Thursday, June 16, 2022

What Are The Causes Of Blood Sugar High

Why Does Blood Sugar Go Up At Night

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There are many factors that can cause your blood sugar to increase at night. For example: what food you ate during the day, how much and when you exercised, whether you ate snacks before bed, the timing of your insulin doses, and your stress level. You can experience different patterns of high blood sugar at night. You may start with high glucose when you go to bed, start the night in range but go high several hours later, or spend most of the night in range until the hours just before you wake up. By identifying your bodys patterns, you can figure out what is causing your high blood sugar and how to address it.

Common causes of a glucose increase at night include:

Only Diabetics Get High Glucose Values

While a high glucose value can indicate diabetes, nondiabetics can also have higher values than normal. When researchers studied people wearing a continuous glucose monitor who did not have a diabetes diagnosis, they found 93% of individuals reached glucose levels that are considered dangerous, with 10% spending over 2 hours per day in these dangerous levels. Traditional glucose measurements, like a single point in time blood glucose value, are unable to capture these abnormalities.

There are actually several causes of high blood sugar unrelated to diabetes that the CDC recognizes. These include certain foods, like artificial sweeteners and coffee. Other factors like stress can do it, too. If you live with an endocrine or pancreatic condition, had surgery recently, or are experiencing intense physical stress , you may also see your glucose value rise.

Diagnosis And Monitoring Of Hyperglycaemia

  • Random blood glucose test a blood test that checks the blood glucose level, regardless of when the person last ate
  • Fasting blood glucose test the person fasts so that a baseline blood glucose level can be established by blood test. This is the most common way a diagnosis of diabetes is made
  • Oral glucose tolerance test the person drinks a special preparation that contains glucose. A blood test is taken two hours later to check the blood glucose level
  • Glycosylated haemoglobin test this test is a guide to the average level of blood glucose over the previous three months. The glycosylated haemoglobin test is typically used as a way to monitor the treatment of a person with diagnosed diabetes
  • Home blood glucose monitoring test a person with diagnosed diabetes can test their blood glucose at home with a special kit. A drop of blood is placed on a strip of paper, which is then fed into a blood glucometer.

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Roller Coaster: Female Hormones

When a woman’s hormones change, so does their blood sugar. Keep a monthly record of your levels to get a better idea of how your menstrual cycle affects you. Hormone changes during menopause may make blood sugar even harder to control. Talk to your doctor about whether hormone replacement therapy is a good idea.

What Causes Blood Sugar To Rise Without Eating

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For the most part, food as you gathered from above, is the main driver for rises in blood sugar. However, life as you know is never a straight line.

There are other factors that can cause blood sugar to rise without eating. Some of that has to do with inter-play of hormones.

Stress hormones like cortisol, catecholamines , mobilize glucose from the stored glucose in the liver. Glycogen is the stored form of glucose in the liver.

These hormones cause a rise in blood sugar without eating both in diabetics and non-diabetics. Any thing that causes stress to your body will cause your blood sugar to rise.

Prescription and some over-the-counter medications like nasal decongestants can also cause your blood sugar to rise without eating.

Below are some of the causes of high blood sugar without eating:

  • Steroid medication
  • Diuretics pills that make you pee
  • Nasal decongestants containing phenylephrine or pseoudoephedrine
  • Poor sleep

As you tell from the above list, yes, stress can cause high blood sugar in non-diabetics. Stress from whatever origin has the potential to increase cortisol levels in the blood.

And as I explained earlier anything that causes liver cells to mobilize their glycogen stores unnecessarily will raise your blood sugar. Stress will do just that.

Should non-diabetics check blood sugar?

And Guess what

So, yes, my advice is that non-diabetics can test for blood sugar, if you are looking for some guidance on the matter.

Suggested further reading:

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What Is The Somogyi Effect

A second possible cause of high blood sugar levels in the morning is the Somogyi effect, sometimes also called rebound hyperglycemia. It was named after the doctor who first wrote about it.

If your blood sugar drops too low in the middle of the night while you are sleeping, your body will release hormones in an attempt to rescue you from the dangerously low blood sugar. The hormones do this by prompting your liver to release stored glucose in larger amounts than usual. But this system isnt perfect in a person with diabetes, so the liver releases more sugar than needed which leads to a high blood sugar level in the morning. This is the Somogyi effect.

How Do I Treat Hyperglycemia

You can often lower your blood sugar level by exercising. However, if your blood sugar is above 240 mg/dl, check your urine for ketones. If you have ketones, do not exercise.

Exercising when ketones are present may make your blood sugar level go even higher. You’ll need to work with your doctor to find the safest way for you to lower your blood sugar level.

