass of water. It will lower your blood sugar in 30 mins. Trust me

Guest's picture
Marginal

Thanks a lot :-).

Guest's picture
joyce

i didn't think you could become hypoglycemic with type II.

Guest's picture
Marginal

Who's said you can?
Hypoglycemia is the opposite of what you get from the type II diabetes ...

Andrea Karim's picture

Of course you can. Anyone taking medication for high blood sugars can accidentally over-medicate and end up with low sugars.

Guest's picture
Scott

Well, where to begin. I am 57 years old, and have always exercised regularly, but 3 years ago, I upped my working out from 3 days a week to 5 days, doing spin class, spin boot camp, interval training, etc. I lost 30lbs and felt I was in the best shape of my life. Then on Valentines Day I was just finishing my workout class, and had a heart attack, the widow maker, they call it. I ended up getting to hospital in time and they put in two stents. Then after about 4 days in the hospital the Dr. walks in and says they are going to start me on diabetic meds because I now have type 2 diabetes. It was not showing up, because I was working out and eating fairly well, but the heart attack threw into full gear. I had absolutely no symptoms of heart blockage prior to my attack, and no indication of diabetes. I have one great uncle who had diabetes. I am 200lbs now, and they want me to get down to 175. Because of all my working out, I had very little body fat, but they still want me to lose the weight. This is going to be a challenge, as I have not weighed that since college. I am also skeptical it will make a difference in the diabetes. So I am trying to eat for heart health and diabetic health, and frankly it sucks. I was already pretty health conscious and diet conscious, but this takes it to a whole new level, and I feel I am being consumed by it. Does it ever settle down?

Guest's picture
Drew

Being active and staying away from all the bad habits that take a toll on your health would certainly help you to lower your sugar levels. Another important point to keep in mind is do not overdo or overdose yourself, always try to strike a balance in what ever you do, be it exercise, eating or any other activity.

Guest's picture
Mr. E

From what I've read, dietary acids lower blood sugar, for example, lemon and vinegar.

Some tricks: eat salads with vinaigrette; tell the sandwich artist to put lots of vinegar on your Subway sandwiches; if you like it hot, put Tabasco (which has vinegar) on everything (well, almost everything!); enjoy that pickled stuff (although it does have high sodium, unfortunately); add some drops of lemon juice or vinegar to your food as well as water your drink -- you get the idea.

Also, perhaps pasta gets an undeserved bad rap. I've seen some sources (but there seems to be disagreement) that say pasta is not high glycemic, especially if cooked el dente (firm, not overcooked). The durum wheat in pasta is a protein which stabilizes sugar. Also, white rice is bad, but brown rice is good.

Andrea Karim's picture

Brown rice is not any better than white rice. It may have more fiber and nutrients, but it comes in at around 55 on the glycemic index, which is roughly the same as long-grained white rice.

Cooking pasta al dente only makes it marginally less carb-intensive. Unfortunately, the ADA encourages diabetics to continue eating pasta and rice. Eating this foods, in any form, are guaranteed to raise blood sugar.

Guest's picture
Guest

Different people with different symptom and different result.

I am hungry and I exercise and my blood sugar high.

You need to find out what is work best for you and not your doc.

I enjoyed read this blog and learn some ideas which is good for me.

Guest's picture
Barbara Hamner

My blood sugar levels are at about 300 in the morning rising to 500 at night. I weigh 110 lbs so don't want to lose weight. Metmorfin does nothing and insulin at night just succeeds in lowering blood sugar level to 200 in the morning (sometimes!) I have an awareness of my feet and legs all the time - not pain and not numbness but most unpleasant. I have now come off all meds but wonder if I've done the right thing. I don't want to speak to my doctor as she is unclear what I should do. I went into hospital in Peru a year ago as I had broken my hip. They brought my blood sugar down very quickly before the op and I couldn't see! They gave me a very strange epidural(like a pincushion) and that's when my legs started being funny so that problem may be nothing to do with diabetes. I am a very nervous 65-year old! Does anybody have experience of blood sugar rising by over 100 following eating 2 slices of whole wheat bread?

Guest's picture
Guest

Having your blood sugar rise by 100 points or more after 2 slices of whole wheat bread is not uncommon. If you are a type 1 diabetic, you need to be on insulin. Sugars of over 500 will very quickly cause your internal organs (kidneys especially) to deteriorate. If your doctor is not bringing your blood sugars down, then you need to find a new doctor.

Andrea Karim's picture

Hi, Barbara,

There is simply no way for me to stress enough just how dangerous it is to have blood sugars as high as 500. It very much sounds like you are a type 1 diabetic, not type 2. I implore you to find a better endocrinologist who will get your blood sugars down to normal levels. It might be that you need more insulin and have to adjust your diet to eat fewer carbohydrates. But please - 500 is incredibly dangerous.

