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 >>
Common Causes Of Blood Sugar Spikes
Because you have diabetes, you know it’s a must to keep your blood sugar levels under control. But do you know what makes them spike? Check this list of common culprits, plus ways to help you stay healthy and feel great. 1. Your Diet Watch what you eat, since that's one of the most important things you can do to control your blood sugar, also called glucose. That’s because of the impact that carbohydrates -- the sugars and starches in foods -- can have. It’s fine to eat them in moderation. But choices that have too many carbs can cause your blood sugar to soar -- white rice and pasta, and highly processed or fried foods are examples. Some fruits are high in sugar, such as bananas. It’s OK to have fruit, just not too much. Choose good carbs, like whole-grain bread and cereal, unprocessed grains such as barley or quinoa, beans, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, fruit, yogurt, and vegetables. Fiber helps, because it lowers blood sugar. Good choices are whole grains, fruits that are lower in sugar (apples and blueberries), veggies, and legumes. 2. Too Little Sleep Not getting enough rest does more than make you groggy. It also affects how well your body can control and break down blood sugar. In one study, researchers asked healthy adults to sleep just 4 hours a night for 6 days. At the end of the study, their bodies’ ability to break down glucose was 40% lower, on average. Why? Doctors believe that when you enter deep sleep, your nervous system slows down and your brain uses less blood sugar. Get your shut-eye. Remember all the things that help: Stick to a regular schedule, don't use your phone or tablet close to bedtime, and relax before you hit the hay. *CGM-based treatment requires fingersticks for calibration, if patient is taking acetaminophen, or if symptoms/e Continue reading >>
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 >>
20 Reasons For Blood Sugar Swings
Upswing: Caffeine Your blood sugar can rise after you have coffee -- even black coffee with no calories -- thanks to the caffeine. The same goes for black tea, green tea, and energy drinks. Each person with diabetes reacts to foods and drinks differently, so it's best to keep track of your own responses. Ironically, other compounds in coffee may help prevent type 2 diabetes in healthy people. Many of these will raise your blood sugar levels. Why? They can still have plenty of carbs from starches. Check the total carbohydrates on the Nutrition Facts label before you dig in. You should also pay attention to sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and xylitol. They add sweetness with fewer carbs than sugar (sucrose), but they may still have enough to boost your levels. One study found that people with type 2 diabetes who switched to a vegan (or all vegetable-based) diet had better blood sugar control and needed less insulin. A boost in fiber from whole grains and beans might play a role, by slowing down the digestion of carbs. But scientists need more research to know if going vegan really helps diabetes. Talk to your doctor before you make major diet changes. Blood sugar can dip dangerously low during shut-eye for some people with diabetes, especially if they take insulin. It's best to check your levels at bedtime and when you wake up. A snack before bed may help. For some people, blood sugar can rise in the morning -- even before breakfast -- due to changes in hormones or a drop in insulin. Regular testing is important. One option is a continuous blood glucose monitor, which can alert you to highs and lows. Physical activity is a great health booster for everyone. But people with diabetes should tailor it to what they need. When you work out hard enough to sweat and raise your h Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar: What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning
There are two reasons why your blood sugar levels may be high in the morning – the dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect. The dawn phenomenon is the end result of a combination of natural body changes that occur during the sleep cycle and can be explained as follows: Your body has little need for insulin between about midnight and about 3:00 a.m. (a time when your body is sleeping most soundly). Any insulin taken in the evening causes blood sugar levels to drop sharply during this time. Then, between 3:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., your body starts churning out stored glucose (sugar) to prepare for the upcoming day as well as releases hormones that reduce the body's sensitivity to insulin. All of these events happen as your bedtime insulin dose is also wearing off. These events, taken together, cause