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What Makes The Blood Sugar Go Up?

Why Is My Blood Glucose So High In The Morning?

Why Is My Blood Glucose So High In The Morning?

I am puzzled by my blood sugar pattern. I am not on any medications. My morning fasting blood sugar is always the highest of the day—between 120 and 140 mg/dl. The rest of the day it is in the normal range. Why does this occur? Continue reading >>

What Makes Glucose Levels Rise And Fall?

What Makes Glucose Levels Rise And Fall?

When you have diabetes it is important to understand what might make your blood glucose level rise or fall so that you can take steps to stay on target. ••••• When you eat any type of carbohydrate (starches, fruits, milk, sugars etc.), your body breaks it down into simple sugars. These get absorbed into the blood stream and insulin helps remove them from the blood into the cells to be used for energy. Without diabetes, our body usually makes just the right amount of insulin to match the food eaten, when diabetes is present, tablets or insulin injections are required to help this process. Things that can make your blood glucose rise A meal or snack with a bigger portion of carbohydrates than usual Less activity than usual Side effects of some medications Infection, surgery or other illness Changes in hormone levels, such as during menstrual periods, or adolescence Stress Things that can make your blood glucose fall A meal or snack with a smaller portion of carbohydrates than usual Taking too much insulin or a dose increase of your diabetes tablets Extra physical activity Side effects of some medications Missing a meal or a snack Drinking alcohol Continue reading >>

Why Do Blood Glucose Levels Sometimes Go Up After Physical Activity?

Why Do Blood Glucose Levels Sometimes Go Up After Physical Activity?

When you exercise your muscles need more glucose to supply energy. In response, your liver increases the amount of glucose it releases into your bloodstream. Remember, however, that the glucose needs insulin in order to be used by your muscles. So if you do not have enough insulin available, your blood glucose levels can actually increase right after exercise. Basically, stimulated by the demand from your exercising muscles, your body is pouring glucose into your bloodstream. If you do not have enough insulin available to "unlock the door" to your muscles, the glucose cannot get into your muscles to provide needed energy. The end result is that glucose backs-up in your bloodstream, causing higher blood glucose readings. Here are some tips to safely exercise: Consult your doctor before starting an exercise program. If you are over the age of 35 you may need a stress test. Pick an exercise that you enjoy. Check your blood sugar before and after exercise. Do not exercise if your blood sugar is over 250 mg/dl and you have ketones. If your blood sugar is over 250 but no ketones are present, follow these guidelines: Type 1: If blood sugars are 300 or more, test within 5-10 minutes of begining exercise. If your blood sugar is dropping, you may continue. If it is not dropping, stop exercising. Type 2: Do Not exercise if blood sugars are 400 or more Plan exercise to prevent low blood sugar reactions. Exercise 1 to 1 ½ hours after eating. Always carry a carbohydrate snack (juice, glucose tablets, etc.) with you. Drink plenty of fluids. Wear shoes and equipment that fit well. Find more information about physical activity and diabetes in Staying Healthy with Diabetes – Physical Activity & Fitness available from the Joslin Online Store. Continue reading >>

Is Stress Messing With Your Blood Sugar?

Is Stress Messing With Your Blood Sugar?

Researchers have linked dozens of physical symptoms to stress overload, from fatigue to weight gain. You can add another symptom to that list: high blood sugar. (Heal your whole body with Rodale's 12-day liver detox for total body health.) When you're stressed, your body is primed to take action. This "gearing up" is what causes your heart to beat faster, your breath to quicken, and your stomach to knot. It also triggers your blood glucose levels to skyrocket. "Under stress, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, raising blood sugar levels to prepare you for action," says Richard Surwit, PhD, author of The Mind-Body Diabetes Revolution and chief of medical psychology at Duke University in Durham, NC. If your cells are insulin resistant, the sugar builds up in your blood, with nowhere to go, leading to hyperglycemia. We have no shortage of short-term stress in our lives—from traffic jams to working long hours at a demanding job—and our stress hormones, which were designed to deal with short-term dangers like fleeing predators, are turned on for long periods of time, even though we're neither fighting nor fleeing. What we're doing is stewing, which can cause chronically high blood sugar. A prescription to take it easy The good news is, simple relaxation exercises and other stress management techniques can help you gain more control over your blood sugar, according to a study conducted at Duke University. More than 100 people with high blood sugar took five diabetes education classes either with or without stress-management training. After a year, more than half of the stress-relief group improved their blood sugar levels enough to lower their risk for the worst complications, such as heart disease, kidney failure, nerve damage, and vision problems. Study participan Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Spikes: Causes, Symptoms, And Prevention

