Diabetes and heart disease seem to go together. Like two moldy peas in a rotten pod.
And while there are a few reasons for this dreadful duo, researchers just stumbled onto a BIG, hidden-in-plain-sight trigger that we’ve been overlooking all along.
It turns out it’s not just being diabetic alone that can raise your risk for heart disease. Not having your blood sugar under good control could REALLY send your risk soaring.
In other words, extreme blood sugar SWINGS could be the kiss of death for your ticker. That means avoiding huge spikes and drops should be a top priority.
I’ll give you some tips to help you do just that. But first, let’s take a closer look at the research that exposed the secret sauce behind this ugly pair’s unfortunate relationship.
Blood sugar swings could send heart risk soaring
The large study included over 29,000 volunteers with type two diabetes. Anyone who already had heart disease was excluded from the study. And the participants were tracked for two years.
In other words, the researchers had a ton of data to work with. And that makes the results even more solid.
The volunteer’s blood sugars were carefully tracked between doctor’s visits using their HbA1C values. Now, if you have type-2 diabetes, you’re likely already familiar with HbA1C. It’s often shortened to just A1C. And it’s a test that can accurately measure your blood sugar over three months.
But even if you’re an old hand at diabetes, you might not realize that buried beneath that top number you’re probably familiar with, there is other useful information.
That includes the “standard deviation,” or SD for short. SD highlights the spread of a person’s glucose readings around what the average is. When your blood sugar bounces around a lot between highs and lows on any given day, you will have a higher SD.
The researchers tapped THIS data to make the discovery. When they crunched the numbers, a pattern emerged. There appears to be an association between those extreme blood sugar swings and the development of heart disease.
Predicting heart disease risk
In other words, high SD numbers could be a way of predicting your risk for heart problems.
It’s not the first time a link has been made between big swings in blood sugar and poor health, and even death. Earlier research revealed that a third of folks hospitalized for a low blood sugar episode die within three years of the hospitalization.
The researchers behind the new study say monitoring for those wide swings in blood sugar, rather than just focusing on A1C alone at your doctor’s visits, could be a way to predict future diabetes complications.
So if you’re battling type-2 diabetes, the focus should not only be on bringing your overall blood sugar down. You should also work on stabilizing your numbers and avoid them dropping too low.
It’s a balancing act and one your doctor can, and should, be helping you with. He will tell you how to recognize when your blood sugar is too low and explain what you can do about it.
5 tips to help stabilize blood sugar
Plus, there are some things you can do on your own to help stabilize your sugars and reduce the swings overall.
- Decide on a healthy diet and stick to it. Many folks with blood sugar issues find a Mediterranean diet with its focus on seafood, olive oil, and lots of vegetables helps keep their sugar in check. A low carb diet is another option that could help you lose a few pounds too. Either way, dump the empty carbs and processed foods, which are often full of hidden sugar.
- Plan your meals no more than four to five hours apart.
- Shoot for at least three evenly spaced meals throughout the day. Some people find making them smaller and switching to four or even five mini-meals works even better. Or simply adding in a few healthy between-meal snacks like a handful of nuts can do the trick.
- Plan your exercise for 30 minutes to an hour after eating (and keep track of your sugars before and after).
- Talk with your doctor about adding some blood-sugar friendly supplements to your routine, such as magnesium, chromium, biotin, cinnamon, and berberine.
Reducing wide swings in your blood sugar levels, and avoiding episodes of severely low blood sugar, could help you slash your overall heart disease risk.