Diabetes management and treatment require patients to no longer do certain things—or at least as much as they used to—that they formerly did. To control blood sugar spikes, patients are mandated to control their diet, exercise more regularly, stop unhealthy lifestyle habits which they’re used to, take medications, and regularly book appointments with a specialist in severe cases. All of these requirements usually leave patients worried and stranded such that they find them difficult to implement.

Due to the strain diabetes management imparts on patients, specialists have considered it more expedient if patients start to control their blood sugar levels from the stage of prediabetes. Prediabetes, as the name implies, is that stage just before diabetes. The good part is that the treatment used for controlling prediabetes is also used for managing diabetes.

However, the strictness of the latter isn’t required for the former. This guide considers what prediabetes is all about. People with high blood sugar will know what prediabetes is, its blood sugar range, how to reverse it, and different effective steps for full and proper treatment.

What To Expect

  • An Overview of What Prediabetes Entails
  • The Risk Factor of Prediabetes
  • The Complications of Prediabetes
  • How to Reverse Prediabetes
  • When to Meet a Doctor
  • Medication for Prediabetes
  • How Health Apps Help Against Prediabetes
  • The Role of Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPPs)

An Overview of What Prediabetes Entails

Prediabetes is the stage just before patients develop diabetes; most people experience prediabetes before developing diabetes. The two have a common characteristic of high blood sugar levels. However, the difference is that the blood sugar level of prediabetes is significantly lower than what would be considered diabetes.

People with prediabetes will eventually develop diabetes if deliberate management methods aren’t implemented. On the bright side, there’s a high success rate of patients successfully reversing prediabetes and preventing diabetes.

However, patients will mostly need a prediabetes diagnosis. Without a diagnosis, many patients will develop diabetes. Since diabetes worsens insulin resistance and leads to severe complications like stroke and heart and kidney disease, it becomes more incumbent to treat prediabetes.

The next sections will highlight more about prediabetes and all patients need to know about managing and reversing their condition.

The Risk Factor of Prediabetes

Certain conditions and factors project your chances of developing prediabetes to astronomical heights, as we’ll observe below:

Waist Size

While a large waist size can be seen as a result of excess fat, it can also indicate insulin resistance — a marker of prediabetes. The risk factor of insulin resistance can go up for men and women with waist sizes of over 40 and 35 inches for men and women, respectively.


Obesity is a common risk factor for prediabetes; the more your tissues become fatty, the more prone you become to insulin resistance. Too much fat in tissue can lead to health complications like atherosclerosis. This can further lead to dangerous complications leading to the individual’s death.


People who consume foods high in carbs are subject to a great risk of prediabetes. Avoiding foods like processed meat and sugar-sweetened beverages is an excellent approach to averting prediabetes. You can consult with your qualified dietician to help you with a guide on the appropriate meal and drink to take.


If you’re less active, you’re more prone to the risk of prediabetes. While physical activities help provide energy and improve an individual’s health, they also sensitize the body cells to insulin. This further helps to curb unusual spikes in blood sugar levels. Hence, it’s encouraged to be involved in exercises for an average of 15–30 minutes daily.

Sleep Apnea

People that have obstructive respiration during sleep experience a great risk of prediabetes. This is a result of the relaxation of the muscles of the throat, common among persons that are overweight and obese. For one, people with sleep apnea have an increased risk of insulin resistance. In this light, it’s advised to see a doctor once you notice difficulty breathing during sleep.

The Complications of Prediabetes

Prediabetes may worsen and present alongside certain deadly conditions if not managed properly. Let’s have a look at the common ones.

Coronary Artery Diseases

Coronary heart diseases have to do with diseases that affect the heart; these ailments put you at risk of a heart attack, underscoring the need to treat prediabetes as a matter of urgency. This is a major complication as coronary vessels are those involved in the blood supply to and around the heart. This condition is triggered by deposits of fatty substances in the large blood vessels of the heart.


This is another dreadful health complication of prediabetes. It’s a brain disorder that results from a lack of or inadequate blood supply to the brain.

Peripheral Artery Disease

This is caused by a diminished blood flow to peripheral parts of the body, like the legs. The vessels of blood supply are mostly affected. This can result in deep pain in the muscles of the legs, and the calves called claudication.

Just like coronary artery diseases, this is also caused by fat deposition in blood vessels of the peripheral body parts.


The complications of prediabetes are so extensive that they also affect the eyes. Retinopathy is a disease of the eye that can lead to blindness. When prediabetes is left untreated, the patient is in danger of losing their vision.


This is a major complication that affects the entire human body. The nerves—in charge of transmitting signals all over the body—become affected when prediabetes isn’t treated as and when due. This complication affects the transmission of signals to various body parts, and in severe cases, it could lead to amputation in some people.

How to Reverse Prediabetes

With prediabetes’ risk factors and complications, it’s crucial to know how to treat the condition successfully. This section considers all that patients need to know about reversing prediabetes.

Eat a Clean Diet

Eating a clean diet doesn’t necessarily imply one has been ingesting some kind of unclean food. This means one should eat a diet that can help stabilize blood sugar levels.

One common cause of prediabetes is a diet rich in processed foods. These diets are termed unhealthy because they comprise contents that can cause health issues. Namely, they contain fats, calories, and sugar that have no significant nutritional value to consumers’ health.

To reverse prediabetes, you need to reduce your ingestion of such foods. It’s also essential to mention that red meat is another food that can increase your risk of prediabetes. Hence it’s advised to reduce its intake.

Instead, you can take foods with low carbs like vegetables, whole grain, lean meat, avocado, fish, etc.

Lose Excess Weight

Aside from the fact that many people get involved regularly to keep fit, one advantage of excess weight loss is that it helps burn excess fat. And this can be of positive relevance to your health. Shedding off 7–10% of your body fat can help stabilize your blood sugar level, helping to prevent prediabetes.

Managing your weight is vital for the normal functioning of the body parts. The problem of insulin resistance increases when you have a large waist size. Again, this figure sits at over 35 and 40 inches for women and men, respectively.

This might not seem easy for heavy consumers, but you could take meals in small portions of about 5 rounds in a day rather than consuming three large portions of food.

Exercise Consistently

It’d be surprising to many how a lack of exercise could be a possible risk factor for prediabetes. While regular exercise is a struggle for many, a lack of continual physical activities can cause prediabetes.

As some may think, exercise isn’t only good for providing energy and improving mental health; it also boosts insulin sensitivity, thus helping to normalize sugar levels. This allows the cell to use insulin and function effectively.

Due to their schedule, exercise can be difficult for many, but you can help yourself by getting involved in physical activities for 15–30 minutes daily. You can start with this before going for workouts.

Stop Smoking Habits

Another factor that can contribute to prediabetes is smoking. Many people don’t know the danger associated with bad habits like smoking.

Aside from prediabetes, generally, smoking should be discouraged as it causes loads of health impairment. For one, it increases the risk of lung cancer and other heart diseases. More importantly, smoking contributes to insulin resistance, prediabetes, and even type 2 diabetes.

We all know quitting habits like smoking can be challenging. But you can help yourself by taking over-the-counter (OTC) products like nicotine gum instead. This can help to quit smoking and improve your health generally.

You can also consult with your physician to place you on medication that can help to reduce cravings for nicotine.

Deal With Sleep Apnea

Apnea simply means difficulty in breathing or cessation of respiration. This is a serious health issue as sleep apnea has been linked to insulin resistance.

As defined above, sleep apnea causes frequent cessation of breathing throughout the night. This is due to the relaxation of the muscles of the throat. Signs of this health issue include gasping for air during sleep, daytime sleepiness, choking during sleep, and loud snoring.

Sleep apnea poses many risks like prediabetes. Thankfully, treatment options for sleep apnea abound, including using oral appliances to contract the throat muscles when sleeping. Another treatment option is using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine; this helps to keep the air passage of the throat open for easy airflow.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water offers numerous positive contributions to human health, including its excellence in reversing prediabetes. It can also help to prevent issues of type 2 diabetes.

Water is something that can hardly be abused when it comes to health. It helps to control and regulate the body entirely. It also helps to control blood sugar levels.

Aside from the fact that water helps to reduce sugar levels, it’s also an ideal substitute for beverages like sodas and fruit juices. Beverages aren’t healthy food choices as they can contribute to the cause of prediabetes.

Consult With A Registered Dietitian

Since eating the right food that can help you manage health issues like prediabetes can be quite tricky, it’d be better to meet a dietician nutritionist. This is important as they’re best qualified to provide dietary suggestions to help you manage your blood sugar level. Even if your doctor gives dietary suggestions, meeting and working with a registered dietician is still preferred.

A registered dietician will help you with profound guidance on the right diet to take and the ones you should avoid to help reverse prediabetes and prevent diabetes. Notably, they can help provide a good meal plan to help you maintain a normal blood sugar level.

Eat Fewer Carbs

Regarding ways to help you prevent prediabetes, consuming fewer carbs is at the top of the list. Choosing your carbohydrate meals carefully is important even if you’re committed to healthy nutrition. It’s recommended to consume foods with unprocessed carbs like beans, whole grains, and vegetables.

Foods like the aforementioned are rich in fiber. They take time to break, keeping one full for a long time. This means they get absorbed by the body slowly, abating an unusual increase in blood sugar levels.

On the other hand, foods like candy, yogurts, juices, and certain fruits can cause an unusual spike in sugar levels. This can be detrimental to health as it’s a risk factor for insulin resistance and prediabetes.

When to Meet a Doctor

While you can employ natural methods to treat and reverse prediabetes, knowing when to meet a doctor is equally important.

Meeting a doctor becomes necessary if you’re showing any signs of prediabetes. It becomes even more necessary to meet a doctor for diagnosis if you present any of the risk factors of prediabetes alongside. Since risk factors and symptoms go hand in hand, having both phenomena indicates that you may have diabetes.

The right specialist to consult is an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist is a diabetes specialist doctor that treats everything diabetes. While general practitioners have a foundational understanding of diabetes and prediabetes, an endocrinologist will be of greater help.

Generally, the specialist will perform a blood sugar check and determine what type of management tips you need. In most cases, the natural reversal method will work. However, in rare cases, doctors will suggest other more advanced methods, which the next sections consider.

Medication for Prediabetes

Insulin therapy is a treatment usually recommended for diabetes in its latter stages. However, there are several cases where treatment based on the hormone insulin may be necessary following a successful prediabetes blood sugar test. When patients have high blood sugar and too much fat in their bodies that they need to lose weight, specialists may find it necessary for an occasional dose of basal insulin.

Basal insulin is background insulin that serves for long hours to several days. Apart from insulin therapy, your specialist may also suggest surgery. However, these two options are simply for special cases; other options outlined in the next section often suffice regarding prediabetes reversal.

How Health Apps Help Against PreDiabetes

Since prediabetes is a precursor to the more complicated diabetes, it’s only necessary to adopt measures that don’t lead to high blood sugar levels. While this guide has outlined several ways one can achieve such, this section highlights the role of apps in achieving healthy blood sugar control to eliminate the complications it can cause.

There are different types of healthy apps — those designed for a diet to encourage healthy eating and those that encourage people to exercise by counting steps. Also, some others encourage great tips that prevent high blood pressure.

Most regularly updated health apps require patients to subscribe often to access their services. This subscription is often monthly. However, some offer users the choice of making advance payments, quarterly and annually.

Here, we consider the different categories of health apps and how they aid better blood sugar control and prediabetes recovery.

Diet Apps

Diet apps are designed to provide prediabetes and diabetes patients with updated information on the best meal choices. Diet or food apps are usually present as applications. However, these applications are designed by experts in the study of diabetes, including doctors, health practitioners, dietitians, and endocrinologists.

The app’s purpose is to serve as a food administrator that provides patients with the right food to eat. The aim is to ensure that people with prediabetes don’t rely on many sugar-filled carbs and eat only healthy fats to reduce high blood pressure.

Diabetes meal apps are among the most trusted food resources patients can use without much help from a specialist. Most of these apps are updated regularly, so additional meals designed to reduce blood sugar are added frequently to increase patient options and modify their choices.

Apart from the regular update, diabetes meal apps offer users a reliable routine that patients can trust. These special apps allow users to set their daily, weekly, and monthly diet routines to help them stay healthy and reduce their dependence on snacks and high blood sugar foods.

Many specialists recommend that patients use diet apps to control their blood sugar because of the success many people have achieved using them.

Exercise Apps

Exercise apps are another trustworthy category of self-help apps that patients can trust. Different types of exercise self-help apps are available to patients, which they can access from different expert providers. Exercise apps offer patients the option of performing moderate to intense exercises.

Most people with prediabetes or on the border of developing diabetes usually struggle with exercising. While a tight schedule is chief among the reasons behind this, the major obstacle is the psychological aspect that makes them feel cardiovascular activity and resistance training are too tasking. Exercise apps help eliminate that barrier through their different work rate available to patients.

Patients can use moderate exercise apps to gradually and regularly warm their bodies up to training. This regime usually includes fast walks, small, simple jogs and step counting. More intense options are usually available in these apps and are to be used by patients who have passed the moderate exercise stage. These exercises include advanced resistance training, running, and even sprinting.

Exercise apps are crucial, especially when the patients in question struggle with insulin resistance and high blood glucose levels. However, it’s important that patients also take dieting seriously.

Without appropriate dieting, it’ll be difficult for them to achieve much blood sugar control irrespective of their exercise effort. As such, they must consider diabetes-friendly apps a requirement to achieve an overall effective result.

Support Group Apps

Support group apps are health social apps for people with diabetes that allow them to commit to a community of people with the same condition. Support group apps have proven incredibly effective as they’ve helped patients with prediabetes handle the depression that comes with high blood sugar. Generally, since reversing prediabetes requires patients to do things they’re not exactly used to, they may battle certain psychological stress.

Many people who experience this psychological stress don’t know how to handle the changes with their meals, constant exercising, and appointments with medical experts. Studies show that people caught up in this web may become distressed and depressed, increasing their chances of slipping into diabetes.

With support groups, patients will connect to people in similar spaces and find companionship in their recovery journey. Support groups and social apps have helped people with prediabetes recover quickly and live more healthily. The good thing is that users are likely to find better tips to aid their recovery based on the experience of others who’ve successfully recovered or gone past the stage they’re currently dealing with.

There are different types of social and community diabetes groups; the apps patients go for will determine which community they’re matched with.

Additional Notes

It’s important to note that there are hundreds of apps available online. However, some stand out following studies by experts. Patients should only go for these apps for the best results instead of picking anyone they find on the net.

Also, while patients may want to opt for an app that offers the jack-of-all-trade services, it’s advised to lean towards those with more specific services. The latter are more likely to offer deep services that aid the recovery from diabetes as opposed to those that only offer superficial services to users.

The Role of Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPPs)

Diabetes prevention programs (DPPs)  are one of the most objective and effective ways to reverse prediabetes quickly and healthily. From the term, diabetes prevention program, it’s apparent that this option helps patients successfully reduce their high blood sugar levels before reaching the stage of diabetes.

