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 call Continue reading