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Why Do Blood Sugar Levels Fluctuate

Erratic Blood Glucose Levels

Erratic Blood Glucose Levels

Stress i definitely a factor impacting the results during the run-in period for the disease to develop into a steady state of T1DM. In patients, gluconeogenesis may contribute as much as 60-70% of the glucose handled by their bodies during 24 hours. Hence, stress and gluconeogenesis should be kept to a minimum. Whenever glocose levels alter rapidly, both insulin and stress hormones try to stabilize blood glucose levels as rapid as possible. Hence, there will be "overshoots" in both directions, bringing about large undulations in blood glucose levels. Another method to evaluate the loss of beta-cell function would be to administer glucagon (enhancing blood glucoseand levels) and analyse C-peptide in plasma some 4-8 min thereafter, as a measure of total beta-cell residual activity. This is done to evaluate anti-autoimmune therapy given to patients with T2DM helping the patients to dose both rapidly acting insulin and depot insulin (mimicking phase 2 = not meal-responsive) of insulin secretion. The results with C-peptide is very consistent, giving good statistics for small populations. Relying on blood glucose alone and/or glucose intolerance analysis does not yield statistically valid information unless the T1DM is manifest and that ALL animals have lost some 80-85% of their beta-cells. I feel that average values of random blood glucose levels several times a day is much more reliable (despite the stress experienced by the animals, which is fading away upon more frequent handling) as a parameter to see when the animals reach a steady state levels consistent with T1DM. Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Throughout The Day - For Normal People And Those With Diabetes

Blood Sugar Throughout The Day - For Normal People And Those With Diabetes

Most of us have heard the term blood sugar bandied around enough that we think we know what it means, but few of us really understand the complexity of the system that makes a steady supply of fuel available to our cells around the clock. The basic facts are these: All animals have a small amount of a simple sugar called glucose floating around in their bloodstream all the time. This simple sugar is one of two fuels that the cells of the body can burn for fuel. The other is fat. Though you may occasionally eat pure glucose--it's called "dextrose" when it is found in the list of ingredients on a U.S. food label--most of the glucose in your blood doesn't come from eating glucose. It is produced when your digestive system breaks down the larger molecules of complex sugars and starch. Sugars like those found in table sugar, corn syrup, milk and fruit and the starches found in flour, potatoes, rice, and beans all contain chains of glucose that are bonded together with other substances. During digestion, enzymes break these bonds and liberate the glucose molecules which are then absorbed into your bloodstream. How Blood Sugar is Measured Blood sugar concentrations are described using a number that describes the weight of glucose that is found in a specific volume of blood. In the U.S. that measurement is milligrams per deciliter, which is abbreviated as "mg/dl." Europeans and almost all researchers publishing in medical journals use a different measurement, micromoles per liter, abbreviated "mmol/L." You can convert any European measurements you encounter to the American standard by multiplying the mmol/L number by 18. There's a handy converter online that will do this for you automatically. You'll find it at If a blood test says that your blood sugar is 85 mg/dl this means t Continue reading >>

The Cause Of Fluctuating Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetics

The Cause Of Fluctuating Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetics

The small electrode is only allowed to just brush against the surface of the cell so it must be controlled extremely carefully under the microscope. Tiny, tiny steps. Only 0.1 of a micron at a time. When the electrode finally makes contact the surface of the cell bends inwards. Then - quite suddenly – the electrode fuses with the cell and measurement can begin. This technique allows us to register extremely small flows of current through the cell’s ion channels, says Patrik Rorsman, Professor of Diabetic Medicine at the University of Oxford in England and newly appointed to an ‘Excellent Researcher’ position at the Sahlgrenska Academy. The method he uses is called patch-clamp. Thanks to the technique he has managed to develop basic knowledge of how the body regulates sugar levels in the blood. It is a delicate tightrope act that is first and foremost controlled by the hormones insulin and glucagon. Insulin ensures that the levels fall while glucagon makes them rise. But the fact that Patrik Rorsman entered research at all, and that he has devoted himself to studying the behavior of these particular hormones is due to pure chance. Let’s tell the story from the beginning. A bad conscience opens up new possibilities When researchers Bert Sakmann and Erwin Neher successfully measured small currents passing through individual cells in 1982, the news spread fast in the cellular biology world. It was quickly realized that this was a major breakthrough. For example, it was suddenly possible to measure the currents that cause nerve signals to be transmitted in our bodies. Young researchers from around the world wanted to visit the laboratory in Germany and join in the gold-digging. But few of them were able to pass the eye of the needle. Patrik Rorsman, on the other ha Continue reading >>

