Reasons Why Having High Blood Sugar Is Bad For You
Hyperglycemia is the medical term for high blood sugar, and it affects individuals who suffer from diabetes. Its very important to keep the levels of sugar in your blood within the normal and healthy range. Otherwise, you may encounter the many serious complications of having high blood sugar for a long time.
Below you will come across some of the reasons why having high blood sugar is something that you should avoid. Especially if you have family and friends who are diabetic or overweight or do not exercise regularly or eat healthily, dont forget to share this article afterwards on your different social media sites.
Treating And Managing Hyperglycaemia
If your blood sugar level is slightly high for a short time, emergency treatment wont be necessary. But if it continues to rise you may need to act fast to avoid developing diabetic ketoacidosis .
If your blood sugar level is 15 mmol/l or more, you should check your blood or urine for ketones. If ketones are present, it is likely that you do not have enough insulin in your body. This means you may need to increase your dose or give yourself an extra dose. Talk to your diabetes team about how to do this if you are unsure.
You should also try to drink plenty of sugar-free fluids to prevent dehydration. And if you are feeling unwell, especially if you are vomiting, you should follow any sick day rules you have been given and contact your diabetes healthcare team for advice.
All Carbs Are Created Equal
Phipps explains that, despite containing similar amounts of carbohydrates, one serving of pasta could have a hugely different effect on your blood glucose levels than one serving of rice. Likewise, that serving of pasta may have an entirely different effect on your blood glucose levels than your friendsâ or even family membersâ. âWeâre all unique,â Phipps says.
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Do You Think You Can’t Afford Healthy Food
The No. 1 thing I often hear is its just too costly to eat healthy with diabetes, Nunlee-Bland says. But she says there are ways to follow a balanced diet on a budget.
- Eat dried beans for protein and fiber
- Choose frozen or canned fruits and vegetables
- Buy in-season produce
- Plan your meals ahead of time
Prep meals on the weekends, Nunlee-Brand suggests. That helps keep you on track for the week ahead.
You dont have to give up all your favorite foods. Ask a dietitian for tips. They can help you plan your meals so you can enjoy some of the things that you like to eat, she says.
What Are Risk Factors For Hyperglycemia
Major risk factors for hyperglycemia are:
- You have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
- You are African American, Native American, Hispanic or Asian American.
- You are overweight.
- You have high blood pressure or cholesterol.
- You have polycystic ovarian syndrome .
- You have a history of gestational diabetes.
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Why Is High Blood Sugar Bad:
A rise in blood sugar after a meal is a normal response the body has, the problem is when blood sugar remains high for too long. This is usually the case whenever your body has poor sensitivity to insulin, also known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when your body senses that blood sugar has risen, so it releases insulin to get the blood sugar down, and the blood sugar remains high. When this happens the sugar in the blood can begin to cause damage such as:
- Nerve Damage
- Kidney Problems
- Vision Problems
Making sure that your blood sugar does not remain high for too long after you eat is crucial for a healthy and happy body.
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What Are Possible Complications Of Diabetes During Pregnancy
Most complications happen in women who already have diabetes before they get pregnant. Possible complications include:
Need for insulin injections more often
Very low blood glucose levels, which can be life-threatening if untreated
Ketoacidosis from high levels of blood glucose, which may also be life-threatening if untreated
Women with gestational diabetes are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes in later life. They are also more likely to have gestational diabetes with another pregnancy. If you have gestational diabetes you should get tested a few months after your baby is born and every 3 years after that.
Possible complications for the baby include:
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How Is Diabetes During Pregnancy Diagnosed
Nearly all nondiabetic pregnant women are screened for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. A glucose screening test is given during this time. For the test, you drink a glucose drink and have your blood glucose levels tested after 2 hours.
If this test shows a high blood glucose level, a 3-hour glucose tolerance test will be done. If results of the second test are not normal, gestational diabetes is diagnosed.
May Increase Your Risk Of Heart Disease
High-sugar diets have been associated with an increased risk of many diseases, including heart disease, the number one cause of death worldwide .
Evidence suggests that high-sugar diets can lead to obesity, inflammation and high triglyceride, blood sugar and blood pressure levels all risk factors for heart disease .
Additionally, consuming too much sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened drinks, has been linked to atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by fatty, artery-clogging deposits .
A study in over 30,000 people found that those who consumed 1721% of calories from added sugar had a 38% greater risk of dying from heart disease, compared to those consuming only 8% of calories from added sugar .
