How Many Factors Actually Affect Blood Glucose?
A printable, colorful PDF version of this article can be found here. twitter summary: Adam identifies at least 22 things that affect blood glucose, including food, medication, activity, biological, & environmental factors. short summary: As patients, we tend to blame ourselves for out of range blood sugars – after all, the equation to “good diabetes management” is supposedly simple (eating, exercise, medication). But have you ever done everything right and still had a glucose that was too high or too low? In this article, I look into the wide variety of things that can actually affect blood glucose - at least 22! – including food, medication, activity, and both biological and environmental factors. The bottom line is that diabetes is very complicated, and for even the most educated and diligent patients, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that affects blood glucose. So when you see an out-of-range glucose value, don’t judge yourself – use it as information to make better decisions. As a patient, I always fall into the trap of thinking I’m at fault for out of range blood sugars. By taking my medication, monitoring my blood glucose, watching what I eat, and exercising, I would like to have perfect in-range values all the time. But after 13 years of type 1 diabetes, I’ve learned it’s just not that simple. There are all kinds of factors that affect blood glucose, many of which are impossible to control, remember, or even account for. Based on personal experience, conversations with experts, and scientific research, here’s a non-exhaustive list of 22 factors that can affect blood glucose. They are separated into five areas – Food, Medication, Activity, Biological factors, and Environmental factors. I’ve provided arrows to show the ge Continue reading >>
Foods To Lower The Rise Of Blood Sugar At Night
Controlling high blood sugar levels at night is an important part of overall health for people with diabetes. But, it does not have to be a complicated process. Simple lifestyle changes including a healthy, well-balanced snack before bed can improve blood sugar levels even during the long hours between bedtime and breakfast. Video of the Day Protein is a key to preventing high blood sugar during the night. When digested, protein does not spike blood sugar or insulin levels, making it the best choice in food options before bedtime. A serving of protein should be eaten one to two hours before bedtime to help stabilize blood sugar levels before the extended fasting period during sleep. Good sources of protein include poultry, lean meats, fish, eggs and soy products. Fats also play an important role in controlling blood sugar levels. A small amount of healthy fats, like monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids, can be added to the evening snack to help the body process the protein being consumed. Examples of healthy fats are low-fat cheeses, seeds, nuts, avocado, and olive oil. Avoid trans fats and saturated fats, which can lead to high cholesterol and heart disease. Carbohydrates are often thought to be the enemy when it comes to high blood sugar. But, the right carbohydrates during an evening snack can actually be beneficial. Adding vegetables, whole-grain breads, or legumes not only provides important nutrients, but also provides fiber. Fiber decreases the risk of heart disease and helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Avoid simple carbohydrates that provide little to no nutritional value and spike insulin and blood sugar levels such as cookies, cakes, white breads and pastas, and sweetened soft drinks or juices. One to two hours before bedtime enjoy a smal 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 >>
Must Read Articles Related To High Blood Sugar (hyperglycemia)
A A A High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia) Whenever the glucose (sugar) level in one's blood rises high temporarily, this condition is known as hyperglycemia. The opposite condition, low blood sugar, is called hypoglycemia. Glucose comes from most foods, and the body uses other chemicals to create glucose in the liver and muscles. The blood carries glucose (blood sugar) to all the cells in the body. To carry glucose into the cells as an energy supply, cells need help from insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, an organ near the stomach. The pancreas releases insulin into the blood, based upon the blood sugar level. Insulin helps move glucose from digested food into cells. Sometimes, the body stops making insulin (as in type 1 diabetes), or the insulin does not work properly (as in type 2 diabetes). In diabetic patients, glucose does not enter the cells sufficiently, thus staying in the blood and creating high blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels can be measured in seconds by using a blood glucose meter, also known as a glucometer. A tiny drop of blood from the finger or forearm is placed on a test strip and inserted into the glucometer. The blood sugar (or glucose) level is displayed digitally within seconds. Blood glucose levels vary widely throughout the day and night in people with diabetes. Ideally, blood glucose levels range from 90 to 130 mg/dL before meals, and below 180 mg/dL within 1 to 2 hours after a meal. Adolescents and adults with diabetes strive to keep their blood sugar levels within a controlled range, usually 80-150 mg/dL before meals. Doctors and diabetes health educators guide each patient to determine their optimal range of blood glucose control. When blood sugar levels remain high for several hours, dehydration and more serious complicat Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Spikes In The Evening
