For seniors, staying healthy requires a multi-faceted approach throughout the golden years. From exercise to socializing, there are many different ways to stay fit and healthy. But one health factor that should never be overlooked is blood sugar. Learning how to manage blood sugar plays an integral role in helping seniors thrive throughout their golden years.
But it’s not always an easy task to manage blood sugar numbers as we age. So while medication isn’t always preventable, here are some natural ways to help control blood sugar levels.
The Role Blood Sugar Plays in Staying Healthy
Blood sugar plays an integral part in a healthy lifestyle. For the most part, many people can successfully monitor and manage their blood sugar. But as we age, there can be an increased risk of diabetes if blood sugar becomes more difficult to manage.
Blood sugar levels are measured by the A1C levels in your body. For seniors, healthy average blood sugar levels range between 70 and 130mg/dL fasting and less than 180 mg/dL two hours after eating. Remember that these are general guidelines, and you should always talk to a physician about individual circumstances.
Blood sugar doesn’t increase with age. But, it can become more challenging to control, and as a result, stay consistently higher if it’s not managed correctly.
Ways to Naturally Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Sometimes, medication is necessary to help regulate insulin production and maintain healthy blood sugar levels consistently. However, there are a few ways that lifestyle can be modified to lower your A1C naturally.
Staying active is one of the easiest ways to control blood sugar and manage diabetes in senior citizens. But, unfortunately, obesity is one of the most significant indicators of high blood sugar and the overall risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Exercise and blood sugar go hand in hand. Committing to simple daily movements, like a walk or a few chair exercises, is an easy way to help control sugar without medicine. Exercise not only helps maintain a healthy weight, but it can also help reduce liver adipose tissue – which can decrease the risk of fatty liver disease. Plus, it can help increase insulin sensitivity, which increases blood cells’ ability to use sugar in the bloodstream efficiently.
There are healthy foods you can eat to lower blood sugar. Take advantage of foods that help lower blood sugar by making simple dietary swaps. Each food has a glycemic index (GI) that measures its effects on raising blood sugar levels.
The key to finding healthy foods that help you control blood sugar is looking for foods that have low to medium GI scores. These foods will minimally raise blood sugar when consumed and can provide healthy alternatives to help keep blood sugar levels balanced.
Here’s what to eat to control high blood sugar and bring levels back to normal:
- Sweet potatoes and yams
In addition to dietary modifications and exercise, there are over-the-counter supplements to lower blood sugar. For example, American ginseng, probiotics, magnesium, chromium, and alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) have demonstrated effectiveness in clinical trials.
However, keep in mind that several of these supplements can interfere with other medications, such as blood thinners. Therefore, you should always consult your physician to make sure you’re not introducing supplements that could interfere with other, life-saving meds.
Stress isn’t good for the body. Not only can it increase the risk of high blood pressure and stroke, but it also plays a role in how the body process sugar in the bloodstream.
During stressful periods, your body produces more of the hormones called glucagon and cortisol. These two hormones are primary contributors to increased blood sugar levels. Reducing stress naturally decreases this hormonal production and helps keep blood sugar levels steady.
Conclusion: High Blood Sugar Doesn’t Have to Be a Permanent Diagnosis
For seniors, it can be tricky to manage high blood sugar effectively. The good news is that there are quite a few home remedies for hyperglycemia to help manage elderly blood sugar levels. For example, physical activity can help promote weight loss and better insulin sensitivity. In addition, with guidance from a primary care physician, some OTC supplements can help lower insulin resistance. And managing stress levels with yoga, meditation, or socialization can also help.
Thanks to these easy, natural solutions, high blood sugar doesn’t have to be a permanent diagnosis.
Note: You should always consult your physician before making any changes to your diet. We are not medical experts, and this article should not be considered professional medical advice.