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:
Exercise In The Afternoon
Exercise lowers blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, which allows the body to use insulin and glucose more effectively, increasing glucose movement during and after exercise. Studies have shown that exercise will lead to optimal insulin regulation. Exercise after dinner will set you up for steady glucose levels through the morning.
Research has also shown that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise before breakfast reduced the morning rise of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes patients, partially counteracting the dawn phenomenon. The same study also found that exercise significantly reduced blood glucose fluctuations and improved blood glucose control throughout the day.
Some of the best exercises for avoiding morning blood sugar spikes include:
- A walk
What Are The Complications Of Low Blood Glucose
Mild-to-moderate low blood glucose can be easily treated. But severely low blood glucose can cause serious complications, including passing out, coma, or death.
Repeated episodes of low blood glucose can lead to
- high blood glucose levels, if worry or fear of low blood glucose keeps you from taking the medicines you need to manage your diabetes8
- hypoglycemia unawareness, a condition in which you dont notice any symptoms of low blood glucose until your blood glucose level has dropped very low
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What Is The Biological Cause Of High Blood Sugar
Researchers have identified the two key “hunger” hormones responsible for moderating healthy blood sugar levels.
When healthy individuals consume sugar and carbohydrates, the pancreas responds by producing metabolic hormones to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. At the same time, adipose tissue and the small intestine produce leptin, which prevents overeating.
A diet heavy in sugar places significant stress on your pancreas to produce these metabolic hormones, and the body responds with further leptin production. These constantly rising hormone levels result in sugar desensitization, rendering your body less able to break it down. Scientists call this metabolic hormone resistance.
But restoring hormonal sensitivity helps your body respond more effectively to blood sugar spikes, metabolize glucose, and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
What Causes High Blood Sugar
If you have diabetes, exercise, extra fluids, and insulin are easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally. Its important to know when to use at-home treatment and when you need emergency medical treatment, though.
A hormone called insulin carries glucose through your blood. If you dont have enough insulin or your body cant use insulin, glucose can build up in your blood and cause problems. This commonly affects people who have diabetes, including type 1, type 2, or diabetes while youre pregnant called gestational diabetes.
Lots of things can cause high blood sugar, including:
- Some medications, like corticosteroids
- Missing your diabetes medication
If you have diabetes, youre likely to have high blood sugar once in a while no matter how careful you are. In most cases, it will be mild and you can easily treat it with some adjustments. If your levels get very high or stay high for a long time, you can have complications.
For example, with type 1 diabetes, you can get diabetic ketoacidosis where your body breaks down your fat to use as energy and releases toxic acids into your blood. With type 2 diabetes, you can become dehydrated as your body tries to get rid of extra sugar. The longer your sugar is high, the more serious your symptoms become.
Its important to follow your treatment plan and monitor your blood sugar. A high blood sugar level is:
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First Check Your Ketones
In people with type 1 diabetes, high blood sugars can put you at risk of developing ketones. Blood sugar levels over 250 mg/dL with too little insulin can quickly turn into diabetic ketoacidosis if it continues to rise.
Test your urine for ketones, and contact your doctor or visit an urgent care facility if you measure with moderate to large ketones. When large ketones are present, correcting a high blood sugar with insulin via pump or injection wont be effective. Instead, youll likely need intravenous fluids for a few hours to restabilize.
If you only have moderate ketones or less, you may be able to correct with insulin at home but youll likely need a larger dose than normal. Contact your healthcare team if you test positive for ketones and are unsure of how to safely manage the situation.
How To Reduce Blood Sugar Level Immediately: Insulin
The severity of the hyperglycemia determines how to act. In cases of insulin-dependent diabetes, most people will probably use rapid-acting insulin. The name is a giveaway: this is how to reduce blood sugar level immediately.
Hopefully, using insulin will allow you to get back to normal blood sugar levels before it gets too severe. This will also be the best way to be in control you can lower your blood sugar with more accurate numbers.
This is where Hedia comes into play. Getting those numbers isnt always so easy to figure out by yourself, especially not when dealing with the hassle of high blood sugar. Hedia can deal with that instead.
