why does my blood sugar fluctuate so much
Whether you were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have been living with the disease for several years, you know how fickle blood sugar levels can be, and how important it is that they stay controlled. Proper blood sugar control is key for helping ward off potential complications, such as kidney disease, nerve damage, vision problems, stroke, and heart disease, according. If you keep your levels in check on a daily basis, it will help you stay energized, focused, and in a good mood. You ll know if your diabetes is poorly controlled if you experience symptoms such as frequent urination, sores that won t heal, blurred vision, and unexplained weight loss. According to, proper medication, effective meal planning, regular exercise, and use of a blood glucose meter to track your numbers routinely can all help you keep your levels within a healthy range. The ADA recommends blood glucose be 80 to 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) before meals, and below 180 mg/dL two hours after the start of a meal.
Furthermore, the organization recommends getting an, which measures your average blood glucose over the past two to three months, at least twice per year if your levels are stable and you are meeting treatment goals. Learning how different habits can cause your blood sugar to fluctuate can help you better predict how your levels will swing. You may be more likely to experience hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar if you have advanced-stage diabetes, according to. Meanwhile, high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, may be caused by factors such as not using enough insulin or other diabetes medication, not following a proper diabetes diet, not exercising enough, or taking certain medications like steroids. Both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can lead to serious health consequences, according to the ADA: High blood sugar may cause nausea, vomiting, or shortness of breath, while low blood sugar may cause confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, seizures, unconsciousness, or even death.
Managing the factors that can influence high or low blood sugar can be a balancing act, and still, some things like underlying illnesses, hot weather, and unexpected stressful situations, which may all impact your readings are out of your control. Even if you keep careful tabs on what you eat and take your medication conscientiously, you will inevitably see fluctuations in your day-to-day levels. Nonetheless, you can educate yourself on some of the lesser-known factors that can influence blood sugar and adjust accordingly. Read on to learn about a handful of them.
Unexplained elevations in your blood glucose values can be perplexing. Most of you understand that increased carbohydrate intake or decreased physical activity raises your blood glucose, but what if you're seeing glucose elevations despite maintaining a relatively consistent diet and exercise schedule? Hormonal fluctuations brought on by illness, injury, surgery, emotional stress, puberty, menses and menopause can also affect blood glucose.
Physical or emotional stress triggers the release of hormones called catecholamines, which often cause hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Even if you don't have diabetes, you can develop hyperglycemia during severe illness. If you already have diabetes, you may need more insulin or other diabetes medications during illness or stress. For children, insulin requirements increase with growth, particularly during puberty. This can, in part, be attributed to growth hormone as well as the sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone. For girls and women, menstruation and menopause present unique challenges to blood glucose control. Estrogen and progesterone can induce temporary resistance to insulin, which can last up to a few days and then drop off. Many women report having higher blood glucose levels a few days before beginning their period. Once menstruation begins, some women continue to have hyperglycemia while others experience a sharp drop in glucose levels.
During menopause, women often notice their blood glucose levels are more variable or less predictable than before. Significant hyperglycemia can lead to emergency complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis or diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome. Persistent hyperglycemia puts you at increased risk for long-term complications such as cardiovascular disease, blindness or kidney failure. No matter the state of your hormones, frequent testing and recording of your blood glucose values will expose patterns and make it easier for you and your health care team to control your diabetes. Be proactive and ask your provider to help you establish a "sick day plan" so you know how to respond in the event of illness or injury. If you experience persistent hyperglycemia, don't hesitate to ask your diabetes provider to help adjust your diabetes treatment program. Warm Regards, Jan. 23, 2015
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