Lactation After Normal Pregnancy Is Not Associated With Blood Glucose Fluctuations

Lactation After Normal Pregnancy Is Not Associated With Blood Glucose Fluctuations

Breastfeeding is the preferred method of feeding infants up to 12 months of age (1). Breastfed infants experience fewer and less severe infections and may be protected against future disease development (2). Mothers who breastfeed potentially experience accelerated weight loss (3), a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer (3), and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes than mothers who do not breastfeed (4). Breastfeeding is recommended for all women, including those with gestational (5) or pregestational (6) diabetes. However, data suggest that diabetic women may experience hypoglycemia during breastfeeding; subsequently, they have been advised to eat before or during breastfeeding to avoid hypoglycemia (6). Because data on blood glucose fluctuations in normoglycemic women are limited, we tested the hypothesis that lactation in healthy normoglycemic women will not cause significant blood glucose fluctuations. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS— Women were recruited randomly from the Pregnancy Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH). The BWH Human Research Committee approved the study protocol, and all women provided informed written consent before participation. Healthy women were included if they were 18–40 years of age, 6 weeks to 6 months postpartum, free of a history of gestational or pregestational diabetes, and breastfeeding with no more than one bottle per day of supplementation. Women were excluded if they had an abnormal 1-h glucose challenge test during pregnancy (5), were taking medications known to influence blood glucose, were nursing more than one infant, or were incapable of using the continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS). Participants presented to the general clinical research center (GCRC) of BWH, where height and weight were measured and pregnancy Continue reading >>

What’s The Deal On Fluctuating Blood Sugars?

What’s The Deal On Fluctuating Blood Sugars?

What’s the Deal on Fluctuating Blood Sugars? One of the most persistent problems that my patients tell me about when they come in for their first visit is a lack of energy, sometimes followed by explosive bursts of temper, foggy thinking, and other unpleasant effects from eating a diet high in sugars and carbohydrates. Now, these people didn’t come to me to correct their low energy, or quick temper, and often they don’t even know there is a connection between the way they feel and what they eat. But the connection is clear. These patients are on a daily fun-house ride that seems painfully slow at times, then explosively fast at others. In medicine, we know this to be the result of fluctuating blood sugars. You eat pancakes for breakfast, with syrup, you feel like a million until about 10 am when all of a sudden you find yourself sweaty, cranky, irritable and sometimes even faint. So what do you do? Grab a donut and a cup of coffee? I hope not, but that’s often the answer. Then the fun house starts all over again, ultimately plunging you into a dark, scary place which feels like you’ll never get out. What most of these patients came to see me about is overweight and obesity. Many of them have tried punishing diets with almost no protein or fat, often vegetarian, and with such low calories that their body is thrown into a tantrum of fluctuating blood sugars. The Dangers of Blood Sugar Fluctuation A low level of blood sugar, referred to as hypoglycemia, results in an inadequate supply of glucose to the brain and leads to a considerable amount of malfunction. Hypoglycemia can cause a number unpleasant symptoms including fatigue, weakness, dizziness, inability to concentrate, poor memory, anxiety, depression, irritability, heart palpitations and excessive sweating. Continue reading >>

Tips For Managing Glucose Levels

Tips For Managing Glucose Levels

Upswing: Caffeine There are many different ways blood sugar (glucose levels in the blood) can be affected and cause problems with sugar control in people with diabetes. Each person reacts differently to various items that influence blood sugars. There are some compounds individuals with diabetes may want to examine to see how they influence their own blood sugar levels. For example, blood sugar levels can rise after drinking coffee, black tea, and some energy drinks due to the presence of caffeine. There are other compounds that may alter blood glucose levels and methods people with diabetes can use to see what compounds and actions influence their own blood sugar levels. Upswing: Sugar-Free Foods A number of foods claim to be "sugar-free," but these foods raise blood sugar levels because many of them contain carbohydrates in starches, fats, and even fiber. Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and xylitol add sweetness to foods but still may have enough associated carbohydrates to raise blood sugar levels. Foods with high levels of carbohydrates are likely to raise blood sugar levels very high, and eventually may cause organ damage over time in people with diabetes. Upswing: Chinese Food Foods high in fat can cause blood sugar to stay higher for longer periods of time. Pizza, French fries, and most fried foods are high in carbohydrates and fat. It's a good idea to check your blood sugar about two hours after you eat such foods to see how your blood sugar levels are affected. Upswing: A Bad Cold Dehydration can elevate your blood sugar so it is wise to stay well hydrated. If you are sick, diarrhea and vomiting for more than two hours, or illness longer than a few days may alter your blood sugar. Moreover, blood sugar rises as your body tries to fight any type of illness. Medi Continue reading >>

