Blood Sugar Spike Causes
Blood sugar levels fluctuate all day long. When you eat food, particularly those foods that are high in carbohydrates like bread, potatoes, or pasta, your blood sugar will immediately begin to rise.
If your blood sugar is consistently high, you need to talk to your doctor about improving your diabetes management. Blood sugar rises when:
- youre not taking enough insulin
- your insulin isnt lasting as long as you think it is
- youre not taking your oral diabetes medication
- your medication dosage needs adjusting
- youre using expired insulin
- youre not following your nutritional plan
- you have an illness or infection
- youre using certain medications, like steroids
- youre under physical stress, such as an injury or surgery
- youre under emotional stress, such as trouble at work or home or with money problems
If your blood sugar is usually well-controlled, but youre experiencing unexplained blood sugar spikes, there might be a more acute cause.
Try keeping a record of all the food and drinks you consume. Check your blood sugar levels according to your doctors recommendations.
Its common to record your blood sugar reading first thing in the morning, before youve eaten, and then again two hours after eating. Even a few days of recorded information can help you and your doctor discover whats causing your blood sugar spikes.
Common culprits include:
Why Is It Important To Treat High Blood Sugar
Having high blood sugar for an extended period of time when you have diabetes can lead to complication affecting many different parts of the body. This can include the heart, eyes, nerves and kidneys.
One complication of prolonged high blood sugar that is more common in type 1 than type 2 diabetes, is diabetic ketoacidosis , which can lead to coma or even death. When there is not enough insulin to move sugar into the bodys cells, fat is used to burn energy instead of sugar. Using fats instead of sugar can produce toxic chemicals called ketones.
Some key signs and symptoms of DKA include:
- High blood sugars
- Thirst, dry mouth and tiredness
- Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
- A fruity smellto your breath
- Nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain
- Weakness and confusion
- Loss of consciousness/coma
Ketones can be detected using a blood ketone meter or urine ketone strips available for purchase at pharmacies. If DKA is recognized early, it may be treated at home, but if your blood sugar stays high, ketones are not lowering, or you are vomiting, it is important to go to the hospital immediately for treatment.
The best way to prevent ketones is to manage your blood sugar levels and avoid hyperglycemia.
Blood Sugar Spike: What To Do
Its important to know the symptoms of hyperglycemia. If you suspect that you have high blood sugar, perform a finger stick to check your level.
Exercising and drinking water after eating, particularly if youve consumed a lot of starchy carbs, can help lower your blood sugar.
You can also use an insulin injection, but be careful only to use this method while closely following the recommendation of your doctor regarding your dose. If used improperly, insulin can cause hypoglycemia .
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How Are High Blood Sugar Levels Treated
Treating high blood sugar levels involves fixing what caused them in the first place. Your diabetes health care team will give you specific advice on how to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. But here are some ways to manage the common causes of high blood sugar levels:
|Reason for High Blood Sugar Level||What to Do|
|Not getting enough insulin or other diabetes medicine|
|Not following the meal plan|
|Not getting enough exercise|
|Illness or stress|
|Use of other medicines that can increase blood sugar|
How Do You Feel When Your A1c Is High
If your blood sugar level is too high, you may experience symptoms such as:
- dry mouth
- blurred vision that doesn’t go away when you look at something else
- drowsiness to the point of feeling like being drunk. If this happens, do not drink alcohol because it will make things worse. Drink water instead! Alcohol can cause your blood sugar levels to spike up even more by slowing down how quickly your liver processes food as well as breaking down carbs in high amounts due to many sugars . Drinking too much coffee while high on insulin may also lead to a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels so try avoiding caffeine if possible until you get back into balance again with medication dosages.
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Mild High Blood Sugar
If your blood sugar levels are consistently higher than your target range to 350 mg/dL in adults and 200 mg/dL to 240 mg/dL in children), you may have mild symptoms of high blood sugar. You may urinate more than usual if you are drinking plenty of liquids. Some people who have diabetes may not notice any symptoms when their blood sugar level is in this range. The main symptoms of high blood sugar are:
- Increased thirst.
- Increased appetite.
Young children are unable to recognize symptoms of high blood sugar. Parents need to do a home blood sugar test on their child whenever they suspect high blood sugar.
If you don’t drink enough liquids to replace the fluids lost from high blood sugar levels, you can become dehydrated. Young children can become dehydrated very quickly. Symptoms of dehydration include:
- A dry mouth and increased thirst.