DPPs are organized institutionalized campaigns sponsored mostly by public health institutions to help patients achieve their goal of reversing prediabetes. There are also private institutions involved in this program. However, most of them work hand in hand with public institutions.

These programs admit patients with high blood sugar risk and subject them to a mix of in-office and at-home treatments to help them successfully lower blood sugar levels and reverse prediabetes.

These programs aren’t only designed for prediabetes and great for helping patients handle diabetes and start their recovery journey. The good thing about these programs is that they don’t expose patients to only common practices that offer standard treatments. Rather, they employ other safe new methods to see how they enhance the process of boosting insulin sensitivity and achieving normal blood sugar levels.

The programs also focus on tackling the risk factors that cause prediabetes, like excess weight, high alcohol consumption, and inactiveness. Patients have generally enjoyed a high success rate in their goal to lower blood sugar levels and live healthily with a diabetes prevention program.

Some of the best diabetes prevention programs patients can join include:

  • CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program: This program is designed for patients by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is among the most popular options.
  • YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program: The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is among the most health-inclined Christian associations. The group provides patients with a diabetes prevention program to gain better health and live a life free from diabetes.
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Diabetes Prevention Program (NIDDK DPP): This public health institution empowers patients with a robust diabetes prevention campaign.

The three institutions above aren’t the only option available to patients; several private institutions are still available. However, almost all of them feature the same prevention campaigns.

While some modifications and unique practices may exist, the underlying features remain the same. The major approaches boil down to dieting and exercising. Every other application, like medications, only complements these two main features.

Patients can join diabetes prevention programs without much requirement. It’s generally voluntary, and patients don’t necessarily need to spend much. The only main requirement needed to join one is consistently high blood sugar that borders prediabetes and diabetes.


Reversing prediabetes is generally not as difficult as treating diabetes. However, people with prediabetes usually slip into diabetes and may even battle the complications that the latter cause.

Due to the difficulty of managing diabetes, specialists recommend that patients treat prediabetes early on so that they never get to the stage of diabetes. This guide has considered the different ways patients can reverse diabetes, spanning both natural and medical methods.

However, a healthy diet stands out among the different methods highlighted in this piece. Prediabetes patients can generally reverse their condition with the single trick of dieting; all other methods usually complement this effort. For one, eating healthy leaves the body with significantly little carbohydrates and unhealthy fat that contribute to and worsen insulin resistance.

Diet apps are one of the major resources patients can use to reverse their condition. This article comprehensively and explicitly highlighted how patients could enjoy the benefits of using expert-vetted diet apps like our Klinio app.

Klinio offers patients every help they need to start eating healthy and continue eating healthily even after successfully reversing prediabetes. Our app is updated regularly to offer patients the tastiest meals they can get without worsening their blood sugar. Patients can also build a routine of the meals they eat, set weekly or daily meal plans, and even build a yearly meal plan without much requirement.

However, carb-rich diets aren’t the only cause of rising blood sugar levels. Other factors contribute to spikes in blood glucose; a major one flagged by professionals is drug intake.

You might wonder how this is so. Aren’t drugs meant to contribute to healthier living and help manage a particular condition? While this is true, they sometimes contribute to increased blood sugar levels in many ways.

In this piece, you’ll discover the key drugs that can raise blood sugar, how to measure blood sugar levels, how to manage high blood sugar, and more.

What to Expect

  • What Do Blood Glucose Levels Mean?
  • What Is Drug-Induced Diabetes?
  • Drugs That Contribute to a Blood Sugar Spike
  • Signs You Have High Blood Sugar 
  • Testing Blood Sugar Levels at Home
  • How to Manage Blood Sugar Level
  • Emergency Care For Hyperglycemia 

What Do Blood Glucose Levels Mean?

blood glucose levels

Diabetes is a health condition closely tied to blood sugar levels. Naturally, the body uses glucose as fuel, mainly from carbohydrates-rich foods. In addition, the body burns glucose to supply the organs with energy, and the hormone insulin aids this process by transporting glucose into the blood. Excess glucose from this process is usually stored in the liver and muscles for future use.

However, sugar accumulates in the blood when the body can’t produce or use insulin properly. This leads to a condition known as hyperglycemia, which is when there’s too much sugar in the blood.

The body’s inability to process sugar at this point exposes it to many risks and complications. For example, you likely have high blood sugar if you experience excessive thirst or hunger, vomiting, and vision problems.

When not properly managed, hyperglycemia ultimately leads to diabetes. People predisposed to diabetes are at greater risk of developing the illness if they don’t maintain an average blood glucose level. Several tests help determine if a person has diabetes or not; a prominent one is the blood glucose test.

According to the CDC, a fasting blood sugar test that reads a blood sugar level of 100 mg/dL is normal; one that reads between 100 to 125 mg/dL indicates prediabetes, and that which is greater than 125 mg/dL indicates diabetes.

Many diabetes treatments aim to reduce blood sugar and help the body better utilize insulin. Hence, watching out for a diet that can lead to blood sugar spikes and eliminating certain unhealthy habits is crucial. However, apart from what you eat, other factors contribute to high blood sugar. Some medications have also been observed to affect blood sugar levels, as we’ll see soon.

What Is Drug-Induced Diabetes?

drug induced diabetes

Diabetes can occur based on genetic conditions, usually aided by external factors like environment or eating habits. However, diabetes can also result from other factors that many don’t consider. One of these is drugs.

Drugs help in fighting illness and restoring the body’s health to normal. However, some drugs have been observed to influence the development of diabetes in some patients. Drug-induced diabetes is not uncommon and can arise when using certain medications.

Fortunately, drug-induced diabetes is often reversible, especially when caught early and the medication discontinued. However, it can become permanent in some patients.

While you can afford to stop certain medications, some other medicines are just too essential to discontinue. Hence, it’s important to know which drugs can contribute to the development of diabetes and how to manage them properly.

Usually, these drugs affect blood glucose levels negatively, often leading to spikes in blood sugar. In some cases, these drugs influence how the body reacts to insulin and sometimes result in insulin resistance. These include diabetes, over-the-counter prescription, blood pressure, mental health, and other medications.

While you can’t avoid using some medicines, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you better manage blood glucose levels.

Drugs That Contribute to a Blood Sugar Spike

Blood Sugar Spike

Knowing the drugs that can potentially raise blood glucose levels can be tricky. They can even be drugs prescribed to you by your doctor. However, below are some drugs that can increase blood sugar levels.

(N.B: Some of these drugs can also cause low blood sugar).


Steroids effectively treat conditions like arthritis, asthma, inflammations, allergies, and more. It also helps deal with autoimmune disorders and suppresses the immune system to prevent tissue damage during organ transplants. However, some steroids like prednisone significantly affect blood sugar and can eventually lead to diabetes.

Typically, steroids can make the liver less responsive to insulin after usage. The liver is the storehouse for glucose the body uses when it runs low. As your body needs glucose, the liver releases a certain amount to serve this need.

If, however, there’s enough blood glucose present, the pancreas secretes insulin to control the body’s sugar level by triggering the liver to stop glucose release. When insulin is unable to perform this function, it leads to a blood sugar spike, which can potentially be dangerous.

Diabetes is often a result of the body’s inability to make use of or produce insulin, often resulting in either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. A prolonged inability for the body to properly use insulin in people that use steroids leads to insulin resistance. This is when the body stops responding to insulin even when injected into the system. At this point, a condition known as steroid-induced diabetes is said to manifest.

Steroid-induced diabetes is observed to behave a lot like type 2 diabetes, and if not properly managed, it can eventually lead to it. However, while type 1 and type 2 diabetes are lifelong ailments, steroid-induced diabetes will resolve following the completion or cessation of steroid treatment.

Taking steroids for a more extended period (3 months or more) increases one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This risk is even higher in people predisposed to this condition or diagnosed with prediabetes. In addition, other side effects like muscle weakness, hypertension, mood swings, etc., come with its use.

Common steroids to watch out for are hydrocortisone and prednisone. Luckily, steroid skin creams (for rashes) and inhalers (for asthma) don’t pose a significant risk.


Over 900 million people worldwide currently experience mental illness. To put things into perspective, that is 1 in 8 people.

Meaning quite a lot of people have to deal with a mental disorder episode during their lives. In the US, 3% of the population experience at least one psychotic episode each year, most of which occur during early adulthood. While most psychosis cases arise due to this disorder, many can also be linked to sleep deprivation, substance use, stress, etc.

Many people with this illness receive antipsychotic treatment to help them manage their condition. However, studies have shown that these medications do have a significant impact on blood sugar.

Antipsychotics came into play about 72 years ago and have since proven effective in helping people with severe mental illness manage their condition. Scientists have long since observed a trend of people with this illness developing diabetes down the line. Although the reason for this has been claimed to be multifactorial, recent research has linked it to antipsychotic use.

A review titled “Association Between Antipsychotic Medication Use and Diabetes” points out that higher doses of antipsychotics are associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes and diabetes complications. In addition, according to this review, taking these drugs can potentially lead to weight gain, which is one of the risk factors for diabetes.

Another study explored the relationship between antipsychotics and diabetes. It found that children and youths who use antipsychotic treatment for mental illnesses like schizophrenia are at more risk of developing diabetes when they take these medications in cumulative doses.

Also, it states adults aren’t exempted from this risk as they can also develop type 2 diabetes after using these medications for a prolonged period. It further points out some of the metabolic effects of antipsychotics, including weight gain, insulin resistance, and increased glucose levels.


Cardiovascular problems aren’t uncommon in people with diabetes; for one, having diabetes increases the risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Also, you stand the chance of cardiovascular issues if you have too much LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) in your system, regardless of if you have diabetes or not. Hence, one of the primary ways to tackle this problem is to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol you consume and up the intake of “good” ones (HDL).

Although you can rely on food sources for “good” cholesterol and avoid some diets to reduce LDL cholesterol, there are medications called statins, proven effective in reducing the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body.

Depending on your level of diabetes, you should take a moderate or high-intensity statin to prevent further complications. The American Diabetes Association advises people over age 40 living with diabetes to opt for moderate potency statins.

A 2016 review established the link between blood sugar levels and statins. It was observed that this medication unfavorably affects blood glucose levels in diabetes patients. Another 2016 review corroborated this research, observing statins to increase blood sugar and ultimately increase the risk of developing diabetes.

Other researchers linked higher doses of statins to an increased risk of developing diabetes. For those already living with diabetes, this drug can potentially increase their blood sugar to a dangerous level. In addition, statins can cause health hazards instead of preventing them when not adequately monitored.

However, not all statins are bad eggs; there exist certain statins that rarely affect blood sugar, hence posing the lowest risk of elevated blood glucose levels (e.g., lovastatin and pravastatin). Some of these drugs aid blood glucose control in some cases. Still, more research needs to be carried out.

Despite the harm statins pose, they’re too crucial for cardiovascular health to be abandoned. Hence, the FDA recommends its usage regardless.

Antihypertensive drugs

About 47% of the adult population in the United States have hypertension with a blood pressure reading greater than 130/80 mmHg. Worldwide, about 26% of the population lives with hypertension.

Considering these statistics, the growing prevalence of hypertension is quite glaring. High blood pressure can still lead to various complications, including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease or failure, vision loss, etc.

Hypertension can occur in anyone, whether they have a preexisting condition or not. Thankfully, antihypertensive drugs containing agents like beta-blockers and diuretics help manage the condition. You can safely live with hypertension for a long time if adequately managed without fearing complications.

However, studies have shown these drugs can negatively affect blood glucose levels. For example, this research on “Antihypertensive Drugs and Glucose Metabolism” observed that medications like beta-blockers and diuretics are more likely to have disastrous effects on blood glucose which can lead to complications like cardiovascular diseases or diabetes. It also states that people living with hypertension also might experience insulin resistance which can contribute to the build-up of sugar in the body. 

Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills and other contraceptives have proven effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy. For women with diabetes, patches, implants, pills, injections, and rings have been checked to be safe options. However, it’s no news that some present specific side effects when used.

Several researchers have looked into the relationship between diabetes and birth control methods. For example, some claimed that estrogen in birth control pills could cause insulin resistance in some patients, eventually leading to blood sugar spikes. In contrast, others didn’t find variation in blood glucose levels in women with diabetes taking birth control pills.

However, we can’t overrule the findings of this research. Hence, physicians often recommend birth control pills with the minimum estrogen level for women with diabetes. At the same time, some physicians avoid prescribing birth control pills to women living with diabetes.

Furthermore, other researchers have linked birth control pills to some diabetic complications, especially when taken for over two years.


People with diabetes often need antibiotics due to various infections resulting from this condition. However, some antibiotics have been observed to cause insulin resistance, increasing blood sugar levels.

More particularly, a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones has been observed to cause high and low blood sugar. The antimicrobial drug (pentamidine) also has the potential to raise blood sugar.

Signs You Have High Blood Sugar 

High Blood Sugar

Your body has a way of naturally informing you when something is wrong with it. It does this by showing specific symptoms that won’t surface unless there’s a problem. Hence, you must pay attention to your body’s subtlest signs.

For example, when faced with hyperglycemia, the body provides several warning symptoms to alert you of this problem. So, here are some signs you’ll experience if your blood sugar levels are over the chart.

Earlier on, you might start to experience the following:

  • Extreme thirst or hunger
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Numb feet
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss
  • Skin infections 

Extreme symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Fruity smell of the breath
  • Labored breathing
  • Coma

If you experience any of the above symptoms, there’s the possibility you’re experiencing high blood sugar levels. You should check it out with your doctor to know for sure or perform blood sugar tests to figure this out for yourself.

However, if you start having extreme symptoms like fruity-smelling breath or vomiting, visit the nearest emergency room; you might be suffering from a condition known as ketoacidosis.

Testing Blood Sugar Levels at Home

testing Blood Sugar Levels

It’s a good idea to regularly check your blood sugar level, even when you’re not experiencing any of the symptoms above. Luckily, you don’t need to see your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room to get this done. Instead, you can easily check your blood sugar in the comfort of your home. Here are some ways you can do this:

Home Glucose Monitoring

Using a blood sugar meter, you can easily measure your sugar level. All you need is to follow these simple steps:

  • Wash and dry your hands
  • Using the lancet, prick the side of your finger
  • Massage until blood appears, then put a drop of blood on the test strip
  • Place the strip back into the meter

The meter will process your blood and display your blood sugar levels, after which you can go ahead and record the result.

Other types of meters allow you to test different parts of your body. For instance, you can test your forearm, thigh, or the base of your thumb. However, results from these kinds of meters tend to differ from that of a fingertip stick. Also, depending on the type of meter, you can get an average of your blood sugar levels over time or even access software that helps you better monitor this information.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring System

With this system, you can also measure your blood sugar level. Although it’s not as accurate as the method cited above, it can easily find patterns in your blood sugar levels.

It works by attaching a tiny sensor under the skin that monitors blood sugar levels every 5 minutes. This information is relayed to a monitor where you can access the details. Using this device’s cumulated information monitored over time, your doctor can spot trends in how your blood sugar ranges. However, this method shouldn’t replace regular blood sugar checks.

