Surprising things that raise your blood sugar


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Diabetes affects more and more people each year, and if it is left untreated it can cause serious complications. Diabetes is heavily linked to being overweight, sugar and fat-rich diets as well as other lifestyle habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption and lack of physical activity. For most diabetics, managing their condition involves tackling diet, exercise and lifestyle habits to reduce their blood sugar.

Since diabetes is so common, many people are already aware of certain food items that can spike blood sugar levels. Things like refined sugar, fast foods and processed foods are off the menu. Continuing to have an unhealthy diet may lead to additional complications like kidney failure, cardiovascular issues and nerve damage. But it’s not just these well-known foods that can spike your sugar. Here are 9 surprising things to watch for that can also increase blood glucose levels:

9 Surprising Factors That Raise Your Blood Sugar

1. Sunburn - Getting sunburnt is not a major medical issue, you will need some rest as well as cream or skin ointments. But sunburn also causes stress in the body which leads to a spike in blood sugar. Sunburn is caused when the skin is exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods without the protection of clothing or sunscreen. Too much time outside in the hot sun may also lead to dehydration. This brings us to our next point.

2. Dehydration - Dehydration occurs when the body loses more water than it is receiving. Usually, this happens when we sweat a lot or from other factors like urinating often. This means there is less water in the body, which can lead to the concentration of sugar going up. On top of this, high blood sugar can also result in frequent urination, which further increases the risk of dehydration!

3. Artificial Sweeteners - Artificial sweeteners have gained popularity because diabetes is so common today. But a few studies have shown that these ‘sugar-free’ sweeteners may in fact also cause a spike in blood sugar. This fact is not yet confirmed nor is it known why this happens. It may be possible that artificial sweeteners change the behaviour by encouraging poor food habits - some people may think they can afford to eat carb-rich foods since they are taking sugar-free sweeteners. Although the cause is unknown, you should be careful with whatever sweeteners you use.

4. Medications - From steroids and birth control pills to antidepressants and cough syrup, many medicines that we take for common issues can change the level of blood sugar quickly. You should always speak with your doctor about what medications you can take when you have diabetes.

5. Sleep Loss - Poor sleep can affect your body’s ability to use insulin properly, this can cause a spike in glucose even after just one night of lost sleep. Sleep helps the body to rest and restore itself, a loss of sleep can increase the stress your body undergoes.

6. Skipping meals - If you skip breakfast, your blood sugar is likely to spike after lunch and dinner. Avoid skipping meals and eat your food on time regularly.

7. Nasal Sprays - Nasal sprays help to bring relief from a blocked nose. But some of these sprays contain chemicals that may trigger a sudden spike in your blood sugar levels.

8. Time of day - This factor has little to your behaviour and more to do with the natural day-night cycle and its effects on the body. Blood sugar gets naturally harder to manage the later the time of day is.

9. Caffeine - Coffee may or may not affect how your body uses insulin. In some diabetics, even 1 cup can result in a blood sugar spike, while in others it does not affect their glucose levels at all. You can do a home glucose test to find out whether coffee is messing with your blood sugar levels or not.

Diabetes is manageable if you follow your doctor's instructions carefully. At first, it may seem overwhelming due to all the rules about what you cannot eat. However, with the right diet, you can get your sugar back under control and lead a normal life. Of course, exercise and weight loss may be a key part of your diabetes management plan. With the right attitude and health plan, you can live your life to the fullest and avoid the long term effects of diabetes.