your body's blood sugar levels to rise in the morning (at "dawn"). A second cause of high blood sugar levels in the morning might be due to the Somogyi effect (named after the doctor who first wrote about it). This condition is also called "rebound hyperglycemia." Although the cascade of events and end result – high blood sugar levels in the morning – is the same as in the dawn phenomenon, the cause is more "man-made" (a result of poor diabetes management) in the Somogyi effect. There are two potential causes. In one scenario, your blood sugar may drop too low in the middle of the night and then your body releases hormones to raise the sugar levels. This could happen if you took too much insulin earlier or if you did not have enough of a bedtime snack. The other scenario is when your dose of long-acting insulin at bedtime is not enough and you wake up with a high morning blood sugar. How is it determined if the dawn phenomenon or Somogyi effect is causing the high blood sug Continue reading >>
Why Blood Sugar Levels Rise Overnight
get the scoop When you go to bed, your blood sugar reading is 110, but when you wake up in the morning, it has shot up to 150. Why does this happen? To understand how blood sugar levels can rise overnight without your eating anything, we have to look at where glucose comes from — and where it goes — while we sleep. During the day, the carbohydrates we eat are digested into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream. Some of this glucose goes to the liver, where it is stored for later use. At night, while we are asleep, the liver releases glucose into the bloodstream. The liver acts as our glucose warehouse and keeps us supplied until we eat breakfast. The amount of glucose being used is matched by the amount of glucose being released by the liver, so blood sugar levels should remain constant. what is the dawn phenomenon? A rise in blood sugar level between approximately 3 A.M. and the time you wake up is called the “dawn phenomenon.” The liver is supposed to release just enough glucose to replace what is being used, and insulin works as the messenger to tell the liver how much is enough. But if there's not enough insulin (as with type 1 diabetes), or if there's enough insulin but it cannot communicate its message to the liver (as with type 2 diabetes), the liver starts to release glucose much too quickly. In addition, levels of hormones such as cortisol begin to increase in the early morning hours, which can contribute to altered insulin sensitivity. The result? Blood sugar levels rise. This is why blood sugar levels can go up between the time you go to bed and the time you wake up. what can you do about it? You might be able to make changes in the timing of your meals, medications, or insulin injections to help prevent dawn phenomenon. First, keep a detailed rec Continue reading >>
Dealing With Unexplained Blood Sugar Spikes
You can do everything right to keep your diabetes under control — eat a smart diet, exercise, take medications as prescribed, and follow your doctor’s instructions for blood sugar monitoring — and still wake up in the morning with unexplained blood sugar spikes. Even in people who don’t have diabetes, blood sugars fluctuate constantly, says Linda M. Siminerio, RD, PhD, director of the University of Pittsburgh's Diabetes Institute. But when you have diabetes and wake up with an increase in blood sugar levels, you shouldn’t ignore it. If high blood sugar happens once in a while and you're able to get it under control quickly with insulin or exercise, it may be nothing serious. “Maybe you have high blood sugar in the morning because you went to a party last night and had a bigger piece of birthday cake,” Dr. Siminerio says. “Or it snowed, and you couldn’t go for your morning run the day before.” But if you consistently wake up with blood sugar spikes and don’t know why, you need to investigate the cause. You may need to adjust your diabetes treatment plan, possibly changing your medication. You won’t feel right if you have high blood sugar, a condition known as hyperglycemia, says Anuj Bhargava, MD, president of the Iowa Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center in Des Moines and founder of My Diabetes Home, an online platform that helps users track their blood sugar and manage their medication. When your blood sugar is too high for a few days or weeks, it can cause more frequent urination, increased thirst, weight loss, blurry vision, fatigue, and nausea. It also can make you more susceptible to infections. When you have high blood sugar for a long time, it can damage the vessels that supply blood to your heart, kidneys, nerves, and eyes, and caus Continue reading >>
Can Anxiety Raise Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, And Cholesterol?
