Diabetes specialist shares 8 signs glucose is stuck in your blood2023-04-25
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“Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance,” said dietitian and educational lead for diabetes, Claire Lynch. “Insulin is a hormone which helps the glucose (sugar) move from your blood into the organs (muscle, brain, heart, liver), where it is needed for energy.” When the body becomes resistant to insulin, “an increase in blood glucose gets stuck” in the blood.
There are signs to watch out for when there is high blood glucose and a lack of glucose in the organs that need it.
Firstly, Lynch warned that “feeling very thirsty” could be an indication of high blood sugar.
Another possible indication is “going for a wee more often”, especially when you are getting up during the night to visit the loo.
High blood sugar levels can cause someone to feel “tired or lethargic” and it can lead to “genital itching or thrush”.
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People who are experiencing a rise in blood sugar levels, which are remaining in the bloodstream, might suffer from “blurred eyesight”.
Diabetics with unmanaged blood sugar levels could also feel more hungry, have wounds that take longer to health, and may lose weight without trying.
Eight signs glucose is stuck in your bloodstream:
- Feeling very thirsty
- Going for a wee more often – needing to get up in the night
- Feeling tired/lethargic
- Gentle itching or thrush
- Weight loss without trying
- Wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred eyesight
- Increased hunger.
“Foods high in some carbohydrates increase your blood glucose levels,” said Lynch.
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“This breakdown (digestion and absorption) happens very quickly when the carbohydrate food is highly refined and processed.”
Foods high in fibre, on the other hand, are harder to digest, thereby slowing down the digestion process.
Foods high in refined carbohydrates include:
- Cakes, biscuits and confectionery
- Pastry products
- Sugary drinks, including fruit juices
- White bread, rice and pasta.
“The good news is not all carbohydrates are bad,” Lynch assured.
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“Whole plant foods that have been minimally processed are digested much more slowly.”
As such, whole plant foods “have significantly less impact on your blood glucose levels”.
Lynch explained: “They are full of fibre, which keeps you full for longer and even has beneficial effects on your gut bacteria.
“Having a healthy gut microbiome is known to positively affect hunger signals, mood and even promote the effects of insulin through hormonal interactions.”
Lynch recommends foods that “will help to lower blood glucose”, such as:
- Whole fruits
- Wholegrains (wholegrain rice, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, barley)
- Legumes (beans, chickpeas and lentils)
- Nuts and seeds.
“There are key points to remember when trying to manage your diabetes, or even prevent or reverse it, with plant-based nutrition,” said Lynch.
- Avoid/limit refined processed foods high in salt, sugar and saturated fat
- Limit alcohol consumption (under 14 units/week)
- Avoid high sugar foods and drinks – drink mostly water
- Centre your diet around whole plant foods (as above)
- Eat whole grains rather than refined grains
- Be physically active .
Dietitian and educational lead for diabetes Claire Lynch works on behalf of Plant Based Health Professionals.
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