Just one 16-ounce can of soda contains 52 grams of sugar, which equates to more than 10% of your daily calorie consumption, based on a 2,000-calorie diet .
This means that one sugary drink a day can already put you over the recommended daily limit for added sugar.
Consuming too much added sugar increases heart disease risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and inflammation. High-sugar diets have been linked to an increased risk of dying from heart disease.
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High Blood Sugar: Causes Complications And How To Lower Blood Sugar
Your body breaks down glucose for energy using the insulin produced by the pancreas. This is required for our bodies to function. Illness can have an impact on the way our pancreas functions. Read this to learn how high blood sugar can affect your health.
7 minute read
Your body requires energy to function, and this energy comes from food. Specifically, your body breaks down glucose for energy using the insulin produced by the pancreas.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause impairment to this breakdown of sugar in the body, causing blood glucose levels to become irregular. When glucose is not broken down into energy, it can build up in the bloodstream and then becomes a health problem.
Your pancreas produces insulin, which breaks down glucose. With type 1 diabetes, the cells that produce insulin are mistakenly attacked by your immune system. As a result of this autoimmune condition, blood sugar levels can become dangerously high without intervention.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body no longer responds to insulin as well as it should and then also causes glucose to accumulate in the blood.
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.
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May Increase Your Risk Of Cancer
Eating excessive amounts of sugar may increase your risk of developing certain cancers.
First, a diet rich in sugary foods and beverages can lead to obesity, which significantly raises your risk of cancer .
Furthermore, diets high in sugar increase inflammation in your body and may cause insulin resistance, both of which increase cancer risk .
A study in over 430,000 people found that added sugar consumption was positively associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer, pleural cancer and cancer of the small intestine .
Another study showed that women who consumed sweet buns and cookies more than three times per week were 1.42 times more likely to develop endometrial cancer than women who consumed these foods less than 0.5 times per week .
Research on the link between added sugar intake and cancer is ongoing, and more studies are needed to fully understand this complex relationship.
Too much sugar can lead to obesity, insulin resistance and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for cancer.
What High Blood Sugar Feels Like
The symptoms can include:
- Breath that smells like fruit
These are symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis . Your body burns glucose for energy. When your cells donât get enough of it, they burn fat. That produces chemicals called ketones. When these build up, your blood becomes more acid-like. This can be life-threatening if itâs not treated.
Causes Related To Personal Health
This condition occurs when the cells in your muscles, fat, and liver are unable to use the glucose in your bloodstream for energy. Your pancreas responds to this increase in glucose by producing more insulin to help your body process it. This excess amount of insulin in the bloodstream can eventually cause your body to lose insulin sensitivity or build resistance to it, leading to higher blood glucose levels.
Bodyweight and body fat
Research connects being overweight and having a higher body fat percentage with high blood glucose levels. In fact, a high body fat percentage might be a clearer indicator of high blood sugar and diabetes than weight or body mass index .
Other health conditions
Certain conditions could make you more likely to have high blood glucose. These include Cushingâs disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome , and gestational diabetes. Blood glucose may also rise as the result of common illnesses like a head cold or the flu.
It isnât just stress and sleep that can cause fluctuations in hormones. Illness, physical pain and trauma, menopause or menstruation can as well. In any of these instances, your blood glucose levels may rise due to the changes in your hormone levels.
How Is Hyperglycaemia Treated
If you experience hyperglycaemia regularly, speak to your doctor or diabetes care team. You may need to change your treatment or lifestyle to keep your blood glucose levels within a healthy range.
You may be advised to:
- adjust the foods you eat eg, avoid foods such as cakes or sugary drinks
- drink plenty of sugar-free fluids to help keep you well hydrated
- exercise more often even gentle, regular exercise such as walking can lower your blood sugar level
- if you use insulin, adjust your dose your healthcare team can give you specific advice about how to do this.
You may also be advised to monitor your blood glucose level more closely or test your blood or urine for substances called ketones .
