Dietary approaches to manage hyperglycaemia – what works best?

Dylan Bowe | Last Updated – 30/12/2023 | 4 Minute Read

Blood sugar or blood glucose refers to the concentration of glucose in our blood stream. It
can increase or decrease depending on food intake and other factors.
At its core, blood sugar, or blood glucose, is the primary source of energy for our cells.
When we eat, our body breaks down carbohydrates from food into glucose, which then
circulates in our blood, causing an increase in blood sugar levels. in response to this
elevated blood sugar level after a meal, the pancreas releases insulin, which is a hormone
that can act like a key, unlocking cells to allow glucose to enter, reduce blood sugar levels by
facilitating its uptake into cells for energy.

It is important to monitor blood sugar levels in your routine check-ups with a GP, as a
consistently high blood sugar level can lead to health complications such as diabetes, heart
disease and nerve damage. Maintaining stable levels is crucial for our overall wellbeing, to
support a steady supply of energy throughout the day and prevent energy/blood sugar
‘crashes’ which people can experience if our blood glucose levels are not balanced.

Hyperglycaemia, also known as high blood sugar, is related to developing diabetes. A blood
test called HbA1c is used by healthcare professionals to check your blood glucose levels. If
your result is <42mmol/mol you don’t have diabetes, 42-48mmol/mol is considered pre-
diabetes and a result of >48mmol/mol means you have type 2 diabetes. Common causes of
high blood sugar include: excess carbohydrate intake, being less active than usual, high
amounts of stress, high amounts of stress and insulin resistance. In type 2 diabetes, the
body may produce insulin but the cells become resistant to its effects, as a result, glucose is
unable to enter cells efficiently, causing a build-up of sugar in the blood stream.

You are more at risk of pre-diabetes if you:

  • Are 45+
  • Have a close relative with diabetes
  • Are an adult who is overweight or has obesity
  • Are physically inactive
  • Have high blood pressure, cholesterol or triglycerides
  • Have a history of heart disease

Some signs of hyperglycaemia can include feeling very thirsty, peeing more than usual,
feeling tired all the time, having blurred vision amongst other things.

if you are pre-diabetic, do not worry, it is very possible to reverse this and if you are
diagnosed with type 2 diabetes recently (<6 years), this can also be turned around with the
right help and guidance. There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to help
improve your health outcomes, the main one being weight loss. Losing 10-15% of your
bodyweight can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by more than half! Setting up a
sustainable hypocaloric diet (eating less calories than you burn) long term will be what
facilitates this weight loss. Along with this, a high protein intake can improve insulin
function and sensitivity, which will help manage your blood sugars. Other behaviour change
will improve health outcomes, including regular physical activity, portion control, stress
management and adequate hydration levels.

If you are diabetic/pre-diabetic or feel like this may be an issue, feel free to get in touch and
we can help, having the right guidance from a dietitian or registered nutrition professional
will take out any guesswork in improving your health and minimising the risk of chronic

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