5 Causes Of Blood Sugar Fluctuations In Diabetes

5 Causes Of Blood Sugar Fluctuations In Diabetes

Blood sugar levels fluctuate all the time and for many different reasons. If living with diabetes, these fluctuations can be problematic, debilitating, and even dangerous for some. By better understanding the factors that trigger these events, you can avoid many of the ill effects of the disease and better manage your condition over the long term. Here are five of the most common causes of blood sugar fluctuations and things you can do to better control them: 1. Food and Drink When you eat, your blood sugar will rise as the foods you consume are metabolized and enter the bloodstream. The types of food you eat, therefore, are key to controlling your disease. Simple carbohydrates and high-sugar foods, for example, cause bigger spikes in blood glucose than either protein, fats, and complex carbs. Understanding this can help you direct your eating habits. To avoid fluctuations, focus on foods that are lower on the glycemic index. This is the index that rates carbohydrates by how much they affect blood sugar. Carbs like candy, cake, and cookies have a high glycemic index, while whole-grain bread, yams, and oatmeal have a low glycemic index. Fiber is also an important part of a diabetic diet. Although fiber is a carbohydrate, it doesn't raise blood sugar like other carbs. In fact, high fiber intake is associated with decreased glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. 2. Alcohol Intake What you drink matters just much as what you eat. This is especially true when it comes to alcohol. Alcoholic beverages of any type are known to increase insulin production which, in turn, causes an associated drop in blood sugar. On the flip side, certain alcoholic drinks can raise blood sugar due the carbohydrates contained in them. Beer has highest count overall with 13 grams of carbohy Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Swings

Blood Sugar Swings

Patients frequently want to know “what causes my blood sugars to go up and down even though I am doing the same things every day.” Patients will eat similar foods in the same quantities daily and hope their blood sugars will stay at the same level. Although eating does have a huge impact on blood sugars, there are other causes as well. Let’s look at some of the other possible reasons why your blood sugars may vary from day to day. Illness or Physical Stress Having a urinary tract, lung, or skin infection, as well as the flu or gum disease can make your blood sugars fluctuate. Often patients do not realize there is an underlying infection until their blood sugars soar. If you see your blood glucose numbers climbing for no apparent reason you should take your temperature and check with your physician to rule out possible infection. Chronic unrelieved pain or fibromyalgia may also cause blood sugar changes. Find ways to resolve these issues by researching physical therapy, chiropractic medicine, acupuncture, yoga, pain relievers or any other alternative ways to achieve pain relief. Lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep can result in chronic stress and insulin resistance, which will raise blood sugars. Medication Medications can have an effect on blood sugar variations from day to day. Patients who skip their daily diabetes medicines will have blood sugar fluctuations. Starting new medications can cause changes. Remember, it may take new medications between 4-8 weeks to show improved and consistent blood sugar control. Existing medicine dosages that are increased or decreased will have an impact on sugars. Certain patients do not take medications as prescribed. For example Glipizide (an oral sulfonylurea) needs to be taken 30 minutes prior to a meal. This gives it ti Continue reading >>

