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What Causes Blood Sugar Fluctuations

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What Can You Do If Your Blood Sugar Levels Are Too Low

Blood Sugar Fluctuations and Gluconeogenesis

It is important to react quickly enough and eat or drink something, like dextrose sugar or a sugary drink .

If someone has severe hypoglycemia they may feel drowsy and confused, and might even become unconscious. People who have type 1 diabetes often carry a pre-filled syringe on them in case that happens, containing the hormone glucagon. Glucagon makes the liver release sugar into the bloodstream. Someone else can then inject the hormone if necessary. If this is not possible, it is important to call the emergency services immediately and ask for medical help.

If your blood sugar levels keep on dropping too low, you should see your doctor. It could then be a good idea to change your lifestyle or medication.

What Causes Brittle Diabetes

Brittle diabetes occurs when diabetes is especially difficult to manage-. Diabetes can be hard to manage for many reasons:

  • Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects the intestine.
  • Drug or alcohol use.
  • Islet cell transplantation: A healthcare provider takes healthy insulin-producing cells from a deceased persons pancreas and infuses them into the liver.
  • Pancreas transplant: A surgeon implants a donated pancreas.

Your healthcare provider will try to address any underlying causes of brittle diabetes. For example, therapy to lessen psychological issues and stress can help manage diabetes.

Changes In Diet Patterns Or Food Content Can Cause Blood Sugar Fluctuations

Changes in Diet can fluctuate blood sugar.

All other people know that high carbohydrate content in the food will spike blood sugars. However, not everybody is aware of the glycemic index. The Glycemic index is an indicator of how fast the blood sugar will spike with the same amount of carbohydrates. For example at 30 g of carbohydrates in apple have a much lower glycemic index and 30 g of carbohydrates in the breakfast cereal. Blood sugar may spike twice or 3 times faster with the breakfast cereal compared to apple with the same amount of carbohydrates.

Another point that You have to be aware of is the fat content in the food. Anytime you eat carbohydrates with high animal fat content your blood sugars may spike much higher and the spike may come delayed many hours after a high fat, high carb meal.

On the contrary, if you eat very healthy and eat very little carbs the medications you have been taking for your regular diet may be too much especially if you are on sulfonylureas or short-acting insulins.

In summary, to prevent blood sugars go up and down or fluctuate too much you have to pay attention to the glycemic index and fat content in your diet in addition to paying attention to carbohydrates.

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Surprising Reasons For Blood Sugar Fluctuations

StressIt is an age-old truth that stress increases the risk for many illnesses. Being under prolonged stress can not only be tiring but also dangerous for your health. Be it job stress or personal worries, stress releases hormones that raise blood sugar. Learn ways to manage your stress and practice relaxation to maintain healthy glucose levels.

Lack of SleepLack of adequate sleep is a perfect case of what causes blood sugar to rise without eating. Inadequate sleep causes hormonal imbalance and raises blood sugar levels. It can also increase appetite causing more food intake, thus leading to increased sugar levels.

Early Morning HighRise in blood sugar early morning is common in some people, particularly those who take medicines for diabetes. This may be due to the release of hormones early in the morning, before the waking time. If you notice such changes, it is better to discuss your medications and doses with your doctor.

Improper Blood Sugar TestYou may also be surprised to know that your blood sugar may show fluctuations if you do not take adequate care when testing. If you have handled food and not washed your hands properly before checking your blood sugar, the results can show high blood sugar. Also, if the diabetes test strips are not stored properly or if the blood sugar machine is not handled, as advised, it can show blood sugar fluctuations. This can give a false alarm or inaccurate results, which can be misleading.

Why Does Blood Sugar Level Fluctuate

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Fluctuating blood sugar levels or Brittle diabetes occur because of explained and unexplained causes, leading to increased sugar levels and low sugar levels . In spite of all possible efforts, sugar levels never seen to stay at a same level in many diabetic patients.

In non-diabetics people blood sugar levels fluctuate within normal range, factors precipitating blood sugar fluctuations are diet , physical activity, co-morbidities like chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, infections and various other conditions causes fluctuations in sugar levels.

These fluctuation or swings in blood sugar levels in known as glycaemia variability. When there is high glycaemic variability, it can cause microvascular and macro vascular complications.

Extreme fluctuating blood sugar levels can cause a lot of emotional disturbance like depression, agitation, feeling irritable, anxiety, lack of energy, easy fatigability, and uncontrollable temper.