Cutting down on the amount of food you eat might also help. Work with your dietitian to make changes in your meal plan. If exercise and changes in your diet don’t work, your doctor may change the amount of your medication or insulin or possibly the timing of when you take it.

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When Should You See A Doctor

Your yearly doctorâs appointment is an excellent time to check in on your blood glucose levels. This is especially true if your age , weight, or family history put you at higher risk for developing diabetes in general.

If you suspect you may have high blood glucose already, Zanini says that any changes in your health count as cause to see your doctor. Make an appointment to undergo the diagnostic tests listed above and to discuss treatment options with your provider. If you have high blood glucose and experience trouble breathing, vomiting, confusion, extremely high thirst, or other symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis, seek medical attention right away. This condition occurs when your body burns fat too quickly and converts it into ketones, which make your blood acidic. It can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Maintain A Healthy Weight

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According to the American Diabetes Association, maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your risk of developing high blood glucose and diabetes. If youâre working toward a healthy weight, the ADA recommends creating a sustainable routine you can stick with and focusing your efforts toward realistic goals.

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High Blood Sugar Treatment

  • Medication change: High blood sugars may be a sign that the person with diabetes needs to take medication, to change medications, or to change the way it is given .
  • Other illness: Other illnesses need to be diagnosed and treated if an illness is causing high blood sugar levels. Infection or illness may need to be treated in the hospital, where health professionals can adjust the plan of care.
  • Other Medications: A number of medications are available to help control blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes. Insulin is also prescribed for people with diabetes .

Causes Of High Blood Sugar

The leading causes of high blood sugar or hyperglycemia include:

Diet: Glucose comes from food, so what you are eating causes high blood sugar. Carbohydrates are the most common culprit as they are broken down into glucose very quickly in the body. High-sugar foods, high-fat foods, and processed foods also cause blood glucose spikes and should be replaced with healthier options.

Stress: When you are stressed, more stress hormones and chemicals are released, which drives blood sugar levels up too. If the stress is only temporary, this is not a serious issue, but if you experience chronic stress or an anxiety disorder, you may experience high blood sugar levels more often.

Metabolic Syndrome: These are a collection of conditions that occur at the same time and increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. High blood pressures, excess fat around the waist, and high cholesterol or triglycerides are examples of these conditions. When these occur in the body together, your risk for diabetes increases as does your blood sugar and the risk for potential complications.

Physical Inactivity: A lack of physical activity contributes to elevated blood sugar. When you are physically active each day, insulin works more efficiently, and your blood sugar can be maintained.

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Blood Sugar Test Machine

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Why Do These Symptoms Matter For Diabetics

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These symptoms are essential for diabetics to understand, because they may encounter high or low blood sugar levels from time to time.

A cold or virus can cause sudden high blood sugar levels, and understand the symptoms means knowing how to deal with hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.

People with diabetes who can recognise the symptoms can avoid levels that lead to medical emergencies such as diabetic ketoacidosis

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How Are You Sweetening Your Coffee What You Add To Your Cup May Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels

Whether you were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have been living with the condition for several years, you know how fickle blood sugar levels can be, and how important it is that they stay controlled.

Proper blood sugar control is key for warding off potential diabetes complications, such as kidney disease, nerve damage, vision problems, stroke, and heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health . Plus, keeping your levels in check on a daily basis can help you stay energized, focused, and in a good mood, explains Lisa McDermott, RD, CDCES, a diabetes specialist with the Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network.

According to the American Diabetes Association , proper medication, effective meal planning, regular exercise, and regular blood sugar checks can all help you keep your levels within a healthy range. The ADA recommends blood glucose stay within 80 to 130 milligrams per deciliter before meals and below 180 mg/dL two hours after the start of a meal. Furthermore, the organization recommends getting an A1C test, which measures your average blood glucose over the past two to three months, at least twice per year if your levels are stable and you are meeting treatment goals.

Surprising Things That Can Spike Your Blood Sugar

When you first found out you had diabetes, you tested your blood sugar often to understand how food, activity, stress, and illness could affect your blood sugar levels. By now, youve got it figured out for the most part. But thenbam! Something makes your blood sugar zoom up. You try to adjust it with food or activity or insulin, and it dips really low. Youre on a rollercoaster no one with diabetes wants to ride.

Do you know all of these blood sugar triggers?