Blood Sugar Spikes: Causes, Symptoms, And Prevention

Diabetes is a disease that causes a person's blood sugar to become too high. This can lead to various complications. A person with diabetes must be careful to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Glucose comes from the food we eat. It is the main source of energy for the body. The pancreas secretes substances, including the hormone insulin, and enzymes. Enzymes break down food. Insulin makes it possible for body cells to absorb the glucose we consume. With diabetes, either the pancreas is unable to produce insulin to help the glucose get into the body cells, or the body becomes resistant to the insulin. The glucose stays in the blood instead. This is what raises blood sugar levels. High blood sugar is known as hyperglycemia. Contents of this article: Causes of blood sugar spikes People with diabetes have to be especially careful about keeping their blood sugar levels under control. There are several reasons why blood glucose levels may spike. These are: Sleep: A lack of sleep can be especially bad for people with diabetes, because it can also raise blood sugar levels. One study performed on Japanese men found that getting under 6.5 hours of sleep each night increases a person's risk for high blood glucose levels. Prioritizing healthy sleep and promoting sleep hygiene are good habits for everyone, but especially for people with diabetes. Stress: When under a lot of stress, the body produces hormones that make it difficult for insulin to do its job, so more glucose stays in the bloodstream. Finding a way to keep stress levels down, such as yoga or meditation, is essential for people with diabetes. Exercise: Having a sedentary lifestyle can cause blood sugar levels to go up. In addition, exercise that is too difficult can cause stress and blood glucose levels to ri Continue reading >>

Does Fruit Make Your Blood Sugar Go Up?

Does Fruit Make Your Blood Sugar Go Up?

Carbohydrates are your body's most important source of energy. Fruit is one of the healthiest sources of carbohydrates, providing you with many vitamins and minerals. But most fruits contain sugar that can raise your blood sugar and increase the demand for insulin from your pancreas. Choosing certain fruits over others and managing portion size can limit this effect and help keep you healthy. Fruits can and will make your blood sugars rise, but you can manage their impact by choosing fruits with a low glycemic index or reducing portion size. Blood Sugar All carbohydrate-based foods contain sugar in some form, either as simple sugars such as fructose, found in fruit, or as complex molecules such as starch, which is made up of chains of sugar molecules. When your body digests carbohydrate, it converts it into glucose, a simple but important sugar that travels in your blood to reach all your cells. Your cells use glucose as an energy source, and certain types such as brain cells depend on it exclusively. But when your blood sugar increases quickly and reaches high levels, this puts a major demand on your pancreas to release insulin, the hormone that lowers blood sugar. Over time, frequent episodes of high blood sugar can raise your risk of Type 2 diabetes. Fruit and the Glycemic Index The glycemic index classifies foods by how quickly they raise blood sugar and to what extent. Because most fruits are sweet and contain simple sugar, or fructose, you might expect that they all raise blood sugar rapidly and dramatically, and that every type of fruit has a high glycemic index. But this is not always the case, according to the American Diabetes Association, which says that high-fiber fruit tends to have a lower glycemic index. This is because dietary fiber slows uptake of gluco Continue reading >>

What Makes Blood Glucose Go Up Or Down?

What Makes Blood Glucose Go Up Or Down?

