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 >>
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 >>
Diabetes In Teens - Types, Symptoms And Remedies
Is your teen suffering from Diabetes? Are you worried about the other health complications he may face early on in life? If you can relate to the above situations, it is time to check out the following post! As parents, it is natural to worry about the slightest discomfort of your teen. He is already struggling to cope with hormonal changes during this phase. Does the mere thought of your teen being diabetic seem like the worst nightmare for you? Diabetes has become an epidemic in recent times. The dreadful lifestyle disease can affect individuals of all age groups. There are several factors that cause Diabetes in teens or early adulthood. Some of them include genetic factors, metabolic disorder, etc. Want to know more about the symptoms of diabetes to watch out for in your adolescent and the treatment for the disease? Go ahead and give this article a read! What Is Diabetes? Diabetes is a chronic health disorder that affects individuals of any age group or sex. When your teen has an excess amount of sugar dissolved in his blood or urine, it means he is suffering from Diabetes. It also indicates that his pancreas is not producing sufficient insulin necessary to keep his blood sugar levels in check. There is no cure for diabetes. A doctor can help your teen control his blood sugar levels with the help of medications or insulin. Your teen would also need to follow a healthy diet and active lifestyle to keep his blood sugar level under control. Due to diabetes your teen can suffer from numerous health complications that include the following: Heart diseases Loss of vision Strokes Renal failure Chronic kidney disease Amputation of lower extremities Anxiety Nerve damage Diabetes is a life-long condition that can have a huge impact on your teen’s overall health and well-bein Continue reading >>
Stress And Blood Glucose Levels
When the body is under stress, the adrenal glands trigger the release of glucose stored in various organs, which often leads to elevated levels of glucose in the bloodstream. For people with diabetes, this can be particularly problematic as they find it harder than non-diabetics to regain normal blood glucose levels after a bout of stress. The common misconception with stress is that it is an emotional problem, often disguised as anxiety, worry, or depression. However, the reality is that stress can also be physical, nutritional, and chemical. For example, stress can be experienced as physical pain or illness, and can also be triggered by situations such as an accident, the death of a friend or relative or confrontations with other people. Essentially, stress can be considered as anything that tends to change the control that you have over our body and our emotions The Adrenal Glands The adrenal glands, which site atop the kidneys, are mainly responsible for releasing hormones in response to stress. The hypothalamus area of the brain sends a chemical signal to the adrenal glands, which become enlarged and produce two hormones - epinephrine (also called adrenaline) and norepinephrine. These hormones are released into the blood to help prepare the body for the so-called 'fight-or-flight response'. They speed up the heart and widen airways and blood vessels, causing a rise in blood pressure and muscle tension. While the main role of norepinephrine is to prevent blood pressure from falling, epinephrine is an important blood sugar regulating substance. It is responsible for converting glycogen (the glucose stored in muscle cells and liver) into glucose when blood sugar levels drop, thus ensuring normal levels of blood glucose are maintained. Raising blood sugar is important Continue reading >>
Is Stress The Source Of Your Blood Sugar Swing?