How to Manage Blood Sugar Level

Manage Blood Sugar Level

You can get your blood sugar level to stay within the normal range. This way, you can avoid complications that can come with high blood sugar. Here are some ways to manage your blood sugar:


Physical exercise is one of the best ways to maintain that optimum blood sugar level. Therefore, people with diabetes are advised to get regular exercise. It not only helps control blood sugar, but you also get to shed excess weight that may be a risk factor for developing further complications.

However, avoid exercising when experiencing conditions like ketoacidosis (elevated ketone levels). Exercising in this state can further raise the blood sugar level.

Follow Proper Diet

Eating healthy is another way to ensure your blood sugar doesn’t go off the chart. There are unique diabetes diet plans specially created for people with diabetes. They’ll help better manage your condition and prevent spikes in blood sugar.

Avoid sugary beverages and frequent snacking. Also, ensure you stick to a particular meal plan. You can contact your doctor or dietitian to determine which meal plan is the best for you.

Check Your Blood Sugar Often

There’s no better way to get ahead of hyperglycemia than doing frequent blood sugar checks. That’ll give you a real-time update on your blood sugar level.

You can follow the earlier steps to check your blood sugar from home. Then, visit your doctor if you notice spikes in your blood sugar.

Adjust Your Insulin Doses

You might experience blood sugar spikes if you’re not taking the proper insulin doses. However, sometimes you need an extra amount to manage high blood sugar. You should check with your doctor to know when to up your doses to correct a high blood sugar level.

Take Your Medications Properly

Often, complications arise when you don’t take your prescription medicines correctly. Usually, taking too little or too much of a particular medication will significantly impact how they work and the kind of side effects they present. So, ensure you take your diabetes medicines as prescribed by your doctor.

Emergency Care For Hyperglycemia


In case of severe hyperglycemia (which can result in diabetic ketoacidosis), you’ll need more than just exercise. Diabetic ketoacidosis is an acute medical condition resulting from too many ketones and sugar in the body. This condition can be life-threatening. Treatment includes:

Fluid Replacement

One of the symptoms of hyperglycemia is frequent urination. Hence, you’ll need to compensate for lost fluids by receiving fluids through your veins. The fluids will rehydrate you and help dilute excess sugar in the blood.

Electrolyte Replacement

Just like fluids, your body also loses several electrolytes due to the absence of insulin. These electrolytes are essential for the proper function of your tissues. For example, electrolytes are passed through your veins, ensuring your muscles, nerve cells, and heart function optimally.

Insulin Therapy

Ketoacidosis usually results from insufficient insulin to properly process sugar in your system. Therefore, you’ll need insulin to help manage this condition. Also, insulin reverses the build-up of ketones in the blood.


blood sugar levels

High blood sugar raises lots of concerns for people with diabetes. It often occurs due to the body’s inability to utilize the insulin hormone for processing blood glucose.

However, this guide taught you that certain medications can also increase blood sugar levels. These include but aren’t limited to diabetes, blood pressure, and mental health medications. These medications have been observed to influence insulin secretion, causing insulin resistance which can, in turn, lead to drug-induced diabetes.

You might not be able to avoid taking these medications. However, ensure you maintain healthy living by exercising regularly, following the right meal plan, and taking your medications correctly.

Our diabetes management app, can further aid you in adopting a healthy diet plan. It has all you need regarding the proper diabetes meal plans and exercise routines. This app can also help you monitor your blood glucose levels. However, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider for proper guidance.

Pregnant women are prone to developing abnormal blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, weight gain, and other hormonal and psychological changes.

Since glucose is the major fuel in the human body, significant changes in its concentration may result in problematic consequences for an expectant mother. Diabetes and low blood glucose levels are equally life-threatening to pregnant women.

In this light, we’ll discuss the relationship between diabetes and pregnancy, several crucial risk factors, ways to prevent or manage diabetes during pregnancy, and other relevant pieces of information.

After digesting this composition, you’ll realize the potential dangers of diabetes during pregnancy, how to avoid its occurrence or downplay its effects, and go on to have a healthy baby regardless of your blood glucose levels.

What to Expect

  • A Brief Recap of Diabetes
  • Types of Diabetes and Their Effects on Pregnancy
  • Factors Triggering Diabetes During Pregnancy
  • Dangers and Effects of Diabetes on Pregnancy
  • Treating and Managing Diabetes During Pregnancy
  • Popular Misconceptions About Pregnancy and Diabetes Resolved

A Brief Recap of Diabetes

diabetes and pregnancy

When people use the term “diabetes” loosely, they typically refer to diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by elevated blood glucose levels. It shouldn’t be confused with diabetes insipidus — a less common metabolic disorder related to salt and water balance.

The normal fasting blood glucose level—concentration of glucose in blood measured before a meal—ranges from 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) to 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L). On two different tests, an individual is said to have diabetes if their blood sugar level is up to 126 mg/dL (7mmol/L).

Women with diabetes are likely to suffer several pregnancy complications, and some women without prior history of diabetes may experience prediabetic or diabetic symptoms during pregnancy.

Types of Diabetes and Their Effects on Pregnancy

diabetes and pregnancy

The American Diabetes Association classifies diabetes mellitus into three major categories depending on the cause of the disorder. They include:

These diabetes variants negatively affect pregnancy in different ways. In the subsequent paragraphs, we’ll adequately shed light on the role each of these complications plays in pregnancy.

Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy

Insulin deficiency is responsible for the high blood sugar levels in type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes. Normally, insulin—a peptide hormone—stimulates the conversion of blood glucose to glycogen and its storage in the liver and muscle cells. Hence, the hormone reduces blood sugar concentration.

Women with insulin-dependent diabetes can have a healthy pregnancy. However, it increases the odds of suffering diabetic complications, such as high blood pressure, digestive and kidney diseases, and vision loss. Women with diabetes may also have excessively large babies (macrosomia) and children with birth defects.

Expectant mothers with type 1 diabetes usually require insulin more often than those without complications. If your insulin needs aren’t properly met when pregnant, you and the unborn child may suffer severe consequences. As other sections unfold, you’ll recognize the dangers of untreated or mishandled diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes and Pregnancy

In type 2 diabetes, although insulin production may be normal, the cells can’t effectively utilize the hormone. This disorder may be either due to reduced sensitivity of insulin receptors to the required hormone or an insufficient number of insulin receptors. Consequently, this insulin resistance results in high blood glucose levels.

According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease. As such, it’s a frequent occurrence in women of childbearing age.

Type 2 diabetes is linked to several complications, including obesity and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Obesity and PCOS make conception more complex and are associated with infertility.

Similarly, uncontrolled insulin-resistant diabetes amplifies the risks of pregnancy challenges, such as preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension), macrosomia, and abnormally increased amounts of amniotic fluid. It may also lead to pregnancy loss, birth defects, and preterm delivery.

Considering these realities, diabetic mothers must watch their blood sugar levels before and during pregnancy.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs when women without a prior individual history of diabetes develop high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Typically, the placenta produces hormones causing blood glucose to accumulate. However, this occurrence is usually counteracted by insulin.

In the case of gestational diabetes, the body can’t make sufficient amounts of insulin or stops using the hormone effectively, causing high blood sugar levels. Pregnancy-influenced elevated blood sugar may negatively affect the health of the expectant mother and the unborn child.

Although overweight and obesity often contribute to the disease, its exact cause is unknown. Gestational diabetes usually occurs without noticeable symptoms other than polydipsia (increased thirst), polyphagia (excessive hunger), and polyuria (frequent urination).

This type of diabetes poses serious dangers to the baby’s health, such as excessive birth weight, breathing problems, stillbirth, and early pregnancy. More concerning is that the mother with diabetes and the developing baby have a higher risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes later in life. Quite ironically, children whose mothers suffered gestational diabetes during their development may eventually contract hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Controlling the mother’s blood glucose levels during pregnancy can sustain maternal and fetal health and prevent the complications associated with pregnancy-associated diabetes.

Factors Triggering Diabetes During Pregnancy

diabetes and pregnancy

Several elements increase the chances of developing gestational diabetes and aggravate the effects of diabetes in pregnancy.

Some risk factors of diabetes to monitor before and during pregnancy include:

  • Overweight and obesity
  • Certain ethnic groups
  • Prediabetes
  • Maternal age
  • Family history of diabetes
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • PCOS and other conditions associated with insulin problems
  • Hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart diseases
  • History of having large babies
  • History of miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects

Let’s have a more in-depth view of how these factors make you likely to experience diabetes during pregnancy.

Overweight and Obesity

Overweight and obesity are often associated with diabetes and its related complications during pregnancy, especially gestational diabetes. Women that were overweight or obese before pregnancy may become insulin resistant when they get pregnant. Hence, they tend to come down with pregnancy-related diabetes.

Similarly, gaining excessive weight during pregnancy may also force you to develop diabetes.

Certain Ethnic Groups

Your likelihood of developing pregnancy-induced diabetes hinges partly on your ethnic group. Several studies have shown African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, Alaska Natives, and Native Americans have higher risks of diabetes during pregnancy. Still, you can’t categorically tell if you’re safe or not through your ethnic group.


Individuals with diabetes have a fasting blood glucose concentration of at least 126 mg/dL (7mmol/L). However, women with elevated fasting blood sugar levels (100 to 125 mg/dL or 5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) but not high enough to be called diabetes—a condition known as prediabetes—have an increased risk of slipping into diabetes during pregnancy.

Maternal Age

Like most pregnancy-related complications, the risk of developing diabetes during gestation increases with the expectant mother’s age. Women older than 25 years are more prone to pregnancy-linked diabetes. Also, the effects of diabetes on pregnancy worsen as the woman ages.

Family History of Diabetes

Genes play a significant role in pregnancy-related diabetes. Thus, if some of your close relatives have experienced diabetes mellitus, you’re more likely to show diabetes symptoms when pregnant than those without a family history of the disease.

History of Gestational Diabetes

If you experienced diabetes in a previous pregnancy, you have a high chance of enduring a similar complication in a subsequent pregnancy.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Other Conditions Associated With Insulin Problems

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder causing the ovaries to be enlarged, with small cysts on their outer edges. The condition often makes the affected pregnant women more likely to experience critical complications. More significantly, pregnancy-related diabetes lies among its potential dangers to expectant mothers.

Most women with PCOS require treatment for insulin resistance, as the disorder often prevents the body from using insulin effectively. Other conditions affecting insulin production or activities in the body may also trigger diabetes during gestation.

Hypertension, High Cholesterol, and Heart Diseases

Pregnant women with abnormally elevated blood pressure (preeclampsia), high cholesterol levels, or heart diseases have an increased risk of high blood glucose concentrations.

History of Having Large Babies

If you previously had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds at birth (macrosomia), you’re more prone to experiencing diabetes during the next pregnancy.

History of Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Birth Defects

You’re vulnerable to pregnancy-associated diabetes if you’ve lost a pregnancy, had a stillbirth, or delivered a child with a birth defect.

Dangers and Effects of Diabetes on Pregnancy

diabetes and pregnancy

Expectant mothers with diabetes are prone to various health issues. Sadly, diabetes doesn’t only put you at risk; the condition also threatens the unborn baby’s health.

Abnormally high blood glucose can harm the developing fetus during the first weeks of pregnancy, even before you realize you’re pregnant.

Here are some dangers and negative effects of diabetes on pregnancy:

  • Preeclampsia
  • Digestive and kidney diseases
  • Respiratory issues
  • Miscarriage and stillbirth
  • Birth defects
  • Worsened diabetes symptoms
  • Excessively large babies (macrosomia)
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Cesarean delivery

Let’s extensively go over these possible outcomes of diabetes during pregnancy.


According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), diabetes increases your risk of developing preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-associated disorder causing hypertension and excess protein in one’s urine (proteinuria) during the second half of gestation. It’s a severe and life-threatening condition for the mother and baby.

Giving birth is the only practical cure for preeclampsia. If you have preeclampsia, your healthcare practitioner may induce delivery once your pregnancy is up to 37 weeks.

However, suppose you show signs of the condition before 37 weeks. In that case, you and your physician may attempt other alternatives to help your unborn child develop until it’s old enough to survive outside the uterus.

Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Pregnancy-linked diabetes can cause and aggravate digestive and kidney diseases. Gastroparesis—a digestive problem involving delayed stomach emptying—is a common diabetes complication. Similarly, kidney diseases, like diabetic nephropathy, are worsened in pregnancy.

Respiratory Issues

Gestational diabetes can cause babies to suffer breathing problems, such as respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and transient tachypnea of the newborn when it’s born. These conditions occur due to diabetes-influenced preterm delivery preventing the respiratory organs from developing completely.

Miscarriage and Stillbirth

The National Institute of Health (NIH) reveals that diabetes increases the chances of losing pregnancy during the first trimester. High blood sugar can cause the baby to die in the mother’s womb in the last weeks of pregnancy (stillbirth).

Birth Defects

A baby’s vital organs, such as the brain, lungs, kidneys, and heart, begin forming during the first trimester of pregnancy. Elevated blood glucose at this early stage can trigger the birth of a child with birth defects affecting its brain, spine, or heart.

Worsened Diabetes Symptoms

Pregnancy deepens diabetes symptoms, such as diabetes-influenced kidney disease and vision problems.

Excessively Large Babies (Macrosomia)

Having diabetes during pregnancy can cause your baby to be born abnormally large — a condition known as macrosomia. Typically, affected newborns weigh more than 9 pounds.

Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia occurs when diabetes-incited macrosomia forces a baby’s shoulder to get caught in the birth canal during delivery.

Cesarean Delivery

Diabetic macrosomia and shoulder dystocia often complicate the delivery process, pushing the health care practitioner to perform a cesarean section to save the mother and baby’s lives.

Preventing Gestational Diabetes

diabetes and pregnancy

You can reduce your likelihood of developing pregnancy-associated diabetes through various practices.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) cites some major means of preventing elevated blood glucose during gestation. They include:

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Losing extra weight before conceiving can significantly decrease your possibility of acquiring diabetes during gestation if you’re overweight or leaning towards excessive weight. You may achieve a safe weight through healthy meals, routine exercises, and constantly watching your weight.

Being Physically Active

Constantly engaging in physical activities before pregnancy warms up your baby-accommodating infrastructure, preparing your body for a successful pregnancy.

Furthermore, being physically active during pregnancy can prevent the accumulation of toxic cholesterol in your body and help you maintain hormonal balance. This enables you to sustain a safe pregnancy.

General Body Checkup

Regularly performing a thorough checkup before pregnancy can help you assess your total body state and its readiness to support an unborn child. During pregnancy, routine checkups will enable you to determine your best next line of action at each point.

Your healthcare provider should examine you for the following before and during pregnancy:

  • Hypertension
  • Eye disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Heart disease
  • Blood vessel disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid disease

Treating and Managing Diabetes During Pregnancy

diabetes and pregnancy

Employing several measures from your last menstrual period until delivery can keep you and your baby healthy during diabetes-plagued pregnancy.

