Tag Archives: diabetes

How To Lower Blood Sugar

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At mid-life, if we have not exercised regularly and have indulged in the Standard American Diet (SAD) diet we may soon face the fact that our blood sugar is increasing and we are at risk for diabetes.

My friends at HVMN have graciously shared a fantastic article How To Lower Blood Sugar.

Mid-life is often when we begin to notice that we are unable to do what we used to do. Our joints ache and we are just plain tired.

It does not have to be that way. A healthy lifestyle which means the right diet and movement plan, will ensure that you move into retirement as healthy as you can be.

In my book, Second Chance at Health: Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, I help you discover those very programs. I have easy to follow flow charts that help you identify the right program for you.

I hope you enjoy the article!

Please share, like and comment on the article. Subscribe to my friends at HVMN on their site for additional health and nutrition tips!


Laughing Can Lower Your Blood Sugar!

Laughing does the body good.

What is Diabetes Type 2?

Diabetes type 2 is diagnosed when your fasting blood sugar is found to be over 126 mg/dL and is verified as being at that level consistently overtime. Diabetes type 2 is most often a result of obesity along with a sedentary lifestyle. It is diagnosed with a blood test.

How is Diabetes Type 2 Treated?

Once diabetes type 2 is identified treatment will includemedicine (usually by mouth), and lifestyle changes. These life stylerecommendations include lowering intake of carbohydrates and increasingphysical activity. Those sound like very common and very pedestrianrecommendation…

What Can Cause Blood Sugar Elevations?

Excessive foods, including sweets can cause excessive blood sugars. A sedentary lifestyle can cause blood sugars to rise. Medications can result in elevated blood sugars. For example medicines for high cholesterol and high blood pressure can cause blood sugars to increase. Another commonly prescribed medicine given for inflammation is steroids, and these can cause blood sugars to increase.

But did you know, in addition to external things, internalemotions can affect our blood sugars? Yes! Stress, anxiety, fear and sorrowhave been shown to result in elevated blood sugars. It has been shown thatthese emotions affect our hormones in a negative way and produce physicalchanges.

Ok, here is the fun part…positive emotions can have apositive effect on our blood sugar. In a Japanese study, the participantsattended a lecture, one with no jokes and the next day attended a comedylecture, and the blood sugars were checked via finger stick. The ones who hadattended the funny lecture and laughed had reduced post lunch blood sugars.They concluded that there were two possible explanations: first, that themuscles used for laughing used up some of the sugar in the blood, and second,that the laughter actually created chemical changes in the body resulting inlower blood sugars. Whatever the “cause”, the result was a better and lowerblood sugar. So the conclusion of the study was that laughter inhibits the riseof blood sugar after eating.

The FUN way to Lower your Blood Sugar

So to revisit my promise that I would tell you the fun wayto reduce your blood sugar…is to laugh daily.

We all have different funny bones, so you will have to seekout what makes you giggle. Here are some fun suggestions:

-Join a laughing yoga (yes that is real) check out this link.  Laughter Yoga 

They even have a skype laughter clubs 

Your body cannot tell the difference between real laughterand fake laughter, it responds the same!

  • Hang around your funny friend(s)
  • Spend time with young children
  • Que up some of your favorite YouTube Videos
  • Look for comical occurrences in everyday life
  • Keep your favorite funny movies available
  • Read your favorite comics daily
  • Fake laugh every day for 15-20 minutes if youhave not laughed by the end of the day

So what are you waiting for? Take your prescribed medicine, eat a healthy diet, get up and move, andLAUGH!

 If you want assistance in learning the best diet and exercise plan order my Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating.


Laughter Lowered the Increase of Postprandial Blood sugar.Retrieved from http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/5/1651.fullFIKahpYO

Night Sweats and Fitness after 40

Want another reason for eating healthy and staying fit?? An active lifestyle, nutritionally motivated eating, and a healthy weight are excellent ways to promote health and decrease your risk for experiencing night sweats.

Night Sweats Defined

Night sweats/nocturnal hyperhidrosis /night time hot flashes that result in soaking your pajamas, sheets and disrupt your sleep occur in just over 40% of people. That is a lot of people. There are many conditions, medications and situations that can result in this disruption and I will discuss this in this post, as well as give your some ideas about how to manage them.

Since we all want to be able to sleep well without persistent and regular night time interruptions first we must identify our own risks. Here are some causes of night sweats; do you have any of these conditions?

What Can Cause Night Sweats?

People with the following conditions are more likely to experience night sweat:

• Sex hormone changes: menopause, pre-menopause and pre-menstrual
• Obstructive Sleep Apnea
• Low thyroid/high thyroid
• Infections (HIV, abscesses)
• Low blood sugar
• Cancer
• Autonomic nervous system dysfunction (strokes, dysreflexia)
• Other endocrine disorders (adrenal gland issues)
• Depression medications
• Anti-psychotic medications
• Common medications: Tylenol, steroids, and aspirin

As you can see from this list, some of the conditions can be modified, others cannot. Some of them can be treated with medication, some may require medication changes, others may require a cure, and still others can be avoided altogether.

Let’s review them more in-depth.


Aging and hormone changes, particularly for females, can result in night sweats that disrupt sleep. Imbalance of estrogen, estradiol, progesterone and testosterone is thought to be the cause. A visit to your ob/gyn should help and they can determine if you would benefit from hormonal therapy.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where there is a physical obstruction causing oxygen deprivation while sleeping. One study¹ revealed that the night sweats resulting from this condition can be improved with regular use of a CPAP machine that forces air into the upper airway to keep it open. A visit to your primary care doctor can begin the processes of assessment for this condition. Maintaining a normal healthy weight, avoiding alcohol before bed and losing weight can also improve this condition.

Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders, whether low or high have been implicated in nighttime sweating. A visit to your doctor and a blood lab test will identify if there is an issue with your thyroid. Both low and high thyroid levels can be treated.


Untreated infections can also result in night sweats initially. HIV, TB and abscesses have been implicated. If you are at high risk for HIV or TB visit your doctor to be tested. Abscesses may be harder to find, but a physical exam and lab work is the place to start.

Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar can cause night sweats. If you are being treated for diabetes and are on medicine perhaps the medicine is causing a low blood sugar at night. Notifying your doctor is important to be able to manage this cause. They may order a continuous blood sugar monitor for you to determine if indeed you are becoming hypoglycemic at night. This can be very dangerous and should be addressed as soon as possible.


Some cancers can cause night sweats as an initial symptom. Evaluation is warranted especially if you are experiencing fatigue, and unintended weight loss. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and lab evaluation.

Nervous System Dysfunction

Autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction is most often a secondary dysfunction caused by other conditions. The ANS system is responsible for heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and body temperature regulation. When this system is damaged it will malfunction. The more common conditions that are implicated in ANS dysfunction include autoimmune diseases, cancer, diabetes, alcoholism and Parkinson’s disease. Maintaining a healthy body weight to avoid lifestyle related diabetes and avoiding excessive alcohol intake can reduce your risk of damaging your ANS.

Endocrine Disorders

Endocrine disorders other than thyroid and sex hormones can also cause night sweats. The adrenal gland is responsible for a variety of hormones such as cortisol, aldosterone, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Adrenal gland malfunction which results in altered levels of the glands main hormones can cause many sleep issues. It has been implicated in causing low blood sugar which we discussed earlier as a cause of night sweats. If there is a tumor or other significant issue with the adrenal glands this must be addressed by a doctor and possibly a surgeon. There is a condition called adrenal fatigue that is popular in the alternative medicine group that provides supplemental adrenal support. I recommend ruling out a serious condition before opting to choose the alternative approach and using an herbal supplement.

Depression Medication

Night sweats have been associated with some depression medications. I recommend reading the insert of the medication and bringing this adverse effect to the attention of your prescribing doctor if the night sweats are disrupting your sleep. Do not stop taking these medicines suddenly and only wean yourself off of these under medical supervision. Staying healthy, eating wholesome foods, being active and living for a purpose are actions that you can take to decrease the need for depression medications.

Anti-Psychotic Medication

Antipsychotic medications may also cause night time sweats. Discuss this side effect/adverse reaction with your prescribing doctor to see if there is an alternative. Never stop taking these medications without approval and guidance from your doctor.
Common over the counter medicines like Tylenol, aspirin and other can also cause night sweats. Eliminating them may improve your symptoms. You may stop these medicines at any time. Addressing the issue for which you are taking these medicines for can help reduce your need for them.

As you can see there are many causes of night sweats, and ruling out the most serious is of utmost importance prior to self-treating.  While it may seem that night sweats are benign, you can see that not identifying some of the more serious conditions that cause them could result in serious illness or even death.


Without the identification of serious medical conditions causing the night sweats there can still be some consequences of persistent disruptive night sweats and these may include the following.

Severe night sweats could result in:

• Dehydration
• Dry skin
• Exhaustion
• Sleep deprivation

Symptoms of Night Sweats

In general symptoms of night sweats include clothing and sheet drenching sweating and that interrupts sleep.

When to Seek Care

Seek care for persistent and disruptive night sweating. In addition to seeking care for night sweats seek care immediately if you experience fevers, palpitations, irregular heart beat or weight loss. These additional complaints could mean that something more serious is occurring.


The treatment of the night sweats will depend on the primary cause of the sweating. A visit to your primary care doctor as discussed earlier, to rule out serious illnesses is necessary. A thorough health history, physical examination and blood work should be performed for this complaint.

While there is no medication to take to stop the night sweats, by identifying the cause and addressing the identified issue, the night sweats should improve. One study in China in 2015 showed that acupuncture improved hyperhidrosis and this might be a viable option.

Reduce your Risk

To reduce your risk of experiencing night sweats not related to causes like cancer, infection, endocrine or nervous system issues it is important to maintain overall health. This can mitigate significant and disruptive night time sweats.

A healthy lifestyle that includes eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising intentionally every day for 30-45 minutes may reduce your risk of experiencing disruptive night sweats.

Sleep Hygiene Practices

Sleep hygiene activities performed can help decrease the chances of night sweats if there is no serious cause. Take these steps to help:

• Sleep in a cool room (65-68 degrees)
• Use light layered bed clothes
• Use light sleeping attire
• Avoid added sugar
• Eat a diet high in fruit and vegetables
• Use herbal supplements as needed
• Exercise daily (preferably in the morning)
• Increase water intake
• Attain and maintain a normal healthy body weight

If you want help to reduce your risk for diabetes or want help finding the best activity check out my book, Second Chance at Health- Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating.


1. Night Sweats: Retrieved from https://sweathelp.org/where-do-you-sweat/other-sweating/night-sweats.html
2. Types of Autonomic Disorder: Retrieved from https://nyulangone.org/conditions/autonomic-disorders/types
2. Menopause Night Sweats: A Complete Guide. Retrieved from ttps://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/menopause-center/menopause-night-sweats.html
3. Nocturnal Sweating- a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnoea: the Icelandic sleep apnoea cohort. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3657640
4. Acupuncture as a Treatment Modality in Dermatology: A Systemic Review. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26115180

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