A catty co-worker, an unpaid credit card bill, planning a wedding — if something causes you stress, it can also trigger an increase in your blood sugar level. Thinkstock If you have type 2 diabetes, you know that certain foods — particularly foods that are high in carbohydrates — can send your blood glucose (sugar) level through the roof. But did you know that there’s a long list of other factors — such as too little sleep, illness, even monthly menstrual cycles — that can sabotage your best efforts to control your blood sugar? High on that list, though you may not be aware of it, is stress. Whether it’s related to work, to relationships, or to some other aspect of your life, research, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), has continually shown that emotional stress can cause blood sugar to surge. And since strict blood sugar control is the key to the successful management of type 2 diabetes, it’s important to understand how stress affects you and to find healthy ways to cope when mental distress mounts. The Effect of Stress on Blood Sugar According to the ADA, stress triggers an increase in the body's fight-or-flight hormone levels, as if the body were under attack. In response, the body releases extra energy in the form of glucose and fat. People with diabetes are unable to properly process that glucose because of insulin resistance, and consequently glucose builds up in the blood. “For someone who doesn't have diabetes, stress causes a temporary rise in blood sugar, but their body can adjust,” says Amy Campbell, RD, LDN, a certified diabetes educator and a contributor to DiabetesSelfManagement.com. “For someone with diabetes, the blood sugar level stays high.” Everyone gets stressed out at times, but it’s important to underst Continue reading >>
Why Hemoglobin A1c Is Not A Reliable Marker
i was recently tested for Hemoglobin A1c because i presented to an endocrinologist with extremely low blood glucose on lab test and some scary symptoms, not the ordinary hypoglycemia symptoms. My A1c was 4.7 which registered as low (L) on the lab print out–it was only slightly low. Does a low score on this suggest a possibility of short-lived RBCs? Does it have any relationship with extremely low blood glucose? my result at the lab, fasting, was 32mg/dL. Not long after that i got a home glucometer and i get the same kind of results on that as the lab got, in the 20s and 30s first thing in the morning, every day. did not know i had hypoglycemia until i had that lab test, though i had had one episode where i woke up with ataxia, i fell while walking to the bathroom first thing in the morning, i got up and immediately fell again. I soon found that i had very impaired coordination. i did not know why and i was very worried. Eventually i wanted to have breakfast but had great difficulty holding the measuring cup under the faucet, to get some water to heat, to make instant oatmeal, i lacked the coordination to get the water into the cup. I persisted and did make the instant oatmeal (pour hot water onto flakes and it’s done), and i got my lap top and was eating the oatmeal and i suddenly was aware that the symptoms were going away. Previously i had been unable to type. While eating the small amount of oatmeal, i realized i could type. That was about a month before the lab test. Since it only happened that once, i put it out of my mind. About 5 days after the lab test, i had the second episode, worse than the first, i woke falling out of bed to the floor, couldn’t use my arm to break the fall, i didn’t have the coordination. i sat on the floor, i could not get up and wa Continue reading >>
Why Is My A1c Rising?
I am a 36-year-old man diagnosed with type 2 diabetes two years ago. Until six months ago, my A1C was 5.4 percent, but now it's creeping back to 7. I am a vegetarian, teetotaler, and nonsmoker, and I take oral medication. My diet and lifestyle are unchanged. Why are my blood glucose levels going up? Would eating many small meals help my control? Continue reading >>
High Blood Sugar Basics
High blood sugar, called hyperglycemia, is one of the defining characteristics of diabetes. When people are diagnosed with diabetes, it means their blood sugar has been high, usually for a long period of time. There are two ways high blood sugar can be monitored: Self-tests using a glucose meter that measures your blood sugar at a specific moment The A1C test performed by your doctor, which shows your average blood sugar level over the past 2-3 months Over time, high blood sugar can lead to serious long-term health problems. The good news is that scientific studies have proven that control of blood sugar may help delay or even prevent diabetes complications вЂ“ get started by learning more about the signs and causes of high blood sugar and tips to help prevent its development. Click here to test your knowledge about blood sugar. What happens when you have high blood sugar? Insulin is a hormone needed for proper control of blood sugar. Specifically, insulin helps move sugar from your blood into most of your bodyвЂ™s cells, where sugar is used for energy. In patients with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin, and/or the insulin that the pancreas makes does not work the way that it should. As a result, sugar in the blood cannot enter most cells and the cells are unable to use this sugar for energy, while the liver makes too much sugar. This in turn, causes blood sugar levels to get too high, which can cause serious long-term health problems. High blood sugar symptoms When sugar levels become high, you may experience: Dry mouth, unusual thirst Frequent urination Fatigue Blurred vision Headaches Unintentional weight loss However, some patients with type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms. What should I do if I have symptoms? If you havenвЂ™t al Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar And Stress
High Blood Sugar and Stress go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you have one you most likely are going to have the other. There is medical research that suggests that lowering your stress levels can help lower your blood sugar to a more normal level. A study was conducted at the Medical University of Ohio. The experiment followed 30 people with diabetes. Half of the people in the study practiced exercises that helped tame their tension such as muscle relaxation. The group in the other half simply took classes that had subjects to help educate diabetics. The study went on for 10 weeks and came to the following conclusions: The people with diabetes that used the relaxation exercises saw about a 10% drop in fasting blood sugar and in the amount of HbA1c--A sign that their glucose had stayed lower around the clock for the previous few months. These results can mean a smaller risk of diabetic complications, such as heart disease, blindness, and nerve damage. During the same time period, the group that received the classes saw their blood sugar and HbA1c levels actually rise. Stress and High Blood Sugar Stress, according to this study, can and probably does set off hormones that raise blood sugar levels. Ronald McGinnis, MD. says, "Reducing chronic stress switches this process off." If you happen to need more motivation to reduce your stress levels consider this, the group that practiced relaxation techniques also saw a decrease in depression and anxiety! High blood sugar levels in a person with diabetes can lead to memory problems. It is a problem that is not known to many people. People with type 2 diabetes are more at risk, because of their high blood glucose levels, to experience dementia. There is a growing body of research that suggests that poor blood glucose Continue reading >>
What A High Blood Sugar Feels Like.