Whether you have diabetes, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome or reactive hypoglycemia or simply want to lose weight, keeping your blood sugar levels stable can improve your overall well-being and health. Blood sugar spikes may be associated with fatigue, increased urination, excessive thirst, blurred vision and headaches, although many people do not experience any symptoms at all. Frequent blood sugar spikes can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke and type II diabetes. Moreover, these spikes often accompany a blood sugar crash, or hypoglycemic event, which can further exacerbate blood sugar fluctuations. Video of the Day Target blood sugar varies based on whether you have diabetes. For people with diabetes, levels below 130 mg/dL are the target before eating, whereas your reading two hours after eating shouldn't go beyond 180 mg/dL. If you do not have diabetes, a target of less than 100 mg/dL before a meal and below 120 mg/dL two hours after eating is more appropriate. A blood sugar spike means that your blood sugar levels go above the desired range. These spikes usually occur in the post-prandial period, or the period after your meal. Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar Levels The main nutrient group that makes your blood sugar spike after a meal is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates include both sugars and starches, which are both converted to sugar, or glucose, when your body digests them in your gastrointestinal tract. If you eat a lot of carbohydrates at one meal, your blood sugar levels will rise to a level higher than they will if you had only a small amount of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are present in grains, such as bread, rice and pasta; sugar, such as soft drinks, candies and desserts; starchy vegetables, such as french fries, mashed potat Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar & Other Hormones
Other hormones also affect blood sugar. Glucagon, amylin, GIP, GLP-1, epinephrine, cortisol, and growth hormone also affect blood sugar levels. Glucagon: Made by islet cells (alpha cells) in the pancreas, controls the production of glucose and another fuel, ketones, in the liver. Glucagon is released overnight and between meals and is important in maintaining the body’s sugar and fuel balance. It signals the liver to break down its starch or glycogen stores and helps to form new glucose units and ketone units from other substances. It also promotes the breakdown of fat in fat cells. In contrast, after a meal, when sugar from the ingested food rushes into your bloodstream, your liver doesn’t need to make sugar. The consequence? Glucagon levels fall. Unfortunately, in individuals with diabetes, the opposite occurs. While eating, their glucagon levels rise, which causes blood sugar levels to rise after the meal. WITH DIABETES, GLUCAGON LEVELS ARE TOO HIGH AT MEALTIMES GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) and amylin: GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) and amylin are other hormones that also regulate mealtime insulin. GLP-1 and GIP are incretin hormones. When released from your gut, they signal the beta cells to increase their insulin secretion and, at the same time, decrease the alpha cells’ release of glucagon. GLP-1 also slows down the rate at which food empties from your stomach, and it acts on the brain to make you feel full and satisfied. People with type 1 diabetes have absent or malfunctioning beta cells so the hormones insulin and amylin are missing and the hormone GLP1 cannot work properly. This may explain, in part, why individuals with diabetes do not suppress gl Continue reading >>
7 Foods That Spike Blood Sugar
1 / 8 7 Foods That Spike Blood Sugar If you have type 2 diabetes, you know about the importance of making healthy mealtime choices. But just as important is staying away from the wrong foods — those that can spike your blood sugar. That's because simple carbohydrates, like white bread and sugary soda, are broken down by the body into sugar, which then enters the bloodstream. Even if you don't have diabetes, these foods can lead to insulin resistance, which means your body's cells don't respond normally to the insulin produced by the pancreas. Here are seven foods you should avoid for better blood sugar control. Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
Steroids Make Blood Glucose Levels Rise
Certified diabetes educator Becky Wells recently retired from working with a diabetes self-management education program at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene, Texas. She has shared her “Ask the Diabetes Educator” advice columns from that program with Insulin Nation. Question: Sometimes my doctor prescribes steroids or gives me a steroid injection when I’m sick. This always makes my blood sugar levels go up, and nothing I do seems to get them down. What should I do? Answer: The use of steroids (glucocorticoids) can cause significantly high blood sugar levels. These hormones decrease the effectiveness of insulin and make your liver dump more glucose into your bloodstream. Some people can have blood sugars as high as 400 mg/dL to 500 mg/dL while taking steroids. These kinds of levels can lead to the need for hospitalization, IV fluids, and/or extra insulin in people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. sponsor Remind your doctor about your diabetes when he prescribes steroids and ask if it’s necessary for you to take them. If steroids are necessary, ask how often you should check your blood sugar and whether your diabetes medications should be adjusted. If the steroids are prescribed for a short time (less than a month), your doctor may decide not to change your medication. If steroids are used over a longer period of time, it’s important to note that the dosage levels are slowly tapered off. Insulin amounts will need to be decreased as steroid levels decrease. Do you have an idea you would like to write about for Insulin Nation? Send your pitch to [email protected] Continue reading >>
The Rise Of Blood Sugar As An Additional Parameter In Traumatic Shock.
