Understanding What Causes Blood Sugar Spikes
In order to effectively manage blood sugar spikes, it is crucial to understand what causes them to occur in the first place. Some of the more common causes of blood sugar spikes include eating food with too much carbohydrates or sugar, or being less physically active than normal.
But sometimes, it’s not always that easy. You’ve eaten a well balanced meal, made time for a good workout, and have even managed to avoid your sweet cravings — but your blood sugar level is still spiking. You’ve done all the right things, so why is this happening?
Managing diabetes isn’t as simple as eating right and exercising. Although there’s no denying that being as healthy as possible is important, there are many factors that can affect your blood sugar. Keep reading to learn more about the uncommon causes of blood sugar spikes, and tips to help prevent them in the future.
Blood Sugar Spike Symptoms
Learning to recognize the symptoms of high blood sugar is the first step to managing your diabetes. These symptoms typically start occurring once your blood glucose level increases above 250 mg/dL. To put things into perspective, a healthy blood glucose level is usually under 140 mg/dL.
Hyperglycemia symptoms to look out for include:
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
If you think you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to check your blood glucose levels and possibly see a doctor.
Surprising Things That Cause Blood Sugar Spikes
It’s getting hot in here! If you’re sweating, there’s a good chance your blood sugar is spiking. In general, extreme heat — such as hot tubs, sunburns, or summer weather — makes it harder to control your blood sugar levels. Heat causes your blood vessels to dilate and insulin to absorb more quickly, which can lead to spikes.
Now, we aren’t saying that you have to avoid the sun completely during the summer. How the heat affects you also depends on other factors, such as what you’ve eaten, your activity level, and whether or not you’re hydrated enough. By taking a few precautions, you can still enjoy your fun in the sun this summer!
2. Losing Sleep
A good night’s sleep is important for anyone, but it’s even more important for diabetics. For someone without diabetes, not getting enough sleep will cause them to feel tired, groggy, and potentially irritable. However, for someone with diabetes, a lack of sleep could cause blood sugar spikes.
Getting enough sleep is advice that you’ve likely heard before — and for good reason. In addition to helping us feel energized and rested, sleep also helps our bodies reset and regulate hormones. When your body doesn’t have enough time to do this, you may end up consuming more food during the day for energy, which can cause your blood sugar to rise.
3. Sugar-Free Food
If you notice your blood sugar spiking after eating sugar-free food, you might be confused. After all, aren’t you doing the right thing by choosing a sugar-free option? Although limiting your sugar intake is always important when managing your diabetes, it is just as important to research what you are putting into your body.
Sugar-free food isn’t always healthy, and many of these options still have carbs from starches — which could be what is causing your blood sugar to spike. Before digging in, check nutrition labels for yourself to make sure the food you’re eating is low in sugar and carbohydrates.
4. Time of Day
Did you know that the time of day has an effect on your blood sugar? Whether someone has diabetes or not, it is normal for hormones to surge in the morning. But for someone with type 2 diabetes, this could cause blood sugar levels to spike.
Often referred to as the “dawn phenomenon,” many people experience higher-than-normal blood glucose levels between 2AM and 8AM. And as the day goes on, it can get harder to control glucose levels. A Swee2ooth snack or smoothie between meals can help stabilize your blood sugar levels throughout the day!
Not drinking enough water causes more than just dehydration — it also leads to higher blood sugar, as the sugar in your body becomes more concentrated. But how much water do you actually need? Health experts recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals half a gallon per day. This is commonly referred to as the 8x8 rule.
If you’re having a hard time drinking enough, try keeping a reusable bottle with you during the day, adding fruit to your water for more flavor, or setting reminders on your phone. Trust us, your body will thank you!
6. Menstrual Cycles
As if the symptoms associated with “that time of the month” aren’t already bad enough, hormonal changes during a woman’s menstrual cycle can also cause blood sugar spikes. Although this varies from person to person, some women become less sensitive to insulin during the week leading up to their period, which can result in above-normal glucose levels.
If you notice your blood sugar runs particularly high before or during your menstrual cycle, it is important to be extra mindful of your diet and lifestyle choices to avoid further spikes. And if your sugar cravings are also noticeably high during that time of the month, try mixing up a Swee2ooth shake or smoothie to satisfy your sweet tooth!
It’s no surprise that life can be stressful. From balancing work, facing major changes or times of uncertainty, and simply taking on too much, life is stressful enough without diabetes. Once you add diabetes to the mix, you might feel even more stressed and out of control than ever before.
Stress can take a toll — both emotionally and physically. Being under a lot of stress triggers your body’s fight-or-flight response, which releases hormones that can make your blood sugar rise. Although you sadly can’t always eliminate what is causing you to be stressed in the first place, there are ways to relieve your stress. For example, simple activities like going for a walk, taking a bath, booking a massage, meditating, or practicing yoga can go a long way.
Simple Tips to Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
1. Learn about the glycemic index
The glycemic index is a tool used for blood sugar management that measures how much a specific food will affect glucose levels. Foods are classified using the glycemic index, where they are ranked on a scale of 0 to 100 and classified as low, medium, or high. The higher the glycemic index, the more that food will cause blood sugar spikes.
2. Find diabetic-friendly recipes
When it comes to eating healthy and managing your diabetes, finding recipes that you actually enjoy can make all the difference. If you’re looking for diabetic-friendly recipes, then you’ve come to the right place! Having diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying the finer things in life, like delicious food that can satisfy your sweet cravings.
To get you started, here are 14 diabetic-friendly smoothie recipes that are just as healthy as they are delicious.
3. Reduce carbs and sugar
Research has shown that small, incremental daily changes to reduce carb and sugar intake is critical to managing type 2. Consuming too much of either can lead to insulin resistance and an immediate blood sugar spike. Each of our Super Blends contains less than 6g of carbs and absolutely no added sugar, so you can rest assured that it won’t cause blood sugar spikes. In fact, our formula is proven to lower blood sugar!
4. Get enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals
In addition to reducing carbs and sugar, researchers have also found that adding fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your diet can help stabilize blood sugar. Our Super Blends feature vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, chromium, and biotin that help with blood sugar maintenance. Our formula also contains a unique blend of fibers and fats to promote healthy digestion by reducing triglycerides and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
5. Exercise more
Exercising regularly can help you do a lot more than just lose weight. Physical activity releases endorphins and can help improve your mood and manage stress. But most importantly, exercising has the power to lower and prevent blood sugar spikes. We recommend participating in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity four to five days a week. Whether you choose a HIIT workout or simply go for a walk, just get moving!
Lower Blood Sugar Levels With Swee2ooth
The next time your blood sugar spikes, don’t be discouraged! The first step to lowering your blood sugar is to know what causes the spikes to occur. Once you know this, you and your doctor can come up with a plan to get your levels back on track.
In the meantime, we’re here to help! Our Swee2ooth Super Blends were formulated specifically for type 2 diabetes to help curb cravings and lower blood sugar. Each of our Super Blends features a powerful combination of whey protein, gut-friendly superfoods, vitamins, minerals, and essential fats to help fuel your fight.
Ready to manage your blood sugar levels once and for all? Click the button below to get started!