If You Regularly Have High Blood Sugar Levels
Having high blood sugar levels regularly is not something you should live with. This is because in the long-term it can increase your risk of developing diabetes complications, such as neuropathy and retinopathy.
If you notice that your blood sugar levels are often high, you should contact your diabetes healthcare team. They will review your treatment and provide you with advice on how to get your blood sugar levels back within your target range. This advice may include increasing your medication.
In the video below, Lynsey talks to Khalida about feeling anxious after getting a high blood sugar level reading. If youre finding it hard to deal with similar feelings, weve got information on emotional health that you may find helpful.
What Does High Blood Sugar Do To Your Body
Eating too much of any type of sugar can lead to spikes in your blood glucose levels, also called hyperglycemia. In most healthy people, the body responds to these spikes by releasing insulin, a hormone that works to bring glucose levels back down to normal. If, however, you repeatedly have too much glucose in your body, over time the cells become numb to insulin, causing blood sugar to rise. This state is known as insulin resistance and it is proinflammatory, potentially causing damage throughout your body.
One target of these harmful effects is yourendothelial cells, the cells that line your blood vessels. Repeated levels of high blood sugar can cause your blood vessels to produce damaging reactive molecules called free radicals, via compounds called advanced glycation end products . Too much free radical activity generates oxidative stress, damage to endothelial cell function, andinflammationin the blood vessels. Hyperglycemia can also causeoxidationof free fatty acids stored in your fat cells, which contributes to inflammation.
In addition, glucose causes theoxidationof low-density lipoprotein , increasing your risk of plaque build-up in your blood vessels. Another negative effect is that high blood sugar levels promote blood vessel constriction and platelet clumping, which can promote blood clots.
How Do You Decide What To Take
Even though these medicines can raise your blood sugar, it doesnât mean that you shouldnât take them if you need them. The most important thing is to work with your doctor on the right way to use them.
If you have diabetes or youâre watching your blood sugar, ask your doctor before you take new medicines or change any medicines, even if itâs just something for a cough or cold.
Make sure your doctor knows all the medicines you take — for diabetes or any other reason. If one of them may affect your blood sugar, they may prescribe a lower dose or tell you to take the medicine for a shorter time. You may need to check your blood sugar more often while youâre taking the medicine, too.
Also, remember to do the things you know will help keep your levels under control. Exercise, eat right, and take any diabetes medicines that you need.
American Diabetes Association: âFactors Affecting Blood Glucose.â
CDC: Basics About Diabetes, âWhat is diabetes?â
Diatribe: âHow many factors actually affect blood glucose?â
Diabetes Forecast: âMedications That Raise Blood Glucose,â âOver-the-Counter Meds that Raise Blood Sugar.â
NPS Medicinewise: âMedicines that affect blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes.â
National Institutes of Health AIDS info: âHIV and Diabetes.â
UIC Center on Psychiatric Disability and Co-Occurring Medical Conditions: âPsychiatric Meds & Diabetes.â
Mayo Clinic: âNiacin .â
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How Can I Avoid Anxiety
Appropriate stress management may be key to avoiding conditions such as anxiety. Relaxation techniques include:
- Breathing exercises
Relaxation methods such as the ones listed above are all be effective in relieving stress. Mindfulness based training in combination with diabetes management are proving an invaluable approach to aid the process of acceptance, while alleviating anxiety and stress.
Research conducted at the psychology department at Stanford University used brain imaging technologies to examine the effect of mindfulness training on social anxiety. They reported that participants who completed the mindfulness course showed reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression and demonstrated an enhanced self-esteem.
Mindfulness practices help to adjust the relationship one has with their panic and anxiety with acceptance, compassion and awareness.
This methodology has been shown to be significantly more effective in the long term. It has been scientifically proven to enhance quality of life and allow the practitioner to develop a disassociation with panic and anxiety, meaning they no longer need these states to define who they are or how they live their lives.
Low Blood Sugar Levels
Glucose, a type of carb, is the main source of fuel for your body and brain.The keto diet drastically reduces your carb intake, replacing it with fat.This shifts your body into ketosis, a metabolic state in which you burn fat asyour primary source of energy .When you start the diet, your body begins relying on ketone bodies instead ofglucose, which can cause your blood sugar levels to drop. In turn, this maylead to low blood sugar.This transition into ketosis may stress your brain, which could result inmental fatigue, or brain fog, as well as headaches .
