Pic Credit: livescience.com
Do you experience dizziness, blurred vision or extreme tiredness frequently?
If yes, then your blood sugar levels may be much higher than the normal range. You may not be consuming a calorie or sugar rich diet but still find your blood sugar shooting above the normal range.
Here are some common and not so common reasons that can potentially raise your blood sugar levels:
- Sugar free labeled food:
Even if the food item is labeled ‘sugar free’ it can still increase your blood sugar. This is because it is usually loaded with carbs and artificial sweeteners. The hidden sugar in the form of starch or sweeteners like sorbitol is very much capable of spiking your blood sugar levels.
- Energy drinks:
Energy drinks after a vigorous workout may seem like a great idea. But these drinks are loaded with sugar content that may elevate your blood sugar levels. So, if you feel dehydrated after an hour’s workout, it is better to reach for your water bottle than to consume energy drinks.
- Dried fruits:
It is very easy to reach out for a handful of dried fruits for snacking. But they contain concentrated sugar content that is high enough to quickly raise your blood sugar levels. Eating fresh fruits with low carbs is a better choice for getting healthy nutrients and energy.
- Common ailments:
Common illnesses like flu, cough, cold or any other infections makes it difficult for a diabetic person to keep blood sugar levels under control. Taking antibiotics or decongestants can elevate your blood sugar too. When you are not well, your diet is also adversely affected, which may further raise your blood sugar count.
Avoid contact with people having infections and get a yearly flu shot to prevent a diabetic complication.
- Disturbed sleep pattern:
If you find it difficult to get restful sleep at night and keep tossing and turning in bed then your blood sugar levels may rise. If you keep getting up frequently during night time or suffer from lack of sleep or insomnia then it is time you sought medical help.
Lack of sleep causes chronic stress on your body and mind. If you sleep better at night you will find a drop in your blood sugar levels.
If you are under stress, your blood sugar rises. This happens because your body releases hormones into your bloodstream to help you fight the stress. These hormones are full of nutrients which contain sugar. As a result, your blood sugar levels go spiralling up as you continue to be under mental or physical stress.
So, keep stress away to keep high blood sugar at bay.
If you take steroidal drugs for ailments like arthritis, asthma or allergies, or birth control pills, anti psychotics or anti depressants, etc. then they may adversely affect your blood sugar levels. The body responds to the presence of these steroids by increasing your blood glucose levels and blood pressure. As a result, your blood sugar levels go up and create diabetic complications.
Diuretics that are prescribed to lower high blood pressure also cause blood sugar levels to rise. Consult your doctor thoroughly about what drugs you can take without elevating your blood sugar. Avoid over the counter self medication if you are a diabetic as it may prove to be dangerous for your health.
- Menstrual cycle:
Menstrual cycles cause ups and downs in oestrogen and progesterone hormone levels. This makes your body insensitive to insulin causing your blood sugar levels to escalate during pre menstrual and menstrual periods. If you check your blood sugar you may find that it comes down to normal after the menstrual cycle.
- Extreme weather:
Extreme weather conditions make a difference to blood sugar levels in diabetics. The body becomes stressed in very hot or very cold weather. This may cause blood sugar levels to spike up.
While blood sugar may rise in hot weather in people with Type 2 Diabetes, just the opposite may happen in people with Type 1 Diabetes. For those who take insulin, the blood vessels may dilate in hot weather leading to low blood sugar.
It is best to avoid exposing your body to extreme weather conditions if you are pre diabetic or a diabetic to prevent adverse reaction in your body.
If you are travelling long distances or through different time zones, your body clock may go haywire. It can change your eating and sleeping patterns and even make you miss your medicine schedule.
Moreover, while travelling or holidaying you may not be able to stick to your diet plan and may end up consuming foods or drinks that may increase your blood sugar levels.
You can work out your medicines and dietary plan with your doctor before embarking on a journey to keep your blood sugar from rising above normal range.
If you are too busy to keep up adequate fluid intake during the day or the weather is too hot, you may end up being dehydrated. This causes your blood sugar to get concentrated in the body due to lack of enough water content, leading to high blood sugar levels.
Make sure you consume enough water and fluids to keep your body cells well hydrated to prevent such a situation.
If you are fond of daily tea or coffee cuppa, then you need to keep track of your blood sugar levels. Caffeine intake in any form is likely to raise your blood sugar levels. It is best to avoid caffeine in the form of tea, coffee or chocolates to keep your blood sugar under control.
If you smoke, then your body is likely to become resistant to insulin. This may spike your blood sugar levels way above the normal range. Even passive smoking may elevate your blood sugar levels.
- Dawn phenomenon:
Your body naturally produces certain hormones between 4 am and 5 am. Due to this, the insulin level in your blood goes down while at the same time level glucagon in your body goes up. This condition leads to high blood glucose in your body in the early mornings. This is known as the ‘Dawn phenomenon'.
Dawn phenomenon may happen to both diabetics and non diabetics. Test your blood sugar at dawn for a few days to ascertain if you suffer from dawn phenomenon. In case you suffer from dawn phenomenon, you should get your doctor's help to adjust your medicine intake accordingly to keep your blood sugar under check.
Find out what factors cause your blood sugar level to escalate and include them in your diabetes management plan. Your doctor will advise lifestyle changes and prescribe medicines that can help counter these factors and enable you to keep your blood sugar under control.