Food, diabetes medicines, and physical activity have the most effect on blood glucose levels most of the time, but there are other things that can raise or lower blood glucose. Here’s a list of some of what can make your blood glucose go up, go down, or go down too much — resulting in hypoglycemia. UP Eating carbohydrate-containing foods Not taking the diabetes medicines you need Not taking enough of the diabetes medicines you’ve been prescribed Taking certain non-diabetes–related medicines, such as steroids, some oral contraceptives, laxatives (if dehydration results), or diuretics Eating meals or snacks too close to each other Inactivity Infection or other illness Changes in hormone levels (for example, during menstrual cycles) Stress DOWN Taking diabetes medicines Being physically active Drinking alcohol Taking certain non-diabetes–related medicines DOWN TOO LOW Not eating enough carbohydrate Taking too high a dose of diabetes medicine Taking certain non-diabetes–related medicines such as warfarin and some antibiotics Eating meals or snacks too far apart from each other Drinking alcohol, especially on an empty stomach Being more physically active than usual (without adjusting your diabetes regimen to compensate) Continue reading >>

Why Does My Blood Sugar Go Up When I'm Sick?

Why Does My Blood Sugar Go Up When I'm Sick?

Your blood sugar rises when you are sick because the body secretes of variety of hormone and other substances in the process of fighting infection that either raise blood sugar directly or make the body resistant to the actions of insulin. Cortisol is the body’s main “stress” hormone, and cortisol makes the body more resistant to insulin action. In other words, insulin will not lower blood sugar as well in the presence of high levels of cortisol as it does when cortisol levels are lower. This is the same reason that man-made anti-inflammatory steroids, like prednisone, which are all patterned after cortisol, will raise blood sugar. Many people who have autoimmune or inflammatory disorders will see a dramatic rise in their blood sugars when they are given prednisone. Other hormones, like adrenaline (also called epinephrine) will cause the liver to release glucose directly into the bloodstream. This is why certain asthma medications which mimic adrenaline action (a common example being albuterol) will also raise blood sugar levels. Think of the person who has diabetes and asthma who gets pneumonia which is severe enough to require hospitalization. Between the body’s rise in cortisol and adrenaline, and the administration of large doses of prednisone and albuterol to combat airway constriction, you can see how complex the interactions become in treating diabetes in combination with other medical problems! When you're sick, your body makes hormones to fight the illness. Those same hormones raise blood sugar, which is why when you're sick you need to test your blood sugar more frequently. Even though you may not be eating normally, you still need to take some or all of your medication. Contact your physician for instructions. Videos Questions Important: This content Continue reading >>

How Does Blood Pressure Affect A Person's Blood Sugar In A Diabetic?

How Does Blood Pressure Affect A Person's Blood Sugar In A Diabetic?

Two out of every three adult diabetics have high blood pressure, according to the American Diabetes Association. The condition forces your heart to work harder, and your risk for heart disease, stroke and hardening of the arteries increases as a result. In most cases, poorly controlled blood sugar has a negative effect on your blood pressure, but there are a number of mechanisms by which your blood pressure can affect your blood sugar. In either case, controlling blood pressure is as important as controlling blood sugar for a diabetic. Video of the Day In many cases of diabetes, blood sugar affects the blood pressure. When glucose stays in your bloodstream too long, it can act like a slow poison, according to the National Kidney Disease Education Program. Uncontrolled blood sugar can damage the nephrons, the functional units of your kidneys that play a role in regulating your blood pressure. This can cause high blood pressure. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the main causes of kidney disease. Because of the risks for hypertension and heart disease, the American Diabetes Association recommends diabetics strive for a lower blood pressure reading, 130/80 mmHg, than that of the general public. In rare cases, diabetes and low blood sugar can cause hypotension, or low blood pressure. Although the link is somewhat controversial, a report by the Diabetes Action Research & Education Foundation said that both acute and chronic stress can trigger high blood pressure. Stress response can also increase your blood sugar. In cases of acute stress, the blood sugar’s rise is helpful. It fuels your brain to respond to the immediate crisis. However, ongoing stress can keep your blood sugar levels elevated, according to a report published by the Wellmark Foundation. Some public heal Continue reading >>

What Makes Blood Sugar Levels Get Low?

What Makes Blood Sugar Levels Get Low?

