Rising Blood Sugar: How To Turn It Around
Image: Thinkstock Rising blood sugar signals a need for weight loss and more exercise. Whenever you have routine blood tests at a physical exam, chances are one of the numbers will be a measurement of your glucose, or blood sugar. A normal blood sugar level is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) after an eight-hour fast. You have diabetes if your blood sugar is 126 mg/dL or higher. But between those two numbers lie many opportunities for action. Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School. Continue reading >>
How Soon After Ingestion Of Food Does Blood Sugar Rise?
After eating, your blood sugar levels begin to rise within 15 to 30 minutes, but only if your meal or snack includes carbohydrates. The speed and level of the increase depend on the type of carbohydrates and other nutrients found in the foods you eat, as well as on your body's ability to manage your blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates are the main constituent of food that can raise your blood sugar levels. The amount and the type of carbohydrates you eat influence how quickly your blood sugar levels change after eating. Carbohydrates from liquids, such as juices and soft drinks, are usually digested more rapidly, while carbohydrates from solid foods, such as pasta and fruits, take a bit more time to break down. Foods that don't contain carbohydrates or only very little, such as non-starchy vegetables, butter, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, cheese and nuts, do not have the ability to significantly influence your blood sugar levels. Glycemic Index and Blood Sugar Only carbohydrate-containing foods have a glycemic index, which can be used to assess how quickly and how high your blood sugar levels will rise in response to different foods. Many high-glycemic foods can raise your blood sugar levels within as little as 15 minutes after eating, including white and whole-wheat bread, most breakfast cereals, rice, potatoes, french fries, scones and pretzels. Low-glycemic foods have a more modest effect on your blood sugar levels and it may take a bit longer to see a rise. The rise in your blood sugar levels is first seen in your venous blood, the blood drawn at the lab, and it takes a bit longer for the changes in your blood sugar levels to be measured in your capillary blood, the blood used when testing your blood sugars at home. Fat, Fiber and Mixed Meals Other foods you eat with car 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 Your “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 2)
Hi, I just found this site and would like to participate. I will give my numbers, etc. First, my last A1c was 6.1, the doc said it was Pre-diabetes in January of 2014, OK, I get it that part, but what confuses me is that at home, on my glucometer, all my fastings were “Normal” however, back then, I had not checked after meals, so maybe they were the culprits. Now, I am checking all the time and driving myself crazy. In the morning sometimes fasting is 95 and other times 85, it varies day to day. Usually, after a low carb meal, it drops to the 80’s the first hour and lower the second. On some days, when I am naughty and eat wrong, my b/s sugar is still low, and on other days, I can eat the same thing, and it goes sky high, again, not consistent. Normally, however, since February, my fbs is 90, 1 hour after, 120, 2nd hour, back to 90, but, that changes as well. In February, of 2014, on the 5th, it was horrible. I think I had eaten Lasagne, well, before, my sugars did not change much, but that night, WHAM-O I started at 80 before the meal, I forgot to take it at the one and two hour mark, but did at the 3 hour mark, it was 175, then at four hours, down to 160, then at 5 hours, back to 175. I went to bed, because by that time, it was 2 AM, but when I woke up at 8:00 and took it, it was back to 89!!!! This horrible ordeal has only happened once, but, I have gone up to 178 since, but come down to normal in 2 hours. I don’t know if I was extra stressed that day or what, I am under tons of it, my marriage is not good, my dear dad died 2 years ago and my very best friend died 7 months ago, I live in a strange country, I am from America, but moved to New Zealand last year, and I am soooo unhappy. Anyway, what does confuse me is why the daily differences, even though I may Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
How To Fix High Morning Blood Sugars (dawn Phenomenon)
There are various possible causes of a high blood sugar level in the morning: The Dawn Phenomenon which is a natural rise in blood sugar due to a surge of hormones secreted at night which trigger your liver to dump sugar into your blood to help prepare you for the day. Having high blood sugar from the night before which continue through the night into the morning. Reactive hyperglycemia which is also called the Somogyi Effect. This is when a low blood sugar in the middle of the night triggers your liver to dump sugar into your blood in an attempt to stabilize your blood sugar. Why Are My Blood Sugars High in the Morning? There is a simple strategy for diagnosing the source of high blood sugars in the morning. Test your blood sugar before bed. Test your blood sugar in the middle of the night. Test your blood sugar in the morning. It takes a little bit of effort, but you only need to do it a few times to diagnose the issue. TheSomogyi Effect is less common than the Dawn Phenomenon, according to an article published by The Polish Journal of Endocrinology. To diagnose either of these phenomena, scientists recommend checking blood sugar levels for several nights specifically between 3 a.m and 5 a.m. or using a continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM). Many healthcare practitioners are now offering the use of a loan CGM for a few days which can be helpful to observe nighttime blood sugar activity. How to Fix High Blood Sugars in the Morning The Dawn Phenomenon refers to a surge of hormones excreted by your body in the early morning hours. These hormones rise each night around the same time to prepare your body to wake. Basically, your body is starting the engine, releasing some fuel, and prepping to go for the day. The Dawn Phenomenon occurs in all humans regardless of whet Continue reading >>
What Is High Blood Sugar?