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Low Blood Sugar: Glucagon
In severe cases of low blood sugar, when the 15:15 approach is insufficient, people may need glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that the pancreas produces to release stored glucose. A person can speak with their doctor to check whether they require prescription glucagon.
Does High Insulin Cause Anxiety
High insulin could possibly lead to adverse effects such as severe hypoglycemia. Whenever high insulin causes low blood sugar, your brain tries to bring it up.
To compensate for the drop in blood sugar levels, your brain pumps out adrenaline and other stress chemicals which causes your liver to produce more glucose.
These stress hormones and chemicals, particularly adrenaline causes tachycardia , palpitations, sweaty and shaky limbs, and a racing mind.
These are all common symptoms of anxiety and warning signs of low blood sugar levels.
In recent research, it has been found out that insulin resistance, can also be the cause of anxiety. Insulin resistance is when your body cells do not respond to insulin.
When your body cells develop insulin resistance, your pancreas starts to make more insulin. This can eventually lead to hormonal imbalance and result in diabetes, anxiety symptoms, and depression-like behavior.
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Learn To Manage Stress
Managing diabetes is not always easy. Feeling stressed, sad, lonely, or angry is common when you are living with diabetes. You may know what to do to stay healthy but may have trouble sticking with your plan over time. Long-term stress can raise your blood glucose and blood pressure, but you can learn ways to lower your stress. Try deep breathing, gardening, taking a walk, doing yoga, talking with a loved one, working on a hobby, or listening to your favorite music. Learn more about healthy ways to cope with stress.
How Do I Prevent Hyperglycemia
- Exercise to help lower blood sugar. Work with your healthcare provider to make a daily activity plan.
- Follow your meal plan if you have one. Learn how carbohydrates impact your blood sugar, and work with your diabetes care team to find the best meal plan for you.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Dont smoke.
- Limit drinking alcohol. Alcohol can raise blood sugar levels, but can also cause dangerously low blood sugar levels. Work with your provider to determine how much is safe to drink.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/12/2020.
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What Should My Blood Sugar Level Be
When you’re first diagnosed with diabetes, your diabetes care team will usually tell you what your blood sugar level is and what you should aim to get it down to.
You may be advised to use a testing device to monitor your blood sugar level regularly at home.
Or you may have an appointment with a nurse or doctor every few months to see what your average blood sugar level is. This is known as your HbA1c level.
Target blood sugar levels differ for everyone, but generally speaking:
- if you monitor yourself at home with a self-testing kit a normal target is 4 to 7mmol/l before eating and under 8.5 to 9mmol/l 2 hours after a meal
- if your HbA1c level is tested every few months a normal HbA1c target is below 48mmol/mol
The Diabetes UK website has more about blood sugar levels and testing.
Causes Related To Lifestyle
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.
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.
Get better insight into your glucose levels
Want to gain a better understanding of how your body responds to glucose? Try monitoring your glucose levels in real time with the Nutrisense Continuous Glucose Health Program.
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How Can I Treat And Manage Hyperglycemia
People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can manage hyperglycemia by eating healthy, being active, and managing stress. In addition, insulin is a critical part of managing hyperglycemia for people with type 1 diabetes, while people with type 2 diabetes may need oral medications and eventually insulin to help them manage hyperglycemia.
If you dont have diabetes and have any of the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia, call your healthcare provider. Together you can work to manage your hyperglycemia.
What Happens In Your Body When You Get Stressed
Stress hormones have a big role to play.
When youre experiencing physical or emotional stress, hormones are released that increase your blood sugar. Cortisol and adrenaline are other primary hormones involved.
This is a perfectly natural response. For example, if youre being chased by a barking dog or youre in a dangerous situation, you need these hormones to prepare your body for a fight or flight situation.
But when youre stressed, your body releases these hormones, even if there isnt a major physical threat involved.
The result? Higher blood pressure, increased heart rate and a rise in blood sugar.
The problem becomes more complicated.
If youre consistently under stress, your hormones and sugar will continue to surge.
Over time, this can put you at risk for:
- Heart disease
This is one reason why its so important to treat your stress and anxiety.
