With rise in Mucormycosis cases in the nation, there is a panic among many individuals in how to minimize the use of steroids. Health Professionals including renowned specialists have advised to reduce the use of steroids. But steroids can also cause high blood sugars. And I will explain you how. Steroids make our body insulin resistant. This means that our body still produces insulin but this insulin doesn’t work as effectively as before, hence we have a rise in blood sugars. When we are sick or have viral infection or if our body undergoes some serious trauma or infection, our bodies sugars tend to go high. So, steroids should only be used in moderate to severe cases of covid and when indicated by your treating doctor. The good news is these sugars can be controlled. In some people it takes longer through change in medications while some people do well with lifestyle change. Remember, what works for one person, it is not necessary it will work for you too. Every individual responds differently to sugars. Factors like insulin resistance, insulin sensitivity, diet and exercise play a key role.
Ways To Lower Sugar Levels
Diabetes Educator Swati Bathwal on various measures to reduce blood sugar levels that may spike due to steroids used in COVID treatment:
Consult your doctor
It is important for all patients who have high sugars whether it is during the course of covid treatment or recovery to monitor their blood sugars. If your sugars are high, do not panic. Visit your local practitioner and get the right medication. You may need some medications like insulin or other blood glucose lowering medications temporarily. You rather be consumer more pills than running on high blood sugars.
Use Ceylon cinnamon powder
A compound called coumarin in cinnamon, helps in glycemic control of our meals. It is seen that cinnamon helps in glucose uptake by the cells and helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels. About ½ - 1 teaspoon cinnamon is sufficient in the day. Prefer to add cinnamon to your yoghurt or to your meal or sprinkle on your fruit. You can also have 1.4 teaspoon cinnamon in a cup of milk before going to bed. When using cinnamon, it should be noted that excess consumption of cassia variety of cinnamon can be toxic to the liver, so prefer to use Ceylon cinnamon. Just about 1/3 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar reduced blood sugars in people when consumed for 12 weeks and it also helped in reducing cholesterol.
Add fiber to the meals
The beauty of adding fiber to meals is, it is quick and easy and it doesn’t take extra effort in doing it. For example, swap whites with multigrain, use millets instead of refined wheat flours. Most wheat flours are processed and the nutritious layer of bran is removed. Adding bran helps in lowering sugars (post prandial) - after meals and it is also rich source of many multivitamins and minerals. It is as simple as swapping husked dal with dehusked dal (yellow mung daal), add vegetables with the skin on and eat fresh fruits. There is a restriction on eating watermelon and lychee as they cause sugar spikes easily. Remember, fresh fruits with seeds and skin do not increase your sugars but a processed or canned juice will because there is extra sugar added to preserve it. If you eat mango, go ½ a mango a time. Sometimes, increasing carbohydrate load – like excess carbohydrate in a meal can cause sugars to spike 2 hours post meal. Fiber, Proteins like daal, pulses, eggs, lean chicken, low fat milk, buttermilk, yoghurt, quinoa, millets, nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables and organic cold pressed oils are best diet to control blood sugars. A shot of greens like spinach or wheatgrass or curry leaves or chlorophyll works wonders.
Consume apple cider vinegar
Consuming 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed can help in lowering fasting glucose in the morning. But never consume vinegar alone as it is, it will burn your esophagus. Dilute it with water and drink it. You can also take 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar post meal with water, spreading it through the day. Just about 2 tablespoons of vinegar is enough. This can be any vinegar. Now this can be added to the salads or dressings or bread. If you are adding vinegar (even rice vinegar) or dipping your bread in vinegar, it will lower your blood sugar. Now, just recall why sushi is dipped in vinegar and soy sauce and why Greeks and Italians dip their breads in balsamic vinegar. It is the acetic acid in vinegar which helps in controlling sugars.
Other than the dietary factors as mentioned above, having a sound sleep, exercise, good serum levels of vitamin D help in stabilizing blood sugars in the blood.
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