Knowledge is power! Look out for these surprising triggers that can send your blood sugar soaring:

  • Sunburnthe pain causes stress, and stress increases blood sugar levels.
  • Artificial sweetenersmore research needs to be done, but some studiesexternal icon show they can raise blood sugar.
  • Coffeeeven without sweetener. Some peoples blood sugar is extra-sensitive to caffeine.
  • Losing sleepeven just one night of too little sleep can make your body use insulin less efficiently.
  • Skipping breakfastgoing without that morning meal can increase blood sugar after both lunch and dinner.
  • Time of dayblood sugar can be harder to control the later it gets.
  • Dawn phenomenonpeople have a surge in hormones early in the morning whether they have diabetes or not. For people with diabetes, blood sugar can spike.
  • Dehydrationless water in your body means a higher blood sugar concentration.
  • Nose spraysome have chemicals that trigger your liver to make more blood sugar.
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    What Is A Continuous Glucose Monitor

    Besides a glucometer, you can also monitor your blood sugar with a continuous glucose monitor. These monitors are devices connected to the body all day, allowing quick access to information anytime you need it. These monitors help prevent surprise highs or lows in blood sugar and address them quickly.

    There are other things you can do to avoid blood sugar crash if you have diabetes, including:

    • Eating a balanced diet
    • Avoiding sugary foods and drinks outside of mealtimes
    • Eating small portions
    • Avoiding restricting or cutting out full food groups
    • Planning ahead

    Do I Need To Check My Blood Sugar Level

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    Your healthcare provider will tell you if you need to check your blood sugar level. He or she will also tell you how often to check it. Ask your healthcare provider what your blood sugar level should be. Write down your results, and show them to your healthcare provider. Your provider may use the results to make changes to your medicine, food, and exercise plan.

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    How Do I Prevent Hyperglycemia

    • Exercise to help lower blood sugar. Work with your healthcare provider to make a daily activity plan.
    • Follow your meal plan if you have one. Learn how carbohydrates impact your blood sugar, and work with your diabetes care team to find the best meal plan for you.
    • Maintain a healthy weight.
    • Dont smoke.
    • Limit drinking alcohol. Alcohol can raise blood sugar levels, but can also cause dangerously low blood sugar levels. Work with your provider to determine how much is safe to drink.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/12/2020.

    References

    What Is Hyperglycemia

    Hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose, occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood. This happens when your body has too little insulin , or if your body can’t use insulin properly. The condition is most often linked with diabetes.

    Hyperglycemia is blood glucose greater than 125 mg/dL while fasting .

    • A person has impaired glucose tolerance, or pre-diabetes, with a fasting blood glucose of 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL.
    • A person has hyperglycemia if their blood glucose is greater than 180 mg/dL one to two hours after eating.

    If you have hyperglycemia and its untreated for long periods of time, you can damage your nerves, blood vessels, tissues and organs. Damage to blood vessels can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, and nerve damage may also lead to eye damage, kidney damage and non-healing wounds.

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    How To Prevent It

    If you work to keep your blood sugar under control — follow your meal plan, exercise program, and medicine schedule — you shouldnât have to worry about hyperglycemia. You can also:

    • Know your diet — count the total amounts of carbs in each meal and snack.
    • Test your blood sugar regularly.
    • Tell your doctor if you have repeated abnormal blood sugar readings.
    • Wear medical identification to let people know you have diabetes in case of an emergency.

    Managing Your Diabetes Devices

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    If you are using an insulin pump, talk to your diabetes team about how to best manage hyperglycemia. In general, be sure to check your pump first. Make sure all parts are connected and working correctly. Check your bolus history and temporary basal rate. Also check your insulin to make sure it has not expired or gotten too warm.

    If you use a CGM, try not to react to it too often. You might be tempted to give another dose of insulin too soon, before the first one finishes working, which is known as stacking insulin this can cause low blood sugar .

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    If My A1c Is Normal My Glucose Is Good

    An A1C result thatâs below 5.7% is normal âs standards, but having a result below that number isnât the end of the story. Pregnancy, hemoglobin variants, anemia, liver disease, and certain medications can cause inaccurate A1C results.

    Additionally, the A1C test is measuring your average glucose value over the past 3 months, but averages inherently do not capture highs and lows. So, you could have a normal average while also having abnormal glucose spikes. The A1C test should only supplement your regular blood sugar testing, not replace it completely.

    Planning For Sick Days

    Your body releases stress hormones when you are sick, which can cause hyperglycemia. Keep taking your insulin and other diabetes medications, even if you are throwing up. If you have ketones and your blood sugar is above 240 mg/dL, call your doctor. They might also want you to call if:

    • You have diarrhea that lasts more than 6 hours
    • You are throwing up
    • You have a high fever or trouble breathing
    • You feel very sleepy or confused

    Continue checking your blood sugar levels and keep track of the results.

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