Glucose Levels Can Fluctuate For Variety Of Reasons

Glucose Levels Can Fluctuate For Variety Of Reasons

Living with diabetes blog Unexplained elevations in your blood glucose values can be perplexing. Most of you understand that increased carbohydrate intake or decreased physical activity raises your blood glucose, but what if you're seeing glucose elevations despite maintaining a relatively consistent diet and exercise schedule? Hormonal fluctuations brought on by illness, injury, surgery, emotional stress, puberty, menses and menopause can also affect blood glucose. Physical or emotional stress triggers the release of hormones called catecholamines, which often cause hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Even if you don't have diabetes, you can develop hyperglycemia during severe illness. If you already have diabetes, you may need more insulin or other diabetes medications during illness or stress. For children, insulin requirements increase with growth, particularly during puberty. This can, in part, be attributed to growth hormone as well as the sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone. For girls and women, menstruation and menopause present unique challenges to blood glucose control. Estrogen and progesterone can induce temporary resistance to insulin, which can last up to a few days and then drop off. Many women report having higher blood glucose levels a few days before beginning their period. Once menstruation begins, some women continue to have hyperglycemia while others experience a sharp drop in glucose levels. During menopause, women often notice their blood glucose levels are more variable or less predictable than before. Significant hyperglycemia can lead to emergency complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis or diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome. Persistent hyperglycemia puts you at increased risk for long-term complications such as cardiovascular disease, blindne Continue reading >>

High And Low Blood Sugar Issues

High And Low Blood Sugar Issues

Blood sugar concentrations or blood glucose levels are the amount of sugar or glucose present in your blood stream. Your body naturally regulates blood sugar (glucose) levels as a part your body”s metabolic processes. Glucose or sugar is the primary energy mechanism for cells and blood lipids. Glucose or blood sugar is transported from your intestines or liver to the cells in your body via the bloodstream. The absorption of glucose is promoted by insulin or the hormone produced in the pancreas. If your sugar levels are not balanced you may have high or low blood sugar issues. Low sugar issues are hypoglycemia and high blood sugar indicates that you have hyperglycemia or hyperglycemia symptoms. High or low blood sugar levels cause different problems. Low blood sugar levels can cause dementia, comas or death. High blood sugar is a major cause of damage to your body”s internal organs. Low Blood Sugar Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia indicates the level of glucose in your blood has dramatically dropped below what your body need to function. When your blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter symptom will develop. You may feel tired and anxious or weak and shaky. Your heart rate may be rapid and you feel as if you are having a heart attack. Eating something sugary will bring your sugar levels back to normal almost immediately and symptoms will subside. Sugar levels that are below 40 mg/dL cause you to have behavior changes. You may feel very irritable and become weak and confused. You may not realize you need to eat to raise your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels below 20 mg/dL will most certainly cause a loss of consciousness or perhaps you will experience seizures. You will need medical care immediately. Hypoglycemia symptoms happen very quickly. If you a Continue reading >>

Change In Temperature Can Affect Blood Sugar Levels

Change In Temperature Can Affect Blood Sugar Levels

Back to Living Better Many diabetics are aware stress and illness can cause blood sugar fluctuations, but did you know changes in temperatures can affect blood sugar levels and lead to false readings? Sabrina Rene, M.D., an endocrinologist at Piedmont, explains how temperature can produce blood sugar highs and lows, and how they can affect diabetes testing supplies. Effects of warm weather on diabetics During warmer months, it is especially important for diabetics to stay properly hydrated. Dehydration can cause blood sugar to rise as the glucose in your blood becomes more concentrated. High temperatures can also cause blood vessels to dilate, which can enhance insulin absorption, potentially leading to low blood sugar. It is best for diabetics to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day and monitor blood sugar closely for changes when temperatures start to rise. Ideal storage temperature for diabetic testing supplies Extreme heat and cold can affect insulin, test strips and glucose monitors. Never leave these supplies in a car, no matter what time of year. The meter should also be stored and used in a room that remains between 50 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Dr. Rene says it is important to store test strips in a dry, cool place. “You never want to store test strips in your bathroom. The warm, humid atmosphere can damage the strips, causing them to produce false readings,” she says. Vascular problems and temperature changes Patients with vascular problems often do not have proper blood flow, especially to their extremities, and cold weather may exacerbate slow blood flow. Diabetes test strips need a certain level of oxygen and blood flow to accurately calculate the glucose level. The lower these are, the less accurate the reading, says Dr. Rene. Raynaud’s p Continue reading >>