- Warm, dry skin.
High Blood Sugar Causes
You may be thinking that hyperglycemia can happen just from eating a super-sugary food, but its not really as simple as that. Sure, eating a lot of sugar or carbs can elevate your blood sugar level, but thats typically when your pancreas kicks into gear and creates insulin to move that glucose into cells throughout the body.
But when someone has diabetes, this finely tuned system gets thrown out of whack. In type 2 diabeteswhich accounts for 90% to 95% of diabetes in adults, according to the CDCthe body either cant make enough insulin or cant utilize insulin well, according to the NIDDK. If someone has prediabetes, their blood glucose will be higher than normal but not quite in the type 2 diabetes range yet, per the NIDDK. And in type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin or makes very little.
In any case, the result is extra sugar hanging around the bloodstream, making you feel like total crap in the short term and putting your health at risk in the long term.
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When To Get Urgent Medical Attention
Contact your diabetes care team immediately if you have a high blood sugar level and experience the following symptoms:
- feeling or being sick
- a fever for more than 24 hours
- signs of dehydration, such as a headache, dry skin and a weak, rapid heartbeat
- difficulty staying awake
These symptoms could be a sign of a more serious complication of hyperglycaemia, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or a hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state, and you may need to be looked after in hospital.
Symptoms Treatments And Prevention
Hyperglycemia means high glucose in the blood . Your body needs glucose to properly function. Your cells rely on glucose for energy. Hyperglycemia is a defining characteristic of diabeteswhen the blood glucose level is too high because the body isn’t properly using or doesn’t make the hormone insulin.
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For People With Type 2 Diabetes
It is normal for blood glucose levels to go up and down throughout the day. An occasional high blood glucose level is not a problem. But if your blood glucose level remains high for a few days or if you are sick, contact your doctor or Credentialed Diabetes Educator.
If not treated, high blood glucose levels can be dangerous and lead to Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Find out more here:
What Should My Blood Sugar Level Be
When you’re first diagnosed with diabetes, your diabetes care team will usually tell you what your blood sugar level is and what you should aim to get it down to.
You may be advised to use a testing device to monitor your blood sugar level regularly at home.
Or you may have an appointment with a nurse or doctor every few months to see what your average blood sugar level is. This is known as your HbA1c level.
Target blood sugar levels differ for everyone, but generally speaking:
- if you monitor yourself at home with a self-testing kit a normal target is 4 to 7mmol/l before eating and under 8.5 to 9mmol/l 2 hours after a meal
- if your HbA1c level is tested every few months a normal HbA1c target is below 48mmol/mol
The Diabetes UK website has more about blood sugar levels and testing.
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Youre Developing Blisters Dryness Or Other Skin Changes
Small pieces of extra skin, called skin tags, may form in the creases of skin, especially if you have diabetes and youre trying to find ways to manage your weight, notes the ADA. Dark, thick areas of soft skin may form on the back of the neck or hands, armpits, face, or other areas. These can be a sign of insulin resistance, Zanini says. Blisters, infections, dryness, itchiness, discolorations, and abnormalities of the skin can all be warning signs of high blood sugar. Check with your doctor if these skin changes develop.
How To Control The Level
To cure acute hyperglycemia in diabetic women and men, insulin injections is the only way out. To prevent the consistent occurrences of hyperglycemia, certain preventive measures would help. The food one eats, plays a huge role in controlling the blood sugar level. Eat healthy food, which is low on sugar and fats. Junk foods are high on sodium and sugar levels, so one should avoid consumption of these foods. Drinking enough water, is also of immense help. Maintaining a ideal weight is also of huge significance, as high weight is associated with high blood sugar.
So this was all about the signs. As said earlier, women need to maintain a sound health, as the well-being of the family depends on her. So, if you have high blood sugar, dont worry. Making certain lifestyle modifications would surely help a large way.
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What Happens When A1c Is Too High
When your glucose levels are too high you can damage your body. High blood sugar levels increase your risk for blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stomach ulcers, and nerve damage.
People with diabetes with a higher A1C may experience blurred vision or headaches because the excess glucose in their bloodstream is being used as a fuel source for anaerobic metabolism which raises lactic acid production. Other possible signs include nausea and vomiting, extreme thirst followed by increased urination.
Additionally, they will feel fatigued or have difficulty concentrating on mental tasks such as memorizing things like phone numbers. Frequent infections can also be one sign that you need to get control over your diabetes management plan again!
