Looking back to your diagnosis of diabetes, you may have been testing your blood glucose (BG) a lot more often, doing so gave you the information you needed to understand how food, stress, sports and illness potentially affect your BG. At this point, you have a general idea and feel fairly confident, but then you notice you are a bit thirsty and check your BG to find out your sugar has spiked! You attempt to correct it with insulin or some exercise and then it drops low, you have now entered a rollercoaster that no diabetic enjoys being on.
That being said look out for the following unusual triggers that can cause your blood glucose levels to spike:
Staying hydrated is essential for many reasons, as a diabetic being dehydrated means blood glucose is more concentrated in the blood due to the lack of water.
2) Time of Day
Blood sugar tends to be harder to control later in the evening/night.
3) Losing sleep
Just having one night of too little sleep can cause your body to be less responsive to insulting thus making it harder to bring your BG levels down.
4) Dawn Phenomenon
People often have surges of hormones in the mornings regardless of whether they have diabetes or not. For people with diabetes, these hormone surges can lead to higher sugars after waking up.
5) Skipping breakfast
Skipping breakfast can also mean not injecting insulin, due to the dawn phenomenon and your liver’s potential release of glycogen as compensation for not eating. These combined can lead to incorrect dosages of insulin thus, potentially sending you on that ‘rollercoaster’.
Yes, strange right? Even without any form of sweetening coffee has been found to raise some people’s BG levels, this could be due to caffeine being a stimulant thus increasing your adrenalin levels, however, studies are yet to be concluded.
In extreme pain such as sunburn or a toothache, the pain can cause stress. Increased stress levels are proven to increase Blood Sugar levels, and minimising stress from pain can assist you in managing your BG levels.
8) Gum disease
Gum disease like many other infections can cause random BG spikes, gum disease can also be a direct result of mismanaged diabetes (keeping BG levels high over long periods).
9) Nose Sprays
Nose sprays typically contain chemicals that can cause your level to release glycogen stores thus spiking your sugar. Checking the labels to see if they are safe to use as a diabetic can avoid this.
10) Artificial sweeteners
Shocking I know! More research is needed however, some studies have found that artificial sweeteners can raise BG levels.
Keep an eye out for similar triggers that may cause your BG levels to drop. For instance, extreme heat can make blood vessels dilate (widen), which makes insulin absorb a lot faster and could make your BG levels drop. If you are trying something new make sure to check your Blood sugar before and after to see how your BG levels respond.
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