Guest's picture
Guest

Diabetes is a common illness nowadays. it's easy to keep up with and live a normal life, only if you have SELF-DISCIPLINE. that's what makes it hard, that 2 words is hard to follow. Every thing you said is true and very helpful. I have type 1 and I don't take medication at all. when my blood sugar gets to high, I exercise and it works like wonder. Cardio and aerobic. Do not exercise when your blood sugar is low or barely normal coz it will get too low. Poorly controlled blood sugar can damage your organs overtime, monitor and take care of it and you will be fine.

Andrea Karim's picture

Exercise can be dangerous when your blood sugar is high, too. But I agree that discipline is key.

http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/ketoacidosis-...

Guest's picture
Mr. E

To add to my previous comment on rice: Choosing rice is very confusing in terms of Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load (GL)) because there are is an incredibly large variety of rice with GIs ranging from low to intermediate to high, not to mention a wide range of GLs, so it is very hard to generalize about rice. Some noteworthy points: Asian restaurant rice is usually very high GI and should be avoided. Basmati rice has medium GI but high GL, thus not good. On the other hand, Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice is low GI, medium GL. High-amylose white rice (27% amylose) has a low GI (under 40) and medium GL (mid-teens). Rice that sticks, clumps together after cooking is low-amylose, having high GI. Long-grain rice varieties typically are low GI, medium GL, although there are high GI varieties. Brown rice also comes in many varieties and the overall data I’ve seen is not particularly good, with most brown rice medium to high GI, but medium GL. If you want some more confusion, a research article in the Archives of Internal Medicine (June 14, 2010) states that an analysis of three studies with over 200,000 participants shows eating white rice increases incidence of diabetes, while eating brown rice decreases incidence of diabetes, which seems to fly in the face of the GI/GL data I have seen. Perhaps the explanation is that most white rice that is consumed is the high GI/GL kind (Asian restaurant type), while most of the brown rice is the kind with no more than a medium GL, which, keeping the GL to intermediate level may be enough to be beneficial.

Guest's picture
Guest

Getting therapeutic results from flavoring with cinnamon spice is a myth; only cinnamon extract works.

Guest's picture
Guest

Dr. Anderson who did the China research with cinnamon, says he uses a water-soluble extract. "We recommend that people take ¼ to 1 teaspoon daily," he tells us. "Or if they want to take more, boil cinnamon in water and pour off the soluble portion and discard the solid cinnamon." Increasing the amount of cinnamon that you use won't cure your diabetes. But it could reduce how much insulin or oral medications you need. That means you will need to test even more often. -- mendosa.com/cinnamon.htm I add cinnamon powder to "green" smoothies and put a teaspoon in the brewing basket as the last 2 cups of water drip through the grounds. (if I put the cinnamon in at the start, it blocks the filter and makes the coffee brew too slowly.) htctu -- ajw, AJsBodBlog

Andrea Karim's picture

Nope, sorry. It works for me.

Guest's picture
Martin

Cinnamon is not only a way to lower blood sugar, but it's nice too. I've personally added cinnamon in most of the home desserts I make. I also put a dash of it in my tea. It might sound strange at first but it's really nice. To make the effect better, I drink gourd tea.

Andrea Karim's picture

I have heard that bitter melon can help lower blood sugar, but I haven't experienced it myself. Is that the gourd you are referring to?

Guest's picture
Guest

Thank you Andrea

I have type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, morning gluecose syndrome.

I have discovered some of the things above which you have confirmed for me and I will try the others

Kindest regards

Tony Reed

Guest's picture
Guest

Thanks very very much for the GREAT ideas. Love that you have the timelines for each listed.

Guest's picture
Eric B.

My doctor put me on 800 micrograms a day of Chromium when it was discovered that I'm hyperglycemic. Vanadium should also be considered though she didn't prescribe that to me.

Here is the best info I could find about Vanadium, written by an M.D. His site sells the stuff so I didn't just include the link because I don't want people to think I am plugging a product. I'm just trying to help.

"One of the most effective natural treatments for diabetes is vanadium. This unique trace mineral works to lower blood sugar by mimicking insulin and improving the cells’ sensitivity to insulin.
Supplementation with vanadyl sulfate and other vanadium compounds markedly lowers fasting glucose and improves other measures of diabetes. In a number of animal studies, this mineral has actually eliminated diabetes.
Human studies, although not as numerous, are also compelling. In a landmark study, eight people with type 2 diabetes receiving 50 mg of vanadyl sulfate twice a day for four weeks, followed by a placebo for four weeks, were found to have a 20 percent reduction in average fasting blood sugar, which lasted well into the placebo period after the mineral was discontinued. The only reported adverse effect was minor gastrointestinal (GI) distress during the first few days of the study.
Vanadium is quite safe, even at doses of up to 400 mg per day. Don’t be surprised if you hear rumors to the contrary. According to Dr. John McNeill, one of the world’s leading experts on vanadium, these unfounded precautions are based on toxicity studies done by a single researcher and have never been replicated by anyone else.
Many physicians have utilized vanadyl sulfate with thousands of people living with diabetes in doses of 100–150 mg per day with remarkable success and absolutely no adverse reactions, save slight GI distress in a few individuals."