These treatment and management strategies for a heightened blood glucose concentration during pregnancy include lifestyle, dietary, and medical procedures.

Lifestyle Processes

The lifestyle approach to treating and managing elevated blood sugar during pregnancy involves:

Sustaining Target Blood Sugar Levels Before and During Pregnancy

Regular blood glucose monitoring and keeping your daily blood glucose level in a target range before and after conceiving can considerably tone down the effects of diabetes on your pregnancy. You should consult your healthcare team to know what targets are ideal for you.

The NIDDK recommends these blood glucose targets for most expectant mothers:

  • 95 mg/dL or less — before breakfast, at bedtime, and overnight
  • 140 mg/dL or less — 1 hour after meals
  • 120 mg/dL or less — 2 hours after meals

If you’re suffering from type 1 diabetes mellitus, your physician may suggest higher targets to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood glucose).

Alternatively, you can confirm if you’re meeting your targets through an A1C blood test. The test reveals your mean blood sugar concentration within the last 3 months. It’ll help if you strive for an A1C close enough to normal — preferably less than 6.5%.

Routine Exercises and Physical Activities

Frequent exercises and physical activities normalize blood flow and cholesterol levels, relieve stress, strengthen organs and tissues, and keep the developing fetus active. Being physically active also keeps your blood sugar concentration in a healthy range.

If you have diabetes, devote about 30 minutes, 5 days a week, to physical activities before pregnancy. Even simple brisk walking should suffice.

Quit Alcohol Intake and Smoking

Alcohol worsens the effect of diabetes on pregnancy and can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome. Meanwhile, smoking increases your chances of experiencing a stillbirth or preterm delivery. As a result, the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) advises women with diabetes to abstain from alcohol and smoking during pregnancy.

Dietary Approach

Healthy meals and nutritional supplements validated by clinical trials may enable you to manage elevated blood glucose levels during pregnancy. Vitamin-rich diets and supplements are beneficial to expectant mothers with diabetes. If you have diabetes, you must start taking diets and supplements rich in folic acid (vitamin B9) at least a month before pregnancy.

Health professionals direct women with diabetes to consume a minimum of 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid before pregnancy and at least 600 mcg daily during gestation. Other minerals, such as iron, calcium, and multivitamins, can keep you and your unborn baby healthy.

Medical Procedures

Various medical procedures are available for effectively monitoring and managing diabetes during pregnancy. They range from simple medical care by a health care team to diabetes medications certified by a series of clinical trials.

Some beneficial medical strategies for pregnant women with diabetes, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), include:

  • Taking low-dose aspirin in the form of oral medication to thwart or delay the onset of preeclampsia
  • Insulin injections for offsetting decreased natural insulin levels
  • Fetal echocardiogram for examining your unborn baby’s heart
  • Regular ultrasounds to monitor fetal development
  • Working with a complete health care team — an endocrinologist or diabetologist for effective diabetes care; an obstetrician well-versed in diabetes; a diabetes educator to enlighten you properly on the disease; a nurse practitioner for prenatal care; a licensed nutritionist to assist your meal planning; a trained psychologist to enable you to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Conducting blood tests to check your blood sugar concentration, cholesterol levels, and ketones

Popular Misconceptions About Pregnancy and Diabetes Resolved

diabetes and pregnancy

Several myths about pregnancy-linked diabetes have been conceived and circulated since the 19th century. Here are some disproved misconceptions and unraveled truths about pregnancy and diabetes:

Misconception 1: It isn’t right for women with diabetes to get pregnant.

Reality: This myth was popular in the late 19th century. Although diabetes significantly complicates pregnancy, women with well-controlled diabetes can conceive and deliver safely.

Misconception 2: Gestational diabetes is lifelong.

Reality: A History of pregnancy-influenced diabetes makes you more likely to experience a similar condition in your next pregnancy. Yet, it isn’t a permanent disease and soon resolves after delivery and with appropriate disease control approaches.


diabetes and pregnancy

Even though diabetes makes pregnancy more difficult and vice versa, such conditions aren’t a death sentence if adequately treated and managed.

Babies born from a diabetes-associated pregnancy are more susceptible to obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life. So, adopt a healthy lifestyle, eat a balanced diet, routinely engage in physical activities, and regularly consult health care providers to lessen your and your child’s odds of developing these disorders.

Are you bothered about keeping up with your diabetes management routine during pregnancy? Our diabetes management app, Klinio, is one of your best bets for effectively managing diabetes when pregnant. It assists your meal planning processes, keeps you committed to your exercise routine, helps with your weight management plans, and provides other blood sugar management features.

When it comes to benefits, drinking water can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels by promoting lower blood sugar but also help you lose weight, which can help you cope with many symptoms of diabetes.

In this article, we’ll discuss the relationship between water and diabetes. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Importance of water intake for people with diabetes
  • How much water should you drink?
  • Can you drink other beverages?
  • Tips for drinking more water

Let’s get started.

Importance of Water Intake for Diabetes Patients

water for diabetes

Water is important for all individuals because it affects various general health areas. For people with diabetes, staying hydrated is even more important because it affects glucose levels and many other health factors associated with diabetes mellitus.

Hydration Is Essential for Numerous Body Functions

Overall, hydration is crucial for a well-functioning body and mind because water plays a role in nearly all body functions. 

On a micro level, water is responsible for dissolving minerals and nutrients so that they become available for the body and also aids in transporting nutrients and oxygen to the body cells. 

Additional water functions include body temperature regulation, protection of organs and tissues, and joint lubrication. 

People With Diabetes Are More Susceptible to Dehydration

A common symptom of diabetes is high blood sugar, which the body cannot regulate because insulin doesn’t work properly. When this happens, the kidney attempts to get rid of excess glucose by eliminating it through urine.

If the body isn’t properly hydrated, the kidneys rely on water from important tissues like brain tissue, potentially causing severe dehydration. 

Water Promotes Normal Blood Glucose Levels

Dehydration can increase blood sugar levels. This is because when there isn’t enough water in the body, it cannot dilute blood sugars, leading them to add up and concentrate in the blood. 

As such, drinking water can effectively lower your blood sugar levels. It can also prevent high blood sugar in the first place because blood sugars can be diluted immediately when the body is properly hydrated. 

Water Promotes a Healthy Weight

Proper hydration is crucial in a weight loss diet for multiple reasons. 

For starters, the body often confuses dehydration with hunger. As such, being dehydrated can lead to overeating. 

Moreover, water is an appetite suppressant because it passes through the body quickly and triggers a feeling of fullness. 

Water also plays an essential role in fat burning. When the body is dehydrated, it cannot metabolize stored fat properly. Lipolysis (the process of metabolizing fat) starts with the interaction between water and fats. If there isn’t enough water in the body, lipolysis cannot occur efficiently. 

Research also indicates that water can help you burn more calories. According to a study, participants who drank 500ML of water experienced increased energy expenditure. 

Last but not least, water can help you decrease the consumption of high-calorie drinks such as fruit juices, lowering your overall daily calorie intake. 

All of these factors ultimately result in more weight loss, and multiple studies have shown this to be true. 

According to one study, consuming water before a meal led to a 22% reduction in calorie intake. Unsurprisingly, another study showed that participants who drank water before meals lost 44% more weight than those who did not drink water before meals. 

Dehydration Leads to High Cortisol 

Research shows that chronic dehydration increases cortisol (the stress hormone), and cortisol has been linked to increased weight gain. 

Chronic high levels of cortisol can put you at risk of numerous health problems because it decreases the functioning of the immune system. 

Cortisol affects nearly all organs in the body and can lead to serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and hypertension. 

Moreover, if you’re under stress, you’re more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors such as unhealthy eating, alcohol consumption, and spending too much time in sedentary activities such as using smartphones. 

Short-Term Dehydration Has Unpleasant Side Effects

Even in the short term, dehydration can bring negative side effects such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, muscle cramps, rapid heartbeats, confusion, and irritability. 

Water Is Essential for Brain Function

Nearly 85% of the human brain is made up of water. As such, it’s not surprising that dehydration can lead to numerous negative effects on the brain, including lack of focus, depression, brain fog, and reduced cognitive function. 

How Much Water Should You Drink?

water for diabetes

According to health experts, people should consume at least 2 liters of water per day. 

Can You Drink Other Beverages?

You might wonder if replacing water with other beverages is okay. The answer is that it depends. Pure water is considered the best method of hydration because it is calorie-free and provides essential minerals. 

If you’d like to drink other fluids instead, here are the safest fluids for people with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association: 

  • Unsweetened coffee 
  • Unsweetened teas such as green tea
  • Sugar-free soda 
  • Other store-bought low-calorie drinks

Milk and fruit juices can also be consumed, but with certain considerations to avoid blood sugar spikes.

How to Drink Milk

If you’d like to drink milk, it is recommended to do so in moderation because milk contains carbohydrates.

Additionally, try to opt for fat-free and low-fat milk options. Additionally, you can try dairy-free kinds of milk like almond milk and coconut milk. Some of these milk varieties are very nutritious and low in calories and carbohydrates. However, you need to ensure they’re unsweetened, as some of them have added sugars. 

How to Drink Fruit Juices

While fruit juices are generally not recommended because they contain natural sugars, you can drink them in moderation. 

Additionally, make sure that the juice you buy doesn’t contain added sugars, and try to opt for options that are the lowest in calories, such as grapefruit juice, watermelon juice, and strawberry juice. 

Drinks to Avoid

People with diabetes should avoid certain drinks because they’re high in calories and sugars:

  • Naturally high-sugar fruit juices like grape juice and pomegranate juice
  • Sweetened energy drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages, particularly cocktails
  • Soda (unless it’s diet soda)
  • Sugary drinks overall

How to Drink More Water

water for diabetes

If you struggle to incorporate a good amount of water into your daily routine, you’re not alone. Many people have a hard time committing to a specific amount of water per day. Luckily, there are ways to get around this problem. 

Acknowledge the Importance of Water

As we’ve discussed previously, water is tremendously important for your health, particularly if you have diabetes. 

The first step to ensuring you drink more water is acknowledging the benefits of doing so. This will boost your motivation and, in turn, make it easier for you to commit to a daily water intake routine.

Have a Daily Goal

Setting a daily water intake goal is a great way to hold yourself accountable and ensure you remember to hydrate yourself. 

Setting goals is also generally helpful because it gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivates you to keep going.

Try an App

There are many apps available specifically for tracking your water intake. These apps include reminders to drink water and tracking tools to ensure accountability. 

Create a Routine

Having a specific routine for drinking water – for example, before every meal and every morning when you wake up – can turn water drinking into a habit. Over time, your body will get used to this routine, and abide by it naturally, ensuring you always reach your daily water goal. 

Carry a Water Bottle With You

If you spend most of your time outside your house, it may be easy to forget to drink water. To solve this issue, always carry a water bottle with you.

Eat Foods That Are High in Water

Foods like cucumbers, grapefruits, and zucchini are made up mostly of water. Adding these foods to your diet can help you consume more water naturally.

Try Sparkling Water or Flavored Water

If you find plain water boring, you may be tempted to have drinks with excess sugar.

Instead of that, you can try to drink sparkling water instead. Additionally, you can try to flavor your water to taste better.

Here are some flavored water ideas you can try:

  • Lemon and basil water
  • Cucumber and mint water
  • Strawberry water
  • Grapefruit and pomegranate water
  • Ginger water
  • Sugar-free lemonade

The great thing about flavored water is that it is easy to make and comes with minimal calories because there’s no extra sugar.

Mix around half a cup of fruits with 5 cups of water to make flavored water and leave them refrigerated for up to 24 hours. 

Infused waters can be consumed safely for up to 3 days after they’re made, as long as they’re refrigerated. 

Reward Yourself

Setting weekly rewards for achieving your water goals is a great way to boost motivation. As you feel the pleasure of getting a certain reward, you’ll be more motivated the following week to commit to your water drinking routine.


water for diabetes

Water consumption affects various areas of your overall health and diabetic-specific issues such as blood sugar levels.

If you need help in tracking your water intake, make sure to try the Klinio app. It allows you to track your water intake and various other health-related aspects such as your diet and physical activity.

Is Protein Good For People With Diabetes?

protein snacks

The positive thing about protein concerning diabetes is the fact that it has little to no effect on blood sugar levels. Of course, that doesn’t mean that any snack foods containing protein automatically aren’t going to raise blood sugar levels. It just means that the protein portion of those foods in question isn’t going to contribute to the issue.

If something is full of sugar and saturated fat to start with, then it isn’t going to be considered a suitable and filling snack despite its protein content.

In general, people who have diabetes don’t strictly need more protein than people who don’t have it, but since it can keep your blood sugar levels stable compared to added sugar and even healthy fat, lots of people with diabetes tend to opt for high protein-filled foods for their go-to healthy snack fix.

Of course, as with any kind of tasty snack, the trick is to stick to a small handful’s typical serving and not go overboard.

As long as you snack in moderation and try to incorporate healthy fats for the best health benefits, blood sugar control, and heart health, snacks for diabetes can be found in pretty much every supermarket and your own pantry.

With all of this in mind, we have put together a list of the best snacks that are protein-packed and can help to keep your blood sugar levels steady. As a diabetes patient, you should be doing everything that you can to manage blood sugar levels, lower blood sugar, keep a healthy diet and avoid developing heart disease.

All of the snacks for diabetes listed below are packed with things like heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that will be able to stabilize blood sugar and keep all of your nutrition stats in a positive and healthy range.

What Are the Best Snacks For People With Diabetes?

protein snacks

Here we list some snacks you can make from the ingredients you will usually have in your kitchen or are available in any grocery store. Preparation is minimal.

Apple Slices And Nut Butter

If you want to combine a sweet treat with fresh fruit, then there is nothing better than some apple slices spread with the nut butter of your choice.

Almond butter is something that a lot of people with diabetes opt for, and the American Diabetes Association even recommends it as a good alternative to dairy butter.

If you want to enjoy the peanut butter without the apple slices, you can always spread it on something like whole grain crackers, which are also great for people with diabetes. They can come in the form of packaged snacks which makes them easy to eat on the go, and they can be a real alternative to foods like potato chips that contain a lot of saturated fat.

Whether you have apple slices or whole grain crackers, it will satisfy a want for a crunchy snack.

Super Healthy Hard-Boiled Egg

Hard-boiled eggs are a perfect snack for people with diabetes for several reasons. They are very high in protein, they are a zero-carb food, and they will not do anything to cause or encourage high blood sugar levels.

Eggs on their own can be a bit boring if you eat them regularly, so one of our favorite ways to make them more exciting is to devil them!

This can be done by adding the yolks to some low-fat mayo and horseradish and then putting the mixture back in place. If you want things extra spicy, you can sprinkle some cayenne pepper on top.

This kind of snack will keep you nice and full until your next meal.

Dark Chocolate To Keep Blood Sugar Levels Stable

If you have a sweet tooth and don’t want to settle for dried fruit every time you want a snack, then dark chocolate is a sensible option.

Compared to white chocolate and milk chocolate, dark chocolate is lower in sugar and higher in protein, which is very much what we are looking for in terms of helping your blood sugars.