Talk to your doctor if your blood glucose stays are too high frequently or stay high for a longer time.
Managing Blood Sugar Levels
Many people with diabetes must check their blood sugar levels daily with a glucose meter. This device takes a drop of blood, usually from a finger, and displays the sugar level within a few seconds.
People with type 1 diabetes will need to take insulin as their doctor recommends, usually several times a day.
Those with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes may need to change their diet and exercise habits. They may also need to take oral medications or insulin.
A number of strategies can help prevent hyperglycemia.
- check their blood sugar levels as their doctor advises and take the correct amount of insulin, if they have type 1 diabetes
- speak to their healthcare provider or dietitian about which foods to eat or avoid, how much to eat, and how often
- take precautions to avoid infections, for example, through regular hand washing, as illness, such as a cold, can trigger a rise in blood pressure
- plan their food intake and exercise to balance blood sugar levels
- minimize stress, as far as possible, for example, through exercise, getting enough sleep, and stress-reducing activities such as meditation or yoga
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can happen when a person:
- has certain medical conditions
- does a lot of exercise
- skips meals or eats too little
It can also be a side effect of diabetes medicines. Taking too much insulin can result in low blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of low blood sugar may include:
- visit a doctor regularly
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Warning Signs That Your Blood Sugar Is High:
How would you know if your blood sugar has shot through the roof? You can spot the warning signs of high blood sugar even before you see the doctor. If you notice any of them, arrange for an appointment at once!
Your skin will feel dry and scaly if your blood sugar levels are on the high end. You may have problems urinating as well. Dehydration can cause diabetic ketoacidosis or too many acids building up in the body. It can lead to organ failure or death.
2. Feeling Parched
Are you always reaching for water, even if the weather is not too hot? Constant thirst indicates dehydration. It shows you that you have to work at making your blood sugar levels drop.
Having constant diarrhea is a warning symptom of Hyperglycemia. Seek a doctors help if your stools are runny. There may be an overgrowth of bacteria in your intestines. Also, it may be difficult for them to break down sugar.
4. Loss of Appetite
Hyperglycemia can create a condition known as Gastroparesis when food moves slowly through the digestive tract. Food cannot move out of the stomach and into the small intestine. A person with Hyperglycemia will lose his appetite because he has a clogged stomach.
5. Excessive Hunger Pangs
Sex may not bring you the same satisfaction it used to. High blood sugar has links with Erectile Dysfunction or ED. Men with diabetes may develop ED because the blood vessels and nerves that prompt erections are weak.
7. Open Cuts
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
When the body doesn’t have enough insulin, glucose stays in the blood and can’t get into the body’s cells to be used for energy. This can happen, for example, when someone skips doses of insulin or when the need for insulin suddenly increases and the doses are not adjusted.
When the body can’t use glucose for fuel, it starts to use fat. When this happens, chemicals called ketones are released into the blood. Some of these ketones, like extra glucose, pass out of the body through the urine.
High levels of ketones in the blood can be a problem because they cause the blood to become acidic. Too much acid in the blood throws off the body’s chemical balance and causes the symptoms listed below. In people with diabetes, this problem is called diabetic , or DKA. DKA is a very serious condition that can lead to coma or death if it’s not treated. The good news, though, is that it’s preventable and can be treated.
DKA happens more often in people with type 1 diabetes, but can sometimes also happen to those with type 2 diabetes.
How Is Dka Treated
DKA is very serious, but it can be treated if you go to the doctor or hospital right away. To feel better, a person with DKA needs to get insulin and fluids through a tube that goes into a vein in the body .
Let your parents or someone on your diabetes health care team know if you have any of these symptoms or are sick and don’t know what to do to take care of your diabetes.
Always wear a medical identification bracelet or necklace that says you have diabetes. Then, if you are not feeling well, whoever’s helping you will know to call for medical help. Medical identification can also include your doctor’s phone number or a parent’s phone number.
What Do You Do If Blood Sugar Is Too High
The best thing to do when your blood sugar levels are too high is to eat low carb and high protein meals and drink a high amount of water. Did you forget to take your insulin? You can do a correction bolus or take your medication before you eat. If the high blood sugar continues, contact your doctor and ask them to review your current dosages of insulin or if they need to prescribe another type of medicine for diabetes that will help keep blood glucose levels within the normal range.
Keep testing your blood sugar levels at regular intervals to make sure your high blood sugar is dropping, and if so, not dropping too fast and too much.
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