My doctor just said my anxiety has raised my systolic rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Can anxiety actually do this? Behaving in an apprehensive manner (anxiety) causes the body to produce the stress response. The stress response immediately secretes stress hormones into the bloodstream where they travel to targeted spots in the body to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that enhance the body's ability to deal with a threat - to either fight with or flee from it - which is the reason the stress response is often referred to as the fight or flight response. Part of the stress response changes include elevating heart rate (which increases blood pressure) and increasing blood sugar so that the body is better equipped to fight or flee. When stress responses occur infrequently, the body can recover relatively quickly from the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes the stress response brings about. Consequently, the stress response changes are temporary. Under normal circumstances, these changes quickly subside and present no long-term effects. When stress responses occur too frequently and/or dramatically, however, the body has a more difficult time recovering, which can cause the body to remain in a semi hyperstimulated state, since stress hormones are stimulants. We call this semi hyperstimulated state, stress-response hyperstimulation. A body that becomes stress-response hyperstimulated can maintain the stress response changes long after a threat has passed. These changes can cause a persistent increase in blood pressure and blood sugar. In this case, yes, frequently behaving anxiously can cause blood pressure (including the systolic rate - the top number in a blood pressure reading) and blood sugar to rise. Moreove Continue reading >>
4 Causes Of Dangerous Blood Sugar Spikes That Have Nothing To Do With Food
Blood sugar is sugar found in the bloodstream which gets transported throughout the body as a means to feed cells and make energy. The human body naturally regulates blood sugar levels, but in a person with insulin resistance or diabetes, blood sugar can spike or take dangerously low dips. Typically, when we eat food the contents get broken down and converted into glucose so that we become energized. Post-meal our blood-sugar spikes, and the food we eat determines how high the spike is and how quickly it will fade out. For example, if we eat something that is sugary, we may experience a sudden spike followed by a crash. If we eat foods high in fiber, our blood sugar levels will maintain a normal level for longer. Although it’s more common to associate the foods we eat to spikes in our blood sugar, there are other factors which can contribute to uncontrolled blood sugar. Whether you’re diabetic or not, here are four other non-food reasons why you may experience spikes in your blood sugar. 4 reasons your blood sugar spikes Medication The older you get the more medication you may find yourself on; however, that same medication may aid in one illness while also contributing to spikes in blood sugar. Prescriptions, over-the counter medications and even supplements can contribute to spikes in blood sugar. If you regularly monitor your blood sugar and have been noticing spikes after you take other medications, you may need to speak with your doctor about making changes. Common medications which can spike blood sugar are asthma medications, certain antidepressants and corticosteroids. Poor sleep Much research has been conducted in the area of poor sleep and its link to diabetes. One study showed that poor sleep can lead to spikes in blood sugar. The study showed participant Continue reading >>
Why Is Blood Sugar Highest In The Morning?
Many people with diabetes find that their fasting blood sugar first thing in the morning is the hardest blood sugar to control. In addition, they find that if they eat the same food for breakfast as they do for lunch or dinner they will see a much higher blood sugar number when testing after breakfast than they see at the other meals. The reason for this is a normal alteration in hormones experienced by many people not just people with diabetes. It is called "Dawn Phenomenon." What Causes Dawn Phenomenon? The body prepares for waking up by secreting several different hormones. First, between 4:00 and 6:30 a.m. it secretes cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. You may recognize these as the hormones involved in the "fight or flight response." In this case, their job is more benign, to give you the energy to get up and moving so you can find the food your body needs for energy. To help you do this, these hormones also raise your blood sugar. After a long night's sleep, the fuel your body turns to to get you going is the glucose stored in the liver. So after these stress hormones are secreted, around 5:30 a.m., plasma glucose rises. In a person with normal blood sugar, insulin will also start to rise at this time but many people with diabetes won't experience the corresponding rise in insulin. So instead of giving their cells a dose of morning energy, all they get is a rise in blood sugar. Not Everyone Experiences Dawn Phenomenon Researchers who have infused different hormones into experimental subjects have found that the trigger for dawn phenomenon is a nocturnal surge in growth hormone. If they block the growth hormone, blood sugars stay flat. This may explain why some people, particularly older people, do not experience a rise in blood sugar first thing in the mor Continue reading >>
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 >>
What To Do When Blood Sugar Spikes