When using Hedias insulin calculator, all Hedia needs is: your blood sugar reading this can even be added wirelessly and automatically with certain NFC or Blueetooth glucose meters what youve eaten recently this can be added swiftly with Hedias food database whether youve exercised recently or are about to exercise and if youve taken insulin in the last 4 hours. Have a go at the App Store or !
After taking insulin, keep testing blood sugar levels to see how your blood sugar decreases. Then, just continue with your day!
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How Can I Treat Low Blood Sugar
If youve had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms , you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low and treat it. Driving with low blood sugar can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry or have other symptoms, check your blood sugar. Even if you dont have symptoms but think you may have low blood sugar, check it. If your blood sugar is lower than 70 mg/dL, do one of the following immediately:
- Take four glucose tablets.
- Drink four ounces of fruit juice.
- Drink four ounces of regular soda, not diet soda.
- Eat four pieces of hard candy.
Wait for 15 minutes and then check your blood sugar again. Do one of the above treatments again until your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL or above and eat a snack if your next meal is an hour or more away. If you have problems with low blood sugar, ask your doctor if your treatment plan needs to be changed.
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S To Take In An Emergency
If your symptoms persist or worsen, immediately seek out medical attention. If left untreated, hyperglycemia can lead to more serious conditions like diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state , or a diabetic coma.
Fortunately, if caught quickly, a spike in your blood glucose tends to be easily treated by medical professionals.
Broccoli And Broccoli Sprouts
Sulforaphane is a type of isothiocyanate that has blood-sugar-reducing properties.
This plant chemical is produced when broccoli is chopped or chewed due to a reaction between a glucosinolate compound called glucoraphanin and the enzyme myrosinase, both of which are concentrated in broccoli .
Test-tube, animal, and human studies have shown that sulforaphane-rich broccoli extract has powerful antidiabetic effects, helping enhance insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar and markers of oxidative stress .
Broccoli sprouts are concentrated sources of glucosinolates like glucoraphanin, and theyve been shown to help promote insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes when supplemented as a powder or extract (
Keep in mind that the best way to enhance the availability of sulforaphane is to enjoy broccoli and broccoli sprouts raw or lightly steamed, or to add active sources of myrosinase like mustard seed powder to cooked broccoli (
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When To Seek Medical Care
I would say that anybody with type 1 diabetes, first of all, they should always carry ketone sticks with them, says Dr. Hong. So, if blood sugars were to run high or they were to feel sickly, they should test their urine for ketones and if that is positive, they should seek care from a doctor or an emergency room. She says anyone should seek care if they feel very sick, have nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, confusion, or trouble thinking clearly. And then, if they are checking blood glucoses and they notice that their sugars are running significantly higher than what they’re used to and it’s not responding to any of their usual care such as drinking water or taking their insulin, they should absolutely seek care and speak to the doctor as well, Dr. Hong adds.
Foods That Lower Blood Sugar
You can quickly lower your blood sugar with the help of eating lots of delicious foods. You dont have to miss out on fun or taste. The Pritikin Eating Plan focuses on eating a lot of food, particularly whole foods that are naturally rich in fiber and naturally low in fats, sugars, and refined foods.
Guests at the Pritikin Center experience how delicious these whole foods can be as the extraordinary chefs serve up sensational culinary creations. Plus, guests can learn how to prepare these healthy foods, as well as shop for them. At Pritikin, you learn which foods are best for reversing diabetes in seminars, such as the Diabetic Luncheon with the helpful dietitians, such as Kimberly Gomer, Pritikins Director of Nutrition.
Switching to a healthier lifestyle did more than reverse Jeffs diabetes. I felt as good as I did when I was in high school. And all this without taking any medications just eating healthy and exercising. Thats all it was! Jeff is just one of thousands of people who have come to Pritikin and found changes to their lifestyle transformed their health. The reason Pritikin has worked so well for so many is because of the science behind it. Food can treat high blood pressure , diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and weight management, says Kimberly Gomer, Director of Nutrition at the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa.
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You Need More Of The Good Fats
Afraid how will you survive when cutting back on the belly-filling carbs? This is where the good fats step in. Healthy fats that provide Omega 3 fatty acids are your friends. Not only will they keep you full for longer, they will also improve your heart health. They form a steady, slow burning source of fuel that your body can use in place of sugars. Think ghee, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, olive oil and oily fish, for example.
