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Things that raise or lower your blood sugar levels

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If you have diabetes, changes in your routine can cause unplanned swings in your blood sugar level. Food and diabetes medications, exercise, stress and illness and alcohol can effect your blood sugar levels.

If you have diabetes, changes in your routine can cause unplanned swings in your blood sugar level. Food and diabetes medications, exercise, stress and illness and alcohol can effect your blood sugar levels.Food and diabetes medicationsIt’s important to be consistent with when you eat and how much you eat. By controlling these factors, you can control the times your blood sugar is higher, such as after meals, and you can control how high or low your blood sugar level gets. By matching your eating habits with when you take your diabetes medication, you increase your chances of keeping your blood sugar levels better controlled. Whenever you go off schedule, you risk upsetting the balance between your diet and your diabetes medication. Too little food in comparison to your medication may result in very low blood sugar and a hypoglycemic reaction. Too much food and your blood sugar will be too high. Even if you don’t take diabetes medications, consistency in times and the amounts you eat will help ensure better blood sugar control, a healthy diet and better weight control.ExerciseExercise usually lowers your blood sugar level for several hours. Under certain circumstances, exercise can also increase your blood sugar. Until you know how your body responds to exercise, test your blood glucose just after exercising and then again several hours later.Stress and illnessPsychological stress or the physical stress of a cold, the flu or especially a bacterial illness can cause your body to produce hormones that prevent insulin from working properly. Major trauma or other medical problems, such as a heart attack, can dramatically increase your blood sugar level. So during times of stress and illness, it’s important to continue taking your diabetes medication as scheduled and to monitor your blood glucose frequently, even if you’re not eating as much as usual. You should also get vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia and the flu if you have diabetes.AlcoholAlcohol prevents the release of glucose from your liver and can increase the risk of your blood sugar falling too low. If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so only in moderation, and eat food before you have a drink. Food helps moderate the effects of alcohol. Remember, alcohol provides additional calories that over the long term can lead to excess pounds. Test your blood glucose during and after drinking alcohol so that you can learn how alcohol affects you.(Source: Mayoclinic)

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Posted On: 20 June, 2003
Modified On: 4 December, 2013

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