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5 Tips to Maintain Normal Blood Sugar Levels in Women

Think of your body as a high-performance sports car that runs on fuel. Just like a sports car needs the right type of gasoline to run efficiently, your body needs the right balance of glucose in the blood to keep everything running smoothly. That's where blood sugar comes in; it's like a dashboard gauge that helps you keep tabs on your body's ‘fuel’ levels and makes sure you're running at peak performance. Therefore, it's important to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels.

It’s a known fact that maintaining your blood sugar levels is important for overall health and well-being. And this stands especially true for women in comparison with men. Women tend to experience variations in blood sugar levels owing to factors like hormonal changes during their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause. Additionally, estrogen and progesterone play crucial roles in regulating insulin sensitivity, and an imbalance of these hormones can considerably impact a woman’s blood sugar level. Women who have PCOS or PCOD are also more susceptible to insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar levels.

What factors affect blood sugar levels in women?

Insulin and glucagon are two hormones that play important roles in regulating blood sugar levels in women, as well as in men. When glucose levels rise in the blood, the pancreas releases insulin, which encourages the absorption of glucose by cells like muscle and fat cells, which then store it and use it for energy. On the other hand, when the glucose levels in the blood drop, the pancreas releases glucagon, thereby stimulating the liver to convert the stored form of glucose (known as glycogen) back into glucose and release it into the bloodstream for stable blood sugar levels.

Typically in women, hormonal imbalances and fluctuations that occur in their bodies during menopause, the menstrual cycle, or pregnancy can impact insulin and glucagon secretions and sensitivity. This can further show up as fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Apart from hormonal imbalances and changes, food intake, physical activity, stress, sleep patterns, and medications can also impact blood sugar levels.

When it comes to a woman's blood sugar levels, they can either be high (hyperglycemic) or low (hypoglycemic).

Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose, happens when there is too much sugar in the blood. This occurs when your body has too little insulin, or if your body can't use insulin properly, and is mostly linked with diabetes. In women, high blood sugar can lead to things like Candida infections, which are caused by the growth of fungus, and UTIs, which take place due to the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract.

Factors that cause hyperglycemia include:

- Little or no physical activity

- Physical or emotional stress or physical injury (surgery, illness)

- Foods with a high glycemic index, such as processed products (pasta, cereals, bread, and rice), candy, sweet beverages, and french fries.

- Dehydration

- Taking medications incorrectly

- Menstruation and menopause, both of which are caused by hormonal changes.

Hypoglycemia

With hypoglycemia, blood sugar (glucose) levels drop below the standard range. While low blood sugar is common in people with diabetes, those without this chronic illness can also experience it. Causes of low blood sugar include the following:

- Incorrect or mistimed doses of insulin

- Too few carbs to balance the insulin dose

- Long gaps between meals

- Excessive consumption of alcohol

- Heat and humidity

- Puberty and menstruation

What are normal blood sugar (glucose) levels for women?

Before meals: 90 to 130 mg/dL (5.0 to 7.2 mmol/L) for adults.

After meals (1 to 2 hours after eating): Less than 180 mg/dL (10 mmol/L) for adults.

At bedtime: From 90 to 150 mg/dL (5.0 to 8.3 mmol/L) for adults.

How can women maintain normal blood sugar levels?

Here are 5 important tips women can follow to ensure normal blood sugar levels:

1) Consume a balanced diet

Consuming a diet that is rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats on a regular basis can help manage blood sugar levels. Focus on eating more vegetables. The easiest diet plan includes filling half your plate with nonstarchy or low GI (glycemic index) vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, asparagus, artichoke, lettuce, mushrooms, and tomatoes. A quarter of your plate should include a protein source, and the other quarter should have a whole-grain item, such as brown rice. You can also go ahead and add a serving of fruit or dairy and a drink of water, unsweetened tea, or coffee.

Foods high in sugar or those that are highly processed like potato chips, french fries, cookies, and cakes can increase the risk of insulin resistance and cause a surge in blood sugar levels, especially for those with PCOS. It’s better to steer clear of these foods in your diet wherever possible and stick to whole, nutritious foods.

2) Be as active as possible

In comparison to a sedentary lifestyle, being active on a regular basis improves insulin sensitivity and the ability of your cells to uptake glucose, thereby regulating your blood sugar levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, like yoga or brisk walking, 4-5 times a week.

3) Consider multivitamin tablets for women

Vitamins and minerals play a crucial role in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels by impacting glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Several minerals and multivitamins for her, like vitamins B1 and B3, chromium, magnesium, vitamin D, zinc, etc., are useful in maintaining blood sugar levels. Adequate intake of magnesium and vitamin D has been known to show a decrease in insulin resistance and glucose metabolism. Zinc also plays a role in insulin secretion as well as lipid and glucose metabolism. If your diet or lifestyle lacks these essential vitamins and minerals, it’s advisable to look for a multivitamin for women with holistic health benefits. A multivitamin for women is specifically designed to give women their daily dose of vitamins and minerals, keeping in mind their hormonal fluctuations and the age factor.

4) Include ACV in your diet

A lot of us may have used apple cider vinegar (ACV) for weight loss or know the benefits of ACV for skin. But there are far more benefits to apple cider vinegar than just weight loss. ACV is also helpful with regulating blood sugar levels in women. Studies have shown that ACV benefits include an improvement in insulin function and also play a part in the regulation of blood sugar levels postmeal. But it’s highly important to use ACV in moderation to avoid adverse health effects or damage to your teeth, throat, or stomach owing to its highly acidic properties.

5) Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly

Monitoring blood sugar levels on a regular basis allows women to identify patterns in their blood sugar fluctuations and stay informed about their health. Getting your blood sugar levels checked regularly also lets you take prompt action to correct any imbalances and take charge of your health. Your doctor is the best person to inform you of the frequency and method of monitoring this for your utmost well-being.

Wrapping Up

The above-mentioned lifestyle changes, adding multivitamins for women and ACV to your daily diet, and regularly monitoring blood sugar levels are just a few steps women can take to meet their target goals and stay healthy.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/pcos.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5826763/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23674807/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32938758/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28965330/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32466773/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4776554/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28292654/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27213723/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5846677/#:~:text=Combining%20aerobic%20and%20resistance%20training,lipids%20in%20type%202%20diabetes.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20536779/#:~:text=Vitamins%20and%20minerals%20play%20an,2%20diabetes%20mellitus%20(DM)

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