The American Diabetes Association cites the following symptoms as indicative of high blood sugar: High blood glucose [Editor’s note: Duh] High levels of sugar in the urine Frequent urination Increased thirst And if high blood sugar goes untreated? “Hyperglycemia can be a serious problem if you don’t treat it, so it’s important to treat as soon as you detect it. If you fail to treat hyperglycemia, a condition called ketoacidosis (diabetic coma) could occur. Ketoacidosis develops when your body doesn’t have enough insulin. Without insulin, your body can’t use glucose for fuel, so your body breaks down fats to use for energy. When your body breaks down fats, waste products called ketones are produced. Your body cannot tolerate large amounts of ketones and will try to get rid of them through the urine. Unfortunately, the body cannot release all the ketones and they build up in your blood, which can lead to ketoacidosis.” – ADA website But what does a high blood sugar feel like? Because when you see someone who is working through an elevated blood sugar, they may not look terribly out of sorts. But what is happening inside of them is real, and plays out in a myriad of ways for every person with diabetes. I’ve tried to write about it several times, but each high is different, and affects me in different ways: “It’s a thick feeling in the base of your brain, like someone’s cracked open your head and replaced your gray matter with sticky jam. I find myself zoning out and staring at things, and my eyeballs feel dry and like they’re tethered to my head by frayed ropes instead of optic nerves. Everything is slow and heavy and whipped with heavy cream.” – Oh, High! “There’s something about a high blood sugar that makes my body feel weighted down, l Continue reading >>
Pre-diabetes And Stress
Pre-Diabetes can be caused by Insulin Resistance-related obesity which, in turn, may be brought on by stress. Various forms of stress release the steroid cortisol and this process may result in weight gain. Insulin sensitivity decreases after certain stressful experiences, such as surgery and it is also associated with work-related mental and emotional stress. While the underlying cause of Pre-Diabetes can be Insulin Resistance, the disorder is also influenced by such factors as overeating, poor lifestyle choices and sedentary habits. People who suffer from stress often feel exhausted much if not most of the time and therefore are not motivated to exercise regularly, which can lead to an increase in weight. As glucose levels in the body rise, they stimulate increased insulin production, which has a number of negative effects: it raises noradrenalin levels which, in turn, can induce Insulin Resistance; it promotes the synthesis of atherogenic lipids (cholesterol); it is associated with kidney dysfunction and hypertension; it favors atherosclerotic plaque formation; and it stores fat. In people who are "stress-eaters", particularly women, the more they eat high-fat, high-sugar, high-carbohydrate "comfort" foods in response to stress, the more fat they store and the more insulin they secrete. This, in turn, elevates glucose levels, causing even more fat to be stored, thus starting a vicious cycle that also contributes to the development of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), the hormonal imbalance which is a major cause of female infertility, as well as skin conditions and excess facial and body hair. Interestingly, noradrenalin (the hormone that increases in response to excess levels of insulin in the body) is a stress-response chemical, released under conditions of emoti Continue reading >>
Stress: How It Affects Diabetes And How To Decrease It
Diabetes management is a lifelong process. This can add stress to your daily life. Stress can be a major barrier to effective glucose control. Stress hormones in your body may directly affect glucose levels. If you’re experiencing stress or feeling threatened, your body reacts. This is called the fight-or-flight response. This response elevates your hormone levels and causes your nerve cells to fire. During this response, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream and your respiratory rates increase. Your body directs blood to the muscles and limbs, allowing you to fight the situation. Your body may not be able to process the glucose released by your firing nerve cells if you have diabetes. If you can’t convert the glucose into energy, it builds up in the bloodstream. This causes your blood glucose levels to rise. Constant stress from long-term problems with blood glucose can also wear you down mentally