Fasting Blood Sugar: Normal Levels And Testing

Fasting Blood Sugar: Normal Levels And Testing

Fasting blood sugar provides vital clues about how the body is managing blood sugar levels. Blood sugar tends to peak about an hour after eating, and declines after that. High fasting blood sugar levels point to insulin resistance or diabetes. Abnormally low fasting blood sugar could be due to diabetes medications. Knowing when to test and what to look for can help keep people with, or at risk of, diabetes healthy. What are fasting blood sugar levels? Following a meal, blood sugar levels rise, usually peaking about an hour after eating. How much blood sugar rises by and the precise timing of the peak depends on diet. Large meals tend to trigger larger blood sugar rises. High-sugar carbohydrates, such as bread and sweetened snacks, also cause more significant blood sugar swings. Normally, as blood sugar rises, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin lowers blood sugar, breaking it down so that the body can use it for energy or store it for later. However, people who have diabetes have difficulties with insulin in the following ways: People with type 1 diabetes do not produce enough insulin because the body attacks insulin-producing cells. People with type 2 diabetes do not respond well to insulin and, later, may not make enough insulin. In both cases, the result is the same: elevated blood sugar levels and difficulties using sugar. This means that fasting blood sugar depends on three factors: the contents of the last meal the size of the last meal the body's ability to produce and respond to insulin Blood sugar levels in between meals offer a window into how the body manages sugar. High levels of fasting blood sugar suggest that the body has been unable to lower the levels of sugar in the blood. This points to either insulin resistance or inadequate insulin production, an Continue reading >>

How To Maintain Normal Blood Sugar

How To Maintain Normal Blood Sugar

If you are one of the millions of people who has prediabetes, diabetes, metabolic syndrome or any other form of “insulin resistance,” maintaining normal blood sugar levels can be challenging. Over the past several decades, these chronic disorders have swept through the U.S. and many other nations, reaching epidemic proportions and causing serious, but often preventable, side effects like nerve damage, fatigue, loss of vision, arterial damage and weight gain. Elevated blood sugar levels maintained for an extended period of time can push someone who is “prediabetic” into having full-blown diabetes (which now affects about one in every three adults in the U.S.). (1) Even for people who aren’t necessarily at a high risk for developing diabetes or heart complications, poorly managed blood sugar can lead to common complications, including fatigue, weight gain and sugar cravings. In extreme cases, elevated blood sugar can even contribute to strokes, amputations, coma and death in people with a history of insulin resistance. Blood sugar is raised by glucose, which is the sugar we get from eating many different types of foods that contain carbohydrates. Although we usually think of normal blood sugar as being strictly reliant upon how many carbohydrates and added sugar someone eats, other factors also play a role. For example, stress can elevate cortisol levels, which interferes with how insulin is used, and the timing of meals can also affect how the body manages blood sugar. (2) What can you do to help avoid dangerous blood sugar swings and lower diabetes symptoms? As you’ll learn, normal blood sugar levels are sustained through a combination of eating a balanced, low-processed diet, getting regular exercise and managing the body’s most important hormones in othe Continue reading >>

20 Reasons For Blood Sugar Swings

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 >>

Reasons Your Blood Sugar Fluctuates

Reasons Your Blood Sugar Fluctuates

Living with diabetes or prediabetes requires constant monitoring and vigilance when it comes to your blood glucose levels. For someone with diabetes, a level that is too high or too low could result in adverse reactions like dizziness, irritability, weakness, increased thirst or hunger, and exhaustion. While many are aware that certain foods can impact their blood sugar, there are other factors that may be just as detrimental to maintaining a normal glucose concentration in your blood. Continue reading to learn how environmental factors may be influencing your blood sugar levels, as well as how to properly test your blood sugar, and what to do if you have high or low blood sugar. Factors that influence blood sugar Foods high in starches, sugars, and caffeine have all been associated with raised blood sugar levels, but did you know that similar effects can be caused by factors not related to food intake? Below are some of the most common causes of blood sugar fluctuations that are not linked to food. Cold and flu. An illness like the common cold or flu can cause a spike in blood sugar as your body works to fight the invading ailment. Ensure you stay hydrated, and notify your doctor if you are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea lasting more than two hours, or if you have been sick for more than two days and showing no signs of recovery. Stress. Especially common for those with type 2 diabetes, stress can cause your body to release hormones that raise your blood sugar. Combat this external influence by learning relaxation techniques and trying to reduce stress in your life wherever possible. Steroids and water pills. Corticosteroids used to treat a variety of conditions like rashes, asthma, and arthritis can raise your blood sugar levels and, in some cases, trigger diabetes Continue reading >>

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