Monday, March 4, 2024

Why Is My Blood Sugar Always High

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Causes Related To Lifestyle

Why is my sugar high in the morning?

Physical inactivity

Exercising prompts your body to burn more energy than usual, and, as a result, consume more glucose. Maintaining a low level of physical activity, on the other hand, means more glucose will remain in the bloodstream. This raises your overall blood glucose values in the process.

Exercise also makes our body more insulin sensitive, which means we will require less insulin for the rest of the day to control glucose levels.


Part of the bodyâs fight-or-flight response to stress is to produce additional glucose. Another facet of that response is an increase in the hormone cortisol. High cortisol can reduce the bodyâs sensitivity to insulin. As a result, blood glucose levels may also increase.

Poor sleep

A lack of quality sleep can inhibit how much insulin your body can release. It can also cause the production of cortisol, which makes it harder for insulin to work. When your bodyâs insulin cannot properly metabolize the glucose in your blood, the glucose remains there and your glucose levels rise.

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How High Blood Sugar Impacts Sleep

The symptoms you may experience with high blood sugar at night could make it difficult for you to sleep, including falling and staying asleep. Depending on when you eat prior to bedtime, your digestive system may wake you up at odd hours.

A related issue is known as the dawn phenomenon, which is when you wake up with high blood sugar in the morning. The foods you eat in the evening may contribute slightly to this.

Key Points About Hyperglycaemia

  • Hyperglycaemia occurs when there is too much glucose in your bloodstream.
  • No matter how careful you are, if you have diabetes, you will get hyperglycaemia from time to time.
  • Regularly checking blood glucose levels and recognising and treating hyperglycaemia is an important part of diabetes management.
  • Occasional mild episodes are not usually a cause for concern and can be treated quite easily or return to normal on their own.
  • However, if blood glucose levels stay high for longer periods this can lead to permanent damage to parts of your body, such as your heart, brain, eyes, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels.
  • If blood glucose levels rise dangerously high this can lead to life-threatening complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state.
  • Seek urgent medical advice if you have high blood glucose and experience the following symptoms:
    • feeling sick 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 more serious complications of hyperglycaemia, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or a hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state, and you may need to be looked after in hospital.

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    Insulin Is Low An Important Difference

    Only testing fasting blood glucose without testing fasting insulin tells you very little. Thats because two people could have exactly that same fasting blood glucose levels and have very different circulating insulin levels.5

    It is all about the relationship between glucose and insulin and how they work in concert. This is called the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance or HOMA-IR. The name is a mouthful, but it simply means that the body is always trying to keep its essential systems in balance or in an equilibrium called homeostasis. Insulin is working against glucose in an attempt to keep blood sugar levels stable, a.k.a in homeostasis.6

    In one individual for example someone with pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or PCOS insulin may over time be pulsed out in higher and higher amounts just to keep the blood sugar relatively stable. While fasting blood glucose could still be in the normal range, it is taking increasing amounts of insulin to keep it there. As insulin resistance develops, and insulin becomes increasingly ineffective to bring blood sugars down, blood sugars will eventually rise too high.

    In a second individual someone who has been on the keto diet for a number of months and is now burning fat for energy much lower amounts of insulin are being pulsed by the pancreas to keep the glucose stable. You have now, therefore, improved your insulin resistance and only need small amounts of insulin to keep glucose in check.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia

    Why Is My Blood Sugar High In The Morning?

    Its especially important to know the early signs of hyperglycemia if you have type 1 diabetes. If hyperglycemia is left untreated in people with type 1 diabetes, it can develop into ketoacidosis, where ketones, which are toxic acids, build up in the blood. This condition is an emergency situation that can lead to coma or death.

    Early symptoms of hyperglycemia include:

    • High blood sugar.
    • Unusual fruity smell on the breath.
    • Deep labored breathing or hyperventilation.
    • Rapid heartbeat.

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    What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels

    Managing diabetes is like a three-way balancing act because you have to watch:

  • the medicines you take (
  • the food that you eat
  • the amount of exercise you get
  • All three need to be balanced. If any one of these is off, blood sugar levels can be too. In general, higher than normal blood glucose levels can be caused by:

    • not taking your diabetes medicine when you’re supposed to or not taking the right amounts
    • not following the meal plan
    • not getting enough exercise
    • having an illness, like the flu
    • taking other kinds of medicines that affect how your diabetes medicines work

    A single high blood sugar reading usually isn’t cause for alarm it happens to everyone with diabetes from time to time. But if you have high blood sugar levels a lot, let your parents and your diabetes health care team know. Insulin or meal plans may need adjusting, or you may have an equipment issue, like an insulin pump that isn’t working right. Whatever the case, make sure you get help so you can get your blood sugar levels back under control.

    Your Medications Are Causing It

    There are a number of medications that can increase blood glucose levels, including steroids, mood stabilizers , and statins and diuretics for heart health. Certain medications can have an impact on the pancreas as well as on the body’s internal glucose production. Diuretics increase urination, an action that can help reduce blood pressure however, an unwanted side effect can be an increase in blood sugars as fluids leave the bloodstream and sugars become more concentrated. Steroids have the potential for interfering with the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, resulting in higher levels of circulating blood sugars.

