Blood sugar - how is it influenced?

Food intake, physical activity, medications and other parameters affect blood sugar. The self-control of blood sugar helps diabetics to deal with all situations of everyday life better and also gives security. Therefore, to keep the blood sugar level within the normal range, all diabetics who inject insulin or take oral antidiabetics should regularly measure their blood sugar.

What raises blood sugar?

There are many factors that can cause high blood sugar. Here's an overview of five factors that can significantly affect your blood glucose levels in specific situations.

1. nutrition

All foods that contain carbohydrates increase blood sugar. Depending on how fast the carbohydrates are broken down, the blood sugar rises accordingly quickly or slowly. Grape sugar causes the blood sugar to rise very quickly, but with whole grain bread this takes much longer.

For diabetics carbohydrates are suitable, which cause the blood sugar to rise slowly. However, there is one exception: In the case of hypoglycaemia, fast-acting carbohydrates must be given, such as glucose.

2. Disease

Flu, colds or gastrointestinal infections cause the blood sugar to rise, even if you behave completely normal. Especially in feverish diseases, the blood sugar level can rise to a considerable extent. In such cases, one should measure his blood sugar more frequently and possibly perform a ketone body test.

3. Medicines

Certain medicines can increase blood sugar. These include, for example, diuretics, cortisone or thyroid hormones. In addition, medications may influence each other. The questions which medications increase the blood sugar and what interactions occur, the doctor or pharmacist can answer.

4. Stress

Hustle and bustle, stress or just getting up early in the morning make the blood sugar levels rise slightly. This phenomenon is called Dawn phenomenon. In stressful situations, the body releases a lot of adrenaline and cortisone. These substances increase the blood sugar level. Therefore, diabetics should often measure blood sugar during periods of high stress.

5. Menstruation

In some women, blood sugar can change over the course of the cycle. If, for example, the blood sugar increases in the middle of the cycle, the insulin dose should be adjusted accordingly.

What lowers the blood sugar?

Just as certain factors can increase blood sugar, there are also those that can have a lowering effect on blood sugar levels. Here is especially for diabetics caution.

1st sport

Physical activity sometimes lowers blood sugar significantly, as less insulin is needed to transport glucose into the cells. Before exercising, diabetics should therefore consume one to two carbohydrate units or reduce their medication dose and regularly monitor blood sugar. Even hours later, the blood sugar may still be low.

It should also be noted that exposure to heat, such as a hot bath or a massage immediately after insulin injection, accelerates the absorption of insulin!

2. Alcohol

Alcohol alters the metabolism in the liver. The blood sugar can fall rapidly, because the body first has to break down the "poison" alcohol. Therefore: Do not drink more than two glasses of wine or beer. In order to prevent nocturnal hypoglycaemia, one can eat a snack shortly before bedtime.

3. Medicines

Hypoglycaemia can also be caused by medication. Therefore, diabetics should know their medicines and their effects. Which medicines can lead to an influence on the blood sugar level, the doctor or pharmacist can clarify in a personal conversation.

4. Diet

Who decreases, whose blood glucose levels fall! Therefore, while on a diet increasingly strengthen the blood sugar measure.

5. Insulin

Insulin transports glucose into the cells and lowers blood sugar. Insulin-dependent diabetics should be aware of the dangers of hypoglycaemia in order to behave accordingly.

Reasons for low sugar can be:

  • forgotten meals
  • too high a dose of injected insulin
  • unusual movement
  • alcohol
  • hypoglycemic drugs
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