8 Blood Sugar Triggers That Might Surprise You

by Ben Ong

blood sugar triggers

High blood sugar (also known as Hyperglycemia) is one of the major problems of individuals with Diabetes. This is where your blood sugar is at an abnormally high level. This can affect anyone and may cause both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Blood sugar control is the main treatment used to cure Hyperglycemia. When you frequently have high blood sugar and it is left untreated, it can cause severe damage to the major parts of your body, such as your nerves, blood vessels, and even your organs.

Keeping blood sugar levels stable is essential for diabetes management. However, while some triggers might be obvious, such as consuming sugary treats, other’s might surprise you.

Here a 8 blood sugar triggers to watch out for.

1) Skipping breakfast

blood sugar triggers

We’ve all done this at some point. You’re rushing out the door, the bus is coming in a couple of minutes and breakfast get’s left behind. However, if you are regularly skipping out on breakfast it could affect your blood sugar levels. Researchers from Tel Aviv University tracked the food intake people with type 2 diabetes and their corresponding blood sugar levels for two days.

The only difference in food intake over the two days was that the participants consumed breakfast one morning but didn’t the following day. The results showed that on the day breakfast was skipped, all-day spikes in blood sugar levels resulted. The researchers believed that the function of pancreatic beta cells, which produce insulin, was negatively affected when the morning meal was skipped.

2) Stress 

blood sugar triggers

Stress not only affects your mental health but can also have a big impact on your physical health.

Studies have shown that higher levels of stress have been associated with a negative effect on blood glucose control.

The effect of stress on glycemic control in people with diabetes may be related to a direct effect of stress hormones on blood glucose levels and an indirect effect of stress on patient behaviours related to diabetes treatment and monitoring and meal and exercise plans.

When experiencing stress, diabetes management can go out the window, and people tend to stop eating or overeat. If you are dealing with stress, try to find ways to lower your stress levels, this could be through exercising, talking to someone or even reading a book.

3) Heat 

blood sugar triggers

For many the warm summer months are much anticipated.

However, if you struggle with diabetes, extreme heat can take its toll on your blood sugar levels.

While the beach may be calling you, it’s important to be aware that long periods of sunbathing could raise blood glucose.

When experiencing high temperatures, people tend to sweat more than usual, which can increase your risk of dehydration, ultimately leading to a rise in glucose levels.

This can lead to frequent urination, which then leads to further dehydration and even higher blood sugar levels, resulting in a vicious cycle.

Take extra care during the warm summer months and stay hydrated and try to avoid sunburn. Sunburn causes stress to your body and can cause a rise in blood sugar levels.

4) Medication 

blood sugar triggers

Certain medications can also result in a rise of fall in blood sugar levels.

Before Taking any medication, be sure to discuss this with your Doctor, so that you are aware of any potential side affects you could experience.

In the case of steroids, used to treat inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, these can cause your blood sugar to increase dramatically.

Birth control pills and certain antidepressants may also result in higher reading. Other drugs may lower blood sugar, so it is important to be informed about what you are taking and see your Doctor if it seems that you blood sugar is changing drastically.

5)  Hormones blood sugar triggers

As the years roll on, your body will experience many changes.

For women, hormonal changes before and after starting menopause can result in hot flashes, mood swings and difficulty sleeping.

These changes can affect your blood sugar, which will mean during this period of your life you should test your levels more often.

The hormones estrogen and progesterone affect how your cells respond to insulin. After menopause, changes in your hormone levels can trigger fluctuations in your blood sugar level.

For men, recent studies have found a link between low levels of testosterone and type 2 diabetes. O

ne study A study journal BioMed Research International, found that low testosterone levels may help predict if a man will develop insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes in the future.

6) Sugar free foodblood sugar triggers

Despite the label ‘diabetic friendly food’, is not necessarily good for diabetes.

They can still have plenty of carbs from starches, so be sure to check the total carbohydrates on the label before you dig in.  

Sugar is often hidden under a different name and many diabetic chocolates contain sweeteners such as fructose or sorbitol, which can affect blood sugar levels.

In terms of fat content, it is not much better and can have as many calories, if not more than normal chocolate. Following this, it is also very expensive and having reflected on its nutritional value, not worth the money.

8) Travelling blood sugar triggers

Travelling can be hectic at the best of times, but if you have diabetes it can make it that much harder.

Factors such as time changes can disrupt when you take your insulin and result in unusual and unhealthy eating habits.

Say no to plane food, which may cause havoc on your blood sugar levels and have healthy snacks on hand.  Plan ahead and try to monitor your blood sugar levels.

It’s easy to get carried away on holiday and splurge on food and drink. While you can still enjoy  yourself, do not let your diabetes management become lax.

Type 2 diabetes is a complicated disease. Many factors can cause you blood sugar to fall or fluctuate and it’s important to pay attention to these triggers.

However, while some people might find that certain activities or foods cause their blood sugar to rise, others may find that that the same factors have no effect. It often depends on the person. Keeping a food diary and recording your blood sugar levels before or after meals or activity, will help to determine what your specific triggers are.