    Clinicians should be aware of the medications that could potentially increase blood glucose levels and offer alternatives that have a lesser impact when prescribing. Patients should always feel comfortable asking providers about possible side effects and what they should look out for as well as when to call the doctor.

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    You Notice Tingling And Numbness In Your Hands Or Feet

    As mentioned, uncontrolled blood sugar can cause nerve damage, also known as diabetic neuropathy. What you may notice is a tingling sensation or even numbness in your hands and feet. Some people experience pain in their hands and feet as well. Though neuropathy is most common in people who have had diabetes for a long time, it can occur in anyone with poorly controlled diabetes.

    Treating And Managing Hyperglycaemia

    Why is my blood sugar and A1C high?

    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.

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    What Causes Hyperglycaemia

    The underlying cause of hyperglycaemia is the loss of insulin-producing cells in your pancreas or your body developing resistance to insulin.

    More immediate reasons for hyperglycaemia include:

    • missing a dose of diabetic medication, tablets or insulin
    • eating more carbohydrates than your body and/or medication can manage
    • being physically or emotionally stressed
    • having an infection.

    Your Hormones Are To Blame

    Glucagon, amylin, epinephrine, cortisol and growth hormone are among the hormones involved in blood glucose regulation. They are uniquely involved with the liver breakdown and production of glucose, as well as the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Women living with type 1 diabetes may experience fluctuations in blood glucose levels at different times during their menstrual cycle. During pregnancy, hormones secreted by the placenta can induce higher levels of maternal blood sugars.

    Since all pregnant women experience hormone shifts during pregnancy, routine evaluation of blood sugars is part of the prenatal health checks. For those requiring additional or specific nutrition guidance around managing blood sugars, working with a registered dietitian or qualified health care provider would be recommended.

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    What Happens With Patients With Diabetes

    What happens with patients with diabetes?

    If you have type 1 diabetes, that’s easy. Because we already know that if you have type 1 diabetes, you don’t have beta cells, right ?

    Because your immune system just destroys them, so you don’t have insulin. And none of these will happen.

    So this is easy to understand.

    Now for type 2 diabetes, you have two problems

  • The first one is that you have insulin resistance. And if you want to know more about insulin resistance… I’ve already made a video on that, but you know that your cells will not listen to insulin. So Insulin will come, nothing will happen, and your glucose will still be high.
  • Now, another problem is that your liver can also be insulin resistant.
  • So if your liver is resistant to insulin, your liver does not know what to do… does not know when to stop making glucose. And does not know if it has made too much glucose that it needs to change them back to glycogen in fact.

    So when your liver is insulin resistant, your blood sugar will continue to rise. Another problem with type 2 diabetes is that most people when they find out that they have diabetes, about 50% of their beta cell function is already gone.

    So if you have type 2 diabetes, you don’t only have insulin resistance, but you also have impaired beta cell function. Now, 50% is normally enough for most people.

    That’s why, with type 2 diabetes, many people can do well without medications or without insulin or without anything.

    beta cell function

    Relax It Is Normal Call It Adaptive Glucose Sparing

    Top 14 Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar &  What Food Will Help Lower Your Risks

    We definitely see that in people who are doing low carb long term, the majority will find that their fasting blood glucose becomes their highest value of the day, says Dr. Sarah Hallberg. They are not actually having issues with blood sugar. They are doing really well. But if you are looking at a log of 24 hours of blood glucose you will see a high first thing in the morning and then a steady decline throughout the day, with no big excursions even after meals.

    As regular visitors will know, the pathologic kind of insulin resistance is caused by higher and higher levels of insulin hyperinsulinemia trying to force glucose into our cells. That insulin resistance is a prominent feature of type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome and other chronic conditions.

    So lets call physiologic insulin resistance instead adaptive glucose sparing, a name that has been proposed by many to reduce the confusion. Dr. Ted Naiman describes it as muscles that are in glucose refusal mode.

    Prior to converting to the ketogenic diet, your muscles were the major sites to soak up and use glucose in the blood for energy. On a long-term keto diet, however, they now prefer fat as fuel. So the muscles are resisting the action of insulin to bring sugar into cells for energy, saying, in essence: We dont want or need your sugar anymore, so move it along. Hence, the slightly elevated, but generally stable, glucose circulating in the blood.1

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    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 .

    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 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.

    If My A1c Is Normal My Glucose Is Good

    High Fasting Sugar? Common Causes & Quick Fixes!

    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.

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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 Causes Hyperglycemia In People With Diabetes

    • The dose of insulin or oral diabetes medication that you are taking is not the most helpful dose for your needs.
    • Your body isnt using your natural insulin effectively .
    • The amount of carbohydrates you are eating or drinking is not balanced with the amount of insulin your body is able to make or the amount of insulin you inject.
    • You are less active than usual.
    • Physical stress is affecting you.
    • Emotional stress is affecting you.
    • You are taking steroids for another condition.
    • The dawn phenomenon is affecting you.

    Other possible causes

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    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.

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