Blood glucose spikes are a common complication of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes often develops in adulthood and occurs when the body is unable to use insulin to regulate blood sugar effectively. When blood sugar levels remain unregulated, the spikes can cause other long-term complications including blindness, nerve damage, kidney problems, stroke, heart disease, and even death.
Causes of blood glucose swings
The American Diabetes Association recommends that your blood sugar levels should be between 80 mg/dl and 130mg/dl before meals. Two hours after taking your meal, glucose levels should be less than 180 mg/dl. However, this is not always the case. If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, your blood glucose levels are sometimes highly sporadic. Consider these causes of blood glucose elevation.
A high-carb diet
Your body converts carbohydrates into blood sugar. For most people, especially those leading a sedentary lifestyle, a diet high in carbs can cause your blood glucose to increase to dangerous levels.
Your doctor has probably told you to eliminate added sugar from your diet. Most people choose artificial sweeteners to satisfy their sugar cravings. However, a 2013 study linked artificial sweeteners to spikes in blood glucose. Although they are not as bad as added sugars, they are still likely to cause spikes in blood glucose.
Diabetes, and by extension high blood sugar, is often associated with increased urination. If you are not taking enough fluids, your blood sugar becomes more concentrated, leading to hyperglycemia.
Lack of sleep
Not getting enough sleep can interfere with your body’s ability to regulate blood glucose. Denying your body rest causes added stress, which results in higher levels of blood glucose.
Dangers of blood glucose spikes
Managing blood sugar spikes plays a central role in diabetes management. Leaving it unchecked is likely to cause your diabetes to progress and can result in further complications affecting your physical and mental health. This is why it is so crucial to have a diabetes treatment plan.
Diabetes and mood swings
Blood sugar swings can affect your mood. The spikes can cause confusion, irritability, and even memory loss. You may experience episodes of irritability or sadness, especially when your blood sugar dips to less than 70mg/dl. On the other hand, when your blood sugar spikes to over 250mg/dl, you may end up feeling confused. However, this mostly affects people who have type 1 diabetes.
Similarly, diabetes management will require you to adjust your diet. To restore stability, you will likely be forced to do away with foods that are likely to increase your blood glucose. Although this will go a long way in stabilizing blood glucose, the chances are that you will be forced to let go of foods that you enjoy, and this may limit your enjoyment of life.
Diabetes has long been associated with depression. However, it is now emerging that what has been thought to be depression is actually diabetes distress brought about by leading a stressful life trying to manage the disease.
Research shows that the depressive symptoms reported by patients with diabetes are related to diabetes management and do not reflect a clinical diagnosis of depression. A second study also established that those who experience high levels of diabetes distress are likely to die prematurely.
Tips for keeping your blood sugar in check
You have the power to keep your blood sugars regulated, so here is how you can do it.
Effective meal planning
Meal planning is essential for diabetes management. Aim to eat at regular times and try not to vary your portions excessively. Opt for a diet low in carbs as they are the leading causes of blood sugar spikes. Add high fiber foods and complex carbohydrates to keep you full for longer, and prevent spikes.
Exercise has so many benefits including helping you lose weight, boost your energy levels and confidence, among others. If you have diabetes, then it is even more important to exercise routinely. Exercise will help you burn excess calories and thus, help keep your blood sugar within a healthy range. However, keep in mind that exercise can cause instances of high and low blood sugar levels. Talk to your doctor to establish an exercise routine that works for you.
Take medication as prescribed by your doctor. Medicine should also be taken at regular intervals and in the right dosage. Also, make sure you talk to your doctor before taking other medications, as some drugs can affect your blood sugar levels.
For more information
Managing diabetes is easier when you have an expert to walk the journey with you. For more information about managing your blood glucose, contact KentuckyCare at (866) 810-7602 to request an appointment.