Controlling Blood Sugar and Its Effect on My Medical Procedure

Last updated: October 2022

An important aspect to keep in mind with type 2 diabetes is having medical procedures done. I recently had a nerve block performed at a brain and spine center for a bulging disc. Before the procedure, the medical team needed my blood glucose reading and did the nerve block accordingly.

More so, they administered a lower dose of the steroids because they can spike blood sugar. Learning more about blood sugar and its impact on your upcoming medical procedures is important.

The connection between steroids and blood sugar

While I didn't have major surgery, the medical team needed to get my blood sugar reading before doing the procedure. Knowing my blood sugar reading allowed them to understand how much of the steroid to inject since steroids can spike blood sugar levels.1

After the procedure, the medical team instructed me to monitor my blood sugar closely. Steroids can affect glucose regulation, whether cortisone or prednisone. Injections can have the most impact, and even topical treatments can have a smaller impact.2

Inform your medical team about your diabetes

I was lucky. My blood sugar on the day of the nerve block was regular so they could carry on with the procedure. And my blood sugar never spiked. Unfortunately, the nerve block failed, so I had upcoming surgery that required close monitoring of my blood sugar, including a back surgery related to the failed nerve block.

Make sure the doctor or medical team involved with any surgery or procedure is aware of your type 2 diabetes. I was lucky, and my doctor immediately took a reading and asked me about my blood glucose control.

If your doctor does not ask you about any conditions you experience during intake, make sure you do. Sometimes you have to take your health into your own hands to ensure you get the best treatment possible.

Monitoring blood sugar before and after a medical procedure

So, if you are getting a steroid injection or any kind of surgery, be sure to ask about the side effects and how the procedure and medications might impact your blood sugar.

And if your doctor isn't aware of the potential dangers of rising blood sugar levels, you may wish to find another - or at the very least, educate them on how important it is. Most doctors should be fully aware, but it's up to you to ensure your health is taken care of in the best way possible.

How to mitigate high blood sugar after steroids

You can do a few things to mitigate the higher blood sugar after using a procedure involving steroids. First, monitor your blood sugar levels by testing them more often than usual. If your doctor recommends, you may have to adjust your insulin or oral medication dosage for a set amount of time. Have foods like fruit juice, candy, or glucose tablets nearby, just in case.

And if there is a problem, talk to your doctor immediately so that they can address the issue of a raised blood glucose level, especially if it is particularly high.

This or That

What do you use to check your blood sugar levels?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

Do you have a family history of diabetes?