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How To Prevent Hyperglycaemia

There are simple ways to reduce your risk of severe or prolonged hyperglycaemia:

  • Be careful what you eat be particularly aware of how snacking and eating sugary foods or carbohydrates can affect your blood sugar level.
  • Stick to your treatment plan remember to take your insulin or other diabetes medications as recommended by your care team.
  • Be as active as possible getting regular exercise can help stop your blood sugar level rising, but you should check with your doctor first if you’re taking diabetes medication, as some medicines can lead to hypoglycaemia if you exercise too much
  • Take extra care when you’re ill your care team can provide you with some “sick day rules” that outline what you can do to keep your blood sugar level under control during an illness.
  • Monitor your blood sugar level your care team may suggest using a device to check your level at home, so you can spot an increase early and take steps to stop it.

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.


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Upswing: Steroids And Water Pills

People take corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to treat rashes, arthritis, asthma, and many other conditions. But they can boost your blood sugar, and may even trigger diabetes in some people. Diuretics that help high blood pressure, also called water pills, can do the same. Some antidepressants also raise or lower blood sugar.


Causes And Risk Factors

Why Blood Sugars Fluctuate

As your body goes between fed and unfed states throughout the day, your blood sugar levels will naturally fluctuate up and down. In someone without diabetes, blood sugar levels are regulated by insulin and stored glycogen to stay within normal ranges.

If you have diabetes, you are at a higher risk of having a blood sugar spike than people without diabetes. Eating foods high in simple carbohydrates, like desserts, sugar-sweetened beverages, and refined-grain pasta and bread, are the main cause of blood sugar spikes.

However, there are additional causes for high blood sugar levels, such as:

  • Eating more than planned
  • Over-treating low blood sugar levels
  • Dehydration
  • Dawn phenomenon: This is a natural surge in blood sugar early in the morning. It can be higher in people with diabetes who have insulin resistance.
  • Somogyi effect: This is high early morning blood sugar levels caused by a rebound effect from low blood sugar levels in the middle of the night and your body triggering a release of hormones to raise blood sugar levels.

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Perplexing And Unexplained Blood Sugar Level Fluctuations

Attaining normal glucose levels is like a pilgrimage for every person with diabetes. But like the stock market or a rollercoaster ride, blood sugar levels never remain the same and have an uncanny knack of fluctuating throughout the day.

Fasting sugar levels are different from postprandial levels and added to that, people with diabetes tend to have unexplained blood sugar level fluctuations leading to unnecessary low sugar levels and high sugar levels .

For many diabetics, this is perplexing and disappointing.Despite all the efforts, their sugar levels never seem to stay put at a single level!

The Concept Of Blood Glucose Fluctuation

1. Non-same day fasting blood sugar fluctuations of 5.55mmol/L or moreFor example, the first morning fasting 5.7mmol/L, the next day or the next few days fasting blood sugar reached 12mmol/L.

2. A change in blood glucose of 11.1mmol/L or more in one day, but it is important to exclude whether this is due to diet, exercise or medication.Blood glucose fluctuations are not just scary in numbers, they are even more dangerous. If you think high blood glucose is like a tiger, then blood glucose fluctuations are even more fierce than a tiger. If you think high blood sugar is like a tiger, then blood sugar fluctuations are even more dangerous. Imagine if high blood sugar makes your blood vessels swell and low blood sugar makes your blood vessels shrink, and the change from high to low makes your blood vessels shrink and swell, like a wave hitting the already fragile blood vessels.

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Reasons Why Blood Glucose Levels Fluctuate

Helping to make things easier for Diabetes Providers when ordering a CGM for their patients.

Blood glucose can fluctuate for many reasons. For those living with diabetes, its important to understand why.

Here is a list of common factors that can cause those spikes.

Read on to find out how to avoid extreme fluctuations and stay in control.


Diet is often the first thing that comes to mind when we think of changes in blood glucose levels. While sweet foods like cakes and candies may be the first thought that pops into your head, there are numerous contributing factors when it comes to food spikes. Reading food labels can help.

When looking at nutrition labels, its important to look at the total carbohydrates listed. They all count and are broken down into the three main types of carbohydrates which are sugar, starch and fiber. Total sugars include added sugars. Total carbohydrates often join forces within many of our favorite foods to create those dramatic fluctuations and should be monitored closely.

Other food culprits that can cause blood sugar spikes are caffeine and alcohol. Drinking too much of either can create issues and cause levels to rise. Not drinking enough water is another contributing factor so reducing intake of these food items and increasing water intake each day can help to avoid extreme highs and lows.








Why Do Blood Sugar Levels Fluctuate

What can cause your blood glucose level to fluctuate ...

It is a fact that even in non-diabetic people, blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day. Factors affecting the fluctuation of blood sugar levels include diet ,your activity levels, stress, diseases, illness, infection, changing seasons, and a variety of reasons can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

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Blood Sugar Fluctuations: Are They Normal

By Emily – Dietitian

Lets just get straight to the point, blood sugar fluctuations are normal for everyone, even people who do not have diabetes.