Put Your Shoes By The Door
Make it easy to slip them on, so you arenât tempted to go outside barefoot. Make sure your slippers or house shoes are handy, too. Even indoors, you need to protect your feet. Before you put your shoes on, check to make sure thereâs nothing in them that you arenât expecting, like a pebble that could nick your skin. You can also change shoes during the day to relieve pressure spots on your feet.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Dka
The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis usually don’t develop all at once they usually come on slowly over several hours. People who have DKA may:
- feel really tired
- feel really thirsty or pee way more than usual
- have a dry mouth and signs of dehydration
These symptoms are caused by the high blood sugar levels that usually happen before someone develops DKA. If the person doesn’t get treatment, these signs of DKA can happen:
- abdominal pain
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May Accelerate The Skin Aging Process
Wrinkles are a natural sign of aging. They appear eventually, regardless of your health.
However, poor food choices can worsen wrinkles and speed the skin aging process.
Advanced glycation end products are compounds formed by reactions between sugar and protein in your body. They are suspected to play a key role in skin aging .
Consuming a diet high in refined carbs and sugar leads to the production of AGEs, which may cause your skin to age prematurely .
AGEs damage collagen and elastin, which are proteins that help the skin stretch and keep its youthful appearance.
When collagen and elastin become damaged, the skin loses its firmness and begins to sag.
In one study, women who consumed more carbs, including added sugars, had a more wrinkled appearance than women on a high-protein, lower-carb diet (
Sugary foods can increase the production of AGEs, which can accelerate skin aging and wrinkle formation.
It Can Cause Damage To The Feet
One of the dangers of diabetic neuropathy, which has just been discussed, is it can cause significant damage to your feet. At times the problem can be so severe that amputation may be warranted. Because of nerve damage to the lower extremities, your feet are at risk of becoming injured. Reduced sensation due to diabetic neuropathy may keep you from noticing an injury, thus increasing risk of it being infected. Since high blood sugar can also impair blood circulation to the feet, the infection may worsen and spread rather easily, which is something that may require amputation.
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Causes Of High Blood Sugar At Night
There are many causes of high blood sugar at night, including:
- A dinner or bedtime snack high in carbohydrates: Eating starchy or high-sugar foods late in the day can lead to high blood sugar at night, as well as high blood sugar in the morning.
- Illness or injury: Trauma can trigger a hypermetabolic response , leading to high blood sugar.
- Too little exercise: Exercise helps the body more effectively use insulin, so lack of exercise could contribute to high blood sugar.
- Too little insulin or diabetes medicine: When the body does not produce insulin or does not use insulin effectively and you dont properly take your injectable insulin or diabetes medicine, glucose can accumulate in the bloodstream.
- Menstruation:Progesterone is a hormone linked to a decreased production of insulin, which affects glucose metabolism and can potentially lead to high blood sugar.
- Pregnancy: Hormone levels fluctuate during pregnancy. Diabetes that occurs during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes.
- Stress: Stress, as measured by levels of a hormone called cortisol, is linked to decreased insulin sensitivity. With this, glucose cannot get into your cells and be used for energy. As a result, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, leading to high blood sugar. When people are stressed, they may also overeat sugary foods or adopt other unhealthy eating habits.
It Can Take Your Eyesight Away
High levels of sugar in the blood can damage blood vessels in various parts of your body, including those that supply your eyes with oxygen and nutrients. The retina, a layer of light-sensitive cells situated at the back of the eyeball, can be deprived of blood, thus damaging it. With the retina damaged, you may lose your vision. Health authorities refer to eye damage due to high blood sugar as diabetic retinopathy. Initially, the symptoms may be mild such as blurring of vision. However, they can worsen overtime if the levels of sugar in the blood are poorly managed.
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How To Prevent Hyperglycaemia And Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
Testing your blood sugar levels regularly can help you spot the signs of hyperglycaemia. But there are some steps you can take to either prevent a hyper from happening or to bring down your blood sugar levels.
You can start by making sure you are aware of your carbohydrate portions and how they may be affecting your blood sugar levels after eating. Carb countingis one of the ways you can manage this. Avoid foods that have a high glycemic index and choose low GI foods that can help manage your blood sugar levels more effectively. Increase the fibre in your diet. This can help slow down carbohydrate digestion, which can help limit the rise in your blood sugars.
Try to maintain a healthy weight as this promotes regular blood sugar levels in the body. Be as active as possible, regular exercise can help your body process more of the sugar.
Remember to take your insulin and other diabetes medication, and always take them correctly. Continue to take your diabetes medication even if you are ill and not eating.
Concentrate on your emotional wellbeing, get a quality nights sleep and find ways to manage your stress. Stress can cause hormones to be released, which keep your blood sugar levels high.
If your blood sugar levels continue to be high, or youre unsure of what to do, contact your doctor for further guidance.