Metabolic Health

How to Bring High Blood Sugar Down Fast

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

How to Bring High Blood Sugar Down Fast

One of the parameters that have the power to seriously affect not only the immediate aspects of daily life but lead to several long-term consequences is – blood sugar levels. Diabetes is a very common condition in India and we have seen the prevalence rise dramatically in recent years. The most common types are - Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes, and Prediabetes. The essence of all 4 of these conditions would be the improper, complete lack of or insufficient functioning of the pancreas. Islet cells in the pancreas produce a hormone – insulin. Because of the pancreatic dysfunction, these islet cells are unable to do their job accurately resulting in a lower (or no) production of insulin. This results in high blood sugar levels.

It is first important to understand why high blood sugars are harmful. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you know how it feels to have higher blood sugars. The feeling is not very comfortable. A person would feel super tired and lethargic, would crave a lot of water due to a parched throat, could have some trouble breathing, would feel like eating a lot even though it is unhealthy, might have blurry vision, etc. And these are just the immediate symptoms. The long-term effects of constant high blood sugar levels could be – damage to certain organs, heart-related issues, problems with electrolytes and kidneys, etc.

How to Bring High Blood Sugar Down fast

Now that you understand why it is important to keep the blood sugars under control, the next step would be to identify how to keep them in check. Diabetes is such a condition wherein there can be rapid and dramatic rise and falls of sugars. Sometimes the causes are known such as incorrect carb counting, eating high-sugar foods, stress, sick days, etc. At other times, you may not know why your sugars are rising or falling and this may cause a lot of frustration. You must be aware of the fatal effects of hypoglycemia or low blood sugars, however, longer spans of high blood glucose levels can also be detrimental. As fast as you need to be able to raise the levels in case of hypoglycemia, it is equally important to be able to lower the levels rapidly.

1. Take Insulin

One of the primary ways of bringing down blood sugar levels is by taking insulin. So, if you are wondering that “my blood sugar is 250 what should I do”? most often than not the right response would be to take extra insulin. The basic physiology around this is that your bloodstream needs more insulin to be able to bring the effects of glucose down. This external insulin would help with that. If you are on the insulin pump, all you need to do is simply put in the number and take the dose. If you are on the pen, you will have to inject a few units on your preferred site.

2. Check your Ketones

Many people with diabetes, discount the effect that ketones can have on the body. Especially if the blood sugars are more than 250 mg/dL, the chances of development of ketones in the body are much higher. Excessive ketone levels can lead to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Using urine ketone testing strips, ensure to keep a check on the levels. In the case of a moderate or large level of ketones, simply the pump or an injection dose may not suffice. Taking IV fluids or specialized care under your doctor would be necessary.

3. Take a Correction Dose

Your diagnosis of diabetes teaches you a lot in terms of the management of sugar levels. It is usually a trial-and-error method and it might take a few tries for you to get it right. Originally, a question that arises in the minds of newly diagnosed individuals would be “my blood sugar is 250 what should I do?''250 is a huge number. Injecting any fast-acting insulin that you have been prescribed would qualify as a correction dose. Remember to understand your correction factor before you inject yourself. Also, remember to not inject too much insulin too fast as it takes about 3-4 hours for it to work.

4. Other

There are several things that you can engage in while attempting to lower your blood sugar levels in case they rise above 250 mg/dL. At times, especially if you are out and are on the injection and you have not carried it with you, you can use some techniques to bring the levels to a healthier range.

  • Exercising and taking walks
  • Drinking a lot of water and frequent urination would help keep the ketone and sugar levels in check.
  • Avoiding all sorts of sugary and carb-filled food would be beneficial post-diagnosis as it leads to a severe and sharp increase in sugar levels.
  • Setting reminders to take the medication, frequent checking of the levels in a specific manner (pre and post-breakfast, pre and post-lunch, pre and post-dinner, and 3 am levels) would help you identify patterns of rises and falls.

Bottomline

Yes, high blood sugar levels are undesirable and yes, people don’t often give it much consideration as they may not be fatal immediately. But it is important to not neglect its effects and ensure that the range of sugars is more or less within normal. It is natural that as a person with diabetes you may experience ups and downs, the faster you can learn to manage it, the better. Do not feel dejected if it takes time for you to learn or if some things don’t work the way you would like them to. Diabetes is not an easy condition to uncover. Read more about what causes low blood sugar.

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FAQs

Can oral medication help with high blood sugar?

People with T2D are often prescribed oral medications to take for the effective management of their blood sugar levels. However, it is not something that you can take as an extra dose to lower the levels. An untimely dose is only advised in case it slipped your mind to take the medication when you are supposed to. All of this, again, should be checked with your doctor to avoid any habits that may be unhealthy.

When to go to the ER

It would be of utmost importance to go to the ER if your sugars have constantly been on the higher side and you have large levels of ketones in your urine. Even after correction doses, if the sugar levels are not subsiding, you might need an intravenous method to inject it for faster absorption in the bloodstream. Going to the ER will also ensure that the other parameters like sodium, magnesium, and potassium levels are in check. This is because there is usually an imbalance of electrolytes during high ketones.

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