Q: I’ve lost a lot of weight recently by following a careful diet. At first, my blood sugars came down nicely. But now, even with more weight loss, my blood sugars won’t budge. Do you have any ideas? I have type 2 diabetes.
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A: Congrats on the weight loss! That is one of the best things you can do to help improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin and manage your diabetes. The good news is that there are plenty of techniques for continuing to lower your glucose in addition to following a healthful diet and achieving weight loss.
Physical activity is a powerful way to both improve insulin sensitivity and lower glucose quickly. In addition to cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise, consider strength (resistance) training. And look for ways to be physically active throughout the day. Things like walking, dancing, cleaning, yardwork, and active hobbies help to burn glucose. Of course, check with your physician before starting anything that is more aggressive or intense than you’re used to doing.
Stress reduction is also effective for improving glucose levels. When you reduce the production of stress hormones, not only does insulin work better, but the liver secretes less of its stored-up glucose into the bloodstream. It may also surprise you to know that getting a good night’s sleep can help to lower glucose by altering hormone levels and helping with appetite control.
Sometimes, these types of lifestyle modifications simply aren’t enough. If your glucose levels remain above target, talk to your physician about medication options. You may need to adjust a dose of something you’re currently taking or add a new treatment to the mix.
Want to learn more about blood glucose management? See our “Blood Sugar Chart,” then read “Blood Sugar Monitoring: When to Check and Why” and “Strike the Spike II: How to Manage High Blood Glucose After Meals.”