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Anxiety Disorders In People With Diabetes
Diabetes is associated with both elevated anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders. There is evidence of a bi-directional association between anxiety and diabetes. Therefore, it is possible that people with elevated anxiety symptoms or an anxiety disorder may be at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, while having Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes may place people at increased risk of developing elevated anxiety symptoms or an anxiety disorder.
Overall, the prevalence of elevated anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders in people with diabetes is within the range of general population estimates. Further research is needed regarding the specific types of anxiety disorders associated with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Many factors may contribute to the development of elevated anxiety symptoms or an anxiety disorder. These include: personal or family history, personality, stressful life circumstances, substance use, and physical illness. Diabetes may be completely unrelated for some people, while for others, it may be a contributing factor. As various factors can contribute, the exact cause will be different for every person.
In people with diabetes, elevated anxiety symptoms are associated with adverse medical and psychological outcomes, including:
People with a co-existing anxiety disorder and depressive symptoms are likely to experience greater emotional impairment and take longer to recover.
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.
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What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels
Managing diabetes is like a three-way balancing act because you have to watch:
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.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
Conducted after fasting for eight hours, drinking a high-sugar glucose solution, and waiting two more hours a reading of at least 140 mg/dL is considered a sign of prediabetes. A reading of 200 mg/dL or higher is type 2 diabetes. For optimal health, you want to aim for a two-hour glucose of 110 mg/dL or lower.
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Causes Of Anxiety For People With Diabetes
People with diabetes may become anxious over a variety of things. These can include monitoring their glucose levels, weight, and diet.
They may also worry about short-term health complications, such as , as well as long-term effects. People with diabetes are at higher risk for certain health complications, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. Knowing this can lead to further anxiety.
But keep in mind that the information can also be empowering if it leads to preventative measures and treatments. Learn about other ways one woman with anxiety feels empowered.
There is also some evidence that anxiety may play a role in causing diabetes. One found that symptoms of anxiety and depression are significant risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.
Maintain An Active Lifestyle
Take breaks during a sedentary workday, add a walk around the block to your morning routine, or try a new form of exercise. These activities bring great benefit in both the short and long term while helping reduce your overall stress. Including regular strength training and aerobic exercise will help to lower glucose values, as well.
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What If It Goes Untreated
Hyperglycemia can be a serious problem if you don’t treat it, so it’s important to treat as soon as you detect it. If you fail to treat hyperglycemia, a condition called ketoacidosis could occur. Ketoacidosis develops when your body doesn’t have enough insulin. Without insulin, your body can’t use glucose for fuel, so your body breaks down fats to use for energy.
When your body breaks down fats, waste products called ketones are produced. Your body cannot tolerate large amounts of ketones and will try to get rid of them through the urine. Unfortunately, the body cannot release all the ketones and they build up in your blood, which can lead to ketoacidosis.
Ketoacidosis is life-threatening and needs immediate treatment. Symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
Talk to your doctor about how to handle this condition.
If My A1c Is Normal My Glucose Is Good
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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Beta Blockers And High Blood Sugar Readings
Beta Blockers and high blood sugar readings! Beta Blockers and high blood sugar readings! I am a 5′ 8″ female who weighs 135lbs. I exercise routinely, but love my chocolate! lol! I have been on a beta blocker for the past 11 years for a fast heart rate. Over the course of the past 5 years, during routine blood work, my FBS has been ranging anywhere from 102 to 128. that I would wean myself off of the beta blocker and see if my blood sugars improved at all. I needed to prove this to myself…is it the medication OR do I in fact have pre-diabetes. If so, I wanted to get “on the ball” and watch my diet better. I have been off of the medication fully now for the past 12 days. My blood sugar readings have DRAMATICALLY lowered, back to the normal range! I was taking a very low dose of beta blocker, Zebeta 2.5 mg daily. This was a very welcome surprise as you can imagine. My point….I want people out there to know that this can happen. So many people are placed on beta blockers for high blood pressure etc, and may be diagnosed with diabetes. Perhaps some folks out there in this world may NOT indeed have it! Please talk to your doctor if you take one of these meds! D.D. Family Getting much harder to control Hi and welcome to DD I would still be very vigilant, a reading at 200 puts you at diabetic, now whatContinue reading > >