A few squares of dark chocolate combined with a few berries make for snacks rich in protein and antioxidants.

Edamame Beans Full Of Healthy Fats

Something a little bit different than the usually sliced veggies is delicious edamame beans. Forget a half-cup serving. You can have a whole bowl of these moreish beans, taken directly from the pod.

Edamame beans also contain a small amount of Vitamin E, which is good for improving diabetic health and is recommended by anyone undertaking nutrition therapy to try to manage their condition.

Greek Yogurt For Ideal Blood Sugar Control

Both Greek yogurt with flavoring and plain yogurt are great substitutes for more fatty types of yogurts. High in protein and low in fat, you can add things like pumpkin seeds and chia seeds to a bowl of Greek yogurt to turn it into a protein-filled snack that will keep you feeling full and satisfied until dinner time.

Cottage Cheese Is the Best Kind of Cheese

Cottage cheese won’t give you a savory hit like cheese crisps or parmesan cheese, but it is a much healthier alternative than most other low-fat cheese you see on supermarket shelves. Low-fat cottage cheese is great with salads as well as a dip for raw veggies.

It’s a classic example of snack food with high protein, low fat, and low sugar all at the same time.

Tuna Salad for Omega-3

Tuna and other kinds of fish and seafood are great for someone looking to maintain a high protein diet. You also get some super-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Some good-quality tuna with cucumber slices, crunchy lettuce, tomatoes, and a splash of olive oil is a healthy snack. Add tuna to cottage cheese if you want to increase the protein content.

Shrimp Cocktail Is Not Just an Appetizer

Another fish-based snack great for a protein punch without damaging blood sugars is a shrimp cocktail. You can snack on as many shrimps as you wish, along with the classic lettuce accompaniment.

The only thing to be aware of is how much full-fat mayonnaise you use to create your cocktail sauce. A simple way to eliminate this worry is to use low-fat or completely fat-free mayonnaise.

Roasted Chickpeas Are Good For Blood Sugar

Among the best snacks for diabetes that you can buy are roasted chickpeas. Thanks to a huge increase in the number of products to address various dietary requirements, roasted chickpeas in various flavors are available.

Chickpeas are one of the most nutrient-dense foods. A wonderful source of protein, and they make for a really filling snack that can help keep your blood sugar stable. On their own, they can run the risk of being a little bit bland or boring, but when you pair them with bold flavors like chili and lime juice, they make for a great snack.

Half a cup (or one cup if you are particularly hungry) of roasted chickpeas can boost your much-needed protein. A crunchy snack with a satisfying flavor and a ton of healthful fats to boot!

Popcorn for Some Whole Grains

It isn’t just people with diabetes who should eat more whole grains. The good news is that one of America’s favorite snacks is whole grain. We’re talking about popcorn. In this case, however, you do need to avoid the sweet versions. It is better to air pop your own and leave the prepared packs on the shelf because they usually contain trans fat (saturated fat), salt, and other unhealthy ingredients

Regular popcorn is very low in calories and delivers a nice hit of fiber.

Kind Bars – A Snack Bar You Can Buy

So many people love the convenience of grabbing a snack bar on the go, and there is a massive range available, but are they suitable for people with diabetes? Yes – some are. As with all processed foods, you must read the nutrition label carefully to avoid added sugar and saturated fat.

A recommended bar is the Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan Bar from Kind. As well as being a good source of protein, it contains a lot of fiber to keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel and keep you fuller for longer. It contains 4 grams of added sugar, so can be included in a diabetic diet.

Spanish Olives for a Hit of Oleic Acid

Oleic acid is known to help cells absorb sugar from the blood, and green olives are a prime source of this important nutrient. They are also high in monounsaturated fats. Be sure to buy Spanish olives or Manzanilla olives.

Make Your Own Protein Snacks

protein snacks

The significant benefit of making your own healthy snack from a recipe for people with diabetes is knowing exactly what ingredients go into it. Sometimes, even when you read the nutrition label, what you think is a healthy snack may well not be. For example, there are 56 names for sugar, and impossible to know and recognize them all. There’s no such issue with added sugar when you make your own healthy snacks.

Browse online, and you will find plenty of recipes for snacks for diabetes. Here’s a selection.

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

An excellent snack that is simple to prepare can be made in a respectable amount and lasts for some time. These peanut butter protein balls are all those things and are also low in carbohydrates. An added bonus is that they take 10-12 minutes to make, and there’s no baking involved. You know the peanut butter will not impact your blood sugar adversely, and as well as the protein, you’ll get a nice hit of healthy fats and fiber. Plus, you get that hit of chocolate that so many people with diabetes crave. With this versatile recipe, swap in dried fruit and chopped nuts for the coconut and chocolate.

Strawberry-Chocolate Greek Yogurt Bark

A great snack for a sweet tooth that won’t make you worry about heart disease is like a candy bar for people with diabetes, and being frozen is ideal for a hot day. Just like regular chocolate bark, it is creamy thanks to its yogurt base but is studded with healthy fruit and the treat of dark chocolate chips. Add some pumpkin seeds for extra crunch.

Chia Seed Protein Bites

Chia seeds are one of the trendiest superfoods. They have been lauded for their appetite-taming qualities, healthy fats, and fiber. These little balls of deliciousness also contain peanut or almond butter, so they’ll fill you up without upsetting your blood sugar.

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are good for heart health because they are rich in magnesium. On their own, a handful can be a bit boring, so spice them up a bit. You can adjust the ratio of spices in this recipe to suit how hot you want them to be.

Coconut Banana Bread

Surely this isn’t a pathway to lower blood sugar. On the contrary, some clever person has used all different ingredients from those used in traditional banana bread. You can feel good about eating this bread because it contains absolutely no added sugar.

Closing Note

Being able to include snacks in your diabetic meal plan is about making sensible choices. It is equally important to know the nutritional value of the meal on your dinner plate as the sweet or savory food you choose to snack on. If you find yourself snacking too much or having too many cravings, review your overall diet because it means you are not eating properly in your three main meals.

Some consequences of chronic stress include inefficient blood sugar control, increased risk of various health problems, and even obesity.

Unfortunately, diabetes management is stressful in and of itself. Insulin therapy, blood sugar control, and weight management are only some of the aspects diabetes patients need to pay attention to, and it can get overwhelming.

Luckily, there are various techniques for managing stress.

This article will explore the relationship between diabetes and stress management in detail. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Consequences of stress
  • Common sources of stress
  • Stress management techniques

Let’s get started.

Consequences of Stress

Diabetes and Stress

Stress can affect your health in many ways. Let’s discuss them in detail.

Stress Affects Blood Sugar Levels

Blood glucose control is one of the most important aspects of managing diabetes. Unfortunately, it can be affected by stress.

When stressed, the body prepares itself for a “fight or flight” response by releasing hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and glucagon. 

These hormones make it harder for insulin to work properly, exacerbating insulin resistance while simultaneously releasing extra glucose from the liver. This causes blood glucose levels to rise. 

Chronic Stress Leads to an Increased Risk of Health Conditions

It is well-known that chronic stress negatively affects the immune system, making the body more susceptible to developing a wide range of illnesses. 

This is especially problematic for patients with diabetes because they’re already at high risk of developing serious health conditions. 

More significantly, it has been proven that stress is directly related to illnesses like high blood pressure and heart disease. Unfortunately, people with diabetes are at increased risk of developing these conditions even when not under stress. 

Finally, stress can lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, which people with diabetes are also at high risk for.

Stress Can Lead To Unhealthy Behaviors

Some individuals cope with stress in unhealthy ways. 

They may engage in emotional eating (eating food for emotional comfort rather than physical hunger). Emotional eating can lead to additional stress due to feelings of shame and guilt and low self-esteem.

Stress can also lead to an increase in sedentary behavior. While individual effects vary, this makes sense theoretically in numerous ways. 

For starters, stress can lead individuals to seek out sedentary activities such as watching TV and over-using smartphones as a form of pleasure and distraction. 

Stress can also cause depression and anxiety (making it harder to commit to a consistent exercise routine) and insomnia, which can cause daytime fatigue, making it challenging to perform physical activities. 

Both emotional eating and sedentary behavior can lead to weight gain, further exacerbating symptoms of diabetes and making it harder to manage the condition overall. It’s also worth noting that cortisol is linked to a decreased metabolism, making it even more likely that stressed individuals would gain weight. 

Finally, stress can lead to unhealthy coping strategies such as using substances like alcohol, drugs, and medications. The effects of these substances can cause dramatic negative effects on a person’s physical and mental health and put them at risk of addiction. 

As we’ve discussed, coping with stress is absolutely crucial for people with diabetes. Before we discuss ways to do so, it’s essential to cover common sources of stress so that you can be attentive to these sources. This allows you to manage stress more effectively. 

Common Sources of Stress 

Diabetes and Stress

Stress can come from many different sources, including internal feelings, external conditions, and diabetes. 

External Conditions

Sometimes stress is caused directly by difficult life events such as the death of a loved one, financial difficulties, relationship problems, and divorce. 

Novel life events such as getting married, having a baby, and starting a new job can also cause stress. 

Internal Conditions 

Certain maladaptive thinking patterns can also cause stress:

  • Pessimism
  • Rigid thinking
  • Low self-esteem 
  • Perfectionism 


Managing diabetes is not an easy task. It entails being careful about nutrition, taking medications, and controlling blood sugar. According to the American Diabetes Association, “It can leave you feeling run down, emotionally drained, and completely overwhelmed.”

Moreover, anxiety over blood sugar fluctuations can also cause stress due to fear and anxiety. 

More specifically, a condition called hypo anxiety – which refers to anxiety over your blood sugar going too low – is quite common among diabetes patients because low blood sugar can lead to severe consequences such as seizures and loss of consciousness. 

Stress Management Techniques

stress management

Let’s go over some ways to relieve stress healthily. 

Find Out What Is Causing Your Stress

While practices such as meditating – which we’ll cover later on – can be highly effective, it’s crucial to address your stress’s specific causes. 

Sometimes, you have control over the cause. If your stress is caused by internal factors such as pessimism, it’s important to acknowledge this and incorporate practices that lead to healthier ways of thinking (such as avoiding negative thoughts). 

At other times, the cause can be traced back to stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one and divorce. For these causes, it is helpful to accept difficult emotions rather than resisting them and to acknowledge that time is needed for you to either feel better (when the external factor cannot be changed) or to change the situation (when the external factor is temporary such as unemployment).


According to a review of studies, exercising causes neurochemical changes that decrease stress. It directly reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. In addition, it makes the body produce endorphins, hormones that naturally elevate mood and decrease pain. 

Moreover, merely committing to an exercise routine will make you feel more responsible, which increases self-esteem. Exercise can also lead to weight loss and an improved body shape, which increases self-confidence. Positive feelings about oneself can make your mood better, decreasing stress. 

Additionally, exercise is an effective way to manage diabetes. It can help patients with type 2 diabetes go into remission, vastly decreasing the stress of dealing with the condition. 

Lastly, exercising promotes enhanced blood sugar control and improved insulin sensitivity, promoting long-term glycemic control and reducing the stress associated with blood sugar fluctuations. 

Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological therapy that focuses on changing unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving. 

CBT has been proven to be an effective treatment for a wide range of psychological conditions. When it comes to stress, CBT can help you learn how to cope better with diabetes-related stress by helping you think about more adaptive ways about your condition and behave in a manner that allows for better coping. 

Moreover, you can also work with your therapist to treat additional sources of stress, including stressful events and thinking patterns such as negativity and unhealthy behaviors. 

For enhanced results, you can combine CBT with therapy involving support groups for individuals coping with illnesses.

Alternatively, you can try other forms of stress management training, such as online courses.


Meditation is a practice that involves inducing a deep state of relaxation in oneself by focusing on a specific thing – such as deep breathing – rather than thinking. 

If you’re feeling uneasy at a particular moment, meditating can help you reduce stress because it allows you to relax and stop the stream of negative thoughts from firing. It allows your mind to be clearer, and a clear mind allows you to handle your thoughts in more adaptive ways, in turn improving your emotional state.

In the long term, meditation has powerful effects that can help you deal with stress. 

According to a study, participants were divided into a control group and a treatment group participating in a mindfulness-based stress management program lasting 8 weeks.

Results showed that the intervention group displayed a significant reduction in the size of the amygdala region of the brain, which is responsible for stress.

This effect was, in turn, correlated with reduced stress levels.

It’s worth noting that the same study also found that participants experienced a significant difference in the thickness of brain regions associated with various positive emotions and behaviors, including emotional regulation, learning, perspective-taking, memory, and cognition. 

These positive effects can vastly improve your quality of life and self-concept, aiding in reducing stress.  

If you want to start practicing meditation, you can easily incorporate it into your routine by doing it at home. Another option is to undertake a mindfulness-based stress reduction program.

Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)

Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that has been proven effective in treating a wide variety of conditions, including disease control and stress reduction.

In one study, nursing students’ stress levels were measured and compared to stress levels after they performed PMR. Results showed that they experienced a statistically significant decrease in perceived stress levels. 

If you want to try PMR, here’s how it works:

  1. Sit or lay down in a comfortable position and breathe deeply
  2. Tightly squeeze your feet for a few breaths, and then release
  3. Repeat the second step for every muscle group, going from the feet up to the face
  4. Repeat for any muscle groups that feel particularly tense

Practice Self-Care

Self-care involves performing activities that enhance your physical and mental health. 

The popularity of this practice has grown significantly in the past few years, and for a good reason. Health improvements associated with self-care activities make you feel generally better, leading to decreased stress.

Moreover, certain self-care activities such as exercising can be considered stress reduction techniques in and of themselves.

Here are some self-care behaviors you can try:

  • Practice gratitude
  • Meditate
  • Reserve time for pleasurable activities
  • Go for a yoga class or any form of physical activity
  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Engage in creative activities such as drawing
  • Use scented candles or essential oils
  • Treat yourself with a massage, special meal, or anything that makes you feel good.

Closing Off

Diabetes and Stress

Managing your physical health is a great way to reduce the stress associated with diabetes. To do so, make sure to check out the Klinio app. It is specifically designed to help people with diabetes manage various aspects of their condition.

Diabetes occurs due to high blood sugar levels experienced due to the body’s inability to produce or use the already available insulin. Over time, this illness results in complications including cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, coronary artery disease), eye damage, kidney damage, etc. Sometimes these complications can develop rapidly; one of such is diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

So far, there has been no cure for this illness. However, several treatment techniques have been developed to help manage and control this condition. These include insulin injections, tablets, medication, weight loss surgery, a proper diet plan, routine exercise, etc.

As effective as some of these techniques are, they can carry significant side effects if not properly implemented. A recent one popularized by scientific backing is the keto diet. It’s indeed proven helpful to people with diabetes and is most effective for people looking to control their blood sugar levels and lead a healthier lifestyle. Sadly, this diet has a significant side effect that many might be unaware of — diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

Simply put, DKA is an acute medical condition that occurs due to high levels of ketones in the body. Usually, it occurs more often in people with type 1 diabetes. Nonetheless, it can also occur in people with type 2 diabetes or even people that don’t have the illness. And here’s the bummer — it can be life-threatening.