and physically. This may make managing your diabetes difficult. Stress can affect people differently. The type of stress that you experience can also have an impact on your body’s physical response. When people with type 2 diabetes are under mental stress, they generally experience an increase in their blood glucose levels. People with type 1 diabetes may have a more varied response. This means that they can experience either an increase or a decrease in their blood glucose levels. When you’re under physical stress, your blood sugar can also increase. This can happen when you’re sick or injured. This can affect people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Keeping track of additional information, such as the date and what you were doing at the time you were stressed, may help you determine specific triggers. For example, are you more stressed on 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 >>
Your Average Blood Sugar: Why It Really Matters
If there was a blood test that could give you valuable information about a major, yet reversible risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and age related dementia, would you want to take it? What if that same blood test could also give you information about your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, vision loss, cancer and how fast you can expect your body to age? What if the test was really cheap? Now, what if you knew that what you were going to have to do to reverse your risk of all these conditions was going to be personally challenging, maybe even really hard, would you still want to take the test? Something to think about, isn’t it? The test I’m talking about does exist. It’s a simple little test that’s run all the time. It’s full implications are rarely considered, however. The test It’s called “hemoglobin A1c” and is sometimes referred to simply as the “A1c” test. In essence, it measures the amount of sugar that has become stuck to the hemoglobin in your red blood cells (hemoglobin is the component in blood that carries oxygen). Because red blood cells live for about 3 to 4 months, the test is usually used to estimate an “average blood sugar” for the previous 3 months. The more sugar floating around in your blood on a daily basis, the higher you A1c value will be. In conventional medicine the test is used to diagnose and monitor treatment goals for diabetics. The implications of a person’s A1c value run much deeper, however. Sugar within the body doesn’t just stick to hemoglobin. It sticks to many tissues that are made of proteins and fats (this accounts for most tissues in your body by the way) and can bind directly to DNA. The compounds formed by this process are called advanced glycation end products or “AGEs” for Continue reading >>
Can Stress Affect My Blood Sugar Levels?
There are several ways that stress may affect your blood sugar levels. Stress induces the well-known fight-or-flight response, in which your body increases its levels of certain stress hormones. These, in turn, cause a rise in the amount of sugar in your blood, where it's available to be used by your cells as fuel. If your body doesn't have enough insulin or can't use the insulin it has in order to get that blood sugar into your cells, your blood sugar levels remain high. Stress may also indirectly increase your blood sugar levels by causing you to abandon your good habits. When stressed, you may not eat well or exercise regularly, or you may drink more alcohol. These habits can cause your blood sugar levels to rise. In addition, you may not take time to check your blood glucose levels as often when you are stressed, so you may not be aware of the effects that the stress is having on your blood sugar levels. If you feel that stress is affecting your diabetes, talk to your doctor. It was easier back in the days when we were cave-people. Imagine that you are walking along, gathering nuts and berries when all of the sudden a saber tooth tiger jumps out of the bushes. And that's what the little organs on top of your kidneys are for. They let you run faster (hopefully) than the hungry cat. They are called your adrenal glands and they pump a hormone called adrenaline into your blood giving you a momentary boost in energy, speed, and strength. It’s your body’s turbocharger for getting out of danger. So stress, in this case fear, causes this boost of sugar-like hormone. Back in cave-people days when something caused a blast of adrenaline, you most likely used it up right away, so it did no harm to your body. Now, the problem these days, is that we have no saber tooth cats t Continue reading >>