Guest's picture
Grounded

My Doctor insists I take statins to control cholesterol which is moderately high. But the aggravation caused by the statins has been muscular pains at times, sleeplessness and elevated sugar. Ive gone off statins three times in the last five years and the sugar has slowly dropped off and well being increased. When I came back on the statins at the Docs insistence the sugar level arose and then the Doc wanted me to take sugar medication. You figure !

Guest's picture
Guest

I can hardly believe info like this is still around. People in parts of the world who live on solely carbs, don't develop type 2. It is the standard american diet that is the cause. I wish the author would google intramyocellular lipids. It's the fat in our diet, that coats the cells and prevents glucose from getting through, so it stays in the blood, causing problems. People who live on white rice and vegetables, in poverty, never develop it. They can't afford fat/meat. It is our rich foods.

Guest's picture
Guest

Interesting that you mention wine lowers blood sugar. I think this is false, recently I have had many issues I believe are related to drinking red wine.

Guest's picture

Thanks for the article. Adequate sleep is a topic that needs to be discussed much more often with diabetics. A state of sleep deprivation rapidly degrades glucose tolerance.

Guest's picture
reg

I have tried everything, and willing to try more. Your article has encouraged me keep trying my best to keep my sugar levels under control. Thanks for this article.

Guest's picture
Melody

can you tell me where you get your cinnamon pills? I haven't heard of them before. I have type 2 diabetes also and was on pills and insulin. I quit 2 months ago all of it (not under dr orders). I was so depressed because they were going to increase my insulin again so I quit it all. I decided to go with exercise and diet to see if that would work better. I did research and came up with some balanced meals to take and started doing a little exercise. I was worried about the exercise because I also have fibromyalsia. I was so surprised within 2-3 days I had so much energy. I felt like dancing (but I can't lol). The first month I lost 10 pounds and I wasn't on any real exercise kick but was doing much better than I had done in years. I actually felt better than I had in 15 years. I don't want to go back to meds and am looking for more natural ways to quickly lower sugar levels when I goof up or don' exercise as much that day. I am so glad I came across this site. Thank you.

Guest's picture
Guest

We learned a lot and there were some helpful things that really worked. Our housemate had his blood sugars up around 500 plus but wouldn't go to emergency room. He had been drinking Tang and pop a lot that day as well as bologna and hot dogs. Not sure what else but 2 days later his sugars are down (we went and bought diet pop which he liked just fine, and sugar free Kool-Aid and Crystal light which he never knew the difference). He ate a lot of eggs, cheese and we pushed the water. When he started feeling better, he was able to at least move around the house and even carried some groceries in. Just that much exercise helped. We have been using cinnamon in sugar free apple juice which was like a miracle in bringing his sugar down. The honey tea, and almost all on here has helped so much. I didn't realize about the fact that insulin levels affected sleep, and with insulin resistance and high blood sugar, you don't sleep well. He always has coffee at night and also going to the bathroom because of his high blood sugars keep him up a lot at night. So no coffee tonight and hopefully get him on track. He is supposed to see his dr. Monday (it's Friday). He is a bit afraid of dosages on his insulin and I think needs more guidance as we do. Your article was SO helpful and even though a lot of people think internet medical advice is wrong or unreliable, your article helped us save his life in my eyes. Not everyone will go to the Dr. or ER and so we relied on good advice and yours was. Thanks so much.
Julie in Colorado.

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Guest Carl Bacourt

Can these food and drinks be a alternative to insulin. Is there a natural food that can naturally regulate your body and automatically balance it.

Guest's picture
Aisha Khan

I am 33 years old female and i am very active. But suddenly i have felt pain in my legs i thought might be it is happening due to tiredness. And i took cup of tea with sugar because i am not having blood sugar i am normal but after taking tea this pain increased more then i assumed that it is might be due to taking sugar that is why it is happening with me...
please suggest me what remedies i should take for keeping my sugar level down..even some time my blood pressure also increased i am much worried what to do in this regard.
Thanks with regards.

Guest's picture
Guest

I appreciate your words. I am wondering what van be done with high morning time blood sugar? The one upon waking up?

Guest's picture
Guest

Your missing out on a important one! It's to drink a lot of water

Guest's picture
zainab

my mother was diagnosed with diabetes two weeks ago and it was hard to start treatment or take medicine when doctor told us the sugar level is 415. after eating medicine for one day it was about 480. but then she uses vinegar with each meal three times a day her sugar level dropped to 150 and now its been a week and still about 150. guys give it a try