Sure, in a perfect world our blood sugar levels would stay a constant 100 mg/dL at all times, but in a real life situation that is completely unrealistic.

Blood sugar levels can fluctuate from day to day, from hour to hour and even from minute to minute this is all normal!

Blood sugar fluctuations can occur for a variety of reasons, some of which we have more control over than others. And of course, large fluctuations could be a concern.

So lets talk about normal blood sugar levels, how much of a fluctuation to expect, and what you can do to regulate your levels a bit more.

Record Your Numbers In A Log

Dont just check your numbers! Keep a log of your numbers.

Writing down your blood sugar levels can help you, and your doctor, identify trends in your fluctuations. Its especially helpful when you can also log your food intake and exercise routine alongside your blood sugar levels.

Logging your levels is a great way to understand your body and your blood sugar levels, and how things in your life influence you food, exercise, stress, sleep, medications, etc.

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Medications That Affect Blood Sugar

Some medicines that are used for other conditions such as high blood pressure, COPD, or depression can affect your blood sugar. Some over the counter medicines can affect your blood sugar. Alcohol, caffeine and nicotine all affect your blood sugar.

Below are lists of some of the medicines that might cause your blood sugar to increase or decrease. Do not stop taking prescription medicines or change the dose without talking to your doctor. Always let your doctor know what over the counter medicines, vitamins and supplements you take.

Reason For Fluctuating Blood Sugar Levels

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Few reasons that can cause blood sugar fluctuations:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hormonal fluctuation during periods and menopause
  • Emotional or physical stress
  • Drinks like tea, coffee, energy drinks
  • Medications like steroids, diuretics & Antidepressants
  • Long distance travel
  • Excessive physical activity
  • Seasonal changes
  • Artificial sweeteners

Other than the above causes, a lot of people suffer from unexplained swings in blood sugar levels.

  • Excessive carbohydrate consumption can cause high blood sugar levels.
  • Inadequate intake with respect to medication might cause hypoglycaemia.
  • High intake of unhealthy carbohydrate is the main cause for uncontrolled blood sugar in people with diabetes.

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Bad Diabetic: Diabetes And The Shame Game

I was online searching for a topic for this weeks blog entry when I read a comment in a forum that really struck me in a deep way. I wont directly quote, of course, but the gist of the comment was summed up with the words, the worst diabetic ever. The writer was clearly despondent, and felt that he was simply doing everything wrong. This individual was relatively new to our delightful world of diabetes, and Im proud to say that follow-up comments were all hugely supportive and encouraging. In any event, I can relate to what he was feeling, as can most of us, Im sure.Our daily blood sugar readings and that all-important A1C feel like daily homework followed by the end-of-semester-exam. It feels like a direct reflection on how well weve managed our disease. A doctor reporting our high A1C can easily sound like a doctor saying, youre bad at diabetes maybe not the worst Ive seen, but verrry subpar you get a D- in this class. Our daily blood sugar readings can feel like a series of poorly graded papers. It can feel like a succession of personal failures, and it invites an of onslaught of self-shame that led the poor gentlemen I was telling you about to label himself a bad diabetic.Heres the truth: Theres no such thing as a bad diabetic. I mean it. Even folks who neglect their doctors advice, ignore their own best interests, and engage in willfully destructive behaviors theyre not bad diabetics. Were not b Continuereading

How Can Parents Help

Nearly every child with diabetes will have an episode of hypoglycemia at times. You can help make this less likely, and be ready if it does happen. Here are some tips:

  • Follow your childs diabetes care plan. This is the best way to keep their sugars in a healthy range. The plan will guide you on the timing of:
  • meals
  • exercise
  • blood sugar checks
  • Have your child avoid baths or hot showers right before and after an insulin shot. Ask your care team how long your child should wait.
  • Track and adjust sugar levels before and during exercise. And make sure your child eats snacks as needed to keep or bring blood sugar levels into the healthy range.
  • Keep sugar handy and give it to your child right away if they have symptoms.
  • Teach adult family members, caregivers, and school staff the signs of hypoglycemia, when and how to give glucagon, and when to get emergency medical care.
  • Get your child a medical ID. Your child should wear or carry identification stating they have diabetes and includes who to contact in case of an emergency.
  • If you have questions about how to prevent or treat hypoglycemia, or about the diabetes care plan, call your child’s diabetes health care team.

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    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 .

    Disruption Of Eating Routine


    If friends and family get together and overeat, this can cause a sudden rise in blood sugar. If your diet is irregular and you always eat only when you feel hungry there is a good chance that your blood sugar will fluctuate. So, by eating three meals a day at regular intervals, your body will develop its own biological clock over time. If your blood sugar is high or low after three meals, you can adjust it by adding extra meals.

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