In light of these realities, this guide focuses on how the ketogenic diet can potentially lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Here, you’ll understand exactly what diabetic ketoacidosis is and how this serious complication can stem from the keto diet. After diagnosis, you’ll also learn how to manage or prevent this condition and what to eat.

What to Expect

  • A Breakdown of the Metabolic Pathways
  • Details About the Ketogenic Diet
  • Ketosis vs. Ketoacidosis: What’s the Difference?
  • Research Linking the Keto Diet to Ketoacidosis
  • Common Diabetic Ketoacidosis Symptoms
  • Other Causes of Diabetic Ketoacidosis
  • How to Prevent the Development of Diabetic Ketoacidosis
  • What to Eat After Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diagnosis

A Breakdown of the Metabolic Pathways

Metabolic Pathways

To start with, let’s explicitly describe how your body undergoes metabolization. The body generally observes two major metabolic pathways, depending on the diet you consume — glycolysis and ketosis. Scientists have carefully observed that changing what you eat can effectively aid metabolic pathways, which have different benefits and pitfalls. Let’s take a closer look at these two.


Simply put, glycolysis involves a series of reactions that lead to energy extraction from glucose. Most people’s diet comprises a medium to a high amount of carbohydrates; hence, they get their energy from carbs.

The human body is naturally predisposed to this particular metabolic pathway. Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose which is further converted into glycogen stored in the liver and muscles. The stored glycogen is released to supply energy needs when needed.


Sometimes, your body runs low on glucose levels, making glycolysis practically impossible. When this happens, the body starts burning fat as fuel instead via a process known as ketosis.

This metabolic process—ketosis—involves the body breaking down fat into ketones, which serve as an alternative energy source to the body in the absence of glycogen. Although it can occur naturally, it’s popularly induced as a weight-loss technique, especially in people with diabetes. It features other health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, seizure prevention in people with epilepsy, reduced insulin resistance, and more.

However, people with diabetes need to be wary of the number of carbohydrates they consume. A person with diabetes who consumes too many carbohydrates may experience rising blood sugar levels, which is harmful to their health. Hence, several alternative diet options are often considered, the most popular being the ketogenic diet.

So, what exactly is the ketogenic diet? Find out in the next section.

Details About the Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet

Glucose is the major supplier of energy to the body system. However, when this supply runs low, the body switches to the other metabolic pathway (ketosis). Scientists figured out that this other process is effective for certain illnesses, including epilepsy and diabetes. Considering this revelation, they created a diet plan to induce ketosis carefully and reap its many benefits.

The ketogenic diet is often associated with other low-carb diets like Atkins, paleo, and Dukan. They all involve reducing carb intake to its barest minimum while complimenting its absence with other foods like protein or fat. Specifically, the keto diet is a high-fat diet with a blend of protein and carbohydrates.

Lately, it’s been popularized among people with diabetes for its effectiveness in inducing weight loss. Obesity is one of the risk factors for diabetes which makes losing weight pertinent. However, many individuals often find it challenging to go through the exercise route of losing weight and prefer opting for a diet plan that helps do this easily. The keto diet is one such diet plan that has proven effective over time.

How Does the Ketogenic Diet Work?

The effectiveness of this diet is predicated on reducing the glucose amount in the body and replacing it with other healthy energy sources. It entails a standard meal rich in healthy fat and protein with little carbohydrate content.

When the body exhausts its glucose reserve, usually stored in the liver, it opts for fat as its primary fuel via a process known as ketosis. This transition can take about 3–4 days, depending on the reserve glucose present.

This process produces ketones as by products of the metabolism. It’s important to mention that ketosis occurs naturally, sometimes due to strenuous exercise or fasting. Various types of ketogenic diets exist, which vary depending on the ratio employed.

As beneficial as this diet is, it has one major side effect, which can be life-threatening when not adequately managed. Notably, prolonged ketosis can lead to a condition known as ketoacidosis. Simply put, this phenomenon occurs when too many ketones exist in the body, so it lessens the pH level.

Ketosis vs. Ketoacidosis: What’s the Difference?

Ketosis vs. Ketoacidosis

Although these terms look quite similar, they stand for entirely different things. Ketosis and ketoacidosis are both linked to the term “ketones.”

As mentioned above, ketosis is when the body burns fat to generate energy, producing ketones. You can experience ketosis briefly when fasting or if your body is low on glucose. However, it’s usually induced via the ketogenic diet to tackle illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc.

On the other hand, ketoacidosis occurs due to the accumulation of ketones in the body. When these ketones reach a certain level, they make the blood acidic, potentially having life-threatening effects on the individual. This medical complication is common in people with type 1 diabetes. It can also be a side effect of the ketogenic diet, especially when not managed properly. Still, it can occur due to other reasons.

Statistics indicate that over 100,000 yearly hospital admissions in the US are due to cases of diabetic ketoacidosis. According to a paper titled Diabetic Ketoacidosis: Risk Factors and Management Strategies,” people with type 1 diabetes are more prone to developing ketoacidosis due to the inability of their bodies to produce insulin.

The insulin hormone aids the body in properly utilizing glucose. However, in its absence, the body system can’t use this energy source and uses fat instead. This leads to the production of ketones, a chemical from breaking down fats. Eventually, ketones accumulate in the bloodstream over time, alongside glucose, to trigger a condition scientists refer to as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

The keto diet reduces the body’s need for insulin by introducing an alternate energy source. When little to no insulin is present, the body can’t use the glucose it produces, contributing to blood sugar rise.

Research Linking the Keto Diet to Ketoacidosis

keto diet to ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis can occur for several reasons; however, some studies reveal the ketogenic diet causes diabetic ketoacidosis in some people. Although this doesn’t happen often, poor diet implementation can lead to this complication.

According to a 2020 publication, a type 1 diabetes patient reported to the hospital complaining of several symptoms, including stomach pain, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, and dizziness. He was 28 years at the time of occurrence and had been placed on insulin when he was diagnosed at 10. He failed to conduct regular blood tests to determine his blood sugar levels and instead relied on symptoms like blurry vision or diaphoresis to know when his blood glucose digressed from optimal.

Although he was previously non-compliant with any diabetic diet, he reported taking on a strict ketogenic diet plan just a week before coming down with these symptoms. On examination, he had his blood and blood pressure checked alongside other necessary tests. These tests indicated he had euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis — DKA occurring without high blood sugar.

The patient’s condition was managed by aggressive hydration and electrolyte repletion. He was also given insulin during treatment to preclude normoglycemia. Remarkably, his symptoms significantly improved the next day.

Health professionals prescribed a diabetic diet with consistent carbs, which increased his blood glucose level. Afterward, he underwent a diet review that required him to eat thrice daily and had his insulin dose adjusted. His condition had significantly improved by the third day, with his blood glucose at optimal levels. The patient was then discharged on insulin glargine and regularly advised to check in with a professional endocrinologist.

Cases of ketoacidosis resulting from adopting a keto diet have also been reported among non-diabetes patients. Although rare, non-diabetic ketoacidosis occurs due to starvation or an extreme diet of incredibly low carbohydrate content like the keto diet.

A case of non-diabetic ketoacidosis was observed in a 32-year-old woman who experienced nausea and vomiting 10 days after starting a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. At the time, she was breastfeeding her ten-month-old son.

After conducting the necessary tests, the result pointed to ketoacidosis. The patient was then administered fluids and insulin. Following a quick recovery, she was discharged three days later.

These reports imply that the ketogenic diet can prompt ketoacidosis in those with diabetes and non-diabetes patients. Hence, it’s essential for those implementing this diet plan to be cautious. The next section outlines the common symptoms that might indicate a case of ketoacidosis.

Common Diabetic Ketoacidosis Symptoms

diabetic ketoacidosis symptoms

Diabetic ketoacidosis usually occurs within a significantly short time frame, sometimes within 24 hours. Therefore, you might overlook some of these symptoms if you’re not paying attention. Here are some signs and symptoms commonly associated with diabetic ketoacidosis:

Early symptoms include:

  • Frequent peeing
  • Thirst
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar level)

Over time, more troubling symptoms may ensue, including:

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry skin
  • Fruity smelling breath
  • Confusion

You can experience some or all of these signs within a short window. It’s critical to take note of these symptoms early enough to be able to prevent diabetic ketoacidosis from becoming life-threatening. When not managed early enough, diabetic acidosis can lead to diabetic coma or even death. If you experience any of the above symptoms, do well to visit the nearest emergency room.

Other Causes of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

diabetic ketoacidosis

The ketogenic diet isn’t the only cause of DKA, as some events may trigger it. When properly implemented, the keto diet is relatively safe and might not lead to serious diabetes complications. Nonetheless, you need to be cautious when implementing these popularized meal plans, especially if you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes.

Here are some other known causes of diabetic ketoacidosis:

The Recently Discovered Auto Immunogenicity of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that often destroys insulin-producing beta cells. It’s termed insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), as the condition significantly depletes the body’s insulin level.

People with type 1 diabetes often tend to experience diabetic ketoacidosis as a complication of the illness. This makes more sense when considering that DKA occurs due to a lack or limited amount of insulin. Sometimes, patients that develop DKA get diagnosed with type 1 diabetes for the first time.

Missing Insulin Doses

If you have an insulin pump or get regular insulin injections, you most likely have insulin-dependent diabetes. Missing your insulin doses can bring about severe complications like DKA. Your body needs regular insulin injections to compensate for the deficiency it experiences due to diabetes. As your insulin level gets low, the risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis increases.

Expired or Spoiled Insulin

Just like any other medical product, insulin usually bears an expiration date. Using expired insulin can trigger DKA. Also, keeping insulin in places with extreme temperatures can render it ineffective.

When insulin doesn’t work as it’s supposed to, you don’t get the right amount of insulin dose. Consequently, your blood sugar level rises, quickly leading to diabetic ketoacidosis.

Problem With the Insulin Pump

A broken or improperly installed insulin pump will prevent insulin from entering your system or reduce the amount delivered to the body. This can potentially lower insulin levels in the body, giving room for DKA development.

Illness or Infection

When you’re down with certain illnesses or infections, your body undergoes stress, releasing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. During these times, your body needs more insulin than usual. Unfortunately, these infections make it harder for the body to produce enough insulin or use the available ones.


The pregnancy period is associated with a range of unwanted sicknesses and reactions. Also, during this gestation period, the mother requires more insulin, especially for those diagnosed with diabetes. Engaging in diets that reduce insulin levels in the body might increase the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis.

Some other risk factors of DKA include:

  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Certain medications (e.g., pentamidine, corticosteroids, clozapine, and SGLT2 inhibitors like dapagliflozin, canagliflozin, and empagliflozin)

How to Prevent the Development of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

diabetic ketoacidosis

The best diabetic ketoacidosis treatment that wouldn’t involve hospital admission and fluid therapy are those that prevent DKA from occurring. They’re more beneficial if you figure out some of its symptoms early enough.

However, watching out for symptoms might not be as effective as actively ensuring you don’t slack off your diabetes management. Here are ways you can guide against complications like DKA.

Maintain Proper Insulin Therapy

People with type 1 diabetes usually need to pay more attention to their insulin therapy as they can easily run low on their reserves if they don’t follow this diabetes treatment plan carefully. Hence, endeavor to check your insulin pump regularly for leaks or damages. Ensure the insulin flows right through the tubing and isn’t blocked or disconnected.

Also, you should check for your insulin’s expiration date to ensure your insulin doses are effective. If you don’t have this information, check with your healthcare provider.

Finally, ensure you don’t store your insulin in extreme temperatures to avoid compromising its integrity. Doing all these will help avoid serious complications that can result from diabetes.

Regularly Check Your Blood Sugar Level

Very high blood sugar is often linked to cases of diabetic ketoacidosis, underscoring the need to check your blood sugar regularly. Good blood sugar control effectively manages your diabetes condition, thereby avoiding complications resulting from this illness.

Use a blood glucose meter to check your blood glucose level from home, before meals, or at bedtime. This’ll indicate if you have low blood sugar or if your sugar level has skyrocketed.

Take Your Diabetes Medicine on Time

Depending on your type of diabetes, you may need to take certain prescription medications. Skipping your daily medication or not taking it correctly can put you at risk of developing complications like DKA. That said, ensure you take your drugs as directed by your doctor.

Do Regular Ketone Tests

Properly monitoring your body’s ketone level is an excellent move in preventing or reducing your risk of developing DKA. You can figure this out by undergoing a urine or blood test and opting for both.

Luckily, you don’t have to run to the nearest emergency room to undergo these tests. Now readily available kits can help you determine your ketone level even in the comfort of your room.

You can purchase a urine ketone test kit at your local pharmacy and follow the instructions on the package. Usually, it’s a strip that you pee on. This strip will turn a certain color, indicating the level of ketones in your body.

Likewise, several blood glucose meters can effectively check the number of ketones present in your blood. So, you can check your blood sugar levels and ketones with just a drop of blood. You should regularly check these factors to be safe. If you notice your blood ketone level is higher than the normal range, you might need to see your doctor.

Use Mobile Applications That Aid Diabetes Management

Technology has made lots of things more accessible in the healthcare space. You can now monitor essential vitals by tapping away at your smartphone. There are some diabetes management applications that have emerged to help better manage this illness.

Klinio is one of the top diabetes management applications available for people with diabetes and those at risk of developing the illness. With this application, you can properly monitor your blood glucose level, access the right meal plan, and even get carefully tailored exercise routines.

What to Eat After Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diagnosis

what to eat after diabetic ketoacidosis

If you’ve developed ketoacidosis following the adoption of the ketogenic meal plan, you might be skeptical of continuing with this kind of diet. That’s for a good reason, as furthering down this path can potentially increase your risk of developing this complication again.

One question lingers: “What do you eat after experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis?” Thankfully, the answer to this question isn’t as complicated as it might seem.

Understandably, continuing the keto diet might not be the best choice as it can exacerbate your condition. You might want to lay off on this diet and consider healthier options that don’t contribute to excessively high levels of ketones in the body.

For starters, drink lots of fluids—like water or sugar-free drinks—to keep your body properly hydrated. Also, avoid drinking alcohol as this can potentially increase your risk of developing DKA.

According to research, a diet high in fiber could reduce the risk of DKA hospitalization. Fiber is considered a healthy carbohydrate and can be a great alternative to foods that can potentially lead to high blood sugar levels. As such, you can opt for food rich in fiber when recovering from a case of diabetic ketoacidosis.

Summing It Up

keto diet

Diabetes is an illness that can sneak up on you if you don’t pay enough attention. It requires careful management to prevent complications and also lead a healthy lifestyle. As discussed in this guide, some diets like the ketogenic diet can potentially put you at risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis. Hence, you must exercise caution when implementing such a diet and look out for DKA symptoms while at it.

