7 Ways to Lower Insulin Levels
If you’re among the more than 30 million people in the United States living with Type 2 Diabetes and need insulin, these simple lifestyle tips might help reduce your requirements.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by the body’s inability to regulate blood sugar levels properly and effectively. In someone without diabetes, the body produces insulin, a hormone created by the pancreas, which facilitates the bodies breakdown of blood sugar into usable energy. Producing the correct amount of insulin is a delicate balance that most people never have to worry about.
However, when someone has type 2 diabetes, this balance is thrown off kilter. The body does not produce enough insulin, or the cells are unable to effectively process insulin and turn it into energy, a condition commonly referred to as insulin resistance. Blood sugar begins to build up in the blood and, if left untreated, can lead to serious diabetes-related health complications, including cardiovascular disease, neuropathy (nerve damage), kidney disease, stroke and a long list of other health concerns that are better avoided.
Do you require insulin?
The answer for many with type 2 diabetes is to supplement the body’s inability to effectively process insulin by adding enough of the hormone to the bloodstream necessary to effectively regulate blood sugar levels. This is done through an insulin injection using a syringe or pen needle, or through insulin pumps and infusion sets.
If you currently use insulin as part of your doctor-prescribed diabetes treatment plan, you know that determining how much insulin you need depends on blood sugar measurements and trends in your blood sugar fluctuations. These are determined by testing your blood sugar level multiple times each day using a glucose meter and the proper test strips, or using a leading continuous glucose monitoring device, such as the FreeStyle Libre or the DexCom G6.
While your diabetes physician and care team will work with you create an effective diabetes treatment plan, including your insulin dosage, there are some relatively simple things that you can do to help lower your need for insulin.
7 Easy Ways to Lower Your Insulin Needs
- Drink less coffee and more water.
Sure, you can drink your coffee black without adding any cream or sugar and enjoy a zero-calorie jolt in the morning. But did you know the caffeine can also contribute to insulin resistance. It’s absolutely true. In fact, a study posted by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) showed blood sugar level spiking in type 2 participants right after drinking coffee in the morning. It’s probably fine to enjoy a morning cup or two to get going. However, drinking excessive amounts of coffee or drinking coffee all day long will likely contribute to insulin resistance, which will only serve to increase your need for medication. Besides, the caffeine in coffee is a stimulant which, when overdone, can contribute to anxiety and nervousness, which are definitely not diabetic friendly. Instead, try a cool glass of water when you need something in the afternoon. Staying hydrated is important to good health, particularly for those with diabetes, as elevated blood sugar levels can cause dehydration. Additionally, drinking more water can help you eliminate excess blood sugar through your urine.
- Wake up with veggies.
Since when did breakfast become an excuse to grab a quick bite or bowl of processed junk? Breakfast is probably the most important meal for those with diabetes as it sets up blood glucose levels for the entire day. One way to get started right is to add vegetables to your morning routine, because fresh veggies can help reduce your need for insulin. How about a veggie omelet or breakfast scramble loaded with spinach, fresh peppers, tomatoes, kale, or any of your favorite vegetables? Or, who says you can have a great salad for breakfast? The point is to make your own diabetes friendly rules when it comes to your morning ritual, and that means adding vegetables.
- No more eating after dinner.
Overheating will definitely increase your insulin requirements. One of best way to avoid it, is to eliminate those after-dinner snacks. Besides, we all know that most things we gravitate towards after dinner are dessert items or salty snacks loaded with carbohydrates, which will likely have you waking up to elevated blood sugar levels. Here’s a little test. Go for a week without having anything to eat after a diabetes-healthy dinner and see what happens to your blood glucose levels. If you notice a nice reduction, it’s time to sit down with your diabetes care team to see if you can work out a way to lower your insulin needs on a more long-term basis.
- Find ways to reduce stress.
Stress and anxiety cause the body to release hormones like cortisol and adrenaline designed give you a boost of energy as the mind and body prepare for the age-old “fight or flight” response. While this is a natural response, these hormones also make it harder for insulin to work properly, which can certainly contribute your need for insulin treatments administered by a syringe or pen needle.
- Work on dropping those excess pounds.
If you’re a little overweight, losing a few of those excess pounds is a healthy idea whether you have diabetes or not. However, if you have type 2 diabetes, shedding unwanted pounds can increase your sensitivity to insulin. This means it just might end up taking a lower insulin dosage to get the results you need in terms of managing blood glucose levels.
- You knew it was coming! Be more active.
Physical activity is key to controlling blood sugar levels. You don’t have to run a marathon or join some high-impact fitness class. In fact, something as simple as going on a nice brisk walk each day can improve insulin sensitivity. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends trying to fit in about 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Getting your heart rate up regularly can go a long way toward reducing your need for insulin.
- Eat more fatty fish.
Eating more fish rich in omega-3 fats is an easy and delicious choice that can help you control blood sugar levels and insulin requirements. These include salmon, cod, sardines, tuna, and lake trout. Studies have shown these fish may contribute to insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to more efficiently use the hormone to create energy. This, in turn, can lower your insulin requirements.
As always, we encourage you to speak with your diabetes physician and care team before making any changes to your diabetes treatment plan or lifestyle. Your doctor understands your individual condition, and together you can develop an effective diabetes program and treatment schedule built around your unique needs.
We hope you found this post informative. At Diabetic Warehouse, we’re committed to helping you control your blood sugar and better manage your diabetes by making it easier and more affordable the stick to your doctor- prescribed diabetes treatment program. We offer a huge selection of diabetic supplies by top manufacturers like Accu-Chek, OneTouch, FreeStyle, DexCom, Easy Comfort, TRUEmetrix, and Clever Choice. Save up to 65% on all your diabetic supply needs, including glucose meters, test strips and lancets, insulin syringes, pen needles, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems, infusion sets, and diabetic accessories. We offer free delivery to your home or office with every order. See what our satisfied customers have to say and start saving now at diabeticwarehouse.org.
Diabetic Warehouse is a trusted supplier of diabetes care products and accessories. For more information and to explore a complete range of products, including glucose meters and test strips, insulin syringes, pen needles, continuous glucose monitoring systems, and more, visit www.diabeticwarehouse.org