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5 secret things impacting your sugar levels and health!

It can be really stressful and irritating when your sugar levels are out of check and you have no idea why! Have a read for 5 factors that could be impacting your sugar levels that you had no idea about!

1. Stress

When we are feeling stressed or anxious for a long period of time the body releases the hormone cortisol. Long-term exposure to cortisol can be very damaging to the body. For example increasing blood pressure, reducing blood flow to the digestive system and increasing blood glucose levels.

Therefore, feeling stressed can majorly contribute to hyperglycaemia, increasing risks of long-term complications, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetic retinopathy, nerve damage and cognitive diseases such as Alzheimers.

One of the best things you can do for your health is to decrease your stress load and learn how to cope with stress in a sustainable way for you. Figure out what works for you and implement it into your daily routine, self-care should never to neglected!

For tips on how to decrease chronic stress, read my blog; Is stress making your glucose levels impossible to control?

2. Hormones

Hormones are chemical messengers that help to control processes within the body. For women, the menstrual cycle can cause fluctuations in sugar levels. Changes in oestrogen, LH and FSH can cause some women to have higher sugar levels and other women to have lower sugar levels during their period.

During your next period pay attention to your stage in the menstrual cycle and your glucose readings. If you notice that the readings are particularly high or low it is definitely worth adjusting your insulin doses during your menstrual cycle.

3. Lack of sleep

Lack of sleep also contributes to chronic stress and high cortisol levels, which can cause sugar levels to spike. Sleep deprivation also makes binge eating more likely, contributing to hyperglycaemia.

Sleep is vital for the body to repair itself and if you are constantly tired it will be hard for the body to balance sugar levels. Furthermore, chronic hyperglycaemia causes frequent urination to get rid of the sugar, causing you to get up several times in the night, contributing to restless nights and adding to chronic stress.

Getting good quality sleep is very important for everybody’s health, so it is vital to lower chronic stress and implement a sleep routine in order to break the cycle of bad nights.

4. Alcohol

Obviously a lot of alcoholic drinks contain a lot of sugar, meaning initially a lot of insulin might need to be taken alongside it. However, the process of removing alcohol from the body can cause hypoglycaemia.

The liver is in charge of detoxifying the body, and the liver uses glucose and glycogen stores to remove alcohol from the body. This means hypo’s can occur hours after the consumption of alcohol.

Therefore it is very important for people living with diabetes to know this, and consider insulin doses and having snacks before and after consuming alcohol.

When I have a drink, I start with a more sugary drink to make sure my glucose levels don’t dip. I then like to have sugar free drinks to prevent my sugars going too high, and I always have a snack before I go to bed or after I have finished drinking alcohol. It might sound quite complicated to people who aren’t living with diabetes but this is the sort of thing we have to consider! 🙂

5. Illness

When the body is fighting off infections it can cause sugar levels to rise very sharply. People living with diabetes deal with illness differently and it can not only cause hyperglycaemia, but it can also cause DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) which can be really serious.

If you have diabetes and have unexplained high sugar levels, or have any form of symptoms, check your ketones either with a urine dipstick or blood ketone monitor. If you have high ketones seek medical care immediately.

If you have high sugar levels but no ketones, take more glucose readings and make sure you are taking correction doses. Consume lots of fluids and eat to strengthen your immune system. Make sure you are eating garlic, turmeric, ginger and lots of fruit and veg everyday.

Thank you so much for reading this weeks blog! Please comment and email me any feedback!