DKA can also occur due to other factors, including pregnancy, certain medications, etc. You need an excellent diabetes management plan to help you navigate through the testing waters of this illness. Our Klinio app is one of the expert-recommended diabetes management apps out there. It offers so much more than just the right diet plan for diabetes; you have at your disposal an encompassing self-care tool you can use to manage your condition better.

This guide comprehensively considers diabetes and how it causes stomach pain, the reason for the pain, the triggers, complications, and possible treatments.

What to Expect:

  • Diabetes and Stomach Pain
  • What Is Gastroparesis?
  • Gastroparesis Risk Factors and Prevalence
  • Symptoms of Gastroparesis
  • Complications of Gastroparesis
  • Diagnosis and Test for Gastroparesis
  • Treating and Managing Gastroparesis

Diabetes and Stomach Pain

Diabetes Stomach Pain

One of the significant challenges that people with diabetes face is stomach pain. People with high blood sugar are more susceptible to gastrointestinal symptoms like bowel pains and can suffer fatal complications.

Most people with the condition are mostly perplexed when they experience discomfort. Some even confuse the pain with normal aches and only visit a specialist when their condition is severe and not responsive to over-the-counter (OTC) drug products. This situation is extremely dangerous as stomach muscle pain triggered by high blood glucose levels is progressive and only worsens with time.

As a result, people with a medical history of high blood sugar levels mustn’t hesitate to see a doctor for a check-up when stomach pains remain unabated after a few hours.

One major diabetes complication that presents as stomach pain is diabetic gastroparesis. It’s a digestive condition that affects the gastrointestinal tract leading to mild to severe pain in the abdomen. In most cases, when you feel unabated progressive stomach pain and have diabetes, there’s a high chance it’s gastroparesis.

What Is Gastroparesis?

Diabetes Stomach Pain

While stomach discomfort is a phenomenon almost everyone experiences, people with diabetes can experience diabetic stomach pain, which is more than common ordinary discomforts. Gastroparesis is a mild to severe diabetes stomach bloating induced by poor food movement from the stomach to the small intestine.

In some severe instances, the stomach muscles stop working, leading to an incredibly slow or no digestion process. This moves food to the small intestine almost impossible, subsequently affecting the natural process of emptying undigested remnants into the large intestine.

Gastroparesis is also called delayed gastric emptying or partial stomach paralysis because the digestive tract and stomach muscles that aid natural food movement and digestion are no longer functioning properly.

It’s important to understand that gastroparesis affects the digestive system such that the vagus nerve—which signals stomach muscles to function when there’s food content—no longer functions as it should. The damage to the vagus nerve delays stomach emptying and not a blocked small intestine.

It’s also important to mention that not everyone with high blood glucose levels or diabetes experiences gastroparesis; however, it’s not uncommon in people with diabetes. Additionally, it’s progressive and could lead to serious health complications and even death.

Gastroparesis Risk Factors and Prevalence

Diabetes Stomach Pain

As already stated, gastroparesis isn’t an uncommon condition. Unfortunately, it’s among the less talked about conditions alongside diabetes that influence poor sexual health performance in men and women.

Globally, about 20–50% of people with diabetes experience the condition, making it one of the top complications endocrinologists and health specialists try to control. The condition has been more common in people with type 1 diabetes mellitus and those struggling with type 2 diabetes for over a decade.

Another factor believed to increase the risk of the condition in those with diabetes is retinopathy — damage to blood vessels of the eye’s retina. People with nephropathy or neuropathy are also at a high risk of developing gastroparesis. Diabetic autonomic neuropathy is nerve damage caused by high blood sugar level diabetes and is the primary type that triggers gastroparesis.

Women with diabetes are considered the most susceptible to gastroparesis. Women who smoke and those that have had abdominal surgeries also have a high chance of developing gastroparesis. Coupled with high blood sugar levels, the latter have an increased risk of their stomach emptying food into the small intestine.

However, it’s important to note that while diabetes causes vagus nerve damage, it’s not the only condition that leads to it. Other risk factors and diseases that could also be responsible for the condition include:

  • Viral infections
  • Acid reflux disease
  • Smooth muscle disorders

Therefore, even if you have diabetes, you must speak to your doctor to determine if it’s the cause of the pain and whether the pain is gastroparesis. The condition is so delicate that self-medication will barely be effective.

Symptoms of Gastroparesis

Diabetes Stomach Pain

Gastroparesis has many symptoms that people with diabetes can consider to know if their condition is responsible for the sudden steady increasing pain in their stomach or not. The symptoms may be mild or extremely severe; the pain severity would depend on the extent of damage to the vagus nerve.

The vagus nerve is a long cranial nerve connected to the brain and extends down to the abdominal organs and digestive tracts. High blood glucose levels damage this organ, triggering specific digestive symptoms.

The unique thing about gastroparesis is its symptoms can flare up without any preceding warnings. The most common cause of symptoms being evident is consuming foods high in fiber. Since some people with diabetes depend on fiber and good fats as an alternative to bad carbs, the risk of manifesting symptoms is higher.

The symptoms of gastroparesis include the following:

  • Feeling full immediately at the start of a meal
  • Feeling full long after eating your meal
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting undigested food
  • Bloating
  • Pain in the upper stomach
  • Belching
  • Heartburn
  • Poor or total loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Stomach spasms
  • Acid reflux

Several diseases can lead to gastroparesis and are as follows:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Chronic pancreatitis/acute pancreatitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Kidney disease
  • Turner syndrome

The symptoms above may occur sporadically at the early stage of the condition. However, the condition will only worsen without treatments and management, and the symptoms will become more apparent.

The issue with gastroparesis is that it’s not easy to diagnose; even when a doctor performs a regular diabetes scan on a person with this condition, it’s easy to miss it. As such, many people who have gastroparesis are left undiagnosed. To know if you’re at a high risk of developing the condition, you must suffer from consistent uncontrolled blood sugar levels that often last hours.

This prolonged high blood sugar often leads to extensive blood vessel damage. This subsequently affects the supply of oxygen and nitrogen, and it’s this obstruction that causes vagus nerve damage.

Complications of Gastroparesis

Diabetes Stomach Pain

The primary reason gastroparesis is a concern is rooted in the complications that it can cause. In its early stages, it may only show some temporary symptoms. However, as it progresses, symptoms become much more persistent and constant and often lead to complications that could be severe and even life-threatening.

A significant complication of gastroparesis is that it is incredibly difficult for blood sugar to remain stable. Studies on gastroparesis indicate that while it holds food in the stomach in most cases, it also passes food extremely quickly in rare cases. The effect of these two phenomena is low blood sugar (due to delayed digestion) and high blood sugar (following hasty digestion).

People who experience the two phenomena often find it challenging to know the right time to administer insulin or the one that would be best for the severity of their blood sugar. The uncertainty in how gastroparesis causes blood sugar fluctuations makes it easy for the body to develop other related complications, as outlined below:

Complications for a sudden and consistently high blood sugar rise include:

  • Kidney damage
  • Eye damage, including cataracts and retinopathy
  • Heart disease
  • Foot complications that risk amputation
  • Neuropathy
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis

Complications for sudden and consistent low blood sugar levels include:

  • Seizures
  • Shakiness
  • Regular loss of consciousness
  • Diabetic coma from shock

Other complications that gastroparesis could cause include:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Malnutrition
  • Indigestible masses of foods known as bezoars and can lead to stomach obstruction
  • Esophagus inflammation that makes it painful and uncomfortable to swallow meals
  • Tears and injuries in the esophagus due to chronic vomiting

Diagnosis and Test for Gastroparesis

Diabetes Stomach Pain

Source: Verywell Health

You’ll need to consult a physician on diabetic stomach pain to diagnose gastroparesis. They’d talk to you about the symptoms and medical history and perform a one-on-one examination on you. After that, they’d conduct a series of medical tests.

During the examination, they’ll check your blood pressure for unusual changes. Other signs they’ll check for include dehydration, pain, unusual sounds, abdomen tenderness, and malnutrition.

Several types of diagnosis and tests can help ascertain gastroparesis, as outlined below:

Imaging Test

Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy or abdominal ultrasound can help diagnose and test for gastroparesis. The GI endoscopy is a thin tube that has a camera. The tube is inserted through the mouth and is passed to the stomach and intestine. It helps to view if there’s any blockage or obstruction in the GI tracts.

The abdominal ultrasound is another kind of imaging test. The procedure involves the use of sound waves to produce images. This wave provides a valuable image of the GI tract to check for any form of obstruction.

Laboratory Test

Another way to test for this issue is by conducting lab tests that provide essential information regarding the GI system. Performing blood tests in the lab can show if the blood glucose is high or low. The laboratory blood test further helps to provide essential information; it can help show signs of inflammation, dehydration, infection, and malnutrition.

Another lab test that can also diagnose GI complications is a urine test. It also indicates signs of dehydration.

Barium Beefsteak Meal Test

This procedure involves a person ingesting food with barium content. The person is further made to undergo imaging tests while digestion of the meal occurs. The physician will note the time it takes for the barium to leave the system.

Gastric Manometry

This test helps show the activities of the stomach muscles. In a gastric manometry procedure, the physician inserts a narrow tube through the person’s throat to his stomach. The tube helps to measure the activity of the muscles in the stomach as digestion of the food takes place. The measurement of this activity helps ascertain the stomach’s normal functioning.

Barium X-Ray

The physician can start a diagnosis for gastroparesis using the barium X-ray. The barium attaches to the stomach and makes it visible to the X-ray machine. During a barium X-ray, the person undergoes a 12-hour fast, drinks a barium-containing liquid, and then undergoes an abdomen X-ray.

The fast is necessary to check for an empty stomach after 12 hours, which is typical in normal circumstances. The case is different for people with gastroparesis.

Stomach Emptying Tests

Stomach emptying tests include several tests. These tests show the time it takes for your stomach to empty its contents, and they have the following:

Wireless Motility Capsule (SmartPill™)

This is a small device that’s swallowed. The device helps to record and transmit signals as it passes through the digestive tracts, after which it’s expelled following a bowel movement. The physician uses this information to know how long it takes for food to leave the tracts.

Gastric Emptying Scan

During this test procedure, a person consumes a bland meal with a small amount of radioactive material. The camera outside the body pictures and notes the time it takes for the radioactive material to leave the stomach.

Gastric Emptying Breath Test

During this test, you consume a meal absorbed by the intestine and changes your breath. After ingestion, samples of the breath are taken for four hours. This helps to show how long it takes the substance to move from the stomach to the intestine.

Treating and Managing Gastroparesis

Diabetes Stomach Pain

There’s no cure for gastroparesis; the most effective solution is managing blood sugar and treating its symptoms. Since it’s triggered by high blood sugar, consistently stabilizing your blood sugar will reduce its symptoms and presence.

The best time to manage gastroparesis is in the earliest stage, and regular diabetes management control tips would work effectively. However, if it has already progressed, you’ll need assistance from your doctor to treat its symptoms. Below are the three main ways of treating the condition:

Use Target Insulin

Insulin is still the best means of controlling this condition. Using a mix of basal and bolus insulin can help you control gastroparesis. In most cases, you’ll need the assistance of your doctor as it’s pretty confusing to know how to best handle gastroparesis in its different stages. However, you must follow a strict regimen for positive results.

Go for Water Instead of Sugary Beverages

Drinking water as your primary beverage will help you avoid sugary drinks, which increase complications of gastroparesis. On the one hand, sweetened fruit juice and sugary sodas have increased the risk of type 2 diabetes in adults. On the other hand, increased water intake results in better insulin response and blood sugar control.

Reports suggest that taking an extra half serving of sugary drinks can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by 18%, translating into an increased risk of gastroparesis. On the flip side, 24-week research of overweight adult women shows that using water to replace diet soda in a weight loss program will help reduce your insulin resistance.

Summarily, drinking water helps eliminate excess blood sugar otherwise triggered by sugary beverages. 

Gastric Electrical Stimulation (GES)

Gastric electrical stimulation (GES) is a treatment option often adopted to handle the symptoms of gastroparesis in its severe stage. The GES is a procedure that comprises a surgical device inserted into the patient’s stomach. The device passes electrical pulses into the stomach muscles and the vagus nerve to push food into the small intestine, resulting in reduced vomiting, a healthy esophagus, and controlled blood sugar.


Diabetes Stomach Pain

Managing gastroparesis is much easier at its earliest stages, and everything outlined in this guide supports that. The condition may become untreatable in its advanced stages and only get worse. Generally, diabetes health tips can help manage the condition, and the food choices of people with diabetes are a major determinant of high blood sugar (the number 1 risk factor of this condition).

For people who’ve performed blood tests for their sugar level and suspect they’re at risk of gastroparesis, adopting insulin and a healthy diabetes-friendly diet are the best management options. While your doctor should recommend the insulin choice, you can use a diabetes management app to manage and plan your diet.

Our Klinio app is one of the most trustworthy diabetes management apps you could go for to manage your condition. It’s regularly updated with the healthiest diabetes-friendly meals and can help you set a diet plan to live on.

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Typically, sodium is referred to as salt, which is correct. However, the latter is extremely limiting and doesn’t cover the inherent risk of salt and its dominance and existence in other foods. Many consider salt a whitish substance and believe its associated high blood pressure risk is reduced once it’s been reduced in main food preparations. Sadly, that isn’t the case, as many foods contain salt and sodium.

Eating these foods increases the amount of dietary salt intake, leaving people with increased high blood pressure. For one, the typical human consumes more sodium than is appropriate. The few people who don’t eat more than is required are on a diet designed to reduce sodium intake.

The above revelations point toward one fact — sodium intake poses a severe risk for people with diabetes, and there’s little effort to control its consumption. This guide aims to change that perception by providing comprehensive, explicit information on how sodium causes diabetes, aids its progress, and triggers its complications. We’ll also cite some research at some point and consider some common sodium-dense foods.

What to Expect

  • Sodium Chloride and How It Affects the Body
  • Sodium Chloride, Diabetes, and Complications
  • Research on Sodium’s Relationship With Diabetes
  • Foods That Are High in Sodium
  • The Best Low Sodium Foods to Go For
  • How to Reduce Your Sodium Intake

Sodium Chloride and How It Affects the Body

sodium and diabetes

Generally, sodium is considered the encompassing term for what’s known as salt, and both terms are widely interchanged. However, the reality is that sodium and salt are two different compounds.

Salt is a compound comprising sodium and chloride; the sodium in salt comprises 40% of the entire makeup. However, it’s highly influential regarding the nutrients salt provides for the body. Excessive consumption of salt or salty food implies high sodium intake, which has associated consequences.

Consumable refined or dietary sodium intake is essential for the body. It’s a vital electrolyte or mineral that helps regulate the body’s fluid balance and ensure the proper functioning of the muscles and nerves.

If consumed appropriately, sodium has various benefits. The problem is that this is mostly not the case. According to CDC reports, 89% of adults are guilty of high sodium intake, and the major source of unhealthy consumption comes from table salt.

The recommended healthy daily intake of sodium is pegged at 2,300 mg. However, many adults eat more than this, and this is exactly where the problem stems. It’s estimated that the average American adult eats up to 3,400 mg worth of sodium per day.

