Most people associate blood sugar spikes solely with food, particularly with the consumption of simple carbohydrates and sugary treats. But did you know that there are several other factors that can influence your blood sugar levels? In this article, we dive into seven non-food-related aspects that could result in fluctuating blood sugar levels.
Stress triggers the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which stimulate your liver to dump extra sugar into your bloodstream. This was useful in the past when stress usually meant physical danger, but in todayâs world of chronic stress, this response can lead to consistently high blood sugar. Techniques to manage stress, such as deep breathing, yoga, and mindfulness meditation, can help you to maintain healthier blood sugar levels.
2. Lack of Sleep
Affluent research indicates a significant relationship between sleep deprivation and elevated blood sugar levels. Lack of sleep impacts the body's insulin sensitivity, which can result in higher-than-normal blood glucose. Practicing good sleep hygiene and aiming for seven to nine hours of sleep per night can support better glucose management.
When you're dehydrated, your liver releases glycogen, which elevates your blood sugar. Aim for adequate daily water intake to keep your blood sugar within healthy limits. According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the general water recommendation is a minimum of 3.7 liters for males and 2.7 liters for females.
When your body is fighting an illness or infection, it releases stress hormones which can increase your blood glucose levels. During periods of illness, it's essential to monitor your blood sugar regularly, and might even be necessary to adjust your medication under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
5. Certain Medications
Some medications, including steroids, water pills (diuretics), and some antidepressants, can raise your blood glucose levels. Always discuss potential side effects with your doctor and inform them of your history of diabetes if you have been diagnosed.
6. Menstruation and Menopause
Hormonal fluctuations during menstruation and menopause can influence blood sugar control. Many women with diabetes find that their blood glucose levels increase the week before their period. Adjustments to your diabetes treatment plan might be necessary during these times.
7. Physical Inactivity
Physical movement aids the body in processing glucose more effectively. Therefore, sedentary behavior can lead to higher blood sugar levels over time. Regular physical activity, even gentle movement such as walking or stretching, can promote balanced blood glucose levels.
In conclusion, blood sugar control goes far beyond diet. By recognizing these seven triggers, you can take proactive steps to manage your blood sugar levels more effectively letting you lead a healthier and more balanced life.