Abstract Besides the known cardiovascular effects of hemorrhagic shock, regular metabolic consequences can be demonstrated in the rabbit: 1. The rise in blood sugar in hemorrhagic shock increases with the amount of blood withdrawn per unit of time. 2. The characteristic rise in blood sugar lasts longer than the phase of the partial exsanguination. 3. In traumatic shock, the rise in blood sugar indicates the degree of severity of the injury earlier than the fall in blood pressure does. The rise in blood sugar is attributable to a reflex increase in glycogenolysis due to catecholamine secretion elicited via baroreceptors in hemorrhagic shock. For the pronounced rise in blood sugar in traumatic shock, an additional receptor is postulated. Supplementary investigation of the blood sugar may possibly enable the extent of the injury to be diagnosed earlier in traumatic shock, and the negative sequelae may be reduced by timely, adequate therapy. 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 >>
Strike The Spike Ii
Dealing With High Blood Sugar After Meals Eleven years ago, I wrote an article for Diabetes Self-Management about the management of high blood sugar after meals. It was called “Strike the Spike” and no article I’ve ever written has led to greater reader response. To this day, I still receive calls, letters, and e-mails thanking me for offering practical answers to this perplexing challenge. I’ve even been asked to speak on the topic at some major conferences. So when presented with the opportunity to readdress the issue, I jumped at the chance. A lot has changed in the past eleven years: we know more than ever about the harmful effects of after-meal blood sugar spikes, but we also have a number of potent new tools and techniques for preventing them. Now that I know how important this topic is to so many people, I’ll do my absolute best to bring you up to date. What’s a spike? After-meal, or “postprandial,” spikes are temporary high blood glucose levels that occur soon after eating. It is normal for the level of glucose in the blood to rise a small amount after eating, even in people who do not have diabetes. However, if the rise is too high, it can affect your quality of life today and contribute to serious health problems down the road. The reason blood glucose tends to spike after eating in many people with diabetes is a simple matter of timing. In a person who doesn’t have diabetes, eating foods containing carbohydrate causes two important reactions in the pancreas: the immediate release of insulin into the bloodstream, and the release of a hormone called amylin. The insulin starts working almost immediately (to move glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells) and finishes its job in a matter of minutes. The amylin keeps food from reaching the sm Continue reading >>
Is It Normal For Blood Pressure And Blood Sugar To Rise As We Age?
Q. My bloood pressure and blood sugar have been rising slowly over the past 10 years but are still in a healthy range. Should I worry? A. If you are otherwise healthy, small, steady increases in blood pressure and blood glucose that are still within the normal range are probably nothing to worry about. If your health habits need a tuneup, rising numbers are a reminder to take action before they become a threat. Lifestyle changes can often help control rising blood pressure. So quit smoking, cut back on sodium, lose excess weight, exercise regularly, and drink moderately, if at all. These same healthy habits are also key to keeping blood sugar levels in check. It’s also worth noting that the new expert thinking is that slightly higher blood pressure is OK for adults older than 60, says Consumer Reports chief medical adviser Marvin M. Lipman, M.D. And because blood sugar processing slows with age, Lipman says, adults older than 70 may not need the strict blood sugar control that’s important for younger people to prevent future complications. Continue reading >>
Why Do I Feel Hungrier After Eating Guava?
It may be because guava has a higher glycemic index. Foods with high glycemic index tend to raise blood sugar faster. This results in a corresponding rise in insulin levels which then cause a more rapid lowering in blood sugar levels. The rapid reduction in blood sugar can trigger hunger. "Guava has a glycemic index ranking of 78 and is considered a high glycemic food. Guava ranks significantly higher than other fruits, as most fruits rank from 30 to 50. Apples, grapefruit, grapes, oranges and pears all score below 50 on the glycemic index. Only watermelon, which scores 72, plus or minus 13, ranks close to guava. This ranking suggests the guava will raise your blood sugar levels significantly and is far from an ideal choice for diabetics and those trying to manage or lose weight." Read more: Glycemic Index Value of Guava Glycemic Index Continue reading >>