Have you ever tried to fly a remote control airplane or helicopter? If you steer too sharply one way, your plane will crash into the ground. And if you go too far in the opposite direction, the plane will nose directly upward, making it difficult to control. For people with diabetes, controlling blood sugar levels (or blood glucose levels) is kind of like piloting that plane. To stay in the air and have the most fun, you have to keep blood sugar levels steady. Having a blood sugar level that's too high can make you feel lousy, and having it often can be unhealthy. The blood glucose level is the amount of glucose in the blood. Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it's also formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and it's carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Hyperglycemia (pronounced: hi-per-gly-SEE-me-uh) is the medical word for high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels happen when the body either can't make insulin (type 1 diabetes) or can't respond to insulin properly (type 2 diabetes). The body needs insulin so glucose in the blood can enter the cells of the body where it can be used for energy. In people who have developed diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood, resulting in hyperglycemia. Having too much sugar in the blood for long periods of time can cause serious health problems if it's not treated. Hyperglycemia can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems in people with diabetes. These problems don't usually show up in kids or teens with diabetes who have had the disease for only a few years. However, these health problems can occur in adulthood in some Continue reading >>
Not to be confused with the opposite disorder, hypoglycemia. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar (also spelled hyperglycaemia or hyperglycæmia) is a condition in which an excessive amount of glucose circulates in the blood plasma. This is generally a blood sugar level higher than 11.1 mmol/l (200 mg/dl), but symptoms may not start to become noticeable until even higher values such as 15–20 mmol/l (~250–300 mg/dl). A subject with a consistent range between ~5.6 and ~7 mmol/l (100–126 mg/dl) (American Diabetes Association guidelines) is considered slightly hyperglycemic, while above 7 mmol/l (126 mg/dl) is generally held to have diabetes. For diabetics, glucose levels that are considered to be too hyperglycemic can vary from person to person, mainly due to the person's renal threshold of glucose and overall glucose tolerance. On average however, chronic levels above 10–12 mmol/L (180–216 mg/dL) can produce noticeable organ damage over time. Signs and symptoms The degree of hyperglycemia can change over time depending on the metabolic cause, for example, impaired glucose tolerance or fasting glucose, and it can depend on treatment. Temporary hyperglycemia is often benign and asymptomatic. Blood glucose levels can rise well above normal and cause pathological and functional changes for significant periods without producing any permanent effects or symptoms.  During this asymptomatic period, an abnormality in carbohydrate metabolism can occur which can be tested by measuring plasma glucose.  However, chronic hyperglycemia at above normal levels can produce a very wide variety of serious complications over a period of years, including kidney damage, neurological damage, cardiovascular damage, damage to the retina or damage to feet and legs. Diabetic n 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 >>
Did Blood Sugar Levels Rise With Food Prices?
No, collective blood sugar levels on average rise with the amount of sugar in the diet, and then more specifically, with the level of high glycemic-index carbs in the diet. And most of those foods are dirt cheap. Therefore, I would think that blood sugar levels are more likely to fall if ALL food prices go up. Except the cheap carbs will always be the cheapest thing on the shelf, short of a fat tax. It is contingent on so many other factors: location age job class wealth gender overall diet medication family history access to healthcare degree of medical education medicare within the country insurance coverage degree of the raise in food prices the types of food in which the prices rise the most personal spending habits overall inflation I'm sorry I cannot come to a conclusion based on superficial knowledge and broad strokes. While it seems plausible that people turn to cheaper alternatives during lean times (which are ironically higher in refined sugars, fats like HDLs, etc.), but it would be a tenuous link to make. Furthermore, this only applies for certain countries which are not only more economically developed but also culturally addicted to certain foods. Furthermore, your blood sugar rises and falls throughout the day- so we can't fully make such a claim. If you're talking more socio-politically, they're more likely to have risen with cheaper food prices, misleading advertising (remember the ads where they said Coke was good for you?) and lack of education. Processed foods and refined carbs (i.e. sugar) are contributing factors towards obesity and/or T2D. For example, a Coke costs .99 but a water costs 1.50 at McDonalds Continue reading >>
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 >>
Will You Experience A Huge Insulin Spike Or Rise In Blood Sugar After Cheating On A Keto Diet?
Ever hear the phrase, “I can look at food and get fat.” It turns out that there is more than a bit of truth to that phrase. The human body is a remarkable machine even if it can go wrong in some ways. When you think of it, it makes sense that the human body needs to prepare itself for a load of carbohydrate coming its way. One way this happens is through the tongue. Things like sweet receptors in the tongue can cause the pancreatic beta cells to produce insulin. This is the mechanism that makes artificial sweeteners so problematic. Even though it contains zero calories and no nutritional value, consuming the sweetener Splenda/sucralose spikes insulin 17%. It turns out that even seeing or smelling food spikes insulin. Again, this makes sense because often when we see or smell food that means we’re going to eat it. However, how strong of a response is very much an individual response governed by a person’s metabolism. See, I’m 1/4 Native American. I likely inherited a gene that makes things in the modern diet cause hugely abnormal responses in things like insulin and blood sugars. This makes a lot of sense since I was an obese 5 year old when obese 5 year olds were highly uncommon. The phrase I like to use is “carbohydrate tolerance.” You may be very carbohydrate intolerant. If so then it’s likely that a high carb cheat meal will lead to a huge insulin spike and a (somewhat transient) rise in blood sugar. If you have historically had a problem with insulin, your individual response may be a huge insulin spike and a long term rise in blood sugars. This is not good. Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>