The above quantity is considered too much salt and, by extension, high sodium content. The source of high sodium is primarily table salt and processed foods. Majorly all processed foods, in one way or the other, contribute to increased daily sodium intake, which is bad for health.

Healthy and unhealthy adults exposed to a high sodium diet subject themselves to several complications, the most critical being high blood sugar and chronic kidney disease (CKD). These are, by extension, significant risk factors for diabetes — the insistent high blood sugar caused by too much sodium increases the risk of diabetes in healthy people.

Sodium Chloride, Diabetes, and Complications

sodium and diabetes

Diabetes is a severe condition associated with one of the highest preventable deaths globally. It’s also a progressive condition that all major national health institutions seek to provide orientation about due to how it develops and worsens over time in the body.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA)—the frontline health institution for diabetes awareness—has an ever-updating list of some safety measures for high blood sugar control. One of them is the control of sodium intake.

According to the healthy body, excessive sodium consumption—like carbs—significantly increases blood sugar levels and can increase diabetes complications. However, the rate at which sodium influences diabetes negatively isn’t as severe as most bad carbs, making the relationship between it and high blood sugar levels extremely complex. It generally interacts with other diabetes causative factors to affect health severely.

As stated earlier, the body can take as much as 2,300 mg of sodium daily. The barest minimum that people should go for, especially when they have diabetes, is 500 mg. This amount helps them maintain an average blood sugar level needed to balance their glucose levels.

Meeting this barest minimum isn’t difficult as it’s less than a tablespoon and can be obtained from home-cooked meals. On the other hand, eating certain snacks and processed foods increase sodium levels in the body, subsequently spiking blood sugar.

People with diabetes who consume too much sodium risk having fluid retention over time, triggering swelling in the hands and legs. This is due to sodium’s natural make up and its tendency to absorb water naturally. Following the intake and digestion of a sodium-filled meal, it goes straight into the bloodstream and increases blood pressure.

The rise in high blood pressure has a high chance of morphing into hypertension, a serious condition that can cause eye, kidney, heart, and brain damage. All of these conditions are independent of the natural diabetes risk. Therefore, for people with diabetes already, adding salt-induced hypertension to the mix only worsens the situation and could quickly become life-threatening.

Diabetes on its own has an increased risk of causing cardiovascular diseases like heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. Sodium intake will therefore make the situation worse than it is.

People with diabetes are also exposed to severe dehydration when they eat too much sodium. Additionally, they’re highly likely to develop diabetes ketoacidosis —  a liver-damaging condition associated with extreme pressure on the liver.

An excellent approach to reducing the complications of diabetes is to take deliberate steps toward sodium reduction in your diet. This is achieved by eating fresh foods and avoiding those with high salt amounts.

Research on Sodium’s Relationship With Diabetes

sodium and diabetes

Many studies confirm the limited understanding of how excessive sodium intake affects diabetes. However, few studies generally highlight that sodium isn’t suitable for people with the condition.

A study titledDietary Sodium Intake in Type 2 Diabetes” reviewed the major relationship and situation surrounding sodium intake and diabetes. Expectedly, the results are in line with what this guide has highlighted so far.

The study—considering self-referred patients with type 2 diabetes—showed that people who suffer from the condition still consume sodium higher than the recommended value. It also highlighted that people with type 2 diabetes and sodium-induced hypertension are at greater risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) than those with diabetes who control its progress.

The study was termed ENHANCE by the researchers and comprised a single-center randomized controlled trial that tested a 6-month intervention to determine effective diabetes management lifestyle for people with type 2 diabetes. A baseline 3-day food diary data for patients were recorded to make the results easy to establish.

All participants in the study were at least 18 years old, and each had a self-reported diabetes diagnosis as a condition for participating in the study. The exclusion criteria for the study included:

  • Hypoglycemic coma or people who have experienced a seizure in the past 12 months before the study
  • Inability or unwillingness to self-monitor to carry out self-monitoring of capillary blood glucose and failure to participate in the arranged group classes
  • Hypoglycemia that requires external assistance for the past 3 months before the study
  • A history of type 1 diabetes
  • Patients who have a history of dementia and substance abuse
  • People suffering from end-stage renal disease and were exposed to renal dialysis treatment or are expected to get the treatment in the 6-month intervention study period
  • Participants who may leave the study region within the six months
  • Participating in another clinical trial as participants may be open to influential factors in the other one such that it affects the result of this one
  • No support from the primary health care provider of a participant as there may be a need for data from health care for the study.

The primary metrics for the analysis were:

  • Diet Guide: All participants were mailed a diet diary 2 weeks before the start of the baseline measurement. The participants were asked to choose three days out of the two weeks to record their meals and provide data on the foods consumed, the respective serving sizes, and the food brands.
  • Demography: Participants were also directed to complete Rigler Comorbidity Checklist and a questionnaire concerning sociodemographics.


The study result showed that 296 respondents started the trials, and about 251 completed the 3-day diet diary. That was approximately 84.8% of all the respondents.

Furthermore, only 20.3% could limit their sodium intake to below the recommended 2,300 mg for a healthy person. Only 2.4% of the entire respondents could stick to the American Heart Association (AHA)’s maximum limit of 1,500 mg daily to prevent heart disease. Despite the obvious issue of separation of demographics in the intervention, the average result was consistent that most people with diabetes will consume more sodium than is needed for their condition.

The research showed that about 20–60% of people with diabetes have sodium-induced hypertension. It confirmed that excess sodium intake increases the intravascular volume, directly reducing antihypertensive drugs’ effectiveness. It’s also linked with worsening proteinuria in microalbuminuria patients.

Ultimately, the study highlighted that the solution to the negative effect of sodium on the body is to eat a restricted diet with little quantity of nutrient in it.

Considering Other Research

Other diabetes research also shows that several concerns come with high sodium intake, especially its role in cardiovascular disease development. The American Heart Association, following several studies, confirmed that adults with diabetes are twice as likely to die from heart disease than those without diabetes. This revelation tagged sodium as one of the major causes of the disease’s progress.

Another research showed that people with diabetes who consume more sodium than recommended increase their risk of vascular disease by over 200%. The study encouraged people to reduce sodium intake for the best effective diabetes management. Other tips to get the best out of the situation include avoiding a low potassium intake.

Some studies have also sought to determine the appropriate sodium quantity people should be exposed to, with special attention paid to those with diabetes already. A 2021 clinical trial in the Metabolism, Nutrition and Cardiovascular Disease journal achieved impressive results in this regard.

The trial showed that people who restrict their sodium intake drastically reduce their systolic blood pressure by 5.5 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.6 mmHg. More importantly, the trials were randomized, making the average results reliable.

We previously highlighted that the recommended maximum amount of sodium per day should be no more than 2,300 mg. However, research on people’s adherence to this ADA-recommended limit showed that not so many people adhere to the sodium daily maximum limit. For example, a 2020 Nutrition and Diabetes journal paper confirmed that just 7% of the respondents kept their sodium intake within the 2,300 mg limit.

Also, unlike the widespread belief that homemade foods have more sodium because most require table salt for taste, there are indications that restaurant and processed foods contribute just as much sodium and even more. A Circulation journal paper published in 2017 confirmed this fact. According to the journal, the possible change in sodium primary sources could be due to more sweetened processed foods that require more salt for balance instead of healthier homemade meals.

The journal further established that up to 70% of sodium chloride consumed by the average American daily stem from foods eaten in restaurants, with processed options being the biggest culprit.

Foods That Are High in Sodium

sodium and diabetes

Many natural foods have sodium. While most people get sodium from table salt, high sodium foods act as secondary salt supplementations.

An average American consumes a minimum of 1.5 teaspoons of salt every day, equivalent to 3,400 mg of sodium — way more than the body requires. Canned or processed foods have incredibly high sodium concentrations, while fast food from restaurants is also very salty.

The following are foods that have a high amount of sodium:

  • Poultry, meat, or fish that has been salted, canned, cured, or smoked like cold cuts, bacon, ham, sardines, sausage, caviar, and frankfurters
  • Buttermilk
  • Breaded meats and frozen dinners, including chicken nuggets, pizza, and burritos
  • Salted nuts
  • Canned meals like chili, soups, baked beans, spam, and ravioli
  • Powdered mixes for soup and bouillon cubes
  • Cheese sauces, cheeses, and cheese spread
  • Cottage cheese
  • Broths that have added salt, canned vegetables, and stocks
  • Biscuits, waffle mixes, flour that rises by itself, quick bread, and pancakes
  • Rolls and top bread that’s salted
  • Large quantities of ketchup and mustard
  • Instant puddings and cakes
  • Salted crackers, croutons, and pizza
  • Packaged mixes, processed for pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, tater tots, hash browns, stuffing, and potato au gratin
  • Vegetables prepared with ham, salted pork, or bacon
  • Seasoning salt, marinades, soy sauce, and salad dressings
  • Salsa, tomato sauces, and pre-made pasta
  • Canned vegetable juices
  • Salted vegan spreads, margarine, or butter
  • Softened water
  • Seasoned ramen mixes
  • Sauerkraut, olives, pickled vegetables, and pickles
  • Potato dishes that are boxed
  • Sandwiches
  • Dried meat and jerky
  • Tortillas
  • Pretzels
  • Bratwurst and hot dogs
  • Pork rinds

The Best Low-Sodium Foods to Go For

sodium and diabetes

It’s essential to control your sodium intake—especially if you have type 2 diabetes—by keeping your sodium intake below 2,300 mg daily. People who have hypertension should keep their sodium intake below 1,500 mg daily.

Checking the menus or labels is essential when eating out or shopping for food. Food companies, by law, are mandated to outline their food’s sodium content on its label, and credible restaurants also do the same on their food menus.

Choose low-sodium foods containing 140 mg or less sodium in each serving. There are many foods free from sodium that you can use to replace foods with excessive sodium. Some examples are sodium-free chips, juice without salt, canned vegetables without salt, and rice cakes.

Here’s a more extensive list of good low-sodium food that you can use to replace food high in sodium.

  • Egg and its substitute that doesn’t contain additives
  • Yogurt, milk, ice milk, and ice cream
  • Most cereals and muffins
  • Poultry, fish, and frozen or fresh meat that don’t contain additives
  • Canned fish that are low in sodium
  • Dried beans and peas (in place of the canned type)
  • Cheese that’s low in sodium, mozzarella, cream cheese, and ricotta cheese
  • Unsalted rolls, bagels, and bread
  • Pasta and rice cooked without adding salt
  • Noodles, flour tortillas, and corn that’s low in sodium
  • Unsalted pretzels, popcorn, and chips
  • Peanut butter that’s low in sodium
  • Breadsticks and crackers that are low in sodium
  • Juices, canned vegetables, and sauces that are low in sodium
  • Frozen or fresh vegetables that don’t have sauce
  • Drained, oil-packed, or water-canned poultry or fish
  • Mayonnaise
  • Desserts that are prepared without salt
  • Vinegar
  • Vegetable juices or fruits that are unsalted or low in salt
  • Homemade soup prepared without adding salt
  • Unsalted vegan spread, butter, or margarine
  • Salad dressings, vegetable oils, and sauces that are low in sodium
  • Canned, frozen, fresh, and dried fruits
  • Potatoes products like french fries that are prepared without adding salt and fresh potatoes
  • Bouillon, stocks, broths, powdered and canned soup that are low in sodium
  • Healthy fat like avocado oil, avocado, and olive oil
  • Starchy vegetables like parsnips and butternut squash
  • Grains and bread that are low in sodium
  • Fruits and fresh vegetables like peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, and greens
  • Beans and grains like dried beans, farro, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and quinoa
  • Frozen or fresh fish like bass, cod, and tuna

As you’re trying to avoid food high in sodium, you need to know more about foods with low sodium. Most food labeled low or no sodium contains a high quantity of potassium, often used as a substitute for salt. As such, you need to consult with your doctor if you’re on a diet low in potassium before eating any of such food.

However, many foods low in sodium may contain high amounts of carbohydrates like fats and sugar, which people with diabetes or pre-diabetes are trying to avoid to preclude a worsened condition. Food that’s high in sodium contains 400 mg of the nutrient or more. As a rule of thumb, when shopping, avoid foods with high sodium, salt, brine, and monosodium glutamate on their labels.

How to Reduce Your Sodium Intake

sodium and diabetes

Research on diabetes also shows that several concerns come with high sodium intake, especially in terms of its role in developing cardiovascular disease. Here are excellent means of avoiding these complications:

Tips When Eating Out

  • When eating out, request the restaurant’s nutritional information to help you order food low in sodium
  • Order fresh fruit or vegetables without adding salt
  • Ask the waiter to instruct the chef to avoid using salt when preparing your meal
  • Share your meal with a family member or friend
  • Eat fast food occasionally

Tips When Shopping for Grocery Items With Low Sodium

  • Go for packaged foods labeled with reduced sodium, no added salt, or low sodium
  • Buy canned, fresh, or frozen vegetables that come without sauce or salt
  • Request for a low sodium list from the grocer
  • Purchase fresh pork, fish, lean meat, and poultry instead of smoked, salted, cured, or other types of processed meat
  • Check food labels to know the products that contain a low amount of sodium
  • Buy prepared meals with a sodium content lower than 600 mg or a meal labeled healthy
  • When buying fresh products, ensure that salt or saline isn’t added, or go for another brand free from sodium
  • Request to see the registered dietitian at the grocery shop to get recommendations or advice on brands or products that are low in sodium

Tips When Cooking Less Salty Meals

Being creative in the kitchen can help you reduce your intake of sodium. Here’s how:

  • Eat more home-cooked meals as it’s difficult to determine the quantity of salt used to prepare fast foods
  • Cook from scratch to control the amount of salt that goes into the food
  • Use some flavored spices—like ginger, pepper, garlic, vinegar, and lemon—to replace salt


sodium and diabetes

As highlighted throughout this guide, sodium is one of the most difficult nutrients to avoid when dieting. A tablespoon of salt is all that is required to supply the body with the sodium it needs.

A striking concern this guide highlights is that even on deliberate attempts to control sodium consumption, people with diabetes find it extremely difficult to stick with the recommended daily sodium intake. One of the studies highlighted showed that only 20.3% of people don’t exceed their dietary recommended sodium limit. Of people who have diabetes, only 2.4% could stick to the AHA-recommended limit.

The difficulty in controlling sodium intake and its complications underscores the need for people with diabetes to take dieting seriously. With the realistic difficulty of controlling sodium intake, people with diabetes must ensure that they control other blood glucose-increasing food sources to achieve a commendable balance.

You should take your diet seriously, and you can achieve this by using a dietitian-recommended diary or an expert constantly updated diabetes management food app. While both options are effective, the latter is more flexible as it consistently provides users with new and extremely healthy diabetes-friendly meals.

For example, our Klinio app is a diabetes-friendly meal app that provides people with the best meals that their body needs. The recommended meals are great for minimizing high blood glucose with the extra benefit of reducing sodium consumption. Patients who stick strictly with Klinio-recommended dietary guides won’t have a problem controlling their sodium consumption and effectively managing diabetes.