5 Causes of High Blood Sugar
Last updated: January 2023
You have diabetes so it is very important to keep your blood sugar levels within a good range. Poor control of blood sugar levels over time can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, nerve damage and eye problems.
What are the causes of high blood sugar levels?
Do you know what causes your blood sugar levels to spike? When I was first diagnosed with diabetes I tested so often to get an idea of what caused my blood glucose to spike. Some things surprised me, others did not, but it was a great study to know for myself what causes those annoying spikes. Here are 5 causes you may or may not know.
1. Artificial sweeteners
You may ask, "Why?" Well, with sweeteners, they can still have lots of carbs from starches. Be on the lookout for total carbohydrates on the label before you partake. Also, look for those sugar alcohols. Xylitol and sorbitol can still cause your blood levels to spike. Yes, they add sweetness with fewer carbs, but that does not mean they are without carbohydrates so they could have just enough to raise your levels.
Your morning cup of joe could hinder your glucose levels and put a spike in your meter reading. Energy drinks and caffeine filled beverages are what you have to be aware of. You can do your own testing to determine if caffeine is an issue for you. If you find spiked blood glucose, then you may want to give it up all together or at least cut back.
3. The dawn phenomenon
What is the dawn phenomenon, you ask? It is a surge in hormones that happens daily in the very early morning hours before you even wake. The rise in glucose is because of the body makes less insulin and more glucagon a hormone that can increase your blood glucose. If you tend to have morning readings that are high, you may want to discuss this with your doctor or diabetes educators so you can better identify the problem and take some steps to correct it.
4. A bad night sleep
Even one bad night sleep can throw your blood glucose off. Sleep is restorative and our bodies need sleep to restore our bodies and not getting enough sleep can spell out chronic stress on our bodies. Our body will react and even raise our blood glucose if we do not get enough sleep. If you're not getting proper sleep and it has become a problem for you bring it up with your doctor or diabetes educator and they can discuss what you can do to help in getting more sleep.
5. Having a bad cold
Most important is to make sure you stay hydrated. Drink, drink and drink more. Water and others fluids that help keep you stay hydrated. Make sure you make a doctor's visit if you have had diarrhea or vomiting for more than a few hours or if you have been sick and are not feeling any better by the third day. Make sure to be aware that there are medications such as decongestants, that can help clear your sinus but can affect your blood sugar. You may want to test more often while on medication so you can see how it affects your body.
Taking control of your own blood sugar is empowering. Not always will we know exactly what is going to make our sugar levels spike, but studying your own body and getting to know what and what does not cause spikes is a great way to live.
Do you find it difficult to "eat right" and stick to a nutrition plan?