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is uncommon in persons without diabetes. In otherwise healthy adults, fasting (lack of food) is the most common cause of low blood sugars. Medications such as insulin and drugs like alcohol are other primary culprits. Adults who are critically ill can also develop low blood sugars. In rare instances, hormonal disorders or tumors can be the problem. If for any reason you believe you are having symptoms related to low blood sugar that do not improve after eating, see a doctor for help. Hypoglycemia occurs for a variety of different reasons. Certain medications may cause hypoglycemia like insulin taken to lower the blood sugar in people with diabetes. If you have diabetes, your eating, exercising, and medication must be carefully balanced to keep your blood sugar within the normal range. Too much exercise or not enough food, relative to your medication, can cause low blood sugar. In people who do not have diabetes, certain medications, drinking alcoholic beverages, eating disorders, and tumors can cause hypoglycemia. Problems with your liver, kidneys, or the endocrine system may cause hypoglycemia. Sometimes hypoglycemia may occur when the body makes too much insulin in response to eating. A tendency toward hypoglycemia can be hereditary, but dietary carbohydrates usually play a central role in its cause, prevention, and treatment. Simple carbohydrates, or sugars, are quickly absorbed by the body, resulting in a rapid elevation in blood sugar level; this stimulates a corresponding excessive elevation in serum insulin levels, which can then lead to hypoglycemia. Insulin is the hormone responsible for lowering blood sugar by taking sugar out of the blood and putting it into cells. High levels of insulin mean low levels of blood glucose. Normal Continue reading >>

15 Ways High Blood Sugar Affects Your Body

15 Ways High Blood Sugar Affects Your Body

High blood sugar symptoms Glucose, or sugar, is the fuel that powers cells throughout the body. Blood levels of this energy source ebb and flow naturally, depending what you eat (and how much), as well as when you eat it. But when something goes wrong—and cells aren't absorbing the glucose—the resulting high blood sugar damages nerves, blood vessels, and organs, setting the stage for dangerous complications. Normal blood-sugar readings typically fall between 60 mg/dl and 140 mg/dl. A blood test called a hemoglobin A1c measures average blood sugar levels over the previous three months. A normal reading is below 5.7% for people without diabetes. An excess of glucose in the bloodstream, or hyperglycemia, is a sign of diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes don’t make insulin, the hormone needed to ferry sugar from the bloodstream into cells. Type 2 diabetes means your body doesn’t use insulin properly and you can end up with too much or too little insulin. Either way, without proper treatment, toxic amounts of sugar can build up in the bloodstream, wreaking havoc head to toe. That’s why it’s so important to get your blood sugar levels in check. “If you keep glucose levels near normal, you reduce the risk of diabetes complications,” says Robert Ratner, MD, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association. Here’s a rundown of the major complications and symptoms of high blood sugar. No symptoms at all Often, high blood sugar causes no (obvious) symptoms at all, at least at first. About 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, but one in four has no idea. Another 86 million have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. That's why it’s a good idea to get your blood sugar test Continue reading >>

8 Sneaky Things That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels

8 Sneaky Things That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels

Skipping breakfast iStock/Thinkstock Overweight women who didn’t eat breakfast had higher insulin and blood sugar levels after they ate lunch a few hours later than they did on another day when they ate breakfast, a 2013 study found. Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 21 percent higher chance of developing diabetes than those who didn’t. A morning meal—especially one that is rich in protein and healthy fat—seems to stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day. Your breakfast is not one of the many foods that raise blood sugar. Here are some other things that happen to your body when you skip breakfast. Artificial sweeteners iStock/Thinkstock They have to be better for your blood sugar than, well, sugar, right? An interesting new Israeli study suggests that artificial sweeteners can still take a negative toll and are one of the foods that raise blood sugar. When researchers gave mice artificial sweeteners, they had higher blood sugar levels than mice who drank plain water—or even water with sugar! The researchers were able to bring the animals’ blood sugar levels down by treating them with antibiotics, which indicates that these fake sweeteners may alter gut bacteria, which in turn seems to affect how the body processes glucose. In a follow-up study of 400 people, the research team found that long-term users of artificial sweeteners were more likely to have higher fasting blood sugar levels, reported HealthDay. While study authors are by no means saying that sugary beverages are healthier, these findings do suggest that people who drink artificially sweetened beverages should do so in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Here's what else happens when you cut artificial sweetener Continue reading >>

Hyperglycaemia (high Blood Sugar)

Hyperglycaemia (high Blood Sugar)