Avoid Eating Large Meals
One way to keep carbs under control is by eating in moderation. I always tell my patients to spread their food out over the day, Weisenberger says. Dont eat small meals to save up for a big dinner. Feeding your body throughout the day helps regulate your blood sugar levels and prevents highs and lows, Crandall Snyder says.
Both Weisenberger and Crandall Snyder say to keep an eye on carbs, even while snacking. Classically, less than 15 g of carbs per snack is a good standard approach, Crandall Snyder says. Thats about whats found in 1 cup of fruit, she says.
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How To Lower Blood Sugar Naturally
Blood sugar, also known as glucose, is the main sugar in your blood and your bodys main source of energy. Blood sugars vary all day. A normal fasting blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dl. Blood sugars anytime of day regardless of when or what the last meal was should always be under 200 mg/dl. Blood sugars exceeding these two levels could signal prediabetes or Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a condition where the body cannot produce enough insulin or use insulin properly to correct blood sugars to safe levels.
What Should Your Blood Sugar Be When You Wake Up
Whenever possible, aim to keep your glucose levels in range between 70 and 130 mg/dL in the morning before you eat breakfast, and between 70 and 180 mg/dL at other times. For some people, including older adults or pregnant women, a slightly looser or tighter glucose range might be best, and you should discuss with your healthcare provider what your goals may be.
Managing your glucose levels is key to preventing short and long-term complications. Though the occasional high blood glucose wont put you in immediate danger consistently high glucose levels over a long period of time are associated with complications of diabetes such as heart disease and stroke, chronic kidney disease, nerve damage, eye disease and more.
Additionally, high glucose levels especially in people with type 1 diabetes can put you in immediate danger. These high levels, if combined with high blood ketone levels, can cause diabetic ketoacidosis , a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when a person has high blood ketones and not enough insulin. Symptoms of DKA include shortness of breath, fruity-smelling breath, nausea and vomiting, confusion, or loss of consciousness.
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Blood Sugar Spike Symptoms
Learning to recognize the symptoms of hyperglycemia can help you keep your diabetes in control. Some people with diabetes immediately feel the symptoms of high blood sugar, but others go undiagnosed for years because their symptoms are mild or vague.
Symptoms of hyperglycemia typically begin when your blood glucose goes above 250 milligrams per deciliter . Symptoms get worse the longer you go untreated.
Symptoms of a blood sugar spike include:
- frequent urination
Final Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Levels
While diet is important to manage blood sugar levels, so is overall lifestyle. Adequate sleep, enough water intake, and getting movement each day are all important factors that can promote lower blood sugar levels around the clock. Some people find that eating several times a day works better for them while others find they do best with three larger meals throughout the day. Test out both to see which works for you, and listen to your body. Prioritize eating real foods with a balanced intake of protein, fiber, and healthy fats throughout the day for overall healthier blood sugar levels as much as possible.
Other foods worth mentioning for lower blood sugar levels are coconut butter, dark chocolate, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, other nuts and seeds, most all vegetables, greens, fiber-rich fruits like berries and apples, and even black coffee. Remember, theres no need to deprive yourself when taking care of your body but choosing high-quality, real foods is key.
For more information, check out these tips so you can be on your way to better blood sugar levels in no time!
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Exercise To Lower Blood Sugar Fast
Regular exercise improves and increases your sensitivity to insulin. This means the cells in your body can better absorb and use the glucose in your body to make energy.
When your muscles contract during movement, glucose is the preferred source of fuel. Thatâs why when your glucose spikes after eating a sugary treat or a large meal with lots of high-glycemic foods, you can bring your glucose back down to a normal range if you exercise within 30-60 minutes after eating.
Any type and duration of exercise can improve insulin sensitivity and helps stabilize your glucose afterward.
That said, if youâre fit enough and able to handle high intensity, short bursts of movement performed at 80% of your max effort can burn up to four times the amount of glucose compared to what youâd burn slumping on the couch.
If you want short and sweaty to bring down your blood sugar quickly, follow along with our 10-minute full-body or dumbbell leg workout. These get-âer-done-fast efforts combine strength training with cardio in a circuit-style workout that stabilizes glucose in less time.