High Blood Sugar: Know the Symptoms of Spikes!

Most of the food we eat is broken down into glucose — the fuel that keeps our bodies running. But when you have diabetes, your body doesn’t effectively process glucose leading excess to build up in your bloodstream. Chronic high blood sugar can lead to a number of disastrous health consequences including damage to nerves and vital organs of the body. That’s why it’s so important to know what symptoms to look out for so that you can deal with spikes in glucose and prevent them in the future!

Common Causes

Your blood sugar levels fluctuate all day long as you eat, drink, digest, and move about your daily life. Starchy and sugary foods cause your glucose levels to rise immediately, but consistently elevated levels can have a number of causes like…
– not taking prescribed medications.
– incorrect dosage.
– expired insulin.
– poor nutrition.
– emotional stress.
– illness or infection.
– steroids or certain other medications.
– physical stress, such as an injury or surgery

Be sure to check your blood sugar levels as recommended by your doctor and contact them if you’re experiencing unusually high numbers. Keep a detailed food journal and record your glucose readings so that you can pinpoint what might be causing spikes.

You may immediately feel the effects of a blood sugar spike or they may be more mild and less noticeable. Symptoms generally begin to occur after your glucose levels exceed 250mg/dL and will worsen over time. The top 5 signs you need to look out for are:
– frequent urination
– fatigue
– increased thirst
– blurred vision
– headache
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s probably a good idea to perform a finger stick to check your level.

STOP: Seek Immediate Medical Attention
After extended periods of elevated blood sugar levels, people with diabetes are prone to developing diabetic ketoacidosis — a potentially deadly condition that causes the blood to become too acidic. Seek immediate emergency medical attention if you experience the following symptoms:
– fruity smelling breath or sweat
– nausea and vomiting
– severe dry mouth
– trouble breathing
– weakness
– pain in the abdominal area
– confusion

Now What?
If your glucose levels are normally under control and you are experiencing a sugar spike there are steps you can take to help lower your levels. Exercising and drinking water after eating can help lower your blood sugar. You may also use an insulin injection as directed by your doctor. Be careful — insulin used improperly can cause low blood sugar and a whole host of other problems!

As Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The same is true in the case of blood sugar spikes. It’s much easier and better for your long term health to prevent spikes in glucose levels whenever possible. Stick to a healthy diet plan, avoid high glycemic index foods, exercise regularly, and watch your carbs.

The best way to handle blood sugar spikes is to do your best to keep them from happening to begin with. Be diligent in checking your levels and keep your doctor informed so they can adjust your treatment as needed before major problems arise.

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