Blood Sugar Level after Meals and How Natural Supplements Can Help
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death all over the world. It is not necessarily this disease that causes death, but having elevated blood sugar level causes a lot of other fatal complications.
It is important that people, with or without diabetes, know the causes of diabetes and its symptoms, treatments, and how blood sugar levels shoot up, such as what happens to blood sugar level after meals.
What is diabetes? Simply put, diabetes is when the body, particularly the pancreas, is not able to produce enough insulin, or it could also be that the body cannot use its own insulin for some reason. When people eat, the food is converted into glucose (sugar) during digestion.
This glucose is what the body uses as fuel for energy. When glucose is not processed properly, they stay in the blood and build up over time. At this point, the person has diabetes.
Causes of Diabetes
Medically speaking, diabetes is divided into two types: Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. Type 1 is diabetes caused by an autoimmune reaction to other diseases such as viral or bacterial infections, toxicity, or other elements that may or may not be identified.
This happens when a person’s own immune system destroys the healthy cells in the pancreas that creates insulin.
Since the individual lacks insulin, the body is not able to process glucose correctly, triggering Type 1 diabetes. This type of diabetes develops in a matter of days and weeks, and can also be caused by genetic predisposition.
On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes takes a long time to develop. It is also caused by a lot of factors such as family history, obesity, age, lifestyle, and diet. This is considered as the more common type of diabetes, and it includes gestational diabetes.
Elevated blood sugar levels cause serious complications such as gangrene, blindness, kidney failure, and heart disease.
Symptoms of Diabetes
The most common and obvious symptoms of diabetes are the following: urinating more frequently than usual, feeling of thirst and dryness of mouth and throat, and feeling lethargic or lack of energy.
Someone who is always feeling hungry and thirsty all the time, but is not gaining weight may be developing diabetes. Also, those who are always experiencing nausea or dizziness, and having blurred vision may be having an increased blood sugar level. Other symptoms include genital itching and slow healing of wounds, especially in the lower extremities.
Since Type 2 diabetes develops more slowly, its symptoms usually go unnoticed or ignored. Most of the time, the information and confirmation that one has diabetes are made known through routine medical check-ups. That is the reason why those who have a family history of diabetes should have annual medical check-ups.
Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes, medications should start immediately to slow down its progression.
Blood Sugar Level after Meals and How Blood Sugar Shoot Up
People who have diabetes and are taking medications and insulin injections should not experience blood sugar spike anymore as these medicines should be able to regulate their blood sugar levels. However, depending on what food they have taken, their blood sugar level after meals might cause blood sugar level to shoot up.
If such happens, it is imperative to pinpoint what is causing the spike. To do this, blood sugar level should be taken and listed down before and after a meal together with all the specific food taken.
The usual causes of blood sugar spike are the following: excessive carbohydrates, sugary or caffeinated drinks such as juice and soda, fatty foods, and fruits.
However, it is also possible that the shoot up is because diabetes has already progressed and is requiring an increased dose of medications to produce insulin more efficiently. Nevertheless, there are some patients, who instead of getting modified dosage, request or suggest to be allowed to include dietary supplements in their regimen.
What Dietary Supplements Are
Dietary supplements are usually made with natural ingredients, such as herbs, fruits, and vegetables, to help maintain overall health. These products have not been approved or categorized as medicines by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Hence, they do not have “approved therapeutic claims” as they are only meant to help the body regulate and synthesize certain systemic processes.
However, such does not mean that these food supplements are not helpful. Most of them have undergone third-party clinical trials. Some of the results of these trials have even made it to refereed journals on health and wellness.
In addition, there have been a lot of medical studies on the effectiveness of natural ingredients, and these are the basis of the formulation of these food supplements.
Aside from the aforementioned, when choosing food supplements, it is essential to find out if they have been produced in manufacturing plants that are FDA approved. It is a plus if these manufacturing plants are certified by either or both Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and National Sanitation Foundation (NSF).
How Dietary Supplements can Help in Lowering After-Meal Blood Sugar Level
Turning to natural food supplements to help individuals with diseases is becoming more common because of the many positive feedbacks. Since the ingredients of these supplements come from nature, and most do not contain allergens, GMOs, and other chemicals, they pose less risk.
However, as aforementioned, their effectiveness is not guaranteed. It is on a case-to-case basis just like any other natural remedies.
In general, natural supplements aim to normalize bodily functions. In the case of supplements for blood sugar, they are formulated to help curb cravings for sweets, regulate the functioning of the pancreas for insulin production, and aid in the breakdown of glucose in the blood for cell absorption.
Hence, they may help slow down or prevent the increase of blood sugar level after meals.
Diabetes is a treatable but serious condition. It could develop quickly or gradually, but both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes could lead to serious complications if left untreated. It is crucial that patients ensure that their blood sugar level after meals is within the healthy range.
This could be done by taking prescription pills, insulin injections, or natural supplements, of course, with the guidance of the doctor. They should also always consume the right kind of food, as well as limit the ones that can increase their blood sugar level immediately.