It can be frustrating trying to keep blood sugar levels under control. Day by day, they can fluctuate widely, and they’re not always predictable. Although the greatest danger to people with diabetes is when blood glucose gets too low, it’s also important to take action when blood glucose is high. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help prevent and treat these unexpected spikes. High blood sugar, also called hyperglycemia, often develops in response to too little insulin or other glucose-lowering medication, or too much food. It’s important to address hyperglycemia. Not only can it cause problems like impaired thinking in the short term, it can increase the risk for serious problems like heart disease, kidney damage, and blindness over time. Here’s what you can do about hyperglycemia. On top of tracking your diet and blood sugar, regular exercise is a key part of managing your diabetes. And while any exercise is better than none, certain activities have specific benefits for people with diabetes. 2017 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement. Know Your Body Estimating how much your blood sugar will rise or fall in response to a specific meal or snack isn’t always easy. But you can better predict these fluctuations by investigating how your body reacts to food. Closely monitor your food intake, including your favorite foods and meals, for a week or two. If possible, check your blood glucose both before and after you eat. Keep a log of your results and review them to learn when your blood sugar is most likely to spike. Recognize the Symptoms Regularly monitoring your blood Continue reading >>
Reactive hypoglycemia, postprandial hypoglycemia, or sugar crash is a term describing recurrent episodes of symptomatic hypoglycemia occurring within 4 hours after a high carbohydrate meal in people who do not have diabetes. The condition is related to homeostatic systems utilised by the body to control blood sugar levels. It is variously described as a sense of tiredness, lethargy, irritation, or hangover, although the effects can be less if one has undertaken a lot of physical activity within the next few hours after consumption. The alleged mechanism for the feeling of a crash is correlated with an abnormally rapid rise in blood glucose after eating. This normally leads to insulin secretion (known as an insulin spike), which in turn initiates rapid glucose uptake by tissues either accumulating it as glycogen or utilizing it for energy production. The consequent fall in blood glucose is indicated as the reason for the "sugar crash".. A deeper cause might be hysteresis effect of insulin action, i.e., the effect of insulin is still prominent even if both plasma glucose and insulin levels were already low, causing a plasma glucose level eventually much lower than the baseline level. Sugar crashes are not to be confused with the after-effects of consuming large amounts of protein, which produces fatigue akin to a sugar crash, but are instead the result of the body prioritising the digestion of ingested food. The prevalence of this condition is difficult to ascertain because a number of stricter or looser definitions have been used. It is recommended that the term reactive hypoglycemia be reserved for the pattern of postprandial hypoglycemia which meets the Whipple criteria (symptoms correspond to measurably low glucose and are relieved by raising the glucos Continue reading >>
Why Does High (or Low) Blood Sugar Give Me Headaches?
Susan B. Sloane, BS, RPh, CDE, has been a registered pharmacist for more than 20 years and a Certified Diabetes Educator for more than 15 years. Her two sons were diagnosed with diabetes, and since then, she has been dedicated to promoting wellness and optimal outcomes as a patient advocate, information expert, educator, and corporate partner. Headaches can be debilitating, and patients with diabetes can get headaches from blood sugars dropping too low or climbing too high. As if we didn’t have enough to think about, right? There are many factors that can trigger headaches or even migraines, and blood sugar fluctuations are just one of those factors. The key to avoiding blood sugar-related headaches is keeping blood sugars from spiking or dropping too rapidly. For example, when you are treating a low blood sugar, don’t go on a high carbohydrate-eating binge, even though you may be ravenous. Eat a sensible meal with some protein as directed by your healthcare provider. When blood sugar is too low One of the suspected causes of low blood sugar-caused headaches has to do with the blood vessels in your brain. Your brain needs a readily available supply of glucose in order to function properly. If the brain senses it does not have enough sugar, blood vessels in the brain can spasm, triggering a headache. In the fasting state, stress hormones are also released which can cause vasoconstriction leading to headache. There is also a type of headache that can be seen in patients with diabetes that experience frequent low blood sugars, which are followed by rebound high blood sugars. This rebound phenomenon is often due to hormones that the body releases in response to a low blood sugar in an attempt to regulate itself. When blood sugar is too high High blood sugars can cause l Continue reading >>
8 Fruit Smoothie Ingredients That Won't Spike Your Blood Sugar
They pack tons of nutrition into a small transportable cup, and often, they taste more like a dessert than a healthy snack or meal, but smoothies aren’t without their faults. If you concoct or order the wrong blend, your refreshing drink can spike your blood sugar, leaving you queasy and feeling overall blah, rather than satisfied. Unfortunately, I discovered this the hard way. I’ve tried numerous times to hop on the smoothie bandwagon. They seem like the perfect post-workout snack when I can’t go home to eat, or an easy option when I need to have breakfast on the run. But no matter what I order, smoothies always seem to leave me feeling nauseous—like I’ve just taken a very bumpy ride in the back of a car while reading a book. (You know the feeling.) And being that I’m a full-time health editor, I was determined to find out what could be going on. So I turned to the pros: According to Lori Zanini, RD, CDE, the creator of the Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan, even if a smoothie is overflowing with healthy foods, it can cause blood sugar levels to spike if it isn’t made with the right blend or ratios of ingredients. This, of course, leaves you feeling not-so-awesome. “When blood sugar levels rise and fall quickly, the body's metabolism may get interrupted which can lead to feelings of nausea,” Zanini says. What’s more, the insulin that rushes to get excess sugar out of your blood and into your cells can cause a blood sugar crash. This can leave you feeling fatigued and hungry, explains Alissa Rumsey MS, RD, CSCS, owner of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness in New York City. Those with diabetes will have different, but just as uncomfortable side effects. “If you have diabetes and spike your blood sugar with a smoothie, or any other food or drink for th Continue reading >>