Hyperglycaemia is the medical term for a high blood sugar (glucose) level. It's a common problem for people with diabetes. It can affect people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as pregnant women with gestational diabetes. It can occasionally affect people who don't have diabetes, but usually only people who are seriously ill, such as those who have recently had a stroke or heart attack, or have a severe infection. Hyperglycaemia shouldn't be confused with hypoglycaemia, which is when a person's blood sugar level drops too low. This information focuses on hyperglycaemia in people with diabetes. Is hyperglycaemia serious? The aim of diabetes treatment is to keep blood sugar levels as near to normal as possible. But if you have diabetes, no matter how careful you are, you're likely to experience hyperglycaemia at some point. It's important to be able to recognise and treat hyperglycaemia, as it can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. Occasional mild episodes aren't usually a cause for concern and can be treated quite easily or may return to normal on their own. However, hyperglycaemia can be potentially dangerous if blood sugar levels become very high or stay high for long periods. Very high blood sugar levels can cause life-threatening complications, such as: diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – a condition caused by the body needing to break down fat as a source of energy, which can lead to a diabetic coma; this tends to affect people with type 1 diabetes hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state (HHS) – severe dehydration caused by the body trying to get rid of excess sugar; this tends to affect people with type 2 diabetes Regularly having high blood sugar levels for long periods of time (over months or years) can result in permanent damage to parts Continue reading >>

High Blood Sugar After Exercise?

High Blood Sugar After Exercise?

back to Overview Markus, one of our great German-language authors, wrote about struggling with high blood sugar after exercise. I know it's a common problem, and one I've struggled with personally, so I want to make sure you get to see it, too. From Markus Berndt: It’s one of the first recommendations you get after being diagnosed with diabetes. “Get active, do more exercise, it’s good for you!” And since we’ve been a child we’ve heard that exercise is healthy. If we do it consistently we’re rewarded, literally, with an awesome beach body. Adding exercise into our day is also good for our diabetes. We’re taught that exercise lowers blood sugar, right? But can the opposite also be true? Can you have high blood sugar after exercise? Up close We now know that physical activity usually lowers blood sugar because it reduces how much insulin is needed to move sugar into the cells. While, in the past, most experts advised frequent training intervals at moderate intensity, but recent studies have shown that even short, intense workouts are very effective. For example, a 15-minute intense weight training lowered blood sugar even more than what’s seen in some endurance training. So activity lowers blood sugar – but not always! Personally, I experienced this very early on and was extremely irritated! I just learned that exercise lowers blood sugar, but an intense 45-minute run consistently resulted in higher blood sugars than when I started! What in the world? At first, I was confused and felt like I didn’t understand the world anymore. Then it was more of a “would you look at this?” kind of thing. And finally, I was determined to figure out what was happening. I knew there had to be an explanation. Why does exercise sometimes raise blood sugar? Exercise Continue reading >>

Common Questions About Blood Sugar

Common Questions About Blood Sugar

How often should I test my blood sugar? This is a very common question, and the answer isn't the same for everyone. In general, you should test as often as you need to get helpful information. There's no point in testing if the information you get doesn't help you manage your diabetes. If you've been told to test at certain times, but you don't know why or what to do with the test results, then testing won't seem very meaningful. Here are some general guidelines for deciding how often to test: If you can only test once a day, then do it before breakfast. Keep a written record so that you can see the pattern of the numbers. If you control your blood sugar by diet and exercise only, this once-a-day test might be enough. If you take medicine (diabetes pills or insulin), you will probably want to know how well that medicine is working. The general rule is to test before meals and keep a record. If you want to know how your meals affect your blood sugar, testing about 2 hours after eating can be helpful. Test whenever you feel your blood sugar is either too high or too low. Testing will give you important information about what you need to do to raise or lower your blood sugar. If you take more than 2 insulin shots a day or use an insulin pump, you should test 4 to 6 times a day. You should test more often if you're having unusually high or low readings, if you're sick, under more stress than usual, or are pregnant. If you change your schedule or travel, you should also test your blood sugar more often than usual. Talk to a member of your health care team about how often to test based on your personal care plan. What should my test numbers be? There isn't one blood sugar target that's right for everyone with diabetes. It's important to work with your health care team to set Continue reading >>

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