Your health is important, and your blood’s health is especially so. Understanding the different symptoms that your body displays will help you know how to better react to certain situations and stop a problem before it becomes serious. Having high blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia, for extended periods of time can cause some extremely serious health issues if not treated properly (1).
Hyperglycemia can damage blood vessels, which radically increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidneys disease, vision issues, and nerve problems (1). Recognizing symptoms of high blood sugar levels will help you understand what your body is going through and give you the ability to react accordingly.
Symptoms of High Blood Sugar
Obviously, not everyone will experience every symptom that high blood sugar presents and some symptoms are more severe than others. The following list serves as a general guide for 14 of the most common high blood sugar symptoms (2, 3).
- Increased thirst
- Nerve issues
- Unexplained hunger
- Unexpected weight loss
- Stomach discomfort such as constipation or diarrhea
- Slow healing of wounds and cuts
- Frequent need to urinate
- Issues concentrating
- Gaining weight, specifically in the stomach
- Worsened or blurry vision
- Dry, itchy skin
- Recurring infections
- Dry mouth
Reducing High Blood Sugar
Reducing your blood sugar levels back to normal is not only desirable and more comfortable, it is also essential to maintaining your overall health—especially in cases of diabetes or in people with preexisting heart problems. While doctor visits can certainly help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, it’s important to understand that hyperglycemia should be addressed right away. You shouldn’t wait for your doctor appointment to tend to your blood sugar levels (2). Stabilizing your blood sugar means that you are decreasing the likelihood or utterly avoiding the development of serious diseases such as Type 2 diabetes.
High blood sugar is something that affects millions of people across the globe and as such it is a highly researched issue. Studies show that certain food plays an important role in the stabilization of blood sugar (2, 4). Some foods are incredibly helpful in stabilizing blood sugar (greens and other vegetables) while others tend to increase it (popcorn, white bread, glazed donuts, etc.).
The following is a simple list of foods that are safe to eat often and will help you maintain a healthy blood sugar:
- Skim milk
- Ezekiel bread (you can find it in the frozen section of most grocery stores)
- Legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and others in this family
- Sesame and flax seeds
- Most vegetables like asparagus, cauliflower, leafy greens, etc.
- Sweet potatoes
- Reduced fat yogurt
Now, while the following foods may taste good and just might be some of your favorites, these are foods you should probably avoid if you’re struggling to maintain a healthy blood sugar level:
- Cake or other high sugar desserts
- White potatoes
- Refined sugar or substitutes
- Most sugary or rice-y breakfast cereals
- Many fruits, such as grapes, bananas, watermelon, etc.
Your health is important. Eating specific foods in order to stabilize your blood sugar levels can save you from a lifetime of more serious diseases, and maintaining a healthy diet could be the difference between diabetes and a healthy, wholesome life. It might be time to adjust your choices!
Do you have recipes that fall under a low glycemic plan? Share them in the comments below!